THE shocking collapse of Lowcostholidays has thrown the travel plans of hundreds of thousands into turmoil.
The online travel company had 27,000 passengers already abroad and over 110,000 more who are anxiously waiting to find out if they can travel in the coming months.
So how does it affect those who have booked through the firm? Will they be getting their holiday or even getting any money back?
Here are your questions answered.
Who does the collapse affect?
Anyone who has booked a holiday with any of the Lowcostholiday brands – which are Lowcosttravelgroup Ltd, Lowcostholidays Spain, Hoteling.com and Lowcostbeds.com A.G. brands.
What happens to holidaymakers who are already abroad?
According to administrator Smith and Williamson, your flight tickets should still be valid for your return flight.
Your hotel, however, may ask for payment even if you have forked out the full amount to Lowcostholidays and the same goes for transport back to the airport at the end of your stay.
The advice is to keep all your receipts and see if you can claim these costs back from insurance or your credit card firm.
Will customers who haven’t travelled still get a holiday?
The holiday firm will have had to stump up the cash for your flights when they were booked, so Smith and Williamson says these will still be valid. If you haven’t received flight confirmation, however, you should contact the airline to make sure.
Again, hotels and transfers are likely to be cancelled without refund, so you will need to rebook or find alternative accommodation.
Is this covered by travel insurance?
You may be covered by your travel insurance if you have already taken it out, but most policies don’t cover a travel firm going bust.
Check your policy and make sure you keep hold of receipts.
Will costumers who paid by card be able to get refunds?
If you paid by credit card, the answer is yes.
According to moneysavingexpert.com, if anything you buy costs over £100 per person, credit card firms are jointly liable with retailers if a firm goes bust, under under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, so you should get your money back.
Some debit card providers do provide a ‘Chargeback’ service, meaning you can claim money back, but it is not a legal requirement. Ask your bank.
Will Atol and Abta pay compensation?
Lowcostholidays is not a British-based firm, having moved to Spain in 2103. Therefore it is not covered by UK protection schemes and is not a member of either the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (Atol) or the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta).
However, if you have booked both hotel and flight, there may also be a chance to claim back from Govern de les illes Balears, the regulators in Spain where the company was based.
Will the administrator cover any losses?
Any profits left after the collapse should be shared between creditors so you could try putting in a claim.
In reality, however, you are likely to get little or nothing this way.
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