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Today’s news that travel company Sun4U has ceased trading, the second tour operator to do so in the last month, will come as a major shock for the many families who had been enjoying or looking forward to their no doubt much anticipated holiday.

The travel industry has survived on comparatively thin margins for many years. A pattern of late holiday booking has, despite the best endeavours of the industry, become firmly entrenched, and has been coupled with discounting – albeit often illusory – by tour operators. Add to that the trend for travellers to build their own holiday packages, often using low-cost airlines such as Easyjet or Ryanair, and the woes of the industry start to become clear.

The procedure for claiming compensation is complex. Holidaymakers who paid for their holidays using a credit card (or Visa debit card) can usually claim a refund from the credit card issuer. It must be emphasised that this does NOT apply to anyone paying by cash, cheque or by debit card (other than Visa debit cards), who do not have this protection.

Those who bought a complete holiday package are normally protected by ATOL, but not those who purchased just accommodation or just flights. They may be able to claim through the CAA. Where Sun4U acted as agents for other tour operators or airlines then there may be no cause for concern as those operators or airlines are continuing to trade.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This article is intended for general information only. It is not a substitute for specific advice which should be sought for specific cases. We cannot accept responsibility for any action (or decision not to take action) made in reliance on the content of this publication.