Holiday firm All Leisure Holidays has stopped trading, with hundreds of its customers overseas.
It operated the Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery cruise lines, which both cancelled New Year cruises at short notice.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it will ensure the company’s 400 holidaymakers currently abroad will be repatriated at no extra cost under the terms of the Atol protection scheme.
The ‘vast majority’ will be able to return to the UK using the scheduled airline tickets included as part of their booking, the CAA added.
It’s vital to find out whether your booking is protected. Use our guide to what you need to know if your travel company has gone bust.
Atol and Abta protection
Travel trade organisation Abta said around 13,000 All Leisure Holidays customers were due to travel on future departures.
These have now been cancelled and a full refund will be given.
It’s believed that around two-thirds of customers are protected under the Atol scheme, which covers flight and cruise packages, with the remaining holidaymakers on UK-departing cruises able to get their money back through Abta.
Flights and cruises
Because the company was part of the CAA’s Atol scheme, customers with Atol-protected holiday bookings will be able to claim a full refund for their trip
Cruise holidays involving flights must be Atol protected when sold in the UK. Customers who booked holidays involving flights through Voyages of Discovery and Swan Hellenic should have received an Atol certificate when they made their booking.
The CAA set up a dedicated helpline for those affected on 0808 164 8810. Further information is available at www.atol.org.uk, and a refund claim form will be available shortly, the CAA said.
Cruise trips not involving flights are not protected by Atol, but may be protected by Abta, which has announced that approximately a third of the future bookings are UK-departing cruises that are financially protected by Abta.
All customers should check on the abta.com/allleisure to obtain the relevant claim form and advice on how to get a refund of the money they have paid for their cruise.
If you booked through a travel agent, you should contact the agent in the first instance for assistance with your claim and possible re-booking.
No-one will be left stranded abroad
Andy Cohen, head of Atol at the CAA, said: ‘We understand this will be concerning news for anyone who has booked to travel with the company.
‘However, the Atol scheme exists for exactly this kind of situation and we are making immediate arrangements so all Atol-protected customers can claim full refunds as quickly as possible.
‘We are also arranging for people currently overseas to get back home to the UK at no extra cost – meaning no-one will be left stranded abroad.’
The company’s collapse is expected to affect hundreds of jobs. In a statement, the administrators, Grant Thornton, said it was able to preserve 200 jobs by selling off sister brands Travelsphere and Just You to Canadian tour operator G Adventures.
- Find out how you’re protected by the Package Travel Regulations
- Know your rights if your package holiday is changed or cancelled
- Use our guide to solve any problems you’re having claiming on your travel insurance