What you need to know when a holiday company goes bust
It was announced today (2 August 2019) that the Malvern Group have ceased trading.
The failed company encompasses a number of holiday brands, including Late Rooms, based in Manchester and Mini Holidays, also known as Super Break, based in York.
Although relatively small compared to the big household travel names, it is thought that 53,000 customers have been or will be affected.
Amazingly Late Rooms was still advertising on Twitter as of 31 July!
It's never too late for a cheeky weekend up in Manchester 😏✌
Yeah, we know we're biased…
📍 20 Stories MCR
— LateRooms.com (@LateRooms) July 31, 2019
However, just 24 hours later it tweeted:
— LateRooms.com (@LateRooms) August 1, 2019
Now that the company is in administration, here’s the Complaining Cow’s advice on what to do next if you have a holiday booked or are currently on holiday with one of the companies in the Malvern Group.
What are your rights if you have a booking with the Malvern Group?
It is slightly complicated because those on Super Break package holidays are protected by the travel association ABTA but gift vouchers and tickets for entertainment and attractions are no longer valid. You will not be able to claim these back. You could try the bank/credit card methods below but it is very unlikely.
There is no cover for Late Rooms as they are not members of ABTA.
What should you do if your travel company goes into administration and is an ABTA member?
If you have booked a package with an ABTA member company that did not include a flight then you are protected. So, if you travelled by train, for example, you should still be able to travel. But you should check with ABTA if you have any have any problems or think there may be any. It will be able to advise. See link below.
What should you do if your travel company goes into administration and a flight is involved?
All flight-based holidays that include a flight must be ATOL protected. This means that you will get a full refund of the amount paid for the holiday. You will need to contact ATOL and go through their process for getting a full refund. If you bought just a flight you will not be covered.
What should you do if you bought a flight separately?
You MAY be covered where you have booked flights but do not receive your tickets immediately. Most charter flights operate like this but sometimes can also apply to discounted scheduled flights or if you have paid for flights in instalments. ATOL protection does not apply to flights booked directly with scheduled airlines or to flights booked with airline ticket agents. So, you will need to follow other routes for getting your money back, as detailed below.
If you bought your airline ticket from an airline and you receive a valid ticket in exchange for payment, you are not covered by ATOL.
What if the company didn’t take payment and the hotel was paid directly
Sometimes the payment made by you goes direct to the accommodation provider. This is unusual, but in the case of Late Rooms, your money was paid directly to the hotel by Late Rooms. So, you should check with the hotel as your holiday could still go ahead.
What should you do if your holiday is neither ABTA nor ATOL protected?
Look at your travel insurance which may cover you. Look for “end supplier” cover throughout all the small print. You can also try your bank for cashback if you paid by bank transfer or, if you paid by credit card contact your credit card company and use Section 75A of the Consumer Credit Act.
What are your rights regarding excursions?
It is unlikely that these will be covered, but you should check with ABTA and you can try the methods above for getting your money back. Details in the link.
What about gift vouchers?
Unfortunately you are unlikely to get this money back. Contact the company that is put in charge of the administration process and add yourself to the list of creditors but you will be bottom of the list of people to be paid. There’s more in my article gift vouchers for a company in administration.
What if I am currently on holiday with a company that has gone into administration?
If your holiday is covered by ABTA you should still be able to continue your holiday. If you get into any problems with transport or accommodation please contact ABTA for advice. If you are covered by ATOL you should be able to continue with your holiday.
Links for more help
Check all your paperwork or on ABTA and ATOL websites to see if they are members.
At the point of writing administrators have not been appointed.
Update 03/08/19 http://www.malvern.group/ KPMG as been appointed as administrators.