Under-fire Travelrepublic launches travel protection scheme

Online retailer TravelRepublic has unveiled a consumer financial protection scheme for customers who book after January 1.

According to the Travel Republic, website The Total Financial Protection initiative provides customers with 100% refund in the event of the corporate failure of their travel provider.

The website reminds customers that each element of their holiday is separate and as such is covered by separate financial protection. The insurer is Insurefor.com. Details of the underwriter are not disclosed.

The wording of the scheme also stresses that Travel Republic does not provide package holidays.

The site also claims the financial protection is ‘100% free of charge’.

Travel Republic was unable to comment but the launch of the scheme comes just weeks after the Civil Aviation Authority issued legal proceedings against the retailer and director Kane Pirie.

The legal proceedings are over breaches of CAA guidelines.

Pirie is scheduled to appear in court in February.

The launch of the scheme comes as First Choice and Thomson Holidays unveil the second half of their January sales campaign emphasising the benefits of ATOL protected holidays.

The group estimates that up to a million people could be affected by corporate travel failures in 2009 leaving up to 100,000 consumers stranded in their holiday destinations in the coming months.

The campaign, which will appear in national press and television, encourages consumers to seek the advice of their travel agent and uses straplines such as “’Do-It-Yourself holidays’ – otherwise known as ‘if-your-airline-goes-bust-you’re on-your own holidays’”.

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