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Q&A: Goldtrail collapse

18 July 10 12:29
Travellers at airport departures board

The collapse of British tour company Goldtrail has left thousands of holidaymakers requiring flights home from Turkey and Greece.

Who are Goldtrail?

Goldtrail said it was the single biggest tour operator to Turkey. It also operated flights and holidays to Greece.

The company also trades under the names of Goldtrail Holidays, Goldtrail Travel and Sunmar.

What should you do if you've booked with them?

Goldtrail customers can call the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on 0203 4410846 for the latest information.

The CAA says all travellers currently overseas will be repatriated.

All inbound flights from Turkey and Greece will operate as scheduled up to and including Monday 19 July.

Information about flights from Tuesday onwards will be posted on the CAA website as soon as they become available.

Holidaymakers who are yet to travel out of the UK should not go to the airport. They are advised to contact their travel agent as alternative flights and accommodation may be available.

Will Goldtrail customers get their money back?

Goldtrail customers are protected under the ATOL scheme which means they should not lose out financially from the company's collapse.

They are advised to visit the ATOL website to apply for a refund, and will need to provide receipts for any money paid.

Customers can also claim for other out-of-pocket expenses like accommodation costs if they were forced to stay for extra nights due to the company's failure.

The CAA said given that the Goldtrail collapse was "quite a large failure", it was likely to take several months for refunds to be processed.

The Independent's travel editor Simon Calder said the CAA was also directing some customers, who paid directly to Goldtrail, to their credit card company instead to seek a refund.

ATOL does not cover any additional costs for rebooking a new trip and will not refund travel insurance or award compensation.

What should customers do if their hotel demands additional payment?

Some customers have contacted the BBC to say their hotel or holiday rep has demanded that they pay for their accommodation again - on the grounds that the hotelier has not received any money from Goldtrail for their stay.

The CAA says customers should not have to pay twice.

Anyone asked to do so should call the helpline number. CAA staff will then contact the hotel to sort the matter out.

If customers have agreed to pay again, the CAA says they will be able to get the money back if they have a receipt to prove it.

What happened?

The company ceased trading at 1600 BST on Friday.

Its website no longer works, and about 14,000 tourists stuck abroad are now continuing to be flown home by, organised by the Civil Aviation Authority.

About 2,000 more were due to fly out on holiday this weekend, but were told that none of their flights would depart.

Between now and Christmas an estimated 100,000 people were booked to fly with the company.

Was this expected?

There had been rumours for several months that Goldtrail was not doing well.

The CAA had informally predicted that smaller tour operators could find it hard to survive.

However, the predictions were for problems to start in the autumn - whereas this collapse came early.

There has also been concern that Goldtrail was still selling flights until just a few hours before it went bust.

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