Customers left high and dry as chopper firm gets the chop

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AN EDINBURGH helicopter tour company has gone into administration, leaving some customers short changed.

Lothian Helicopters yesterday announced that they had shut down after 20 years’ providing tours of the city’s skyline.

The company’s website now only shows a message that states:

“Please note Lothian Helicopters has gone into administration with effect from 11 May 2011.”

Customers are being advised to contact their credit card companies for a refund for their flight vouchers in an answer phone message on the company’s reservation line.

But customers who have paid with their debit cards are being left out of pocket as they are not insured in the same way as credit cards.

Michele Millar, 47, booked her trip for 472 in April and was

“shocked’ to discover the firm has ceased to operate.

As she booked with her debit card she is now angry to have spent money on a trip her family will never get to enjoy.

She said:

“I bought the flights for my husband’s 60th birthday and for my son and had it all booked in April.

“But when I got the boarding passes they had the wrong dates on them so I’d been trying to contact Lothian Helicopters to get them changed.

“But instead of speaking to anyone there has been an automated answering machine message saying to contact my bank or credit card company because they have gone into administration. I have been speaking with them right up until last week so this has come right out of the blue.

“I’m quite angry about all this because they would have known the trouble they were in when I booked. “

The tour company was set up by Captain Iain Grindlay in 1990 who was both the lead pilot and company chief executive.

Tours left from helipads in Ingliston and Whitehill, in Dalkeith.

A posting on aviation website AVBuyer.com indicates Lothian Helicopters advertising a 430,000 Bell Helicopter 206-L1 for sale since April 12.

No one from Lothian Helicopters was available for comment at the time of going to press.

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