ATOL, the holiday financial protection scheme, has published information for ATOL-protected consumers who were booked to travel with STA Travel Ltd (ATOL 3206) following an announcement that the company, based in London but with more than 50 stores across the UK, ceased trading on 21 August 2020.
STA Travel Ltd specialised in package tours for backpackers and young people.
Clarification on the number of ATOL-protected consumers abroad will be confirmed in due course. Anyone who is currently abroad will have tickets for their flight home. These are still valid and people should check-in as normal.
ATOL will actively work with accommodation providers to make sure all affected customers can continue their holiday. If for any reason customers are required to pay again for their accommodation, or any other part of the ATOL protected booking, we advise to obtain receipts for payment and submit a claim for the cost.
Consumers with cancelled bookings or refund credit notes
We are aware of a number of consumers whose bookings have been cancelled by STA Travel Ltd as a result of government advice or flight cancellations. Consumers that have accepted valid refund credit notes or are due refunds for the cancellation of their ATOL protected booking will be able to submit a claim to ATOL through our online portal.
Due to Travel
For ATOL-protected consumers that are due to travel after 21 August 2020, flight tickets may still be valid but this must be confirmed with the airline.
If choosing to travel, consumers may be asked to pay again for replacement services of the original package holiday. However, provided the services are covered by ATOL, they are entitled to submit a claim for a refund. Replacement services may include accommodation, transfers or other services but consumers should confirm which services were included in the package holiday on their ATOL certificate or booking documents.
If consumers have a flight-only booking that was ATOL protected, they will only be able to make a claim if they are still due to travel and have not received a valid ticket. Otherwise, consumers should speak to their airline, including if the flight has been cancelled or they have received a voucher for a cancelled flight.
Choosing not to Travel
If ATOL-protected consumers choose not to travel or their flight tickets are not valid, they will be able to make a claim.
Andrew McConnell, spokesman for ATOL, said: “We understand this will be concerning news for anyone who has booked to travel with the company or has had their booking cancelled. It is a sad day for the industry when a long established business like STA Travel Ltd ceases trading, especially one that many may be used to seeing in their towns and on their high streets.
“However, the ATOL scheme exists for exactly this kind of situation and we are making arrangements so that all ATOL protected customers can either continue their holiday and return home as normal, or make a claim if they are due to travel.”
For media enquiries contact Jake Woodley at the ATOL Press Office on 00 44 (0)207 453 6030 or [email protected].
You can also follow ATOL on Twitter @atolprotected.
Notes to Editor
We will work with the administrator to obtain data that may require us to update our advice.
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