As of Monday 22nd August 2016, the Commission for Aviation Regulation had received 3,040 claims for refund from passengers on foot of bookings with Lowcostholidays Spain SL, which collapsed on 15th July 2016 – but has yet to state if the overall costs exceed the company’s bond and, if so, by how much.
The Commission has also yet to respond to a question from Irish Travel Trade News as to how much the collapse of Lowcostbeds may have cost Irish travel agents. Figures of €300,000 or more have been mentioned, but ITTN understands that the actual figure could be more than €0.5 million.
One large travel agency is allegedly €85,000 out of pocket while a number of smaller agencies are facing losses of €20,000 or more. Such figures do not, of course, include the cost of staff time (or their frustration) spent in sorting out retention of client’s hotel bookings, often at inflated current rack rates, or organising alternative accommodation.
ITTN also understands that many travel agents are now demanding that the bed bank does not pay the hotel until the client has checked out – a practice already followed by some bed banks.
Lowcostholidays Spain SL customers have until Monday 19th September 2016 to submit their claim form to CAR. Claim forms for refunds can be found on the Commission’s website
The Commission for Aviation Regulation is currently assessing the claims that have been received and in some instances additional information and documentation has been sought. Other queries can be emailed to: [email protected]