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Holiday firms Late Rooms and Super Break stop trading

Holiday firms Late Rooms and Super Break stop trading

The parent company of travel firms Late Rooms and Super Break has gone into administration – if you've booked a trip or you're on holiday at the moment, here's what you need to know.

Super Break currently has about 19,000 outstanding bookings, while Late Rooms has 23,000, though the number of holidaymakers affected is far higher as most bookings are for multiple people. KPMG has today been appointed as administrator for both firms.

Most affected customers haven't travelled yet, although about 400 Super Break holidaymakers are currently away, while the number of Late Rooms customers on their trip is unclear. See below for what to do if:

I'm already away – can I continue my holiday?
 

If you booked through Late Rooms and you're already away, Malvern Group – which is the parent firm of both Late Rooms and Super Break – says there shouldn't be any disruption as your hotel will either have taken your payment in advance or will take it from you directly at the property.

If you're already on a Super Break package holiday, you should be able to carry on as planned as package holidays have extra protection, which means in this scenario the relevant industry body (see below) will ensure you can continue your holiday and get home.

Package holidays that include a flight are covered by the Air Travel Organiser's Licence (ATOL) scheme. Package holidays without a flight are in this case covered by the ABTA travel association, which Super Break was a member of.

  • If your Super Break package holiday is ATOL-protected, as your Super Break package includes a flight, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says your return flight should still be valid and you should check in with your airline as usual.

    The CAA says it's speaking to providers to guarantee the services you booked, eg, hotels.

  • If your Super Break package holiday is ABTA-protected, as your package doesn't include a flight, ABTA says you should still be able to carry on with your trip as planned.
     
  • Anything else to watch out for with Super Break packages? There's a chance a hotel or other service provider may ask you to pay again for any of the services that were part of your original trip.

    If you're covered by ATOL, keep any receipt which shows the method of payment and then claim your refund using the CAA's claim form. The CAA's helpline for anyone currently overseas is 0333 103 6350, but it won't refund the cost of calling.

    If you're covered by ABTA, it says it will pay the hotel for you directly if you're asked to pay again when you're there. You can contact ABTA on its helpline on 020 3117 0553.

  • I'm in my hotel that I booked with Super Break that wasn't part of a package holiday. What can I do? Sadly, you may be asked to pay for your accommodation again and you're not covered by the ABTA or ATOL schemes. If this happens, the only way to get your money back is to try claiming from your card firm if you paid on plastic via the chargeback scheme.

I've got a future Super Break booking – what can I do?
 

Your options depend on what type of booking you have. If you booked a Super Break holiday through a travel agent, you should contact the agent first.

Booked a Super Break package holiday including a flight?

Package holidays have financial protection if the firm organising your package goes out of business, which means you're entitled to a refund, or to make arrangements to go on the planned holiday, albeit with a bit of faff.

If your package holiday includes a flight it'll be protected by the official ATOL scheme – you'll have been sent an ATOL certificate with your booking documents if so. In this scenario, you have two options:

  • You can choose not to go on holiday and claim a full refund instead. You'll get the full cost of your Super Break booking back, including any hotel or activity costs which were included in your package.

    You can claim your refund using the CAA's claim form. You'll need to include evidence of your booking and any payments you made to Super Break.

    If you end up out of pocket, say if you'd already booked extra excursions, you could try and claim for any extra losses – though this isn't guaranteed. See below for how.

  • You can choose to go on holiday as planned, but the hotel may ask you to pay again – though you can reclaim this money. The only way to find out whether the hotel or other service provider will ask for the money again is to ask it directly.

    You can claim these costs using the CAA's claim form – but remember that you'll only be able to claim up to the total amount of the original booking. While that should be fine in most cases, if a hotel charges more than the cost of the original booking you could try and claim for any extra losses – though this isn't guaranteed. See below for how. There's no evidence of this happening yet, but we've added the info just in case.

Booked a Super Break package holiday without a flight?

ABTA doesn't guarantee you'll be able to book a replacement holiday but you should be able to get your money back, though the process depends on how you paid. If you're not sure whether elements of your holiday have been cancelled or are going ahead, ask the hotel or other service provider.

If you need a refund, ABTA has said customers who paid using a debit or credit card should claim via their bank or card provider. It has provided letters which you can use to give as evidence for your claim if you paid by credit card or debit card.

If the holiday cost more than £100 and you paid on credit card, then you may be covered by law under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. If it's less or you paid by debit card, you may be able to claim from your card company using the chargeback scheme. This is a customer service promise rather than a legal right, but has worked in similar cases in the past.

If you paid using another method, you can claim from ABTA directly. Given ABTA does provide protection, we suspect that in the unlikely event your card company refuses to offer a refund then you can get a refund from ABTA.

ABTA says you will always get your money back, it's just the route which may differ. If still you end up out of pocket, you could try and claim for any extra losses – though this isn't guaranteed. See below for how.

Booked a hotel only via Super Break?

All bookings are cancelled, sadly, presumably as Super Break had not yet handed the money over to the relevant hotel. Unfortunately, you're not protected by ABTA or ATOL.

If you paid by debit or credit card, you can try to claim a refund through your bank or card provider via Section 75 laws for a credit card booking over £100, or via the chargeback scheme for other scenarios – and you can still use ABTA's referral letters as evidence to help your claim. There are different letters for credit card or debit card.

There's a risk here it won't work as your contract will have been with Super Break as a tour operator, but it's the hotel that's not been paid to supply the service and has therefore cancelled your stay.

If you can't get your money back you can check with your travel insurance to see if you're covered, but if not you'll need to make a claim with KPMG – though bear in mind that you'll likely be at the back of the queue of creditors and few people tend to have success this way, based on previous administrations.

I've got a future Late Rooms booking – what can I do?
 

If you made a booking through Late Rooms but you haven't travelled yet, Malvern Group says your reservation should be secure.

It says that Late Rooms hasn't taken any payment for your booking, and your payment will have been taken by the accommodation provider directly in advance, or you were always supposed to pay it yourself at the property. It's safest to check all is OK with the hotel before you go.

If for any reason you've already paid and are then told your reservation is no longer valid, check if you can claim a refund through your debit or credit card provider, as you've paid for a service that wasn't provided. See our Section 75 guide if you paid on credit card for a booking over £100, or our Chargeback guide for other bookings on plastic.

Can I claim for car hire, activities etc?
 

Some travellers due to go on Super Break holidays may also have already paid separately for other elements of their trips, such as car hire or tickets to attractions.

If you need to change your plans as a result of Super Break's administration, first get in touch with the supplier and see if you can change your booking or get a refund – even if it's officially not allowed, it's worth explaining the situation and seeing if the firm will make an exception.

If you don't have any luck, you may be able to make a claim through Section 75 if you paid for your Super Break holiday using a credit card and it cost over £100.

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act means the card company's equally liable, so you may be able to claim your money back from it instead. Section 75 also offers protection for 'consequential loss', so you may be able to get cash back for extra money you've lost as a result of Super Break going into administration.

Whether you'll be able to claim money back under Section 75 does often depend on which firm your contract is with – in this case, administrator KPMG says your contract will have been with Super Break itself, which in some cases can make it more unlikely you'll get your money back. But in reality, it's still worth putting in a claim and seeing if your bank will accept it, as most banks deal with each claim on a case-by-case basis. See our Section 75 guide for full info on how to make a claim.

If you didn't use a credit card, you can check with your travel insurer to see if you can make a claim – but unfortunately, you often won't be covered in this situation unless you've bought specific travel firm failure cover.

Can I still use gift vouchers?

If you've got a Super Break gift voucher, unfortunately these won't be valid any more.

If you bought the voucher yourself, or can ask the person who gave you the gift card to claim, there are two main routes to try:

  • Paid on a credit card and your order cost more than £100? Try Section 75. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, if you pay on your credit card for an item costing more than £100, the card company's equally liable and you may be able to claim from it.

    Bear in mind though that individual items have to cost £100 for you to be able to use Section 75 – if they only reach £100 collectively, this doesn't count. See our Section 75 guide for more info and how to file a claim. If your credit provider won't help, contact the Financial Ombudsman to make a complaint.

  • Order cost less than £100 or paid on a debit card? Try chargeback. Unlike Section 75, chargeback isn't a legal requirement, but we have seen successes when customers have claimed using it in the past.

    You'll need to claim via your bank. See our Chargeback guide for full help.