The Lowcost Travel Group lessons

By | Category: Travel news
© Dan Sperrin

© Dan Sperrin

At the end of last week, the Lowcost Travel Group went into liquidation leaving some 27,000 clients on holiday having to spend time sorting out whether their holiday could continue and about 110,000 future holidaymakers trying to re-book and get some of the monies back.

This has been the biggest holiday collapse for some time yet the mainstream media hasn’t given it much attention especially since the company was not ATOL bonded so monies paid to the company are not protected.

In 2013 the company ceased its ATOL bonding and re-located to Spain claiming that people were protected under the European Package Holiday Directive. Well that has proved to be unhelpful as holidaymakers are reported to have been asked by hoteliers to cough up.

Travel agents who used Lowcostbeds are trying to sort out alternative accommodation and must have had a busy and difficult weekend trying to do so. Some people may not even know that travel agents had booked their accommodation with Loscost unless they read the small print assuming that the travel agent would be resonsible. Check you booking to see.

Those readers who had booked directly with the company will be entitled to claim from their credit card company if they paid by credit card. Those who paid by direct bank transfer, cheques or cash have little redress.

In the past the company has claimed that it provides holidays for 2.5 million people a year. That reveals the size of the company which turned over about €500 million relying on direct online booking and travel agents for its sales.

But the lack of ATOL bonding is the key. How many times have holidaymakers been warned against using non-ATOL bonded companies? Yes, there are insurance schemes that holiday companies can take out but have those 137,000 people checked the small print to see what cover they have? Did they take out travel insurance for their holidays which would give some degree of compensation? We’ll only learn the answers over the coming days.

Hoteliers which accepted block bookings from the company will be looking to holidaymakers to pay or will cancel bookings. They will also be looking for additional business to try and fill those rooms.

To those readers affected, our sympathies but check your insurance policies and remember to contact your credit card company if that’s how you paid,

And good luck!

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