The Malvern Group, which owns Late Rooms and Super Breaks, has crashed into administration, leaving thousands of holidaymakers in limbo and uncertain about their travel plans. If you are affected by this news, here’s what you need to know:
The good news is that Super Breaks was a member of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), which provides consumers with a degree of protection. ABTA has confirmed: “The majority of customers are yet to travel and in most cases they should be able to obtain a refund, either through ABTA or another financial protection scheme. The vast majority of holidaymakers’ arrangements will be covered.”
ABTA has also said that tourists overseas should be able to continue their holidays and fly home as scheduled. In this respect, passengers with overseas bookings are advised to contact the Civil Aviation Authority, which will cover the cost through the ATOL protection scheme.
The bad news is that Super Break customers who booked trips with accommodation only, meaning that it is not a ‘packaged holiday’, will not have the usual ABTA protection. Further, it has come to light that Super Breaks has cancelled these bookings meaning that you will have to pay again for the accommodation. You will then be able to reclaim the money via a section 75 claim to your credit card provider. Alternatively, if you used a debit card you will have to make a chargeback claim to your card provider, however if you booked more than 180 days ago, the chargeback scheme will not be available.
There is better news for Late Rooms customers as when customers make a booking via Late Rooms it merely acts as an agent, effectively putting the consumer and hotel together. Payments were then transmitted direct to the hotel, who in turn paid Late Rooms a commission. All such bookings should therefore be unaffected by the collapse of the group.
Just hours before the announced collapse of the Malvern Group, both Late Rooms and Super Breaks were touting for business by advertising holidays. This is frankly wrong as they clearly continued to take consumers’ money despite their fate being plainly obvious to the management of Malvern by this stage. An urgent change in the law is needed to address practices such as this.