Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tour Operator Goes Broke, Leaves Brits Stranded

Or, 'you think you had a bad weekend?'

"Goldtrail collapse leaves Britons in Greece and Turkey
BBC (July 17, 2010)

"A British tour operator has collapsed leaving thousands of holidaymakers abroad, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said.

"Greece and Turkey specialist Goldtrail, based in New Malden, south-west London, went into administration on Friday with an estimated 16,000 customers overseas.

"The CAA said it was arranging to fly customers home after their holidays and there were no more outbound flights...."

On a practical note, the BBC article has a telephone number that Goldtrail customers can call.

Looks like around 50,000 folks who had made travel arrangements through Goldtrail are left in Greece and Turkey, to drum up money for travel home, places to stay, and other expenses involved with having a vacation.

"...One traveller, Martin Plimmer, said he had booked his flights through Goldtrail and faced losing all the money spent on his accommodation if he couldn't find the finances to pay for new flights.

" 'We were told we would have to pay for any new flights and claim that back through the CAA as Goldtrail were ATOL-protected.

" 'Our predicament was however that if we couldn't afford the flights we would lose the £1500 that we paid for our all-inclusive hotel because it was through a different company.'..."

I learned a couple of new acronyms: ATOL, for Air Travel Organiser's Licensing; and CAA, for Civil Aviation Authority.

On a more positive note, it looks like European air travel is recovering from that Icelandic volcano's ash. ("Iceland, Volcano, Ash, Airline Cancellations: Here We Go Again" (May 16, 2010))

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