BRITS are being forced to pay for their holidays again and are even being locked out of hotel rooms due to a huge tour operator going under.

Earlier this week, tour operator FTI – one of the biggest in Europe – went bust, despite a recent investment of €125million.

Brit holidaymakers are being told to pay thousands – or get kicked out hotels they’ve already paid for
Guests at resorts such as Labranda Targa Aquapark in Morocco said they were being banned from their rooms until they paidCredit: Trip Advisor

Whilst the company is based in Germany, it has had a knock-on effect for British travellers, primarily those who have holidays booked with loveholidays.

This is because of UK travel agents such as loveholidays have been using UK-based bed bank – an FTI subsidiary – to book holidays.

FTI owns around 50 resorts in eight countries, including Labranda, Design Plus and Kairaba hotels.

And has confirmed that all bookings up to June 14 have been cancelled, extended from June 11.

It said the “unprecedented” situation was “challenging” but was “diligently working to keep all partners informed”.

And fuming holidaymakers have been forced to shell out thousands when staying at its hotels – despite having already paid.

Many have taken to social media to complain.

One wrote: “Currently part of a group of 30 people in my hotel. We’re all being told we will be asked to leave unless we pay £1,000 of our own money to stay.

“They’re now blocking our key cards and not allowing us access to our room/belongings until we ‘pay our bill’.”

Also in Morocco, a holidaymaker said: “We are stuck in Morocco at Labranda Targa Aquapark and are being forced to pay money to stay and are withholding customers belongings.”

Why it’s important to buy travel insurance when booking a holiday

Another person said: “We’ve just been told to pay the full amount of the holiday to the reception desk when we’ve already paid loveholiday the full amount?”

Someone else complained: “Loveholidays still haven’t contacted anyone from our hotel in regards to our hotel threatening to kick us out due to Meeting Point not paying our invoices. Absolutely shocking.”

One holidaymaker wrote: “I’m on holiday and have to pay £200 every night to stay in an all-inclusive hotel that I have already paid over £1.5k.”

A man in Turkey said he was “absolutely raging,” adding: “I did receive an email yesterday… Was assured it would be ok. Just had to pay another £1,700. Holiday was already paid in full!”

A loveholidays spokesperson told Sun Online Travel: “We are very sorry to hear of the insolvency of the FTI Group, the parent company of our accommodation and transfer partners and Meeting Point.

They’re blocking our key cards and not allowing us access to our room/belongings

“Only a small portion of our customers are affected by this news and we’re working hard to ensure there is no disruption to their holidays.

“This is a fast-moving situation, so we will remain in touch with affected customers as the situation progresses and are very sorry for the inconvenience.”

They have since added: “We are aware that a small number of hotels are asking our customers to pay for their rooms again.

“Loveholidays is absolutely committed to covering these costs and we are working with affected customers, and the hotels involved, to make sure this happens.”

Loveholidays are ATOL-protected which means anyone being forced to pay extra for their holidays will be refunded.

Its website states: “As long as you book at least a flight and hotel package, every part of your holiday package is financially protected by the ATOL scheme.”

The FTI group previously said it was working on ensuring trips that had already started would be “completed as planned”.

But trips that hadn’t started since June 4 would “no longer be possible or only partially be possible”.

How does the collapse of FTI affect tourists?

The Sun’s Head of Travel Lisa Minot has explained what this means for British holidaymakers.

“THE collapse of Germany’s third largest tour operator may not seem at first to be something that would concern British holidaymakers.

“But the group’s many subsidiaries included a UK-based bed bank called – this company would have been used by travel agents in the UK like to package up holidays.

“Called dynamic packaging, the travel agents would pair accommodation from with flights.

“Any dynamic package would need to have ATOL protection as the travel agent is selling you flights and one other element, in this case, hotels.

“So while holidays are protected and travellers impacted will be able to make a claim, the situation is currently in limbo as not all parts of the FTI company have filed for bankruptcy.

“Many UK holidaymakers will also have no idea that their trips are impacted as the travel agents like Loveholidays would have packaged up hotel rooms with flights.

“Also concerning is the future of MP Hotels – also part of the FTI group – as if they are forced to close as part of the insolvency proceedings the holidays of many thousands more could be impacted.

“For all those impacted, the situation could be serious as finding alternative hotel accommodation at this busy time of year is going to be a challenge.

“UK holidaymakers should make sure to have very good travel insurance and check the ATOL certificate that they should get by law when they buy a package holiday with a tour operator or travel agent.

Across Cyprus, as many as 30,000 hotel bookings could be affected, according to Filokipros Rousounides, the general manager of the hoteliers association.

It also affects around 30 resorts across the Canary Islands, local media reports, including 14 in Fuerteventura, 11 in Gran Canaria, three in Tenerife and four in Lanzarote.

Holidaymakers who booked with loveholidays will be ATOL protected

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