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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. Worked at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in launch edition of PRWeek Black Book.

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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

LOWCOST HOLIDAY NIGHTMARE AS SPANISH OWNED FIRM in UK GOES BUST STRANDING 27,000 AT RESORTS AND 27,000 OUT OF POCKET AND NO HOLIDAY

                   - in administration (ceased trading)..


A Spanish registered Holiday company Lowcost Travelgroup which cultivates a carefully targeted UK trading platform aimed at C-D socio economic groups, (typically Sun, Daily Express and Daily Star readers) is in administration heading for liquidation.  


Lowcost Travelgroup has called in the administrators.  The move has put more than 27,000 holiday makers in multiple resorts at risk, as they are not immediately protected by the (Air Travel Operators Licence) ATOL 'get you home bond', and it is not a British firm, and will not automatically be repatriated by the CAA administered scheme, and will also be subject to paying cash for their hotel accommodation, or face ejection. (The ATOL Bond has nothing to do with, and is independent of any ABTA membership). This downloadable CAA rejection letter can form part of any claim: https://www.caa.co.uk/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=4294980181 


The hotelier is not normally paid by the travel company until a month later, long after the customers accommodation voucher presented on arrival is put thorough the Lowcost Travelgroup  payment system.


Julian Bray Aviation Analyst writes:  Today those vouchers are worthless. Some 110,000 customers with future bookings are likely to lose all their money unless they can later claim back on credit cards or their travel insurance policy has a repayment clause.  Publicly the failed firm is blaming a drop in advance revenues caused by the BREXIT campaign, and the relentless uncertainty generated by the  EU referendum, literally 'clutching at straws' they are also blaming the fall in the pound. All of which seems to be fairly flimsy reasons for the firm not making adequate financial provision in the form of a financial bond to secure existing holidaymakers packages. 
.
In all, the group has 27,000 holiday makers in resorts and 110,000 more have either lodged deposits or fully paid up. Their bookings may be worthless and the money paid out lost.


Administrators said Spanish registered Lowcost Travelgroup ceased trading on 15 July, with the loss of 120 jobs in the UK.  It is thought that although no ATOL protection is in place, customers' flight bookings will probably be honoured in most cases simply as airlines demand payment to secure the seat, but having arrived at the destination, hotels will still need to be paid for, as the Lowcost holiday voucher is worthless to secure the 'paid for' accommodation, but valuable as evidence in any subsequent claim or civil legal action






Joint administrators Smith & Williamson and CMB Partners were appointed, when the firm realised they had no other place to go.


The group operated a travel booking business from 'notional' headquarters in the UK and offices in Spain, Switzerland and Poland. The firm originally 100% UK based, moved operations and its legal status to Spain last year. Giving up its UK company status.  It is thought that some sixty per cent of its customers were British.


This is the Administration notice placed on the now defunct lowcostholidays website:







We deeply regret to announce that the lowcosttravelgroup ("LCTG") ceased to trade on 15 July 2016, following exhaustive attempts by the group's directors to rescue the group, which were hampered by the recent and ongoing turbulent financial environment.

This notice applies to the following companies and brands:
1. Lowcosttravelgroup Limited
2. Lowcostholidays Spain S.L.
3. Hoteling.com part of Lowcostholidays Spain S.L.
4. Lowcostbeds.com A.G.

Licensed insolvency practitioners from Smith & Williamson LLP and CMB Partners UK Ltd have been appointed as administrators of the following four group companies, with effect from 15 July 2016:

1. Lowcosttravelgroup Limited (In Administration)
2. Lowcostaviation.com Limited (In Administration)
3. Lowcostbeds.com Limited (In Administration)
4. Lowcostholidays Limited (In Administration)

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

The following information is provided to assist customers, agents, suppliers and creditors.

Lowcostholidays.com
To view or print your booking documentation please use one of these links below using the site you originally booked on

www.lowcostholidays.comwww.lowcostholidays.ie


Customers In Resort
Customers who have booked a Holiday combination (Flight plus Hotel)
If you are already on holiday you will be in possession of your flight tickets which remain valid.
You may be required by the hotel suppliers, transfer suppliers and car parking suppliers (if you have booked these services) to pay them locally. If you have to pay you may be able to reclaim against:
I. Your travel insurance provider (if you have travel insurance*)
II. Govern de les illes Balears (www.caib.es) who is the regulator of the Spanish Travel Agency.
III. Your credit card provider for services not received.
IV. Lowcostholidays Spain is also licenced by the Irish Commission for Aviation Regulation and the Commission holds an insurance bond for the refund and repatriation of Irish customers of the company. All customers of the company who are eligible to make a claim (having booked travel or a package including travel which originated in Ireland)should be directed to the Commission in order to begin the claims process.

It would be advisable for you to keep all receipts of expenses incurred in order to claim a refund or compensation.
You should also register your claim at lowcosttravelspain@smith.williamson.co.uk
Customers who have booked Hotel Accommodation only
You may be required by the hotel suppliers, transfer suppliers and car parking suppliers (if you have booked these services) to pay them locally. If you have to pay, you may be able to reclaim against:
I. Your travel insurance provider (if you have travel insurance*)
II. Your credit card provider for services not received.
It would be advisable for you to keep all receipts of expenses incurred in order to claim a refund or compensation.
You should also register your claim at lowcosttravelspain@smith.williamson.co.uk
Customers Due to Travel
Customers who have booked a Holiday combination (Flight plus Hotel)
If you have booked a combination flights and accommodation (+ other services, e.g. transfer, car-hire, etc) your contract for the flights will be direct with the airline and payment will have been made to them in most cases at time of booking. If you are in receipt of your flight ticket from the airline you will be able to check-in and travel as normal. If you have not received your flight confirmation details, you should contact the airline directly to determine the status of your flight reservation. If the airline informs you that your reservation is not confirmed then you will need to rebook your flights with another provider and make a claim using the options outlined below:
Your hotel reservation will not be valid so you will have to re-book your hotel accommodation and any other services that you may have reserved via Lowcostholidays.com (e.g. transfer, car-hire, airport parking etc) with another provider. You may be able to reclaim lost amounts against:
I. Your travel insurance provider (if you have travel insurance*)
II. Govern de les illes Balears (www.caib.es) who is the regulator of the Spanish Travel Agency.
III. Your credit card provider for services not received.
IV. Lowcostholidays Spain is also licenced by the Irish Commission for Aviation Regulation and the Commission holds an insurancebond for the refund and repatriation of Irish customers of the company. All customers of the company who are eligible to make a claim (having booked travel or a package including travel which originated in Ireland)should be directed to the Commission in order to begin the claims process.
It would be advisable for you to keep all receipts of expenses incurred in order to claim a refund or compensation.
You should also register your claim at lowcosttravelspain@smith.williamson.co.uk
Customers who have booked a Holiday combination (Hotel Only)
Your reservation will be cancelled by the hotel supplier and you will need to rebook your accommodation through another provider.
You may be able to claim lost amounts from:
I.Your travel insurance provider (if you have travel insurance*)
II.Your credit card provider for services not received.
It would be advisable for you to keep all receipts of expenses incurred in order to claim a refund or compensation.
You should also register your claim at lowcosttravelspain@smith.williamson.co.uk
Hoteling.com
You may be required by the hotel suppliers, transfer suppliers and car parking suppliers (if you have booked these services) to pay them locally. If you have to pay, you may be able to reclaim against:
I.Your travel insurance provider (if you have travel insurance*)
II.Your credit card provider for services not received.
It would be advisable for you to keep all receipts of expenses incurred in order to claim a refund or compensation.
You should also register your claim at lowcosttravelspain@smith.williamson.co.uk
Lowcostbeds
Agents/Tour Operators/OTA's
Customers In Resort
Your customer's hotel accommodation may or may not have received payment from lowcostbeds A.G. (LCB) or the 3rd party supplier that made the reservation directly with the hotel. It is possible therefore that your customers may be required by the hotel to pay the hotel before they leave. You may wish to contact the hotel directly to make payment or alternatively let your customer pay the hotel and reclaim from you. In either case you will then need to contact: lowcosttravelswiss@smith.williamson.co.uk in order to register your claim.
Customers Due to Travel
No forward hotel reservations made via LCB will be valid therefore you need to make arrangements to re-book all your future reservations via another supplier.
For agents who have pre-paid LCB for future bookings contact lowcosttravelswiss@smith.williamson.co.uk
Hotel and XML Suppliers and General Creditors
Please contact lowcosttravelswiss@smith.williamson.co.uk with details of your claim.
Please Note:
LCTG is no longer trading and will therefore not be able to answer queries. If you need to submit a claim against a LCTG company please contact lowcosttravelswiss@smith.williamson.co.uk with details of your claim - contact can only be made via email.
Lowcosttravelgroup
General Creditors
Please contact lowcosttravelgroup@smith.williamson.co.uk with details of your claim.
Please Note:
LCTG is no longer trading and will therefore not be able to answer queries. If you need to submit a claim against a LCTG company please contact lowcosttravelgroup@smith.williamson.co.uk with details of your claim - contact can only be made via email.
Additional Notes and Information
*Travel insurance: If you have travel insurance, whether or not you will be able to successfully claim against it will depend on the terms of your specific insurance policy, which should be reviewed.
Last Updated - 18/07/2016











JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com
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