After the news of the XL Leisure collapse broke last week, the Travel Weekly team got on the phones to find out how travel agents and customers were coping with the crises.
The travel agent
Travel Counsellor Annette Allmond landed in the UK on a night flight from the Seychelles last Friday morning to hear the news of XL Leisure’s failure from head office.
Her first thought was a group of 46 men due to fly from Gatwick to Majorca with XL Airways on Saturday morning to celebrate a 50th birthday. “I phoned them at 6.30am on Friday and they were completely unaware of what had happened,” she said.
“We managed to get the group on Easyjet flights from Gatwick and Stansted to Palma so it was all sorted within a couple of hours. The group gave me three cheers and said thank goodness I was at just at the end of the phone.”
Emma Thorpe, from Manchester, was booked on XL Airways through dynamic packaging travel agency Bookableholidays.co.uk to go to Gran Canaria on Monday, September 15, for a week.
“We heard the news on Friday night and spoke to the travel agency on Saturday,” she said. “I was so glad we’d booked with an agency with ATOL protection, as it means we will get our £900 back eventually.
“We haven’t been able to book another holiday because there wasn’t much availability for where we wanted to go and we were restricted on dates.”
The episode has made Emma think twice about where she books her next trip. “I wouldn’t book separate flights and hotel now – I’d rather book a package.”