Agents have said the chaos surrounding the collapse of XL Leisure is proof of the value of booking with the trade.

Since the news broke this morning, agents around the country have been busy contacting holidaymakers abroad and those with future travel plans with the collapsed airline.

Some said the knock-on drop in consumer confidence caused by the recent raft of airline collapses could prompt a return to booking with travel agents.

Colletts Travel had some customers due to travel with XL and had re-arranged their holidays. Director Roy Collett said: “Maybe this latest collapse will make the public realise that travel agents are there to protect the customers and offer professional advice and security. People will come back to their travel agent because they want someone to call if things go wrong.”

Ashley Adams director Steve Riley, who had also found alternative holidays for some customers, added: “People for a long time have assumed they are protected when booking on the internet but that is one of the biggest misconceptions.

“People are starting to be much more careful which airline they choose and we’re finding them coming back to us for advice.”

Home-based agents Travel Counsellors have also spent the morning contacting their XL customers, whose money is protected by the Travel Counsellors Trust.

Chairman David Speakman said: “More and more customers are interested in the Travel Counsellors Trust and the financial protection we offer.

“Unfortunately in the current economic climate there is a likelihood we may see more travel failures, so it is reassuring for our Counsellors to be able to tell their customers that their money is guaranteed.”

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