Airlines will do everything within their power to avoid mass flight cancellations, but unfortunately sometimes circumstances are so completely out of their hands that thousands of holidays are disrupted.

These mass disruptions can be caused by a number of circumstances from natural disasters to extreme weather conditions and financial failures.

This month alone, some 2,042 flights were cancelled by Ryanair as it worked on improve its on-time performance, while the sudden collapse of Monarch Airlines affected over 860,000 travellers.

But how do Travel Agents deal with these unexpected disruptions?

According to home-based agency group, Travel Counsellors, a lot of work goes into the back-end of the business to ensure their clients are still able to go on holiday with minimal disturbance.

Tim smiling on his last day in Adelaide

For example, prior to the recent Monarch Airlines collapse, Travel Counsellors said they made the decision to invoke its emergency crisis plan while rumours were circulating, and within a few hours they had some 30 volunteers in their head office calling Travel Agents and answering questions.

They also decided to make “some commercial decisions early” in order to ensure customers would be able to travel on imminent departures.

When the news of Monarch’s collapse was confirmed at 4am, the travel group ensured customers were kept fully informed about the situation, while focusing on rebooking some 2,300 passengers.

By 7.00am on the day of closure, Travel Counsellors said 70 percent of its booked were ackwnowledged, meaning their Travel Agent was dealing with the situation.


“Here at Travel Counsellors we have spent the last few years studying and learning from industry failures of this nature.”

Kirsten Hughes, Travel Counsellors Commercial Director

“We’ve developed our technology so that our global Head Offices, and Travel Counsellors, are equipped with the correct tools, knowledge and support in the event of a failure,” he continued.

“In times of crisis, this business is awesome and it’s when we really come into our own.

“The value of what our Travel Counsellors do for their customers is never more paramount that in these situations.

“It’s fortunate for Travel Counsellors customers that we have the most comprehensive financial protection in place, however, in the wider industry, more needs to be done to safeguard customers in events like this especially where an airline ceases trading.”

READ: UK’s Monarch Airlines collapses, disrupting thousands of holidays

READ: Do you believe in the power of storytelling? Travel Counsellors do

Did you or anyone you know get caught up in recent flight cancellations?