British Travellers’ plans once again shatter as another travel company goes bust at the height of summer. Experts believe that there could be more travel firm to follow the suit.
Flight Options Limited, a holiday company that was operating out of London and traded as ‘Kiss Flights’ ceased its operations today.
The collapse of ‘Flight Options’ comes as shocking news for the travellers who are on their holidays abroad as well as who have their travel arrangements booked with the company in near future. Kiss Flights was popular as a budget operator and mainly sold flights to Mediterranean destinations including Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Spain, the Canary Islands, Portugal and Egypt.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has stepped in and has conveyed that it has started to pick the pieces and the travellers in the foreign destinations will be fine.
As per the CAA some 13000 travellers are currently abroad and around 60,000 people have bookings with the firm to fly on later dates. The authority observes that under its ATOL financial protection scheme, all travellers abroad will be able to complete their travel and return to the UK and those holding forward booking on later date can claim a full refund for the eligible elements of their travel.
As per the latest information, the CAA is also arranging for travellers to travel out for the next 24 hours in order to protect some holidaymakers. The authority believes, this is going to reduce the chaos and confusion which is obvious as the firm has ceased operations at a time which is one of the peak travel seasons.
As per the information given on the authority’s website, the CAA will be arranging repatriation for all Flight Options customers in line with the scheduled end of their holiday. The website contains important information about the passengers booked with Flight Options / Kiss Flights and leaving the UK before 1800 BST on Wednesday 18 August 2010, for customers who are currently overseas and for customers with forward bookings after 1800 BST on Wednesday 18 August 2010. The information can be accessed through the following link.
The website has also put forth the contact information along with instructions for certain category of passengers who wish to contact them, the excerpts of which are mentioned hereunder:
After 22:00 this evening ATOL-protected Flight Options customers who are currently abroad and experiencing difficulties should contact the CAA for more information on 0044 161 444 5811. Those with forward bookings requiring general advice about refunds under the ATOL scheme can contact the CAA on 0844 571 7262.
This is the third travel company that has gone bust in past few weeks. Another travel firm Sun4U Limited made news headlines when it collapsed on the 12th August last week, while Goldtrail Travel Limited had declared the cessation of its operations last month.
Flights leaving UK before 6 pm, today, 18th August 2010
All flights booked with the company departing UK before 1800 hours today, 18th August 2010 (Wednesday) would operate normally. All passengers are advised to reach airport and check-in as planned.
Flights leaving UK after 6 pm, today, 18th August 2010
Passengers holding tickets issued by the busted company to depart UK after 1800 hours today, 18th August 2010 should make a claim of refund with the CAA. Visit the CAA website to access information on how to file the claim. ATOL Claim Form is available on the website. Such passengers should check with their travel agents to make alternative arrangements for their travel.
Travellers who are already on the Holiday abroad
If you are already on your holiday abroad, CAA advises that you should arrive at the airport as per your itinerary. The authority claims that all travellers who are abroad would be able to complete their holidays and able to return to the UK as per plan. CAA estimates approximately 13000 people who booked with Kiss Flights to be already on their travel abroad.
For detailed information check CAA’s website or contact them over the phone.
Travellers who made bookings with the company will be able to claim a full refund subject to some conditions under the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (ATOL) scheme of the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA). The scheme covered Kiss Flights and the authority has already stepped in to handle the matters. The ATOL scheme is the financial protection scheme which comes into picture when any travel company covered under the scheme goes bust.
The protection under the ATOL is available only to those who paid for different elements of their holiday such as flights, accommodation and car hire using one credit card and in one transaction. Check CAA’s website or contact them for detailed advice on your eligibility for financial protection under ATOL. CAA website has been updated with the information on ‘How to make a claim with CAA’. Necessary ATOL Claim Form is also available on the website.
Credit Card Company Protection
Travellers who are not covered under ATOL and had used credit card to buy the holiday can put a claim for the money to their card company under the Section 75 of the credit card law. As per the law the credit card companies are responsible to refund the cost of the goods purchased on the cards which are not provided to the buyer or the supplier of such goods ceases to operate.
The charge back option can also be availed by those who used a debit card to buy the holiday from the busted holiday company. This option allows protection even if the supplier of the goods has liquidated. For any such claim, passengers must contact their card company.