Low Cost Holiday Customers Set to Lose their Money
Thousands of uninsured holidaymakers have been left stranded and are facing costs into the thousands after Low Cost Holidays went into administration.
A budget holiday company which went into administration in July has left 27,000 holidaymakers stranded overseas. The company, Low Cost Holidays, was not a member of Atol and holidaymakers who failed to take out comprehensive insurance are facing accommodation and flight costs that could run into the thousands. However, Administrators say the amount of compensation is likely to amount to less than £8 each.
The Rise and Fall of the Low Cost Holiday.
In the 1970s, an overseas holiday was a luxury which was only attainable by the lucky few. Those on a more modest budget had to be satisfied with what the UK had to offer – which conjures up images of caravan-strewn A-roads, wet and windy seaside resorts and that very British phenomenon – the holiday camp.
Fortunately, the rise of budget airlines and cheap package deals over recent years has brought the opportunity to travel overseas within the reach of most of us, even in these cash-strapped post-Brexit times. Companies offering package deals at bargain prices proliferate the internet and the high street. More appear every year in this increasingly competitive market.
However, recent events demonstrate the importance of taking out some kind of insurance policy, such as Avanti travel insurance. Travel insurance does not just provide protection against medical emergencies. It also provides cover against loss of personal belongings and protection in the event of cancellation. Or, of course, as has happened to 27,000 unfortunate Low Cost Holidays customers, if the travel company goes bankrupt and customers find themselves stranded abroad.
A recent report by the BBC stated that these individuals have been left saddled with additional hotel costs if they wish to stay and additional flight costs for their return home. For a family of four, this can run into the thousands, leaving uninsured holidaymakers counting the cost.
Of even greater concern is the fact that this might be the tip of the iceberg. The collapse of Low Cost Holidays has been blamed on a combination of the fall in the value of the pound following the UK referendum and the rise in global terrorism. These are macro factors that affect the whole industry and many experts have been left wondering how many more travel companies will fall in the same way.
Carry on Camping?
In the short term, this might spell good news for those who like their holidays with all the home comforts of a nice cup of tea and a portion of fish and chips. New variations on old style holidays are emerging such as glamorous camping (“glamping”), which is taking the UK (and beyond) by storm.
Ultimately, however, the phenomenon of the low-cost overseas package tour is here to stay. Now that holidaymakers have had a taste of it, the lure of sun, sea and sand coupled with all-inclusive hotel deals and low cost flights is just too good to resist.
But with the dust still settling on the Low Cost Holidays affair and the potential for others to go the same way, travellers must take heed as they contemplate the prospects of the all-day buffet and remember the old saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch. In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to ensure that adequate insurance cover is in place before holidaymakers sign on the dotted line.
Or they might just wish they had opted for fish and chips and an umbrella in Margate.