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Kent travel company James Villa Holidays makes generous offer to stranded Kennedy family who tried to rent villa in Majorca

By Mary Graham

By Alex Jee

A travel firm has come to the rescue of a family who fell victim to a scam which saw them stranded in Majorca with no money.

Maidstone dad-of-five Angus Kennedy paid £5,000 for a dream holiday which never existed.

His worst fears where confirmed when the family of seven turned up only to be told by the home's German owner he never rented it out.

Angus Kennedy and his family outside the villa they expected to be renting. (8834300)
Angus Kennedy and his family outside the villa they expected to be renting. (8834300)

The Kennedy family then had to use their remaining funds to pay for a second property so they could try and enjoy their stay.

Mr Kennedy, a professional chocolate taster and author started to realise something was wrong when his booked airport transfer was nowhere to be seen.

The dad, of London Road, Maidstone, was left stranded with his family at the luxurious seven-bedroom villa, but the owner took pity on the group, allowing them to stay a night.

Now James Villa Holidays, a Maidstone-based travel company, has made contact with Mr Kennedy after seeing the story on KentOnline this morning, offering the family a free villa for their summer holidays.

Mr Kennedy said: "It's amazing, we are so happy.

"I can't thank them enough."

Angus Kennedy of Maidstone is a well-known chocolate taster and author.
Angus Kennedy of Maidstone is a well-known chocolate taster and author.

Danielle Cheney, marketing communications manager for James Villa Holidays, said: “As a Maidstone-based business we spotted the article about Angus and his family’s situation in Majorca and wanted to extend an offer to help.

"We hear all too often about fraudulent holidays and understand how upsetting and stressful it can be when holidaymakers find themselves in these situations so wanted to help in any way we could.

"Our advice to anyone looking to book a holiday would be to check the travel company is a member of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) or ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence).

"ABTA and ATOL protection means that you’re covered if there’s an issue with your travel provider, protecting the money you’ve spent on your getaway whether you are yet to depart or are already abroad.

"But beware as fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated. Their slick websites might even include the ABTA or ATOL logos, making it look like the real deal. So if anything seems suspicious, simply get in touch with ABTA or ATOL.

"Checking the provider you are booking with is a genuine member will put your mind at ease – all you need is the ABTA or ATOL number they’re advertising."

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