Turkish delight for dumped Stenhousemuir travellers

Laura Fowler and Joanna Rae were left high and dry
Laura Fowler and Joanna Rae were left high and dry
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Joanna Rae was just one of thousands of holidaymakers devastated after a holiday firm went out of business.

The 26-year-old only booked flights to Turkey the night before Holiday 4 U went under.

But after The Falkirk Herald got involved, she and her pal will be able to enjoy their dream trip.

The Brighton-based company specialised in holidays to Turkey and operated flights from Glasgow to the Turkish city of Bodrum.

Around 13,000 British people were stranded abroad when Holidays 4 U went into administration. The company was scheduled to carry 66,000 passengers during August and September and all will have to rebook with another operator or forget about their summer holiday.

Joanna, who is from Stenhousemuir, said: “How unlucky is that? We booked late on Tuesday night and first thing the following morning they went bust - taking our money.

“We were gutted, there is no way we could book another holiday and wait for the money to be refunded, it could take months.”

The ScottishPower worker was due to fly out to Turkey next month with her friend Laura Fowler (24) from Linlithgow.

As soon as they heard about the crash, they both called their bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland. The money was still in their accounts but staff told them there was nothing they could do to stop the payment.

They were advised they would have to claim through the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) - a process which could take up to six months.

Thousands of holiday makers will have to forego their planned trips until they are refunded by either the CAA or Air Travel Organisers Licensing (ATOL).

Joanna continued: “I know people who lost their flights when other firms went bust and it took the best part of a year to get the money back.

“If we had booked on a credit card or a package holiday it would have been a speedier process but it is more difficult with flight- only purchases.”

However once The Falkirk Herald contacted the bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland issued both women a full refund.

A spokesperson for the bank said: “The customers were given the wrong information and as a goodwill gesture we decided to refund them. “

The turnaround means the pair will be able to re-book with another holiday company for their summer trip.

Joanna added: “The bank has been great and it means we should get away after all although the holidays have jumped up in price with everyone trying to re-book but we should get away in the end. We know we are lucky and for thousands they won’t get their summer holiday.”