LateRooms and Superbreaks go bust

By | Category: Travel news

On Thursday evening UK time, the Malvern Group which owns LateRooms and Superbreaks collapsed. It wasn’t a total surprise given that the company had appointed KPMG about ten days ago to explore its sale but any such sale obviously didn’t come quickly enough to stem the cash problems the group had.

Is you short break holiday covered?

But its collapse raises some questions that holidaymakers should bear in mind when booking breaks and it is for that reason that I write about it today.

Whenever a company goes bust it affects employees, customers and suppliers. In this case, though, the group has been hit by one of its own shareholders and suppliers – Cox & Kings in India. That company owns 49% of Malvern and owes it money. It has financial problems of its own back in India and those financial woes have certainly been a contributing factor in the demise of Malvern.

For customers of LateRooms and Superbreak, what redress is there if you have booked with them and not yet undertaken your hotel stay or mini break?

A lot depends on whether you just booked rooms or a holiday. If it was a holiday then you may be covered by bonding. The company says that future bookings If it was solely a room that was booked then you should contact your credit card provider to stop payment. If money has already been take then apply for a refund.

There is quite a deal of confusion this morning about what action travel agents should take given that some holidays may consist of just one item (eg a room) and whether other items are covered by bonding. Hopefully all customers have taken out travel insurance so check with the company to see if you can claim. Some policies don’t cover any domestic breaks.

Superbreaks was a member of ABTA so it will be working with agents to sort out what can or cannot be done. But Superbreaks says in its annual report that 74% of its bookings are via the internet so those people who booked directly with the company may be out-of-pocket. Contact ABTA directly if you made a direct booking either online or by telephone with the company. LateRooms was not a member

The demise of Malvern has shown that there is confusion of what might be covered and what isn’t.

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