Over 30,000 emails have been sent to administrators dealing with the collapse of a travel firm that went into administration two months ago, throwing the travel plans of thousands of consumers into chaos.
The Lowcost Travel Group hit the headlines when more than 110,000 travellers were affected by its sudden failure. It had launched a cut-price “60% off” sale just hours before collapsing into administration.
Losses may run to “tens of millions of pounds” sterling, perhaps AUD 50 million or more. One estimate was that unprotected customers would receive compensation of only about AUD 15 each – though British and Irish consumer protection schemes are helping many.
The company was based in Spain, most customers were British or Irish but the group had an Australian website and was reportedly represented in Australia.
Another statement from the administrator said emails continued to flood in.
“The administrators recognise the frustration felt by people caused by the failure of Lowcost,” the statement said.
“Since appointment, the administrators have been working to make the best of the very difficult and complex situation arising from the collapse of Lowcost and its subsidiaries, not least by providing information and assistance to the many travellers/customers.”
The administrators made the valid point that although many customers who paid by credit or debit card were making, or trying to make, successful claims through their credit or debit card issuers, that didn’t reduce the size of the overall losses. It just moved them elsewhere, to the banks and financial institutions.
The administrators say the final figures for losses won’t be known for some time, according to UK industry publication Travelmole.
The group had few realisable assets.
The collapse demonstrated that British and Irish consumers are better protected in such events than are their Australian counterparts. See: Travel collapses show that UK consumers fare better
Written by Peter Needham