Dublin woman forced to pay out extra €900 to travel for 21st birthday holiday
A Dublin woman was forced to pay out nearly €900 extra to travel to Tenerife today - despite already paying bust online travel agent Lowcostholidays for her birthday getaway.
Ciara Cashell, from Finglas, had just marked her 21st birthday on Sunday when she realised her dream holiday with her partner Declan Kenny was in chaos after the travel company went bust - affecting the plans of more than 15,000 holidaymakers.
The Dubliner was left fuming after hearing the news and spent all day Sunday trying to contact her accommodation provider in the Canary Islands.
Ciara eventually spoke to a manager in the Spanish apartment complex, who informed her that she would need to pay the total cost again.
Speaking to the Herald as she packed her suitcase last night, Ciara said: "The apartment company said that I have to pay out €850, even though I already paid Lowcostholidays €765 for the apartment.
"I know people who have been forced to pay an extra €300 as well as double paying. It was either pay them again or I don't go away and lose the money and lose the flights.
"I have to use the money that I got for my 21st birthday. I was lucky that I have that money and help from my family."
Like most passengers Ciara's flights with Aer Lingus are confirmed and will not cost extra.
Ciara said the shocking treatment by the company and forking out extra money has put a dampener on her holiday plans.
"I only found out two days before I was going that my apartment was cancelled.
"It was just a hassle trying to look up new apartments. It really took the fun out of the holiday. It was part of my present for my 21st birthday and it was my first holiday with my boyfriend.
"I was so looking forward to it."
Meanwhile, holidaymakers are being urged to make a claim to the Commission for Aviation to see if they can recoup any money they lost.
The commission's director of legal affairs David Hodnett last night said that passengers who are already abroad can also make a claim, but they must keep all receipts and any statements.