Thornton’s Travel in Bristol has ceased trading after 80 years.

E Thornton & Son, which traded as Thornton’s Travel, Thornton’s Cruise World and Thornton’s Travel Service, stopped taking bookings on September 30, 2020.

The travel agency, originally owned by a shipping company in Avonmouth, started in 1948. It was the first to operate a charter flight to New York from Bristol on a Boeing 707 and more recently was known locally for its close relationship with Bristol Rovers football team. The agency sponsored the team’s shirts in 2017-2018.

The business, which had 14 staff, recently marked its 80th anniversary  and had planned to hold a large customer event next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the start of the UK lockdown its business travel team helped to assist travellers stuck in destinations through the Helping you Get Home initiative with the Focus Travel Partnership.

Information for affected clients is detailed in a message on Abta’s website, which says customers who booked a package holiday provided by E Thornton & Sons should contact the agency in the first instance for further advice as alternative arrangements may have been made.

Customers who have booked a holiday through the company with another tour operator have been asked to contact the operator named on the paperwork or Atol certificate.

Clients issued with a flight-only booking should contact the airline they are due to travel with. Clients with package holidays which include flights are asked to contact the Civil Aviation Authority, which runs the Atol scheme, to make a claim.

Business travel bookings with E Thornton & Son were protected with Abta. Bookings for scheduled flights only or rail tickets, in which customers have the tickets, should remain valid. Customers are advised to contact the airline or rail operator to confirm this is the case.  For flight-only bookings with an Atol certificate, clients are advised to contact the CAA to make a refund claim.

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