Summer and Bad News
With decent weather over much of our countries last weekend it looked as though things were set fare for a while. In the space of one week, we have had winds and heavy rain and then, to top it off, Goldtrail Holidays (which also used the name Sunmar) went bust yesterday evening leaving 16,000 abroad. Now it also seems that there may be a strike at all BAA airports (Heathrow, Stanstead, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen) during August.
CD-Traveller has frequently argued for wider consumer protection. In the wake of Globespan in 2009 and XL in 2008, you might have hoped or expected that such high profile events might have stimulated some change. No, the EU prepared a document and sent it for consultation. The then government said it was an EU issue and we are no further forward. Yet we have had 11 cases of companies going bust this year.
To remind those unfortunate holidaymakers who booked with Goldtrail, if you are on holiday at the moment then enjoy the rest of it and the CAA will ensure flights for the return flight. If you booked just flights with them and then paid separately for your accommodation, check with the ATOL website (be patient it was very slow this morning) and your travel insurance. You may have to find return flights home and pay for them. Keep any and all receipts in case you can make a claim.
For those of you who are yet to go on a package holiday, (accommodation and the flight both through Goldtrail) and Simon Calder from The Independent estimated there might be up to 50,000 of you, then you will get a refund. This is small consolation since finding a holiday at this stage for the same price is unlikely. Chances are you’ll have to pay more. For those of you who just booked a flight with them and paid by credit card, contact you credit card company for a possible refund. If you paid in any other way, check your travel insurance for a possible refund.
And to top off a bad week, Unite is to ballot its members about strike action at all BAA airports because they have only been offered 1.5% pay rise. If they vote for a strike, the best guess is that it will occur sometime after the first week in August. How will it affect flights? The answer is that we will just have to wait and see.