COUNTY NEWS: Sussex couple '˜gutted' as they lose hundreds over Lowcostholidays collapse
A couple from Sussex celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary are among more than 130,000 tourists who have lost money after a budget travel firm went bust at the weekend.
Peter and Leah Norman had booked a three-week holiday in Spain for October through the travel operator.
But Lowcostholidays ceased trading on Friday (July 15), leaving 27,000 customers at resorts and 110,000 who had booked trips facing unpaid accommodation and travel bills, as reported in the national press.
Mr Norman, of St Leonards-on-Sea, said: “We were gutted by the firm’s demise and in shock for quite a while after first hearing the news.
“We have possibly lost nearly £600 on our booking for accommodation and airport transfers. We have checked our flights with the operator Norwegian Airlines and they are okay and were fully paid for, so that at least is one good point.
“We’ve been using Lowcostholidays for nearly 10 years now.
“When we first started using them they were a British registered holiday company and protected by the ABTA/ATOL schemes to protect people who have bought holidays but at some stage they moved to Spain and we are now no longer protected under those schemes.
“We emailed the hotel direct in Spain and asked about a price if we were to rebook direct with the hotel. It is asking for nearly £300 more than the original amount we paid to Lowcostholidays.
“Our holiday insurance does not cover companies that go into administration so we are now checking with our bank to see if can claim anything back as we paid via debit card.
“We are very disappointed with it all at the moment but hopefully it’ll be sorted out in the end and we’ll be off to somewhere very sunny in time for our 20th anniversary.
The company moved its offices to Spain in 2013.
On its Facebook page on Friday, it said: “We deeply regret to announce that the lowcosttravelgroup (“LCTG”) ceased to trade on July 15, following exhaustive attempts by the group’s directors to rescue the group, which has been hampered by the recent and ongoing turbulent financial environment.
“Smith & Williamson LLP, jointly with CMB Partners UK Ltd have been appointed as administrators over the UK group entities with effect from July 15.
“On behalf of LCTG, the directors wish to profusely apologise for the inconvenience and distress that this will cause to our customers.”
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