FAQ Friday: What happens if a package travel organiser goes out of business?

April 30, 2021

Every Friday, we share the answer to one of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) from the hundreds of consumers who contact us each week. This week we take a look at what it means for consumers when a package travel agent or tour operator goes out of business. 

Am I entitled to a refund if a package travel organiser goes out of business?

When you book a package holiday through a travel agent, as a consumer you have stronger rights than if you book all the elements of your holiday separately. By law, all package travel organisers in Ireland must have arrangements in place so that if they go out of business both your money and bookings are protected. 

The Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) grants licenses to travel agents and tour operators in IrelandPackage travel organisers who arrange travel out of Ireland, for example, flights etc. must be licensed by CAR and also enter into a bond, which means they must set aside a sum of money for the purposes of refunding or reimbursing consumers in the event that they go out of business.  

If your package travel organiser has gone out of businessyour first step should be to check CAR’s list of licensed and bonded travel agents and tour operators (which can be found here) to make sure you are covered.  

Your next step should be to contact CAR who will assess your claim for a refund or arrange to get you home if you’re stranded abroad. All organisers of package travel must also take out insolvency protection. This guarantee covers refunds and repatriation in case package travel organisers go bankrupt. 

What happens if I chose a refund credit note (under the refund credit note scheme) as a remedy for my cancelled trip in 2020 and my package travel organiser goes out of business?

COVID-19 refund credit notes provided by Irish package travel organisers are protected by a State guarantee. This means that if your package travel organiser goes out of business and you have a refund due, you will get your money back. 

In this circumstance, you should contact CAR for more information on how your refund credit note may be covered and how to go about making a claim.  

Contact us

If you have questions about package holiday travel, or any consumer rights queries and would like to speak to a consumer rights expert, contact our dedicated helpline on 01 402 5555 or by clicking here. You can find out more about package holidays and your rights here 

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