Hotels force Brits on XL holidays to check out

Hotel News - 15/09/2008

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Resort hotel managers panicked fearing that the hotels wouldn’t receive payment from the tour operator, despite the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) guaranteeing that they would cover the guests’ bills.

It is estimated that up to 85,000 Brits are still abroad on holiday, waiting for alternative transportation back to the UK. Sources in the industry are saying that it could take up to two weeks to repatriate everyone, and an expenditure of £20 million.

Airlines were drafted from all parts of Europe to help in one of the most massive airlifts ever organized. So far, 46 flights have brought nearly 21,000 holidaymakers back.

Approximately 150 travellers were stranded in Turkey at the resort of Bodrum on Sunday when K&S Travel failed, and grounded its aircraft.

XL holidaymakers have been forced out of their hotels and resorts in Egypt, Greece and Spain, although hotel managers have been guaranteed payment under the UK’s ATOL scheme.

UK travel companies Thomson and First Choice have paid to put guests up at different properties.

The director of consumer protection for the CAA, Richard Jackson, said: “With help from the travel trade, we have been working very hard to look after XL’s customers.

“Our immediate challenge has been to repatriate holidaymakers due home in the days following the company’s collapse.”

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