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Brit holidaymaker furious after hotel staff told her she must 'pay again or get locked out'

Brit holidaymaker furious after hotel staff told her she must 'pay again or get locked out'

Nicola Bartholomew explained she was given an ultimatum by hotel staff

Holidaymakers have hit the roof this week after being informed that they would have to pay extra to secure their hotel room... midway through their stay.

Nicola Bartholomew, 46, is one of the furious tourists who's trips have been derailed before they barely even started.

The Brit had been looking forward to her stay at the Labranda Targa Club Aqua Parc near Marrakech, Morocco, for weeks, but it all went awry less than 24 hours after she had checked in on 2 June.

She explained that after returning to her hotel room, she found that letters had been slid under the door which instructed all guests to head down to reception - which resembled more of a royal rumble than a welcome desk.

Nicola, from Guildford, Surrey, claimed that the four-star hotel was demanding that she needed to stump up an extra £300 to keep her hotel room until her departure date... even though she'd already paid for it.

It turned out that the fact that tour operator FTI Group filed for insolvency really had quite a knock-on effect on holidays.

Nicola Bartholomew, 46, was told she had to fork out another £300 to retain her hotel room. (SWNS)
Nicola Bartholomew, 46, was told she had to fork out another £300 to retain her hotel room. (SWNS)

Loads of people like Nicola booked their travels through loveholidays and low and behold, two of their major suppliers - Youtravel and Meeting Point - are subsidiaries of FTI Group, which is Europe's third largest tour operator.

Describing the chaotic scenes that unfolded in the hotel lobby, Nicola said there were 'around 100' people left loitering in reception without food or drink, who were all given the same ultimatum.

Travellers say staff simply said they had to pay again, or risk being 'locked out'.

Nicola sighed: "It was absolutely diabolical. They wanted loveholidays to confirm they would get the money."

The mother-of-four and grandmother-of-nine explained that she had travelled to Marrakech with her carer and her carer's five-year-old son.

Nicola, who arrived home on Sunday (9 June), claims there was no loveholidays representative on hand to help people and the one single media relations representative was simply run ragged from dealing with everyone's requests.

Annie Cox, 24, recounted a similar distressing experience at the same hotel with a friend on Tuesday (11 June) after booking through loveholidays with a pal.

The Brit said holidaymakers were left stranded in the hotel lobby. (SWNS)
The Brit said holidaymakers were left stranded in the hotel lobby. (SWNS)

"They let us check in and then they kicked us out our room, cut our wristbands off and left us to rot in reception for seven hours," the project management graduate said, claiming that she had to pay an extra £900 to ensure their room was safe.

She explained that loveholidays have told her she will be eligible for a refund, but she isn't holding her breath.

"There is no chance that money is getting back to me," Annie said.

A spokesperson for loveholidays said: "Last week the FTI Group, the parent company of one of our many suppliers, Youtravel, filed for insolvency. Only a very small portion of our customers are affected by this and we are working hard to minimise disruption to their holidays.

"We are aware that a small number of hotels have asked affected customers who are already on holiday to pay for their rooms again. We are absolutely committed to covering these costs and are working with affected customers, and the hotels involved, to make sure this happens.

"We are very sorry to hear of our customers' experience at this particular hotel and can confirm the hotel has accepted payment directly from Loveholidays."

Nicola described the situation as 'diabolical'. (SWNS)
Nicola described the situation as 'diabolical'. (SWNS)

FTI Group announced it's insolvency on 3 June, due to falling booking numbers and increased need for liquidity.

The company said in a statement: "After a lengthy and complex investor process, the entry of a consortium of investors was announced in April 2024. Since then, however, booking figures have fallen well short of expectations despite the positive news. In addition, numerous suppliers have insisted on advance payment."

"As a result, there was an increased need for liquidity, which could no longer be bridged until the closing of the investor process. The filing for insolvency has therefore become necessary for legal reasons.

"We are currently working hard to ensure that trips that have already started can be completed as planned. Trips that have not yet begun will probably no longer be possible or only partially possible from Tuesday, 4 June, 2024."

FTI Group instructed holidaymakers with concerns to visit www.fti-group.com/en/insolvency or call their support hotline at +49 (0) 89 / 710 45 14 98.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: Business, Travel, UK News, World News, Holiday