Image: Gloucestershire Media
A group of holidaymakers have been left £22,000 out of pocket after discovering they had made a bogus holiday booking.
Reverend Canon Marilyn Sharland, from Gloucester, booked a once-in-a-lifetime holiday to Russia with 10 friends and family, costing a total of more than £20,000.
Reports on local news site This Is Gloucester they were due to leave on Saturday, but just one week before the departure date, they received an e-mail from travel company Russian Gateway UK Ltd telling them they had to re-book for another date because the weather was bad in Russia.
When the group refused, it transpired that the company had no operating licence and had made no bookings for the group.
Speaking to This Is Gloucester, Marilyn said:
'We feel very let down
'For one year we have been looking forward to it and then suddenly - crash.'
The group thought their holiday a 14-day tour, including visits to Moscow, St Petersburg and a river cruise.
They are now considering legal action against the company.
Marilyn said they phoned airline British Airways to confirm their flight and discovered there was no booking in their name.
Since then, they have been unable to get in touch with Russian Gateway.
AOL Travel has contacted Russian Gateway UK Ltd but no one was available for comment.
Warwickshire County Council's Trading Standards are investigating the incident and the Civil Aviation Authority is also looking into the case.