A RIAT fan was not allowed to change his accommodation in the Swindon area - even though the B&B closed after he booked a room.

In January, Rob Parry paid for himself and a friend to stay at The Plough Inn in Highworth for a few days so that they could attend the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford.

A week before their visit, the pair tried to contact the Lechlade Road venue but received no response, then discovered that it had closed permanently in March.

After flagging this with Booking.com and asking for a refund along with assistance in finding a new place to stay, they were told that this would not be possible.

Speaking earlier this week, Rob, from Llangollen near Wrexham, said: "Even though they have tried both email and phone themselves, Booking.com insist that we should just turn up on Thursday night and, if it’s closed, ring them up and they will try and find alternative accommodation.

"After more than six hours of travelling, this doesn’t seem like a workable option to us.

"Unless we turn up on the day we will lose our full payment, but we’re more concerned about getting a good night's rest before travelling to RIAT early the next morning.

"What worries me is the other people who may have booked months ago will not be aware of its current closure.

"We only found out by accident as we tried to contact the pub directly to see if we could add another person to our booking. Otherwise, we would never have known of the problem until we turned up on Thursday night.

"I’m concerned that others may do the same. 

"It’s ridiculous that with all the information currently available, Booking.com are so determined that we honour our reservation. Pretty poor customer relations I’d say."

The company issued an apology and refund to Rob after the Adver got in touch.

A Booking.com spokesman said: "Accommodation providers are solely responsible for making sure their availability and information are up to date on Booking.com with our support if necessary.

"In this particular instance, unfortunately, the property has not informed us of any intention to close their business, so we have removed them from our site while we investigate to avoid further bookings.

"We appreciate that this was a confusing situation for our mutual customer, so to apologise for this experience, we have opted to refund them in full along with the additional costs they incurred for the new property."