ECC Ireland has received a number of calls from worried consumers who have booked holidays with Lowcostholidays which announced on Friday July 15th that it has gone out of business.

So, where does that leave holidaymakers who have a booking with the now bust online travel agent? Well, hopefully the following information can shed some light on what to do.

Option one – Check with the airline and/or the hotel

If you’re yet to travel then it is advised to contact the airline and/or the accommodation provider to see if the flight/room has been paid for and is still confirmed. If the answer is affirmative, you can check-in and travel according to your original plan.

Option two – Money back for package holidays through Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR)

If you have booked a package holiday – that includes transport, accommodation – then you’re in a much better position as Lowcostholidays, even if based in Spain (and formally in the UK), is registered in Ireland with the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) and bonded under Irish law.

A confirmed airline ticket will remain valid if it has been paid for upfront but the accommodation may not be paid for yet. In this scenario you could decide to use the flight and go to the destination, pay for the accommodation again (after checking that this is possible), keep all receipts, and then when you return claim a refund of the original cost of the accommodation from the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR).

Another option may be to cancel the entire package and make a claim through CAR.

Customers of Lowcostholidays have until Monday, September 19th, 2016, to submit their claim form through CARCAR has published further advice on its website and you can also download a claim form for refunds or expenses incurred.

Option three – Chargeback and travel insurance

Stand-alone bookings (for example, accommodation only) or packages that do not include travel departing from the Republic of Ireland are not covered under CAR’s bond.

In this situation, if you decide to still go on your holiday it is likely that you’ll have to pay for the relevant services again. You may consider making a chargeback request from your card issuing company/bank

Chargeback relates to disputed transactions, for example, when the supplier did not deliver the goods or services you paid for.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has further information and advice on chargeback as well as advice on when a company goes out of business.

Alternatively, if you have travel insurance check if your cover includes financial failure of the travel organiser, or similar, and contact your insurer as soon as you can to see how to pursue your claim, if possible.

Lowcostholidays statement:

Lowcostholidays issued a statement on Friday which has further details regarding your bookings.