What an awful weekend this is going to be for more British tourists as another airline hits financial turbulence.

Many holiday-makers trips to and from Greece and Turkey, where the airline specialised, are now ruined. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is now working out how to get the approximately 16,000 stranded tourists back home.

As a medium sized budget operation Goldtrail had about 150,000 customers and some 2,000 were meant to be travelling with them this weekend. Nearly another 50,000 will be left to either forego travel plans or stump up more cash and rearrange with another provider.

One passenger, Mark McLay recounted to the Guardian how they learned about this over the tannoy at the airport, were escorted from the building then ordered to hand back any duty free goods they had bought.

Hotels using the company have been told they will not get paid and should get it off the tourists they have staying with them.

Coming so soon after the Icelandic volcanic ash saga and Bas industrial disputes it adds further woes to the airline industry.

This also reinforces how important it is for people to have proper insurance protection against this sort of occurrence and use an ATOL (Air Travel Operators’ Licencing) covered operator. But now one would expect the cost of travel insurance to rise further.

According to the CAA Goldtrail is ATOL protected – from their web-site “The failed tour operator Goldtrail Travel Ltd, trading as Goldtrail Holidays, Goldtrail Travel and Sunmar, held ATOL licence 4684 and was based in New Malden, Surrey. It operated flights and holiday packages from many UK airports to Turkey and Greece. It sold mainly through travel agents. The CAA, under its ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licensing) scheme, is making arrangements for customers abroad to travel home at the end of their holidays.”

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