/ Travel & Leisure

Sun4U goes bust – but is your holiday safe?

Help written in the sand

Another holiday goes bust, meaning no sun 4 their many customers. So how can you keep clear of the same fate? Rochelle Turner has some words of advice.

Oh, please! Not again. I woke up this morning to the news that another holiday company, Sun4U, had gone bust. So yet more people would be left scrambling to find a way home or missing out on a holiday that they had planned. Many others could even be left out of pocket.

Sun4U (and the other company names it used to trade under) offered, as many travel companies do these days, the opportunity to buy a package holiday or one that put together elements separately outside of a package.

To package or not to package?

A non-package holiday can be great for flexibility and can often be cheaper. Since the advent of the internet and the growth in low-cost airlines, this is the way that the majority of us now travel abroad.

Put simply, the problem is that a package offers ATOL protection providing either repatriation or reimbursement, but a non-package doesn’t. More confusingly, some holidays can include ATOL protection for the flight, but not for the accommodation.

ATOL is proposing to reform all this, with the possibility of new laws to protect holidays that include a flight plus another significant holiday element (such as accommodation, car hire or cruise etc). Until then, we need to ask the question, ‘how much of my holiday is ATOL protected?’ before paying for a holiday.

Cover yourself against collapse

Once you have a clear answer to that question, you can decide the level of risk to take. Do you pay with a credit card or a Visa debit card? Yes, it will often cost more, but if you spend over £100 you could get your money back if the holiday company were to go bust.

Do you have insurance? Some insurance policies will pay for holiday company failure. Many don’t of course, but it’s worth checking your policy to be sure.

Volcanic ash, the World Cup and the three S’s of snow, strikes and swine flu have conspired against the travel industry this year and some companies just may not make it to the next one. If you can’t get a holiday, at least make sure you get your money back.

Comments
Admin

Another day, another holiday company goes bust. I’ve just got this info from Rochelle Turner on the situation:

“The new company, Kiss Flights operated mainly charter flights. These will be protected by ATOL. The accommodation that people may have booked to go with the flights is unlikely to be protected.

“Confusingly, some other tour ops will have put together holidays for customers using Kiss Flights too. We don’t know how many people this affects and whether when those tour ops put the holidays together, the whole holiday would have had ATOL protection, or just the flight.

“The bigger problem is that people just don’t know what to book or what they have booked.”

Rochelle’s right – it’s getting increasingly hard for people to know what they’re covered for and what they’re entitled to if things go wrong. Companies should make it much clearer when people book a holiday.

Admin

Found an interesting website to help people determine whether their holiday is safe if the company were to go bust. Its obviously got a vested commercial interest, but the information is correct.

Admin
norman bottomley says:
23 October 2010

I was affected by the Kiss collapse but my flight was not until end Nov this year.
Hay,s Travel is pursuing the claim to CAA I can get no estimate of time or anticipation of when the the claim will be settled from the CAA.
Can you help please
Regards

Admin
norman bottomley says:
23 October 2010

I was affected by the Kiss collapse but my flight was not until end Nov this year.
Hay,s Travel is pursuing the claim to CAA I can get no estimate of time or anticipation of when the the claim will be settled from the CAA.
Can you help please
Regards