Thousands of sunseekers were trying to salvage something from the wreck of their summer holiday today after the collapse of tour operator Holidays 4U.
Flights from seven UK airports today would normally have carried Holidays 4U customers to the Turkish resorts of Dalaman and Bodrum.
But with the Brighton-based, Turkish-specialist company in administration, all these clients have had their holidays cancelled and were left trying to get last-minute alternative trips.
There are around 50,000 people with forward bookings with the company as well as around 13,000 people already on breaks abroad in Turkey.
As Holidays 4U operations were protected by the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (Atol) scheme run by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), those with forward bookings can seek refunds from the CAA.
Those abroad can carry on with their holidays before being flown home as scheduled.
A CAA spokeswoman said: “Following discussions with our Atol team and Onur Air (the Turkish airline used by Holidays 4U), the airline has said it will fly home Holidays 4U clients as normal over the next week to 10 days.”
She went on: “Those who were due to leave for Turkey should be aware that there are some good holiday deals around as they long as they are prepared to be flexible.
“We are advising those who booked through a travel agent to return to that agent and see what’s on offer.”
Holiday booking websites were today trying to lure customers caught up in the collapse. Those searching for Holidays 4U online found themselves directed to various sites offering last-minute deals.
A reception desk was set up at Birmingham Airport to advise Holidays 4U customers, but none of those booked on the company’s cancelled flight to Dalaman attended the airport.
Find out more on the CAA’s website.
• Thomas Cook, Co-op Travel merger
• Most popular US places for UK travellers
• TripAdvisor announces world’s best beaches
• The best flight comparison websites
• Skyscanner stats show top 2010 destinations