CAA steps in to protect holidaymakers affected by travel company collapse

Date: 29 August 2014

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has stepped in to protect consumers, following the collapse of two UK-based travel companies.

GBCE Ltd, trading as Student Adventures and Lorenz Voyager Travel Ltd both ceased trading this week and the CAA has taken action to ensure the companies’ consumers are not left stranded abroad or out of pocket.

GBCE Ltd
GBCE held an ATOL until 31 March of this year and consumers who received an ATOL certificate when booking are protected for any money they paid directly to the company.

We understand there are approximately 100 consumers currently abroad, but these people will have scheduled airline tickets so will be able to travel home as planned. We are looking into the impact on forward bookings and will publish advice for consumers who are yet to travel shortly.

However, people due to travel with the company who have an ATOL certificate can rest assured that their ATOL protection remains valid and they will not lose money they paid directly to the failed company. We are also in contact with charities that had bookings with the company. Consumers whose trips have been cancelled and want to rearrange them should contact their chosen charity.

The CAA monitors companies after their ATOL has lapsed or been removed to check they are not taking bookings for travel that should legally be protected by ATOL. The CAA’s current understanding is that this particular company has not taken any bookings since its ATOL expired on 31 March this year.

Lorenz Voyager Travel Ltd
Lorenz Voyager Travel Ltd (ATOL number 4846 and trading as Green Island City Breaks,
Green Island Holidays and Lorenz Voyager) was based in London and mainly operated package and flight only trips to Turkey and northern Cyprus. We understand there are currently approximately 150 ATOL protected passengers abroad and the CAA is working to make sure those people can continue their trip and return home as planned.

The company had around 500 forward bookings, covering approximately 1,000 people. Consumers with flight numbers beginning with “FHY” are advised their trip is cancelled. Consumers with any other flight numbers will have valid flight tickets so can go ahead with their trip if they wish. However, people with package bookings wishing to travel will do so at their own risk as it is likely they will have to pay for their accommodation again once in resort. This can be claimed back through the ATOL scheme after they return and passengers not wishing to travel can also claim for a refund.

Further information, advice and claim forms are available from www.atol.org.uk. Regular updates will also be posted here.

Media requesting more information should contact the CAA press office on 020 7453 6030 or press.office@caa.co.uk. Consumers looking for more information should call 020 7453 6700.

Follow the CAA on Twitter @UK_CAA.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:
• Run by the UK Civil Aviation Authority on behalf of the Government, ATOL covers the traditional package holiday, some individual flights and holidays known by the industry as ‘Flight-Plus’. A ‘Flight-Plus’ booking is one that includes a flight plus accommodation and/or car hire, so long as these separate parts of the holiday are requested within a day of each other.
• More information about the ATOL scheme is available from www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk
• The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. It ensures the aviation industry meets the highest safety standards; protects consumers by making sure they have choice and value and are treated fairly; drives improvements in airlines and airports’ environmental performance and ensures industry manages security risks effectively.