A holiday company has gone bust, leaving thousands stranded and out of pocket. Do you always check for Atol protection before you book a holiday?
The demise of Lowcost Holidays has not only destroyed the travel plans of hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers, but it’s now been revealed that those affected may only be in line for a refund of a few measly pounds.
Thousands of you who’ve been left out of pocket now want to reclaim your money from the firm, which was based in Spain – with many weighing up whether they can afford to rebook even though there’s no guarantee they’ll get back what they’ve already paid.
Thousands left out of pocket
The collapse has left 27,000 holidaymakers stranded abroad and a further 110,000 out of pocket on future bookings. Many of those currently abroad are now having to pay for their hotel accommodation again, as well as other incidental costs.
The holidays sold by Lowcost are covered by the government of the Balearic Islands, but they’ve only put aside €1.09m to compensate those affected. With 110,000 people yet to go on holiday and 27,000 currently on holiday it works out at around just £8 each if everyone makes a claim.
The budget travel agent entered administration last Friday, despite offering an extended summer sale just hours before it announced it had gone bust. It posted an advertisement online boasting: ‘Our holiday sale has been extended for a limited time only. Grab your lilo and go.’
Many of its customers were furious that it had enticed them to pay for cut price breaks just hours before the firm collapsed.
Some took to Facebook to vent their fury. One customer said: ‘60% off Sale the DAY before you disappear off the face of the earth with everyone’s hard earned money. Absolutely disgusting…’
The firm is laying the blame on ’the recent and ongoing turbulent financial environment’.
The importance of Atol protection
The big problem with Lowcost Holidays is that it wasn’t Atol protected. An Atol license means your holiday is protected and it guarantees you’ll be brought home if your travel company collapses while you’re abroad.
What can Lowcost holidaymakers do?
Back in 2013, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) warned holidaymakers to avoid booking with Lowcost Holidays after the company relocated to Spain.
Sadly, many who booked with Lowcost Holidays are unlikely to have even realised it wasn’t part of the Atol scheme. Do you know if your last package holiday had Atol protection? Is it something you always check for?
If you or anyone you know has been affected by the collapse of Lowcost Holidays, we’ve created a guide with easy steps you can follow to try and get your money back.