Fallout continues following Low Cost Travel Group demise

Financial protection for British holidaymakers is once again the spotlight following the closure of the Low Cost Travel Group. lowcost

The travel group, which was the parent of well-known operators including Low Cost Holidays and Low Cost Beds, was not a member of ABTA and did not hold an ATOL licence.

The company collapsed on Friday with 27,000 customers currently abroad and up to 110,000 forward-bookings now at risk.

In a statement issued on its website, the Group said efforts to rescue the business had been “hampered by the recent and ongoing turbulent financial environment”.

“On behalf of LCTG, the directors wish to profusely apologise for the inconvenience and distress that this will cause to customers,” the statement read.

In a statement issued after the company’s collapse, ABTA advised clients of the company to check with their travel providers before attempting to travel.

“If in any doubt, we recommend that you contact your local Citizens Advice or Trading Standards Department,” it read.

“Most standard travel insurance policies do not include travel organiser failure however we would recommend you check your insurance policy along with contacting your Credit or Debit Card company, if that is how you paid.”

The collapse of Low Cost Beds is particularly troubling for the trade, with many agents using the bed bank to book accommodation for their clients.

Travel Counsellors managing director Steve Byrne said his company had been working hard to support clients who had been affected by Low Cost’s collapse.

“Our priority first and foremost was to ensure our customers both in resort and due to travel were looked after. Our 24/7 duty office immediately ran reports to identify the bookings that may be affected and we have been in constant contact with our agents globally to support them,” he said.

“[Low Cost’s collapse] of course raises the issue of financial protection and the importance of ensuring every traveller is protected when they book their trip. We have always been particularly passionate about this subject, which is why we launched our own financial trust to protect all customer monies and alongside ATOL ensures that our customers always have financial peace of mind. This should really be a given and not a luxury, but unfortunately many Low Cost customers who booked directly may now be suffering because they were not fully financially protected.

“It is very sad news for many thousands of Low Cost customers and also the 450 staff that have been made redundant, and the industry needs to take measures to ensure something like this does not happen again.”

 

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