Holidays: STA Travel collapses – what it means for your holidays & flights with operator

STA Travel Limited collapsed today after the popular travel company became the latest brand to fall victim to the recession. The firm traded from more than 50 locations around the UK. So what does it mean for you?

UK travel trade association ABTA explained: “The majority of holidays sold by STA Travel Limited were flight-inclusive packages and these were protected by the CAA’s ATOL scheme, as well as scheduled airline tickets under its IATA licence and as agent for the airline,” said ABTA.

“STA Travel Limited also sold some packages which did not include flights and were protected by ABTA as well as holidays as an agent for other tour operators.”

This is ABTA’s travel advice for holidaymakers with different types of bookings:

If you booked through STA Travel with another tour operator

If you booked a package holiday through STA Travel Limited and the holiday is provided by another tour operator, you will need to contact the tour operator named on your paperwork or ATOL Certificate (listed on your ATOL certificate under “Who is protecting your trip”).

Your tour operator should be able to confirm that your booking will proceed as normal.  

Your ATOL Certificate will say ’Package Sale’ in the bottom right-hand corner, where an ATOL protected package has been booked through STA Travel Limited with another tour operator.

If you booked an STA Travel package holiday with flights included

If your booking included flights and was not with another tour operator, you will need to contact the CAA as your booking is protected by the CAA’s ATOL scheme.

Further information and advice on how to claim is available on the CAA’s website.

Your ATOL Certificate will say “Package Sale” in the bottom right-hand corner.

If you booked flight-only with STA Travel (scheduled airline tickets)

If you booked a flight only with STA Travel Limited with a scheduled airline, you will need to contact the airline about your booking.

The airline is responsible for your booking and this should proceed as normal.

Customers due a refund due to COVID-19 will need to make a claim with the airline concerned.

What STA Travel’s collapse means for you if you’re currently abroad

ATOL, the holiday financial protection scheme has also shared its travel advice.

The scheme explained that 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, ATOL advises to obtain receipts for payment and submit a claim for the cost.

Consumers with cancelled bookings or refund credit notes

ATOL said they 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.

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.”

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