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Lowcostholidays family fury as holiday cancelled by text

By Cate McCurry

Published 19/07/2016

Stuart Briers from Rathcoole and his fiancee Emma Boyd
Stuart Briers from Rathcoole and his fiancee Emma Boyd

A family was left "sickened" after their dream holiday was cancelled via text message.

Janice Turkington booked a two-week trip to Menorca on the Balearic Islands through online firm Lowcostholidays and was due to travel next week.

But the company collapsed on Friday, leaving tens of thousands of holidaymakers stranded and more than 110,000 travellers with nowhere to go.

Janice, from Belfast, forked out more than £3,500 for her holiday with her family when she booked it two months ago.

She said she was disgusted at how the company had treated her family of four.

"I was at home on Saturday and I got a text message from someone called Hoopa," she explained.

"They said that our booking was cancelled, but it was all abbreviated and it didn't make sense to me. We actually thought that it was spam.

"I checked my husband's email and he also had the same and then it snowballed from there.

"We went online and saw the notice that they had gone into receivership. Their phone number was also dead.

"We have yet to be contacted by Lowcostholidays - we heard nothing from them. We were so disgusted and sickened by it all.

"It got to the point where we thought that we would book another holiday and just deal with the lost money.

"But, thankfully, PayPal got in touch and said we would get a full refund, so hopefully they will honour that."

A Newtownabbey man and his fiancee also lost more than £700 and had to pay twice to save their summer holiday to Portugal because of the firm's collapse.

Stuart Briers, from Rathcoole, and Emma Boyd found out on Friday that the company had gone into liquidation.

"I felt sickened when I found out," Stuart said. "The company had been Atol-protected until a few years ago, when it moved out to Spain.

"We have lost our money because I paid originally by debit card when I made the booking in March. There seems to be no real way to get the money back."

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