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Peace of mind when you buy

Anyone buying a holiday package from a travel agent, such as PDM, would receive a refund if a company fails to deliver, but there are no such guarantees for the increasing number of holidaymakers who build their own trips by buying accommodation and a no-frills flights separately. Now, experts are warning that there may be trouble ahead, as millions of people will go on holiday this summer without any financial protection should their airline or accommodation provider collapse.

Although people who buy their flights and hotels with their credit card may get their money back from the card provider if there is a failure, this is not guaranteed. This is particularly true if the supplier, for example a villa or apartment owner, is based abroad.

Last July, thousands were left out of pocket when the no-frills airline EUjet collapsed. Other no-frills airlines, such as easyJet and Ryanair, which take millions of passengers abroad every year, claim that their customers are unconcerned about financial protection and that they do not receive any complaints on the subject.

However, David Speakman, founder of Travel Counsellors, which sells around 350,000 bespoke holidays a year and guarantees customers a refund if a supplier fails, believes this would change if there was a major collapse. “Of course, insurance doesn’t matter until you need it,” he said. “But, if a lot of people are caught out, it will be a problem. If you buy furniture, it gets delivered quickly. But with holidays, you pay first, then there can be a long wait before you travel, during which time a lot can happen.”