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Travel Agents Going Bust?

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Travel Agents Going Bust?

Old 21st May 2020, 12:28
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Travel Agents Going Bust?

How do customers know whether or not a Travel Agent is likely to go bust?
Given that few TAs are giving refunds, it is obvious that they are desperate to Protect their cash flow. However, many of them are private companies, or owned by dodgy private equity chancers.
How can Joe Public find out whether or not they are bust?
In the UK, the TAs Trade Union, ABTA, is supposed to "guarantee" your money. However, if lots of TAs go bust, ABTA goes bust.
Again in the UK, If you buy a package with full ATOL protection, you have some sort of guarantee, but most of us have no idea how good it is.
Some TAs are not British. One of the Aussie ones, (Emerald/Scenic) is desperately short of money, but again it is privately held. Is it bust? Who knows? It is neither answering the phone nor giving out numbers for refunds, and it is neither replying to emails nor replying to web requests from its website.
Many of them are just ignoring both UK and EU law. As are some Airlines.
Are they above the law? The relevant Govt agency (CMA) is "looking in to it" but doing less than SFA.
Ancient Observer is offline  
Old 21st May 2020, 12:41
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Join Date: Apr 2002
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My view, having seen 2 long established airlines (one with probably the worlds oldest and most reputable travel agent attached to it) go bust over the past 2 years is that nobody is safe so expect the worst.

I want my cash back if there is a risk, no vouchers, no promises, no weasel words.

If the cash holder is playing tricks or dirty, get it back via your credit card and where there is a credit card fee on the initial transaction, its a small price to pay,

It's dog eat dog.
Dave Gittins is offline  
Old 21st May 2020, 12:49
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Yes. It would appear that Emerald/Scenic is a dog. It will set my Amex on to it.
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Old 21st May 2020, 14:02
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What protection does one get if you use a debit card rather than a credit card? I suspect none but does anyone know? I bought 12 theatre tickets (180) in January for a show in April. The website says that 'action is pending on what they will do about the show', but they will probably offer a voucher. In view of the fact that 8 of the twelve were for pensioners, 6 of whom are in poor health, vouchers aren't much use - even assuming the theatre doesn't file for bankruptcy. Just to help, they are refusing to accept post and not answering the telephone and not replying to emails although the web site suggests they do.....I only used a debit card to help them too!
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Old 21st May 2020, 14:26
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It was interesting watching the couple who picked up the ruins of Thomas Cook's travel agencies. They were rather refreshing to listen to in these "doom and gloom" times. They covered the topic of refunds fairly well, basically saying that anyone who has paid a deposit will be able to cancel and get their money back up to a certain number of weeks before the booked date. (Can't remember the actual number). And, they said it doesn't matter why you cancelled, it still applies.
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Old 21st May 2020, 15:53
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Emerald/Scenic are NOT Travel Agents, they are travel operators. Travel Agents do not keep the monies you paid them - they are passed onto the travel operators (apart from a short period of time immediately after you've paid, obviously), so you're blaming the wrong people. Moreover, a Travel Agent is often your best ally in talking to the travel operators - they will usually have good good links into the companies and, after all, they want to keep the customer as happy as possible; that's their source of income.

Debit cards do not provide the same level of protection as a credit card so it's always sensible to use the latter.
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Old 21st May 2020, 18:50
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by radeng View Post
What protection does one get if you use a debit card rather than a credit card? I suspect none but does anyone know? I bought 12 theatre tickets (180) in January for a show in April. The website says that 'action is pending on what they will do about the show', but they will probably offer a voucher. In view of the fact that 8 of the twelve were for pensioners, 6 of whom are in poor health, vouchers aren't much use - even assuming the theatre doesn't file for bankruptcy. Just to help, they are refusing to accept post and not answering the telephone and not replying to emails although the web site suggests they do.....I only used a debit card to help them too!
https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.u...ou-pay-by-card
BirdmanBerry is offline  
Old 21st May 2020, 18:58
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Note to self:
Buy travel insurance anytime I plan to go anywhere for the next few years.

Travel insurance will probably get very expensive going forward.

What will travel insurance cover?

Room and board when stranded in a foreign land?

Alternate passage home?

Healthcare?
visibility3miles is offline  
Old 21st May 2020, 21:23
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My travel insurance - the UK Post office's top offering - was completely useless to us.

Altho it was allegedly gold plated, it had a little clause, saying that it would not pay out in the event of Government action. I rang them up - and, yup, they will not pay up.

A bunch of con artists.

But back to Travel Operators and Travel Agents - Who is bust and who isn't? How can someone find out. I suspect that Scenic/Emerald are either bust or very close to it.

Why else make yourselves impossible to contact.

At least Amex pick up the phone!
Ancient Observer is offline  

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