Vantage appears in bankruptcy court, says it owes customers $80 million

Luxury travel company Vantage Travel Services appeared in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Wednesday after admitting in court documents it owes customers $80 million for future trips.

The company vantage-files-bankruptcy-agrees-sell-united-travel-pte-ltd/BHV7XX47JVA5TJWCZAQG6LBXLM/” data-ylk=”slk:filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week;elm:context_link;itc:0″ class=”link “filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week and announced it is under an agreement to sell its assets to United Travel Pte. Ltd., an affiliate of Nordic Hamburg and Heritage Expeditions. The deal still needs to be approved by a judge.

In court filings, Vantage attorneys said the company has no cash and terminated all but five of its employees on June 20. The company estimates it owes between 10,000 and 25,000 creditors and has liabilities between $100 million and $500 million, according to court documents.

“As was the case throughout the travel industry, COVID-19 had a substantial impact on the Debtor’s operations,” a Vantage attorney said in a motion filed on June 29.

Vantage has been under fire for months after hundreds of consumers complained about a lack of refunds for cancelled or postponed trips. The Mass. Attorney General’s Office said it has received at least 1,120 consumer complaints against Vantage since January 1, 2020.

“Right now, our

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Vantage files for bankruptcy, Singapore travel company to purchase its assets

“Vantage has sought customary relief from the court to preserve the status quo pending completion of the sale,” said the statement released by the law firm Casner & Edwards LLP.

“Vantage has sought approval to complete the sale promptly, subject to any higher and better offers that may be submitted through the court supervised sale process,” the statement said.

Vantage, founded by Hank Lewis, has been a travel mainstay in Boston for 40 years. In recent years, it has come under fierce and sustained criticism from customers for years-long delays in refunds for canceled trips, some dating back to the beginning of the pandemic.

In April, Vantage customers began publicly complaining about last-minute cancellations of long-planned — and paid for — trips.

Last week, the company laid off an unspecified number of employees, weeks after the company said it was negotiating a sale, according to interviews with multiple laid-off employees and a copy of an internal e-mail.

The statement did not address what the bankruptcy filing and sale of its assets would mean for customers who are owed refunds for canceled trips, and company officials did not immediately respond to a request for comments.

Vantage could owe customers

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