A GROUP of Greenhead students have become victims of the Goldtrail holiday firm collapse.
But the youngsters who were due to jet off to Greece tomorrow have reacted quickly and most of them will now set off to Majorca tonight.
Sadly not all the 13 girls who have just finished their A Levels at the college will be able to go as they will not get a refund of their Goldtrail cash for some time.
Around 16,000 Britons were abroad when the Turkey and Greece specialist went into administration on Friday afternoon, while a further 2,000 were scheduled to fly from the UK over the weekend .
The vast majority of Goldtrail customers who were on holiday when the tour operator collapsed should be back in the UK by tonight, the Civil Aviation Authority said yesterday.
As the school holiday season gets underway, it is estimated 50,000 people who booked to travel with Goldtrail could be affected over the summer months.
One of the Greenhead students left disappointed was Lily Hiles from Elland.
She said: “A friend rang me on Saturday morning to tell me what had happened and a few of us went straight down to the Co-operative Travel in Huddersfield town centre where we booked the holiday.
“They were really helpful and organised another holiday for us. They assured us we would get our money back, but it could take up to six months.
“Three of those who were going to go with us can’t now afford and there have been tears.”
The group had been due to fly to Malia in Crete tomorrow, but instead 10 of them will now jet out to Majorca tonight.
Authorities have reassured holidaymakers they could claim back money lost on bookings while alternative flights were available through the Air Travel Organiser’s Licensing (Atol) scheme.
Under the scheme, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it had stepped in to protect customers by arranging to fly tourists home at the end of their holiday.
Claims can also be submitted to the aviation regulator for Goldtrail trips already booked while travel agents should be able to help people arrange alternative flights and accommodation.
A spokesman for the CAA said: “Everybody is coming home on the flights they were supposed to anyway.’’
Goldtrail, based in New Malden, Surrey, was described as a medium-sized independent operator which had been providing low-cost holidays for more than a decade.
The CAA spokesman said the claims process should be quicker and more straightforward than in the case of XL, a much larger company which collapsed in 2008.
“XL had hundreds of thousands of people whose claims we had to process,” he said. “There were complicated legal issues before we could start processing payments and some people did not submit their paperwork until a year later.
“Goldtrail is the kind of failure we are used to.
“It’s not a problem. The travel industry is a volatile industry and that’s why we have the Atol scheme.”
Abta spokesman Sean Tipton said: “If people’s summer holidays have been cancelled they would need to rebook their arrangements.
“But there is still some availability in Greece and Turkey.
“If people booked through an Abta travel agent they will probably be looking into that already.”
Rochelle Turner from Which? Holiday said: “This is more bad news for British tourists, just when we thought the travel industry was back on its feet following the volcanic ash disruption.”
Passengers with bookings are advised to contact their travel agent in the first instance.
They can also telephone the CAA helpline on 0844 856 2585.