Bankruptcy of a travel agency – what next?

Travel agency bankruptcies are on the rise again. What should tourists remember when claiming their rights? What should you pay special attention to?
When a travel agency goes bankrupt, two cases must be distinguished:
– when an organized trip was purchased from a travel agency or
– when a tour operator buys a charter flight only, without staying on the spot.
In the first situation, the passenger is protected by insurance guarantees and provisions related to the Tourist Guarantee Fund (Tourist Guarantee Fund), which provide additional security in case of insolvency of the travel agency or tour operator.
If a travel agency goes bankrupt, we may, depending on the situation, demand that the costs of continuation of the trip be covered or that the money already paid be returned. Tourists who are abroad at the time of the travel agency’s bankruptcy are covered by the Marshal, which allows them to be sure to return home. If it were not for the Tourist Guarantee Fund, it would be extremely difficult to obtain benefits from a bankrupt company.
If a travel agency goes bankrupt, we have the possibility – depending on the situation – to demand covering the costs of continuation of the travel event or refunding the money paid for the cancelled trip.
In case of bankruptcy of a company, tax or other public law liabilities are satisfied first. The list of creditors is usually long and state institutions have priority in recovering money. Therefore, it may happen that the assets of the company are exhausted before the claims of individual clients are satisfied.
In the second case, where, as a result of the bankruptcy of a travel agency, charter flights that were operated by an airline belonging to the travel agency and offered for sale as a single component (without an organized tour) are not feasible, the procedure for recovery of claims is different.
Charter flights provided by air carriers and purchased through travel agencies are covered by Regulation EC 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004, which gives passengers the right to claim damages, inter alia, in the event of flight cancellation.
You should file a claim with the airline, stating the charter route and flight number as justification. According to EC Regulation 261/2014, passengers may be entitled to compensation of between €250 and €600, depending on the length of the flight.

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