XL Leisure Group’s demise has heaped heartache on those relying on it for their treasured annual holiday.

Lisa Fairfax, stranded at Gatwick at 2am this morning

Lisa Fairfax, a member of registered charity called Reach Out Youth and Adult Disabilities, was one of 25 left stranded at Gatwick Airport this morning at 2am.

Most living on benefits, they were due to fly to Menorca for a week – their one chance to get away.

Lisa’s sister, Claire Yates, said: “It’s a really sad situation as these adults all have their individual disabilities and to organise a holiday such as this takes a lot of time, effort and dedication by the charity.

“Obviously there was a lot of money involved and the group are now concerned they may never recover the money they’ve paid for these holidays.”

Piyush Dholakia, next week’s holiday to Barbados disappears

Piyush Dholakia woke up this morning to find the fortnight long holiday he’d booked in Barbados with his girlfriend, starting next week, had simply disappeared overnight.

He booked it six months ago and they paid £1600 each, by credit card. He will be protected by either by his credit card company or ATOL, but at time of writing he was being bounced between the two in trying to lay a claim.

“In the end, though, its not about the money. Its about building your hopes up only to take them away again.” He added: “Surely these companies know they are going to fold and set in measures to protect or warn people?”

Yvette Nugent, due to return from Spain tomorrow

Meanwhile, well-seasoned traveller Yvette Nugent was philosophical, if stressed.

Due to return to the UK tomorrow, she and her husband Eddie flew to Spain’s Alicante en route to their apartment about 40 minutes’ drive away.

As regular holidaymakers in Spain, they had made a flight-only booking with XL for the first time, paying just £50 for the cheapest fare they could find.

“I have to return to the UK on time because my dog is in kennels,” she said, adding they had lucked out by securing two seats on easyJet tomorrow.

The flight was due to leave just half an hour after their original return flight with XL. She paid the same rate as she’d already paid on XL but on confirmation, easyJet increased the price by an extra £40, claiming it had been inundated with panicked holidaymakers trying to get home. 

Related links

  • XL Leisure Group failure: news updates and analysis