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Scottish holidaymakers hit by Goldtrail collapse

About 180 holidaymakers were left stranded at Glasgow Airport on Friday night after a tour operator collapsed.

They had already checked in for a flight to Turkey before being told that operator Goldtrail had gone into administration.

The passengers had been due to travel to the resort of Bodrum at 2045 BST, almost five hours after Goldtrail collapsed.

But their flight was not cancelled until the early hours of Saturday.

Greece and Turkey specialist Goldtrail, based in New Malden, south-west London, went into administration with an estimated 16,000 customers overseas.

It is not known how many of those holidaymakers are Scots.

Glasgow couple Mark McLay and Joanna Farnan said passengers at Glasgow Airport should have been told earlier about the tour operator's collapse.

"It is pretty ridiculous that it went into administration at 4pm and we arrived at 6pm and weren't told," said Ms Farnan.

Mr McLay said he felt sorry for families forced to wait at the airport for several hours.

"It is really just a shame for the families - parents trying to explain to their kids why they were picking their bags up again," he added.

A second charter flight for Turkey, due to leave at 0930 BST on Saturday, was also cancelled.

A handful of Goldtrail customers who were booked to fly to Dalyan and Bodrum with the Turkish airline Onur Air on Saturday were also forced to make alternative arrangements.

Image caption The holidaymakers were due to fly out to the Turkish resort of Bodrum

A Glasgow Airport spokesman said that Goldtrail was "a small player in Scotland".

He added: "Turkey is very well served from Scotland and there are lots of holiday companies that can step in."

Travel agents Barrhead Travel opened earlier than usual to assist stranded passengers.

A queue formed outside their office in Glasgow's Oswald Street as desperate travellers sought to book new holidays.

Barrhead Travel founder Bill Munro said Goldtrail's collapse was "an accident waiting to happen".

He said he had long-standing misgivings about the firm.

Mr Munro said: "We didn't sell their holidays unless someone came in and said 'sell me a holiday with Goldtrail to Turkey'.

"We couldn't not sell them but we didn't promote them."

An Edinburgh Airport spokeswoman said Goldtrail used Onur Air and Turkuaz Airlines to transport customers to Turkey, with flights due out on Tuesday and Thursday.

But she was unable to confirm if customers of the collapsed firm were booked on to these flights.

Aberdeen Airport and Glasgow Prestwick Airport said their passengers were unaffected by the tour operator's collapse.

Authorities sought to reassure holidaymakers they could claim back money lost on bookings.

The Civil Aviation Authority said it was making arrangements to fly customers home at the end of their holiday under its ATOL (Air Travel Organiser's Licensing) scheme.

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