Dream World Travel customer? Here are your holiday and refund rights
Holidaymakers affected by Dream World Travel going bust in July may still be able to travel as planned. For those who can't, you may be able to claim a refund via a new claims portal set-up by the aviation regulator.
Below we explain who can still travel and who needs to claim a refund - though how to claim a refund depends on whether your trip was ATOL protected or not. See below for an explanation of what ATOL is and how to check if you're covered.
If you've been issued your flight ticket by Dream World Travel and your flight is yet to go ahead, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said you should still be able to travel as planned, though it advised to contact the airline first to triple check.
The CAA said it is currently only aware of flight-only bookings being impacted by Dream World Travel's collapse, though the firm did sell flights and package holidays. So if you're due to go away on a package holiday, it's also worth just double checking with your hotel provider to make sure your booking still stands.
Those who weren't sent flight tickets by Dream World Travel before its collapse will not be able to take their trips and will instead need to try to claim a refund. Keep reading for more on this.
If your trip is ATOL protected (see below for info on how to check), you'll need to fill out a form in order to get a refund via the CAA's claims portal. You'll need to submit a number of details including your booking reference, original date of booking and bank details. You have until 25 July 2023 to submit a claim.
You can also make a claim if you had an ATOL protected booking that was cancelled on or after 10 March 2020 due to the pandemic and you were issued a refund credit note that you've not yet used.
If you didn't receive a refund credit note, you should have received written confirmation that you were due a refund because of your cancelled booking - and you'll need to submit either proof of the credit note or the written confirmation as part of your claim.
How to get a refund if your trip IS NOT ATOL protected
Unfortunately if your booking is not ATOL protected, you won't be able to submit a claim through the CAA's portal. There are a number of other options you could try - though with most of them you've no guarantee of success:
- If you paid by credit card and the trip cost more than £100, you can submit a Section 75 claim. Here, your card provider is legally obliged to act if you don't get the goods or services you paid for. See our Section 75 guide for full details on how to submit this type of claim.
- Alternatively, if you paid by debit card, or on credit card and the order cost less than £100, submit a chargeback claim. This is where you ask your bank to reverse a transaction in order to get your money back. You normally have 120 days from when you paid to submit a chargeback - see our Chargeback guide for more info on how to do this.
- If you paid via 'Fly Now Pay Later', you'll need to contact the credit provider to request a refund. 'Fly Now Pay Later' is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and your payments will be covered by the Consumer Credit Act.
- If all else fails, you can register as a creditor with Dream World Travel's insolvency practitioners. Request a debt form by emailing the insolvency practitioners Opus Restructuring LLP at email@example.com.
ATOL is a financial protection scheme run by the UK's CAA that covers you in the event a travel firm goes bust. It largely covers package trips, though some flight-only bookings (usually those where you book flights but do not receive your tickets immediately) are also included.
For package holidays, ATOL covers you before and during your trip. For flight-only bookings, ATOL protection ends as soon as you get your flight ticket.
The best way to determine if your flight was ATOL protected is to check your paperwork. You should have been emailed an ATOL protection certificate along with your booking confirmation when you booked. This certificate will show Dream World Travel Ltd's ATOL number (9398).