Deathwatch: The holiday's over for Freedom Direct
There’s fresh turmoil for thousands of holidaymakers after the collapse of Newcastle-based online travel agency Freedom Direct. It’s estimated that as many as 10,000 customers have holidays booked for later in the year with the company, which has ceased trading thanks to the effects of the economic downturn.
They traded under a variety of names, which included freedomdirect.co.uk, freedom-direct.co.uk, snowdeals.co.uk, hotsunholidays.co.uk and holidaysyoulike.co.uk. At the moment it is unclear if existing bookings will be honoured or if refunds would be available.
Customers who have booked Freedom Direct’s own package holidays should be safe under ATOL protection, but those who used the site to book holidays through another operator may lose out.
Passengers who booked package holidays and have yet to travel are advised to call the CAA on 020 7379 7311. Those who booked a flight or accommodation with another ATOL-bonded company should call 01243 621500. For those unfortunate customers who are not covered by ATOL, it is recommended that they contact their bank or credit card provider to see if they are able to get their money back.
One thing's for certain - it'll be a nailbiting summer for holidaymakers who have booked with smaller travel agencies as Freedom Direct probably won't be the last to go under.