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XL LEISURE GROUP - Information for travellers


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12.09.08

 

XL Leisure Group PLC. incorporating XL Airways UK Limited, Excel Aviation Limited, Explorer House Limited, Aspire Holidays Limited, Freedom Flights Limited, Freedom Flights (Aviation) Limited, The Really Great Holiday Company PLC, Medlife Hotels Limited, Travel City Flights Limited, Kosmar Villa Holidays PLC – are all in Administration

 

SEE WEB ANNOUNCEMENT AT XL

 

Customers stranded abroad can call +44 2891 856 547

 

Customers worried about future bookings should call 0870 5900927

 

*************

With the company now in administration, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have taken over the logistical operations involving passengers who have already travelled or those who have booked flights or holidays protected by ATOL.

 

How many people are affected?

 

The CAA estimate 300,000 customers will be affected.

 

Approx 50,000 are currently abroad (having booked their holiday through an XL operator, 10,000 who flew with XL Airways, and 25,000 holidaying with other tour operators who shared the XL flights).

 

A further 200,000 people had booked holidays and flights for future dates.

 

What happens to me - I'm currently abroad?

 

Administrators say holidaymakers who bought package deals through XL should be able to stay in their hotel or villa and complete their holiday, and that in most cases the CAA will pay for this accommodation.

 

Customers who are charged for their hotel or for transfers to the airport have been advised to keep any receipts as they may be eligible for a refund from the CAA.

The following tour operators held Air Travel Organiser’s Licenses (ATOL) and customers that purchased air holidays and flights from them will be ATOL protected;

  • The Really Great Holiday Company PLC - ATOL 3827
    Trading as: Cruise City, Excel Holidays, The Florida Skytrain, Transatlantic Vacations, Travel City Direct and Travel City International
  • Kosmar Villa Holidays PLC - ATOL 1760
    Trading as: Kosmar Holidays
  • Freedom Flights Limited - ATOL 5296
    Trading as: Freedom Flights
  • Aspire Holidays Limited - ATOL 6536
    Trading as: Aspire Holidays

A flight will be arranged to bring you home by the CAA. You can check with your holiday representative for information about any changes to your flight arrangements, or check on the ATOL website (www.atol.org.uk). For those customers in particular distress please contact the CAA’s help line on telephone number +44 (0) 2891 856 547.

 

Customers who booked direct with XL Airways (their flight numbers begin XLA) may be able to get a seat on one of these planes, but they will be charged for their journey (this is because they are not covered by the ATOL scheme).

The CAA was not able to say how much the fee might be.

 

EasyJet has said it will fly stranded passengers back to the UK for a flat rate of £75, as long as they were due to return home before Saturday September 20. Passengers will need to provide an XL booking reference number when they arrange the flight and present their booking confirmation at the airport.

 

What happens to me - I booked my flights online?

 

If you booked with XL Airways or Medlife Hotels will not be entitled to a refund (via ATOL), as these bookings are not covered by the ATOL insurance scheme.

 

Whether they can get any kind of compensation will depend on how you paid for your holiday. Those who paid more than £100 on a credit card will be covered by section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act and will be able to get their money back from their card provider. If your card provider is a little confused and believes that the refund can only come through ATOL, tell them they are incorrect, they need to check their facts and you'd like to speak to a supervisor.

 

Those who used a Visa debit card, or paid less than £100 on a credit card, should be able to get a refund under the charge-back scheme - users of other debit cards, however, have no protection.

 

If you have travel insurance, check your policy. The majority will not be able to make a claim, as cover against airline failure does not come as standard.

 

What happens to me - I have not travelled yet?

 

All flights have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.

 

Passengers who have booked through a travel agent should contact that agent in the first instance who will be able to assist you in making a claim on ATOL.

 

If you booked directly with an XL Group company than please contact ATOL directly, they may be able to provide an alternative arrangement.

 

Unfortunately, customers who booked through xl.com or xl call centres are not ATOL protected. Consequently, you will be ineligible for a refund from ATOL in respect of your flight. See the above information regarding forms of payment.

 

 

In the event that you wish to organise your own return travel, detailed below are a list of potential alternative carriers:

  • First Choice – 0871 200 7799
  • Thomas Cook – 0870 750 0119
  • Thomson – 0871 231 5938

Further information can be obtained from the Administrator’s help line as follows:

  • From the UK – 0800 068 8991
  • From Abroad - + 44 208 242 4783

..

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Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice, you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

 

 

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More as below from here:

 

 

Collapse of XL Leisure Group

 

  • Published: Friday, 12 September 2008

dg_171739.jpg

The XL Leisure Group ceased trading as of today (12 September 2008). The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued advice and will be arranging for people currently abroad with XL Leisure Group (XLLG) UK tour operators to complete their holidays and fly home.

The CAA estimates that there are 50,000 tour operator customers of XLUK abroad, and a further 10,000 abroad with XL Airways, and 25,000 with other tour operators who shared the XL flights. A further 200,000 customers have advance bookings with the XL tour operators.

Advice to passengers

 

Passengers yet to travel

 

 

All future XLUK tour operator holidays are now cancelled and people with advance holiday bookings will not be able to travel. Outbound customers are advised not to go to their departure airport. Customers who booked with tour operators will be able to claim a full refund from ATOL. Information on how to claim is available on the Atol website

Affected tour operators

 

 

XLUK was the UK’s third largest tour operating group and included four UK tour operators:

  • The Really Great Holiday Company PLC trading as: Cruise City, Excel Holidays, The Florida Skytrain, Transatlantic Vacations
    Travel City Direct, and Travel City International.
  • Freedom Flights Limited
  • Aspire Holidays Limited
  • Kosmar Villa Holidays PLC trading as Kosmar Holidays

Passengers currently abroad

 

If you booked a package holiday with an XLUK tour operator (see list) or a flight with Freedom Flights then the Civil Aviation Authority’s ATOL scheme covers you and you will be flown home without needing to pay any money.

If you booked a package holiday or flight through another tour operator and were travelling on an XL flight then the tour operator covers you and you should be flown home without needing to pay any money. Please contact your tour operator.

If you bought only a flight from XL Airways through xl.com or a travel agent, even though you are not covered by the Civil Aviation Authority’s ATOL Scheme, the CAA will endeavour to bring you home with the minimum of delay. However, there will be a fee to cover the cost. You are not obliged to use the CAA arrangements.

Contact information for ATOL customers

 

The ATOL website has advice for people abroad and people who have booked holidays with the Group. It will be regularly updated as more information becomes available on new arrangements for inbound flights. People who have booked but are yet to start their holiday should also speak to their travel agent.

 

The CAA has set up an emergency helpline from 06.00 on 12 September. Customers are asked to check the ATOL website before telephoning because the answers they need are likely to be found there, and to call only if there is an emergency.

  • Customers abroad: +44 (0) 2891 856547
  • Customers in the UK with advance bookings: 0870 5900927.

Further information

 

XLUK tour operators flew principally from London Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham and Glasgow airports. XLUK arranged holidays in the main holiday resorts of the Mediterranean including Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, as well as the Canaries, Portugal, Malta and Egypt. It also operated long haul holidays in Florida and the Caribbean. The majority of holidays were sold through travel agents.

The CAA is working with the Group’s Administrator, Kroll, major tour operators, including Thomson, First Choice, Thomas Cook and Virgin Holidays, and airlines to ensure that UK customers currently abroad are taken care of. Arrangements will be made to pay hotels and in-resort staff to ensure that holidaymakers that booked with XLUK tour operators can complete their holidays and fly home.

Since XL Airways is no longer operating, flights to bring people home will be made with other airlines. The CAA plans to operate these flights as close as possible to the original schedule and we ask customers to be patient while these arrangements are being made.

People who have made advance payments will be able to claim refunds. The CAA advises customers to see their travel agent and ask whether their booking can be transferred to another holiday. Travel agents and customers will be able to download claim forms from the ATOL website.

XL Airways

 

The Group’s UK airline, XL Airways (XLA), also sold seats direct to the public. People who booked with the airline are not ATOL protected. An estimated 10,000 passengers are abroad that booked direct with the airline.

Customers with advance bookings paid by credit card should contact their card issuer or contact their bank if they paid by debit card. If they took out travel insurance, they should check whether their policy covered airline insolvency.

The Group also operated separate airlines in France and Germany. XL Airways France (operating under flight numbers starting XLF) and XL Airways Germany (GXL) are unaffected by this failure.

Medlife Hotels

 

In addition, the Group operated an accommodation agency called Medlife Hotels. People who booked with this company are not ATOL protected. Those with advance bookings paid by credit card should contact their card issuer or contact their bank if they paid by debit card. If they took out travel insurance, they should check whether their policy covered holiday company insolvency.

Richard Jackson, Director of the CAA’s Consumer Protection Group, which is overseeing protection arrangements, said today: “This is a huge undertaking and we are working closely with the travel industry to protect and bring home the customers of the failed tour operators. Hotels and other suppliers will be paid so that those protected by ATOL will be secure while arrangements to fly them home are made. Flights to bring people home will differ from their original timings, but our aim is to minimise disruption to holidaymakers as far as we possibly can. We ask customers to be patient while these arrangements are made.”

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Thanks for all info listed. Am feeling quite sick about this. I booked online flights for my Mum and Dad through XL.com to try and save a bit of money a while ago. They are currently on holiday with friends, returning home from Tunisa tonight - not sure whether they know about this or not yet. Luckily for them, Dad paid with his credit card so I am hoping that under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act we can claim some (if not all but at least some) back. Will keep this posted as to how we get on. If anyone else is in the same boat - good luck to you all too.

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...Dad paid with his credit card so I am hoping that under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act we can claim some (if not all but at least some) back. ...

 

Presume that they paid more than £100... If so it is ALL, not some.

 

Tell him not to be fobbed off :)

..

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Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice, you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

 

 

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hi, i am booked to fly with them on the 11th of october. my holiday company has stated that they will contact me within the next 2 days. is there a chance that they will have arranged alternative flights or will it just be to arrange a refund

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Depends upon what you booked, and how.

 

If you have booked a package holiday, there is a chance that your agent will be able to rearrange with another provider. If not, then you will be refunded.

 

If you booked flights only via their website, for instance, then ATOL will not cover it, but you may be able to claim through your card provider.

 

What are the details?

..

.

 

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice, you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

 

 

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Those that are ATOL covered on their XL holiday can take all their details into a First Choice or Thomson shop and get the refund directly credited to a new holiday and First Choice/Thomson will sort the refund out for you getting it placed against your next holiday.

 

However you must be ATOL covered on the XL holiday before you can apply - if I can help I am here!

Edited by AndyRylance
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