Deathwatch: The holiday's over for Freedom Direct

17 April 2009

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.

TOPICS:   High Street News   Travel

6 comments

  • anonymous
    If people lose money it is their own stupid fault...how many times must people get stung before they realise that they are doing it to themselves? If it wasn't for people going online and penny-pinching instead of walking into high-street retailers and even out-of-town stores then this recession wouldn't be half as depressing as it already is!!! The internet wasn't invented as a method for get rich quick con-artists to sting people out of their money but if you are stupid enough to think that someone can send you to the bahamas for two weeks for the princely sum of four buttons and smartie then perhaps you deserve to get fleeced...! Yes it costs more on the high street - but it's LESS risky...
  • "She s.
    Whilst I agree the internet wasn't invented for the capitalist shits that have taken it over, it's hardly a persons fault if they get taken advantage of. Demonising the victim has become far too commonplace in modern society and allows all sots of crimes to go unchallenged.
  • Graham
    Anonymous: Yes, because no high-street shops have gone under, have they.
  • Paul
    I'd hardly say that Freedom Direct were small. I beleive they had a turnover of approx £48million. It was their business model that was flawed, relying upon large volumes of sales at very thin margins, fuelled by "Money Saving Experts" and people seeking "Hot Deals" (myself included). We just have to realise that we (as deal seekers) are pushing individual companies into impossible positions. The ABTA and ATOL bonds that they have to provide "in order to protect the customer" also precipitated the demise - somthing that very few other industries have to do. How many sofa retailer Directors have to put their own personal assets at stake to protect their customers ? Just for the record - I am a proprietor of an Indpendent High Street agency - who cannot survive solely on the high street business. I also have various web sites to supplement traditional high street business, and to appeal to the bargain hunters.
  • anonymous
    for attention of graham of course high street shops have gone under - because tight gits like you insist on using them to browse then go online to buy - fuelling this craze for fly-by-night websites to open up and rip people off...STOP messing up the economy and spend your money on the high street
  • Adriana C.
    Guter Beitrag, vielen Dank.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment