ITAA issues advice for holidaymakers affected by Lowcostholidays collapse

Thousands of Irish holidaymakers face paying accommodation costs for a second time following the collapse of online travel website Lowcostholidays.

ITAA issues advice for holidaymakers affected by Lowcostholidays collapse

Thousands of Irish holidaymakers face paying accommodation costs for a second time following the collapse of online travel website Lowcostholidays.

The company, which went into administration on Friday, has confirmed that all booked flight tickets remain valid.

However, customers who are due to travel in the coming weeks will have to re-book their hotels once they arrive at their destination.

Those who purchased package holidays (flights and accommodation) will be able to claim compensation from the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR).

Customers who booked accommodation only are not eligible for refunds and will have try to reclaim the cost through their bank or credit card company.

UK administrators Smith & Williamson estimates the closure will affect 27,000 people currently in resorts and 110,000 customers who have not yet travelled.

The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) has advised holidaymakers who booked accommodation with Lowcostholidays through a travel agent to contact the agent directly for advice.

CEO Pat Dawson told Newstalk Breakfast that most claims should be covered by either the commission or the customer's credit card company.

Mr Dawson said: "In a lot of cases money should be covered by the Commission for Aviation or the credit card companies.

"ITAA travel agents are covering, for example, Leaving Cert students who booked with many travel agents because their parents insisted, and travel agents over the whole weekend have been picking up the bill and paying for accommodation that has not been paid for."

The Commission for Aviation Regulation later issued the following advice for customers of Lowcostholidays Spain S.L. which traded as Lowcostholidays.ie in Ireland:

1. For customers of Lowcostholidays Spain S.L. who are currently abroad:

(i) You may be asked to pay for your accommodation again. If so, you need to do so and you can claim the cost back.

2. For customers of Lowcostholidays Spain S.L. who have not yet travelled:

Check with your airline and with your accommodation to see if your tickets and/or accommodation are still valid and have been paid by the travel agent.

(i) If your airline says you can travel and if you have established your accommodation has been paid for by Lowcostholidays Spain S.L., you can proceed with your travel plans.

(ii) If your airline says you can travel but you have established that your accommodation is not paid for by Lowcostholidays Spain S.L. you can

a) proceed with your travel plans, pay for your accommodation yourself and then claim a refund of the original cost of your accommodation from the Commission

b) you can choose not to travel and claim a refund from the Commission

(iii) If your airline says you cannot travel and your accommodation is not paid, you cannot proceed with your travel plans and you can claim your original costs back from the Commission.

3. For customers of Lowcostholidays Spain S.L. who booked accommodation only:

(i) You may be asked to pay for your accommodation again. Unfortunately you cannot claim the cost back as this is not covered by the Licence and Bond issued by the Commission.

Queries and claims can be made by calling the Commission for Aviation Regulation hotline on 01-8889000 or emailing claims@aviationreg.ie.

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