Agents rush to call Concordia passengers

Agents rush to call Concordia passengers

Barrhead Travel and Iglu.com both had British couples on board Costa Concordia when it ran aground off the coast of Italy on Friday night.

Bill Munro, founder of Barrhead Travel, said the Scottish agency had contacted the couple on their mobile phone two hours after the incident on Friday evening and had been in touch every day since.

The couple, who escaped in a police lifeboat, were two of the last to leave the ship because they went back for their luggage.

Munro said: “We offered to fly them back but arrangements had already been made. We’re keeping in touch with them and letting them know we’ll help them in any way possible. We’re delighted that they’re OK and safe, and managed to get their belongings.”

Richard Downs, chief executive of Iglu.com, the online ski and cruise agency, said he was relieved after hearing from the Foreign & Common­wealth Office that his clients were safe and well.

Downs, who has left phone and email messages of support for Iglu’s two customers who were on board the ship, said: “It’s a tragedy, but it’s fantastic they’re both alive. We’ve let them know there’s an arm to squeeze here when they need us and we will guide them through the next step.”

There were 37 Britons on board Costa Concordia – 25 passengers and 12 crew members – and all were safely accounted for. British consular staff were sent to the scene of the disaster to help arrange repatriation.

Costa Cruises is not heavily sold through the UK trade, having closed its UK office in April 2010 and moved its UK sales function to its head office in Genoa.

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