I see that the cheapie holiday company Goldtrail has gone into administration leaving thousands stranded in Greece and Turkey in the news today. I have to say that news does not surprise me in the least. Our recent holiday to Kos was booked via an online travel agent, flights chosen months in advance to get a good price. At the last minute we were told that the flights had changed, we were no long going with Monarch, switched to Viking at some ridiculous hour of the night instead of a reasonable day-time flight. Thank goodness we only booked the flight through the travel agents. I had no idea we were booking with this company Goldtrail until we started to complain about the switch and inconvenience. We were told it was Goldtrail. Who the hell are they, we asked. Sounds like a complete cowboy outfit, ten gallon hat an’ all, y’all.
BBC Watchdog did a piece about this company, who’ve been in business since 2007 (but the company was incorporated in 1995). Its not possible to get more detailed information unless you want to pay for a report. Sounds like lots of people reported sub-standard accommodation, even being sued by 9 customers who caught Legionnaires disease while in Turkey and a further 200 suing for other damages. In 2009 Goldtrail was fined £11,000 pounds by ABTA (a mere drop in the ocean) but still allowed to remain members. Just how bad does a company have to be to be thrown out of ABTA?
I feel very sorry for all those who booked with this company, but where has all the money (a £35 million pound business) gone? Into the pockets of the Directors, no doubt who have skipped off and will no doubt open a new travel company without any restrictions since ABTA and ATOL will compensate their customers, even though it probably means they won’t get their money back any time soon and any re-booking of holidays yet to be taken will probably cost a lot more.
I imagine the name, Goldtrail, was dreamed up as the owners obviously thought that a dubious holiday company was a good source of gold trailing into their bank accounts by unsuspecting holiday-makers. We’d already made our minds up we were NEVER going near this company again, now at least we don’t have to. But be cautious about who you do book a holiday with in the future.