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Tour Operators and Travel Agents

Has anyone had any experience with XL holidays, good or bad?
Currently looking at a package holiday with them for Tenerife which is working out cheaper than Thomas Cook, but don't know much about them.
I have just been looking on Teletext holidays website and XL holidays are a ridiculous price!.June 7th from Newcastle to Icmeler B&B for 2 weeks to Faber apartments,over £1000 EACH!.£1,300 for HB :yikes Why are they so expensive?
I was checking out their holiday prices too jay a few weeks ago for egypt and they were at least £2000 more than anyone else :yikes
we have a flight with XL from bristol to larnaca August 13th - September 3rd, 1500 for 4 of us, 2 adults 2 children, now my OH cant go it will be me and the 2girls, but we still have to pay for his. Reading some of the post's on here XL sound terrible there service ect. Now im a bit worryed about flying with them ? :think

CourtneeLouise x
Just in case of any confusion, we also have a separate topic in our Airlines & Airports forum specifically about Excel / XL Airways flight operations, as opposed to the XL Holidays side of their business which is being discussed in this forum.

David :wave
XL Leisure Group focus of refinancing speculation

XL Leisure Group is at the centre of speculation over refinancing plans.

Weekend newspaper reports claimed that the UK's third largest tour operating group was in urgent refinancing negotiations.

Financing associated with fuel hedging positions is understood to be at the centre of discussions.

A spokesman for XL, which includes XL Airways and operator brands such as Kosmar Holidays, Aspire, Travel City Direct and Freedom Flights, reportedly said it was not close to breaching the terms of its banking loans.

But he confirmed that the group was talking to a number of third parties as part of an ongoing financial process.

A statement said: "The group is engaged with a number of third parties as part of this process and has no further comment on the specifics of the refinancing.

"Whilst acknowledging it is a challenging market, the XL Leisure Group is experiencing strong trading with bookings for 2009 already outperforming last year.

"In addition, XL Airways has been the highest-performing airline at Gatwick and Manchester on punctuality during the month of July. With the addition of new aircraft this year XL will also be operating the youngest fleet of short haul aircraft in the UK."

One industry insider close to XL was quoted in today's Daily Telegraph as saying the situation was "retrievable", adding that the "consensus is that there is light at the end of the tunnel" for XL.

With permission from Travelmole
There are some media reports emerging tonight that XL may be about to declare bankruptcy, click here for more.

David :wave
Whats scarey, They are still taking bookings :think
I feel very sorry for those working for XL, and its other companies. I have worked with many of them here in Mallorca, and can honestly say, they are some of the most professional reps you will find.

No doubt first thing tomorrow the CAA and ABTA will have all the information required for those who have bookings, lets hope we can get everyone home with as little stress as possible.

To those of you thinking about booking your holidays (with whichever company you choose) - please do so, pay by credit card and escape the British weather, there are plenty of people relying on your business to live.

Further reports now on the story from:
Telegraph Travel
Telegraph Money
BBC News
and a very bleak and alarming outlook from the travel industry's own media:
Travel Trade Gazette

David :wave
This collapse will have a huge impact through the travel industry, not only directly with the many different companies operating directly under the XL Leisure banner, but by a large amount of other travel companies that use XL Airlines and have customers booked on flights with them.

The companies that are part of XL and that have ceased trading immediately are -

Aspire Holidays Limited
Excel Holidays
Freedom Flights Limited
Medlife Hotels
The Really Great Holiday Company (Cruise City)
The Florida Skytrain
Transatlantic Vacations
Travel City Direct
Travel City International
Kosmar Holidays

:think I fear that as a result of this collapse of the 3rd largest tour operator in the UK there could be more companies to follow as a direct result.
My mother-in-law was supposed to have gone to Skiathos with Kosmar this morning.

I'm off to work now, we dont close til 10 in the evening, I dont think I'm going to be home before then.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I stopped smoking not too long ago, I'm tempted to pick up some on the way there, I think I will need it.

Time to go! All hands to the pump!
This is when a lot of people who dont book through a travel agent to try and save a few pounds will come unstuck.
I blame the likes of ryanain who sell cheap flights.
Its unsustainable and a false economy.
This is going to hit the smaller Greek Islands tourist trade as Kosmar and XL were a big player in that area. Hopefully by the start of next season other airlines will be picking up the routes left by XL.

We don't use travel agents to book our holidays preferring to do diy. However, we do use a credit card for amounts over £100 which gives you protection.

Not a good time to be planning air travel too far ahead I think.

Following the demise of Hellenic earlier in the year I checked XL but they did not feature the hotel I wanted so booked with Thos Cook. Lucky me!

But this failure of the No 3 operator throws up more worries for the future. It will be a long time before DIY replaces TOs and agents. Not everyone pays by credit card, or more likely are not aware of the protection and object to the fee charged. There is also the marketing with low deposit schemes - those with families and tight budgets besides older people who are comforted by the big name logo will still make up a big part of trade.

Operators such as XL grew from the dissatisfaction many had with the big two - Thomson and Thos Cook.

Same destinations and hotels yet substantially lower prices. Are we going to see an even bigger rise in prices if the marketplace is going to be dominated even further by the big two?

Whilst big savings are possible with DIY what people really need at this time of financial uncertainty is an assurance that their money is safe. Only now are many coming to realise that the ATOL symbol for a company does not always mean you are covered.

One other point to consider is that booking direct with the hotels in these uncertain times may not be as secure as people may think. Accommodation that has enjoyed a nice chunk of business with the failed companies may also be feeling the pinch.

such a shame this company has went into liquidation, XL was always a decent airline, and I knew a lot of Kosmar reps in my time in Crete. Soon we will be left with TC and Thomson and just smaller internet only operators. But an incident like this means TC and Thomson can control flight prices even more.
For those effected by the demise of XL this link will take you to the CAA/ATOL site where you can find more information and how you should claim.

All these companies going under is a worrying thing and confidence in the industry will be effected as people will not want to book early, smaller independent companies will struggle and i'm sure more will go under. This will leave it open to the big 2 and prices will rise.

I feel sorry for those effected and i'm glad i didnt book with XL for my December holiday which we had looked into and booked with First Choice instead.
just heard not sure if true fact, that easy jet is offering to bring people back from abroad or just £75 this offer is only for the next 7 days

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