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More chaos for travellers

Holidays in disarray after LateRooms and Superbreak collapse

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Holiday plans have been thrown into disarray by latest setback (pic: Terry Murden)

Thousands of holidaymakers have seen their plans thrown into disarray after hotel bookings website LateRooms collapsed into insolvency along with holiday company Superbreak.

Between them, they had about 53,000 customers and there was criticism that they were still trying to drum up business in the hours before the announcement.

In a statement, LateRooms said anyone who had used its site and was concerned about a booking should contact the hotel directly.

It said: “In relation to your forthcoming booking(s), LateRooms.com acted as an agent on behalf of your accommodation supplier therefore we anticipate that your reservation is secure and your payment will be taken by the accommodation supplier either in advance (for non-refundable reservations) or at the property.

“We recommend however that you contact your accommodation supplier directly prior to travelling to confirm. You can find their contact details on your booking confirmation.

“To amend or cancel your booking you will need to contact the accommodation supplier directly.”

LateRooms crashed after its parent company Malvern Group ran out of cash before it could secure a sale.

Malvern appointed KPMG last month to seek a buyer process after Cox & Kings India, which owned a 49% stake in Malvern, defaulted on loan repayments.

The default resulted in the withdrawal of any further funding for Malvern, the company said in a statement.

Malvern was unable to secure interim funding from banks, therefore the company ran out of cash before a sale could be completed despite “interest from potential purchasers”.

The company said that LateRooms, business client platform Superbreak and Malvern Travel Technology were unable to continue on a solvent basis and had ceased trading.

Ken McLeod, president of the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) said: “This is another significant blow for travellers in the height of the summer season as Super Break and Laterooms.com have been placed in administration. There will be holidaymakers currently on Super Break trips and who have booked trips but have yet to travel who will be affected by this. Those who have booked through a travel agent will be able to rely on their agent to assist them with the next steps. Travellers should contact their travel agent as soon as possible.

“Consumers who have booked online or directly will have to act themselves and we know from similar previous issues that getting this can be challenging for them. Sadly, it appears highly likely that all Super Break holidays which have not yet departed will be cancelled.

“If you have a booking with Laterooms.com which you booked yourself through their website, you should contact the hotel directly as soon as possible to confirm your booking. Laterooms.com was an agent acting on behalf of the accommodation suppliers and therefore your booking should be secure as LateRooms will not have take or held payment on behalf of the accommodation provider. You should be able to pay your hotel directly.”

“This is the second major blow for Scottish travellers in 48 hours, coming on the back of the news that BA pilots may strike in the coming month. It demonstrates once more that, for peace of mind and assistance on hand when you truly need it, booking via a professional travel agent is the informed and sensible choice.”

Aashna Shroff, personal finance editor at money.co.uk, said: “This year is rapidly turning into the summer from hell for British holidaymakers, and the torrent of bad news keeps coming.

“A perfect storm of airline and airport strikes, a volatile pound and travel companies going bust is not the ideal recipe for a relaxing break.

“Brits face long queues at the airports, potentially higher costs while away, and now many will be worried that they won’t be going away at all.

“The best thing consumers can do now is to contact their travel providers and to look at the ABTA website for advice as they are doing their best to keep travellers updated on developments.” 




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