The collapse of Goldtrail Travel has caused real pain and not just to holidaymakers. The CAA note on Monday telling Atol-holders they were liable for £150 for each repatriated client has prompted an angry reaction.
Retail Atol holders tell me they will not pay to repatriate clients following the company’s failure, as required by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). They say the Atol scheme should protect them.
People have been asking: “Why are we playing by the financial protection rules when time and again we are left substantially out of pocket?”
The charge for consumer protection only went up last October and since then, firms have had to fork out for a series of failures while charter carriers paid out for the ash crisis. Senior industry voices have told the CAA “enough is enough”.
The collapse, at a time when companies should be cash-rich, raises other issues. Only this month, the CAA predicted “the collapse of a tour operator to the Eastern Med later this year”.
Accountants were recommending clients take out Supplier Failure Cover “just in case”, and some agents stopped taking Goldtrail bookings months ago.
Yet other companies only recently became aware that Goldtrail had changed its terms in December to trade on an Atol-to-Atol basis.
Why didn’t that change ring alarm bells at the CAA? And why wasn’t Goldtrail required to provide a bond?
The system is a mess and I have a hunch this latest collapse may force significant change.
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