Youth travel specialist STA Travel has ceased trading after its Swiss parent went into administration earlier this week.
The company, which had 52 shops in the UK, was founded 49 years ago in Australia.
In a statement posted on its website, STA said: “Due to the recent announcement that STA Travel UK has ceased trading, unfortunately our travel experts are unable to assist you at this time.
“Please be assured that if you had a previous booking with us, or hold a live booking, you will receive further communication in the coming days.
“We are sorry for the inconvenience and the limited information available to you at this time.”
If you had a flight-inclusive package
Clients who booked package holidays with flights are protected by the company’s ATOL and will be refunded by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
The CAA said if you have a flight ticket – or e-ticket – it should be valid and you are advised to check with the airline. “If you are charged for other services, you should obtain a receipt and we will advise you on how you may make a claim,” it said.
If you booked just a flight
Clients with flight-only bookings can’t claim from the company’s ATOL. The CAA is advising them to contact the airline directly.
If you bought a holiday from STA with another company
STA Travel also sold holidays for other tour operators. These should still go ahead as normal, or, if they have been cancelled, clients should be refunded directly by these tour operators.
The CAA said clients with flight-inclusive packages protected by an ATOL number which is NOT 3206 are advised to contact the ATOL holder shown on their certificate.
The CAA added: “We are currently collating information from the company and will update this page as soon as possible.”
If you booked a cruise or other non-flight-based holiday
Clients who booked non-flight inclusive holidays, such as cruises, will be protected by ABTA. How you claim a refund will depend on how you booked and paid for your holiday. Further information is available on the ABTA website.
ABTA described news of STA’s collapse as ‘very distressing’, adding that it was ‘a name that is familiar to most people who will have used them to travel or been aware of their name on the high street’.