22
Sep-2008

Oh I’m Not Going

Damn blast those merchant bankers who called in about 1 percent of their outstanding loan and flushed the holiday company XL down the toilet and messed up thousands of people’s holidayls two weeks ago. Thank’s to those buggers, I’m not going on holiday today to the seemingly wonderful island of Grenada!

The writing was on the wall couple of weeks earlier when rumours started to circulate that XL had cancelled their Caribbean long haul flights as of November 2008. Despite the disappointment of not travelling to spend a week in the sun, doing some diving, some drinking and some travel photography and writing travel articles, I do feel better knowing that the company didn’t go bust during my holiday, as it would be infinitely more costly and inconvenient having to arrange travel home, especially since there seem to be no sympathy from other airline carriers, not them!. Market forces led most to increase prices in the fall out, leaving some holiday makers having to pay some pretty inflated prices, I heard, though cannot confirm that the only holiday companies that didn’t try to take advantage of holiday travellers trying to get home, or to book replacement flights for their annual holidays was Virgin and Easyjet, If that’s true, then good on you Sir Richard and Stellios. You are surely gents.

Our agent booked through a bonded agent so we should get our money back. If you were one of the unfortunate ones to lose you holiday, then you have my condolences. Hopefully you were one of the ones who booked their summer holiday on your credit card or using a travel agent. In this turbulent economic times, I think the travel agent could see themselves revived as heroes as more people come to term with the fact that they won’t get their money refunded unless they booked via one of these two routes.

You see in the UK, you are covered by ABTA or ATOL, should the travel company with which you booked your package holiday go bust, You are also covered, usually, by your credit card company if you pay for something using their card and the company go into liquidation. If you didn’t book via an agent, and didn’t use a credit card, you’re probably one of the people who have steam coming out of all your ears. Booking direct on the XL website, or any airline website, does not get you your money back if something goes wrong and the company no longer exists come your departure date. If you thought buying travel insurance would cover you, you’ve got another disappointment due, as it doesn’t.

I have always been quite comfortable booking flight only and hotel stays separately online. I found that cutting out the middleman made it much cheaper in most cases when it came to booking quick getaways. The days of quick and cheap travel are dwindling though, as it becomes harder and harder to find travel to destinations in Europe and the near continents for less that £200 per person these days.

There was a time when you could wait for a last minute 4 day deal and get flight, transfers and accomodation for around £100. I think those days are perhaps behinad us now, all change for short and long haul

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  1. John Legend @ justintimehotels.com /

    … and the story goes again. This time it was Greece that went out of the busy business this summer, thanks to crippled economy. I was saved, thanks to picking right dates when spending holiday on Rhodos this year, but another group of friends had their August holidays cancelled…

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