Angry holidaymakers are left stranded after returning home to find parking firm had ceased trading

The keys to hundreds of holidaymakers’ cars were dumped in a hold-all at Bournemouth Airport by a parking firm as it ceased trading without warning. 

They were abandoned on a desk by a man who ‘immediately left’ after the off-site BOMO Parking Services wound up, causing chaos for returning tourists.

Travel-weary families were bewildered when, after a long flight home, they were greeted by airport officials who said security staff would drive them to their cars.

The company had assured its customers: ‘Don’t worry we’ll look after your motor while you’re away.’

But at least one group of friends discovered their keys had gone missing. Lisa Russell, from Southampton, returned from a holiday in Malaga with her husband Michael and friends Charlotte and Aidan Thorn early yesterday morning to find there was no trace of her car key.

Lisa Russell (pictured) returned to find that there was no trace of her key at Bournemouth Airport

‘We have had no warning and no message from the company explaining what’s happened,’ she said. ‘We used them once before and had absolutely no problem and even when we were leaving they were very friendly – there was no worry about anything going wrong.

‘But to come back and find that your keys have been lost and you can’t get home is really upsetting.

‘It’s just such a shame that we’ve had a wonderful holiday and then this happens as soon as we come back.

‘The airport staff have been really helpful, it’s not their fault in the slightest that this has happened.’

The keys to 300 vehicles, heaped in a hold-all, were plonked on the information desk by a man who ‘left immediately’ said the airport’s boss.

The airport faced the task of trying to match up the keys with families getting off flights and walking into the arrivals area.

But many keys are still sitting there – they belong to people who are still away on holiday, who will be reading reports of the chaos online in their hotels and villas, wondering if their car will be there when they get home.

The BOMO Parking Services company said in a statement on its website says: ‘BOMO Parking Services has ceased trading with immediate effect.

Lisa Russell (pictured ) described the situation as 'really upsetting' after returning to the airport and finding she couldn't get home 

Lisa Russell (pictured ) described the situation as ‘really upsetting’ after returning to the airport and finding she couldn’t get home 

‘All vehicle keys have been hand delivered to Bournemouth Airport information desk for customers to collect on their return from holiday. 

‘All future car park bookings have been cancelled with immediate effect. BOMO Parking Services has been the target of a sustained attack online and offline by a known individual, which has had a catastrophic effect on the trading position, causing closure.’

Last month several cars parked at the firm’s compound next door to the Adventure Wonderland theme park in Merritown Lane were targeted by vandals with damage cause estimated to be in the thousands of pounds.

The company’s director, John Smith, said that he ‘feared’ for his employees’ safety after the attacks.

In yesterday’s chaos, Lee Skinley, who had returned from a holiday in Spain with his family. was taken to his car by a security employee at the airport.

He said: ‘It’s shocking. We have had no information from BOMO and arrived back here to be told that they have stopped trading today.

‘We’ve still got to drive back to home Weymouth so having these issues causing more delays is very annoying.’

Anne Rafferty, who had gone on holiday in Spain, said: ‘This was the first time I’d flown from Bournemouth and everything went really smoothly going out.

‘Everyone we dealt with from the company was really friendly and helpful – we had no idea they were in any sort of trouble.’

Another tourist, Mike Shaw, said: ‘Thankfully the airport staff have been really great trying to sort out collecting our car and have been so helpful. No thanks to BOMO, who have really left us stranded.’

In a bid to ease the chaos, the airport waived fees for using the drop-off car park.

The airport’s managing director, Paul Knight, said yesterday: ‘Earlier this morning a representative, purportedly from BOMO Parking Services, an independent business which provided off-site parking and is not related to the airport, deposited a hold-all at the airport information desk and left immediately.

‘The bag contained a large number of keys. Our staff are proactively assisting affected passengers by ferrying them from the airport to collect their cars from the site.

‘A number of passengers have already been assisted back to their cars this morning, with this number likely to increase significantly throughout the day and coming weeks.

‘Given the circumstances, we are waiving drop-off charges if they need to return to the airport to collect fellow passengers or visitors.

‘We have 2,300 secure car parking spaces at the airport, with CCTV and patrols, and can accommodate extra bookings from customers who may have booked with BOMO Parking Services over the summer.’

Messages have been posted around the airport with announcements to make people aware after the arrival of flights.

A spokesman for the airport added that the keys had now been sorted into arrival dates to ‘minimise disruption’.

The owner of the land on which BOMO Parking Services has been based insisted that customers of the firm will be able to access their vehicles.

The land off Merritown Lane is a part of Merritown Farm which is run by Russell Lucas-Rowe, the owner of Adventure Wonderland theme park.

In a statement he said the theme park was not connected to BOMO Parking Services, which had operated ‘entirely independently under a wholly different ownership’.

He added that his company would take all steps to ensure that people returning from flights whose cars have been parked on the site by BOMO would be able to access their vehicles.