What to do if you've been affected by the XL collapse



  • Hi All,

    My situation is slightly different to others on this thread and hoping someone might be able to clarify where I stand.

    I booked flight and hotel package directly from XL.com to fly out 5th Sept and fly home 12th Sept to Newcastle (yes the day it went bust, how annoying!). I paid deposit and balance using HSBC maestro card. We were with 6 others who booked the same holiday but through a high street travel agent, also with debit cards or cash.

    No 'official' Excel communication was received on the friday around our return flight just word of mouth, news bulletins and alternative travel company reps informing us as we booked from xl.com we we not ATOL covered and out airport transfer had also been cancelled. Our flight was detailed as one of the first to be cancelled on Sky News.

    Our given options were make our own way to airport to see what could be done there or arrange alternative flights independantly. Again word of mouth from other passengers, hotel staff and other reps said airport was manic, we would be stuck there for days and would be best to try and arrange something ourselves.

    Following this we booked new flights to fly home to Manchester Sunday 14th with different company and paid on Tesco MasterCard for myself, partner and 6 others in our group. We all paid to extend our hotel another two nights and then taxi rides to the airport on Sunday and additional taxi fares back in the uk as we were now landing in Manchester.

    We are all safely home now which is a great relief but the cost of XL going bust has doubled our holiday costs with new flights, extended hotel and taxis.

    We have already contacted our insurance company (Tesco insurance) and they say they do not cover for companies failing. Do we have anything else we can try to recover any of these costs?

    Many Thanks in advance

  • This XL Biz is just one big 'MESS'

    We (The Industry) actually knew all about XL and their financial problems as far back as last year, But you obviously can't go telling everyone!!

    I don't think they ever recovered from having 'Unserviceable' Aircraft from an Icelandic Company.

    That caused them massive delays and they had to spend all the money they had on new 737-800's.

    They should have made sure that they had a 'Big' financial corporation behind them, Barclays, HBOS etc then maybe they would not have gone under??

    I do feel sorry for the travellers, But how fo you think the workers are feeling now not been able to go anywhere else as every other Airline is at risk??

    XL were in talks right upto 11pm the night before to try to save if (any) of the biz, They could have finished the biz weeks before, But obviously tried to keep it all going.

    And sadly because of the Administration order, XL could not fly their aircraft again because when your in Administration your Aircraft Insurance is Void, Just like driving a car on the road.

    I'm sure if they could have picked upthose stranded passengers then they would have.

    It's nothing new remember Dan Air, Air Europe and the rest.

    All you have to do from a passengers point of view is get contact numbers, Full receipts, Pay with a card etc when you book anything, And hopefully that will all help in a performance like this.

    I would have thought Sir Richard Branson would have bought XL and recycled them under Virgin, What's 140 million to him??

    Best Regards.
    Thomson 757 Man
  • kazosbkazosb Forumite
    10 Posts
    MoneySaving Newbie
    It's not been said often enough here that booking with a travel agent who is atol/abta bonded gives a refund in full all aspects of the holiday cost in this situation if not travelled. Help is given for those abroad as well.

    We have all worked flat out since friday to help find new holidays, in most cases customers do not need to repay and claim back, we move money over.

    There are some who have not rebooked yet because of the hike in prices by the tour operators. These should settle down in time.

    Anyone still abroad http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1804&pagetype=90&pageid=10052 gives info on replacement flights home, updated constantly so keep checking.

    I'm a huge fan of this site but sometimes us agents get a very raw deal, so hopefully service and safety of your money is as important as saving a few £'s here and there.....

    good luck all in getting back your money

  • Hi I arrived back from cyprus this morning and it was an utter SHAMBLES!!!
    You may of seen this on gmtv yesterday morning as they covered the story .....
    Arrived at Larnaca airport at 15.30 on sunday to check in for our 18.30 flight which were informed was now with monarch due to xl collapse and our flight was also going to have passengers from glasgow so two flights combined!!
    When we arrived at the airport a new time of 20.05 was given which was fair enough.
    Check in opened at 17.00 ......... we happened to be 2nd in a queue to check in when another passeneger announced that the flight was now at 8am confusion set in with everyone complaining as their was no official announcment. Some monarch guy informed us that it wasnt his fault stop complaining we had to check in our bags and spend the noght at the airport with a 17euro food voucher ..... carnage followed!!!
    We checked in as reps from monarch said if we didnt a seat would not be confirmed for us ......
    Spent our measly 17 euros and sat down for the night!!
    The flight time changed to 9am and 10am during the night .... at 6am the flight was suddenly changd to 1430 ....... this drove everyone crazy ... there was no one to talk to and we werent allowed back through secruity to talk to anyone ..........
    stuck in limbo people started rining gmtv begging for flights and contacting the sun newspaper!!
    At 8am a rep came through and bascially informed us that the fight was deylayed???????
    10 euros later and NO ONE could tell us what was going on ... no reason for it!! Lots more !!!! ups occured ........
    Eventually we took off at 1830 a massive 24hour delay!!!
    o and when we arrived at gatwick we were told there was no one to remove our bags from the plane and we would be looking at a 2hour delay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Anyway to sum up would we be entitled to any form of compensation and from whom????
    The way we were treated was disgusting and I still have no idea what happened to our plane ..........
    many thanks
  • I booked my flight only with Travel Republic via a credit card. Do I claim from the CAA or from my card issuer - not sure if Travel Republic are classes as a Travel Agent or not?
  • Just to alert you, if not you have not already done it. If you have booked via a travel agent and ATOL protected an alternative option is to request a bonded transfer. ie ask for them to transfer you to another holiday. The travel agent then recoups the money back via ATOL. The down side is availability and extra cost. We choose this option on Saturday as with a week to go we did not want to disappoint our daughter as the holiday was her 18th birthday present and a much needed break for the grown-ups! Whist we have had to choose a different country and pay and additional £200 (cheaper than a full holiday and a happy daughter!). Further warning - in half an hour of the travel agent search for the holidays the holiday price has risen by £90 and many other tour operators prices were just out of our reach as they has increased prices. We travel, fingers crossed, next week for a break in the sun!
  • As much as I feel for all these people is there anything you can do if you were an employee of XL? Laid off with no September Pay, No Redundancy Pay and mortgages and bills to pay?? I would love to have just lost a holiday, yet we coudl loose everything!
  • We were due to return from Crete on day of collapse , had already booked out of hotel. Holiday booked as a package online with XL.com. Rep deserted us without leaving any info, hotel advised get ourselves to Airport 70k away and try to book a flight home. So Taxi to Heraklion, flight to Gatwick , Coach to Bristol then on to pick up car and home to Cornwall. All at our own expense. No help or advice at Heraklion Airport, telephone helpline told us they were very busy and reminded us that they closed at 8.00 PM (? UK or Greek Time?) Still cant find out if we were ATOL bonded Our documents would suggest we were but ALL advice lines including this one say XL.com was not covered for those who booked directly with them. I am left even more confused as to whether on not we were covered and to whom I should address any claim. We are home for which I am grateful but almost a grand out of pocket.
    If I could find that rep now......!
  • bagand96bagand96 Forumite
    5.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Anyway to sum up would we be entitled to any form of compensation and from whom????
    The way we were treated was disgusting and I still have no idea what happened to our plane ..........
    many thanks

    Ummmm........ NO

    I know it can't have been pretty and must have been incredibly frustrating, but lets have a reality check. Your airline XL, are no more, their aircraft are sat on tarmac around Europe impounded, going nowhere. This all happened overnight 5 days ago, leaving 90,000 people in foreign parts without any method of getting home.

    Fortunately many were ATOL bonded, including yourself, and this means the CAA, with assistance from the industry, arrange other flights for you. However, XL had 21 planes. The CAA cannot just conjure up 21 planes out of nowhere and operate to XLs scehdule.

    Monarch, and all the other airlines assisting, funnily enough have their own airline to run, their own routes to fly, and their own passengers to look after. The XL collapse is the biggest airlift the CAA/ATOL has ever seen; it is a massive task.

    Is it therefore surprising that there has been difficulties? Other airlines are using spare aircraft when they can, but bear in mind they are all still operating busy summer schedules. Truth is the staff in Cyprus probably didn't have much idea of the situation either, chance is neither did the CAA/Monarch, they're doing a good job, but even so, the XL collapse happened overnight, there hasn't been much warning, and a lot of it is being planned on the fly.

    Look on the bright side, you were able to finish your holiday, you got back home to the UK with no extra expense. What more can you honestly ask for?
  • Hi,

    As normal we were looking forward to our holiday to florida, the 4th time with Travel City Direct, Sunday the 21st of September couldn't come quick enough.

    Being our 14th wedding anniversary we had booked a villa, car, fights through them, This time round we upgraded to premium grade on the flight to enable us to enjoy the 9 and a half hour journey, making the time even more precious.

    Black Friday hit, sending us both in to emotional turmoil. Having calmed down enough to get sensible me thinking again we headed off to the travel agents to try and rebook what we were now missing out on.

    My stomach was in knots and I was feeling sick, the thought of having lost over 2 thousand pounds and now having to pay to ensure we still had a holiday. The Travel agents were really kind and helped us as much as possible, however everytime we tried to book a flight the cost was simply soaring or their systems would crash, eventually we managed to book another flight and car, the painful part was paying the additional £1600 and then having to find extra to now find somewhere to stay.

    Now we are looking forward to spending our two weeks away, this has been a massive wake up call.

    We were lucky, I have a credit card i keep for emergencies, I believe this was one of them.

    We sent off all our paper work on Friday night to ATOL with all our documents of proof, which leads me to another hillarious moment, Tuesday this week the postman eventually brings our tickets from XL....I almost wet myself laughing.

    Luckily Travel city are ATOL protected, and although people around me are saying we will recover our loss, I will wait to believe it.

    We have always saved like mad during the year putting away a money from our account and pay the holiday off in one go. This now has changed the way I look at paying for items.

    I hope everyone effected gets what is rightfully theirs, Its bad enough when people loose their jobs but even worse is people loosing out on their holidays.

    Good luck with ATOL.

    All those XL Staff that have lost their jobs, I hope you are able to get back on your feet soon, I have been there and it does get better.
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