Can you still get a STA travel refund after travel agency goes bust?

Noble Horvath

STA Travel is permanently grounded (Picture: Getty) In another blow to the travel industry, following the closure of three EasyJet airport bases earlier this month, it has been announced that student travel specialist STA Travel has ceased trading, with immediate effect. The travel agency, which specialised in package holidays, tours […]

STA Travel is permanently grounded (Picture: Getty)

In another blow to the travel industry, following the closure of three EasyJet airport bases earlier this month, it has been announced that student travel specialist STA Travel has ceased trading, with immediate effect.

The travel agency, which specialised in package holidays, tours and experiences for budget backpackers and young people, operates out of more than 50 stores in the UK.

In a statement, STA Travel said: ‘The global impact of the coronavirus pandemic has brought the travel industry to a standstill. Over recent months, we have taken decisive measures to secure the business beyond Covid-19.

‘However, sales have not picked up as anticipated due to consumer uncertainties, further restrictions and renewed lockdown measures, which are expected to largely continue into 2021. This week, it was announced that STA Travel’s Swiss parent company, STA Travel Holdings AG, had filed for insolvency.

‘Today, as a result of that decision, and upon reviewing the UK business, we have been left with no choice but to cease trading with immediate effect.’

If you had a future booking with the company, here’s what you need to know.

Can you get an STA travel refund?

How to claim for a STA Travel refund will vary depending on what you booked.

If you booked a flight-inclusive package, you should be able to receive a refund, as this is protected by the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (ATOL) scheme.

STA’s website currently says: ‘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.’

It’s been a tough time for the travel industry as EasyJet also announced 5000 job losses at the end of June (Picture: Getty Images)

If you booked just a flight through STA, you will be unable to claim through the company’s ATOL. You are instead advised to contact the airline directly.

If you bought a holiday or a tour from STA which is provided by another company, this trip should still go ahead as expected.

If your trip has been cancelled, your refund is expected to come from the tour or holiday operator directly.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) advises customers contact the ATOL holder shown on their receipt or travel certificate if it was provided by anyone other than STA directly.

If you booked a cruise or another non-flight holiday through STA, you will be protected by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and should be able to claim a refund.

For further information on getting a refund from STA Travel, visit the ABTA website.

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