A free hotline and e-mail address have been set up by Travel Counsellors for travellers affected by the Monarch collapse to offer advice to people confused about how their holiday is protected.

More than 40 staff formed a crisis team at the company’s head office on Sunday to support Travel Counsellors and their customers, running reports to identify affected bookings and keeping in close contact with them.

This meant that Travel Counsellors were advised of the failure shortly after 4am on Monday morning following Monarch entering administration and within minutes they were dealing with customer bookings.

The company has previously campaigned for clarity for travellers, and operates its own financial trust to cover all customer money, alongside the financial protection offered by the Atol scheme.

Those looking for advice and guidance on their Monarch booking can call

The freephone number 0800 061 2155 and email address of monarchhelp@travelcounsellors.com connects customers to the company’s head office helpdesk.

UK managing director Kirsten Hughes said: “Following the collapse of the Monarch Group our priority was to ensure our customers, both overseas and due to travel, were looked after.

“We acted quickly so the majority of our affected customers had alternative arrangements secured within the first few hours.

“However, we have seen an outpour across social media and in the press from people who are still unfortunately suffering as a result of the collapse, and are unclear of where to turn to for help and information after struggling to get this from their booking provider.

“So we have set up this number and email to simply offer this advice and ensure that these people are clear on if and how their travel plans are protected and the options available to them.”

She added: “We have had feedback from customers who had Monarch bookings saying that by the time they woke up on Monday and heard the news, their travel was already re-arranged and sorted.

“It’s at times like these we must pull together and ensure we are doing the very best for those impacted by the situation, which is why we wanted to do something more to help those affected.

“It also highlights that the issue of financially protection is still very confusing for people when they book their holidays and more clarity is needed.

“The collapse is such sad news for the many thousands of Monarch customers and also the 1,800 staff that have been made redundant, and as an industry we must focus on helping those affected and ensuring every traveller is aware of if and how they will be covered financially for their booking.”