Irish holiday-goers who booked trips away through lowcostholidays will this week find out how to reclaim their money after the company went into administration.
The budget tour operator has warned customers currently abroad on their holiday that they may be required to pay their hotel costs, even if accommodation fees were included in the price paid to the Lowcostholidays.
UK administrators Smith & Williamson has said that 27,000 customers currently in resorts and 110,000 who booked holidays through Lowcostholidays are affected.
“The failure will affect many customers who have purchased flights or holidays, some of whom are on holiday in resorts and some of whom have not travelled as yet,” the administrators said in a statement on Friday. “Unfortunately, as regards customers who have not travelled as yet, a small number will have problems as regards their flights not having been paid for and many will have problems as regards their hotel rooms not having been paid for.”
The public body responsible for licensing the travel trade in Ireland also administers a bonding scheme to cover consumers in the event of a travel agent going bust.
The Commission for Aviation Regulation has advised any Irish customer who booked their holiday through Lowcostholiday’s Spanish subsidiary will be able to claim their costs back.
“Irish customers who booked with Lowcostholidays Spain should note that the company is licenced by and bonded with the commission and that details of how to claim, and who should claim, against the bond will be posted early next week,” it advised.
Andrew Byrne, from Carlow, is one such Lowcostholiday customer who has been hit by the company going bust.
Mr Byrne and two friends are to fly to Tenerife this week, but have discovered that the hotel they had paid Lowcostholidays for has not been paid in turn by the operator.
Mr Byrne said they decided to go ahead with the holiday, and will have to pay €420 to the hotel and then try to look to claim money back at a later date.
“We were in panic mode yesterday morning when we came to realise we would have to pay the hotel again.
“We didn’t have much of an idea if we could get the money back,” he said.
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