Customers legal rights when a holiday tour operator goes bust

If you have booked and paid for a holiday and the tour operator has gone bust any rights you have will be dependent upon what type of holiday you booked.

Package Holidays

Most package holidays are covered by the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992, commonly known as the Package Travel Regulations. A package holiday is a holiday consisting of 2 or more pre-arranged components which will normally comprise of transportation to and from the destination and accommodation at the destination. It may also consist of other significant tourist services. 

Where the Package Travel Regulations apply a tour operator or travel firm, is required to secure the monies paid by you to enable a refund to be made in the event of insolvency. Usually the monies will be protected by the tour operator or travel firm bonding to an approved body such as the Association of British Travel Agents Limited (ABTA), the Passenger Shipping Association Limited (PSA), the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO), the Association of Independent Tour Operators Trust Limited (AITOT) or the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT). 

If a flight is included as part of the package then it will generally be bonded by a scheme run by the Civil Aviation Authority known as ATOL as well as tour operators and travel firms who offer flights are required to hold an ATOL (Air Travel Organisers Licence).

So how do the Package Travel Regulations help me? Will I still be able to take the holiday as planned?

Where the Package Travel Regulations apply and the tour operator has gone bust since you booked and paid for the holiday it is unlikely that you will be able to take the holiday that you had planned.

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For more information on:

  • Other Holidays
  • What if it my travel agent who has gone bust rather than the tour operator?