Funway Holidays to close after three decades – what it means for bookings and refunds – The Sun

HOLIDAY group Funway Holidays is closing after 27 years due to the coronavirus crisis.

The company, which specialises in trips to the US and the Caribbean, announced today it was shutting its doors.

In a statement on its website, it said: “Funway Holidays International LLC will cease trading on 30 September 2020.

"All bookings departing on or after 1 September 2020 are now cancelled.”

According to Travel Weekly, the Covid-19 outbreak has had a "severe" impact on the business.

It has not been confirmed how many jobs have been lost.

What do I do if I'm abroad now?

For live bookings, Funway has said it is contacting all travel agents. We’ve asked Funway how many people are on holiday at the moment with the company and will update this article when we hear back.

If you’re holiday is Atol (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) protected, you are safe from being stranded abroad or losing your money.

It means that you have to be brought home even if your travel company goes bust.

According to Funway’s website, many of its flights and flight-inclusive holidays are protected by the Atol scheme.

But not all holiday and travel services are protected.

You will have been sent an Atol certificate if your holiday and/or flights are protected by the scheme.

If your holiday isn’t Atol protected, you may need to make your own arrangements to get home and then claim these back from the protection authority.

If your return flights cost more than the price you originally paid, you are unlikely to be able to reclaim the difference.

Can I get a refund on my holiday?

From today, Funway Holidays will not be taking any more bookings.

The company has pledged to refund holidays on or after September 1, with all deposits being refunded in full and all refund credit notes paid in cash.

We’ve asked Funway what happens to people who have booked holidays before then and will update this article when we hear back.

What if my holiday or flights are before September 1 and it’s not Atol protected?

In that scenario, you should try claiming back any extra costs via Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

It means that if you pay for a big purchase on your credit card and something happens – the tour operator goes bust, for example – your card provider is just as responsible as Thomas Cook to refund you.

There are a few caveats to the legal protection – the purchase you are making must cost between £100 and £30,000 and it's important to remember that it only applies to credit cards.

To make a claim, contact your credit card provider – your first port of call should be its customer service – and tell them you want to make a claim under Section 75.

It should then send you a claim form which you can fill in and your provider will use to process your application.

If you paid for your flights by debit card (or by credit card and the cost is under £100) then you might be able to claim under chargeback rules.

You must do this within 120 days to get money back, but unlike Section 75, this is not a legal requirement.

How do I know if my holiday is ATOL protected?

WHEN you book a holiday, the ATOL holder or their agent must give you a certificate confirming you are ATOL protected as soon as you hand over any money – including a deposit – for a holiday or flight.

Make sure you obtain and keep all the relevant paperwork in case you need to make a claim.

But be aware, the protection only covers British-based firms, so it's vital to check. Whenlowcostholidays went bust in 2016, customers weren't protected by ATOL because the company had moved to Spain in 2013.

Some travel companies display the ATOL logo on their websites even though they don't offer financial protection.

To check it's genuine, look for a number on the logo and check it out on the CAA's website.

You should be wary if the travel provider has no ATOL number, or if the number doesn't have four or five digits.

If you aren't sure about the website, don't book through it.

Another key term Brits should be aware of is ABTA. While ATOL protects flight-based packages, ABTA protects everything else such as cruise or self-drive trips.

Will I be covered by my travel insurance?

You should check the fine print of your insurance for both Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI) and End Supplier Failure to see whether you would be covered.

SAFI is flight coverage only while End Supplier Failure will include certain other costs as well, depending on your policy.

End Supplier Failure will cover costs for hotels or airlines if they go bust, such as non-refundable hotel and travel bookings, according to comparison site MoneySuperMarket.

It can also include cover for transportation such as ferries, trains and coaches, and villas and cottages.

However, the refunded costs will only be what you originally paid – you will have to rebook your holiday independently, which may end up costing more than your previous booking.

Thousands of holidaymakers face being left out of pocket for trips where they STILL need to quarantine.

Virgin passengers have been left waiting up to four months for refunds after the Covid-19 outbreak.

We've created some guidance about what to do if you want to cancel your holiday due to quarantine rules.


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