STA Travel Ltd has gone out of business in another blow to the embattled travel industry which is being blamed on coronavirus.
The travel company, which specialised in package tours for backpackers and young people, was based in London but has more than 50 stores across the UK.
The STA Travel website says: “Due to the recent announcement that STA Travel UK has ceased trading, unfortunately our travel experts are unable to assist you at this time.
“Please be assured that if you had a previous booking with us, or hold a live booking, you will receive further communication in the coming days.
“We are sorry for the inconvenience and the limited information available to you at this time.”
The Civil Aviation Authority has issued information for ATOL-protected consumers who were booked to travel with STA Travel Ltd after an announcement that it’s ceased trading today (August 21).
ATOL is the holiday financial protection scheme.
For those who are currently abroad
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 working 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, they advise to obtain receipts for payment and submit a claim for the cost.
More information is available on their website at www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk.
Consumers with cancelled bookings or refund credit notes
ATOL say 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 who 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 their online portal.
For those who are due to Travel
For ATOL-protected consumers that are due to travel after August 21, 2020, flight tickets may still be valid but this must be confirmed with the airline.
If choosing to travel, consumers may be asked to pay again for replacement services of the original package holiday.
However, provided the services are covered by ATOL, they are entitled to submit a claim for a refund. Replacement services may include accommodation, transfers or other services but consumers should confirm which services were included in the package holiday on their ATOL certificate or booking documents.
If consumers have a flight-only booking that was ATOL protected, they will only be able to make a claim if they are still due to travel and have not received a valid ticket. Otherwise, consumers should speak to their airline, including if the flight has been cancelled or they have received a voucher for a cancelled flight.
For those who are choosing not to Travel
If ATOL-protected consumers choose not to travel or their flight tickets are not valid, they will be able to make a claim.
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.”
The 50 STA Travel stores in the UK
Belfast – two stores
Birmingham – two stores
Edinburgh – two stores
Glasgow – two stores
Leeds – two stores
London- seven stores
Manchester – two stores