A young family has been left £1,300 out of pocket following the collapse of failed travel company Globespan.
Rhona and Robert Nicolson, from Trondra, had planned to take a winter break in Lanzarote with their children Kirsty, aged three, and six-month-old Marni.
They had booked the two-week package holiday through Globespan and were looking forward to flying out from Glasgow Airport yesterday. However, the company’s collapse earlier this month has forced them to curtail their plans.
Thousands of Globespan customers were left stranded when the company, which operated flights from Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh, ceased trading on 16th December.
The failed business also provided transatlantic links from other UK airports including Manchester, Belfast and London Gatwick.
Many tourists were already on holiday in far-flung places like Spain, Portugal, Cyprus or Egypt when the company went bust.
Although they are protected by the government’s ATOL protection scheme, Mr and Mrs Nicolson are still unsure how much of the four-figure sum they will see again.
“We filled out a claim form and we will have to wait for the money to come through,” Mrs Nicolson said.
“People who pay with their credit cards get their money back a lot quicker, but we had just paid it out of our bank account so ours could take a little longer.
“We did get hold of a help-line number, and they said there was no chance of rescheduling. We would just have to fill in the form and hopefully get our money back some time.
“The holiday was booked through the Globespan website which is protected by ATOL, so we are hoping we will get it all back but we don’t even know when. We are just praying that we will get it back.”
The couple had been pinning their hopes on a January holiday, as Mr Nicolson – a member of the Scalloway fire crew – was due to be attending a course in Inverness before returning to Shetland.
They have instead booked a CentreParcs holiday in Cumbria, but Mrs Nicolson was critical of the level of advice available for customers. “There is very little information available for us,” she said.
Meanwhile another couple to have been caught out were Leonard and Maisie Spence from Quarff, who were due to be flying to Tenerife in February after spending £381 on tickets through their credit card company.
They have been sent forms to fill out in the hope that they might get their money back, although all the information has come from their credit card organisation.
“We managed to get another booking to Tenerife, but it is a bit disappointing when you have booked all your accommodation,” said Mr Spence, a retired Shetland Times typesetter.
“We’ve had to start again and try to get dates to work in, but as it has happened we’re now a day later in leaving and a day later in coming back.”
Finally Isobel Watt, from Murrayston in Lerwick, has had to change her plans for a May holiday in Benidorm.
She had booked her holiday at the Spanish resort through a Dundee travel agency, but thankfully had only paid a £60 deposit for the trip before Globespan’s collapse.
The travel agent has helped reorganise her holiday, although she will now have to fly out from Edinburgh instead of Aberdeen, which has scuppered her connecting flight from Sumburgh costing her another £60.
“I took insurance out so will have to claim it back,” Mrs Watt said.