Bed banks are struggling to rebook Lowcost Travel Group clients because they are not able to access data from the company about who made the original booking.
Because Lowcost sold its inventory to many other bed banks, as well as buying from rivals, the company that has the reservation with the hotel is far from clear.
The challenge of unravelling the complex web of interrelationships with Lowcost’s trade partners is being hampered by the administrator not being able to provide a definitive list of clients.
Paul Riches, chief sales officer of YouTravel, who was made redundant by Lowcost last year, said:
“We have the bookings confirmed with the hotel and we could re-protect them at similar prices if we knew which are our customers. The problem is no one is talking to us.”
Riches said the situation leaves customers with no option but to contact the hotel direct which means they could be facing much higher rebooking costs.
He said there may be issues to do with data protection, but Travel Weekly has learned the UK administrator is still not able to access information from Lowcost’s overseas divisions.
The Swiss-based bed bank of Lowcost Travel Group, Lowcost Beds, had yet to be placed in insolvency yesterday, complicating attempts to unravel the failed group’s B2B business.
Lowcost Travel Group ceased trading on July 15 and is in the hands of joint administrators Smith and Williamson and CMB Partners UK.
But the structure of the group, with its travel agency business registered in Mallorca and its bed bank registered in Switzerland, have slowed the formal process of placing the subsidiaries in insolvency.
Joint administrator Finbarr O’Connell of Smith and Williamson said yesterday that the process of appointing insolvency practitioners in Spain and Switzerland could take another week.
Until then the administrators would be unable to clarify the details of Lowcost Travel’s B2B bookings, said O’Connell, saying: “We should have details over the next week or so.”
The joint administrators are being advised on travel insolvency issues by legal firm Cassowary as well as by international law firm Nabarro LLP.
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