Quarter of stranded XL tourists return as new travel firm shuts

THE travel industry was plunged into more chaos yesterday with the collapse of another tour company and the future of a major airline plunged into doubt. The Civil Aviation Authority revealed that Turkey specialist K&S Travel – which also operates as Travel Turkey – had ceased trading, stranding about 150 customers in Bodrum. They will be repatriated by the CAA because the north London tour firm was covered by the ATOL protection scheme.

In Rome the Italian government was last night in crisis talks trying to find a way to save flagship airline Alitalia.
There are fears it will have to ground flights today because of a lack of fuel.

Meanwhile, the £20million operation to bring home nearly 100,000 victims of Friday’s collapse of XL Leisure Group continued. At airports around the world, the CAA managed to organise 94 flights which will bring back 22,090 of the stranded tourists.It plans to bring home the rest of those booked through XL travel companies – who had ATOL cover – over the next fortnight as their holidays come to an end.

But about 10,000 tourists who booked direct with grounded XL Airways will have to pay the CAA hundreds of pounds for their flights home because they are not covered by ATOL. Worst effected areas are Greek Islands which are very famous amongst Britons as tourist destination.

Large number of British Tourists are reported to be stranded in Greek islands of Corfu, Crete, Santorini, Kos, Kefalonia, Rhodes.

Another 200,000 XL customers have lost holidays already booked, with about 20,000 of them having no cover.

The travel industry and airlines were also accused of profiteering from XL’s demise by cashing in on tourists trying to save holidays booked in advance.

One XL Airways customer, who asked not to be named, said she had tried to find flights to Holidays to Kefalonia where she still has a hotel reservation – and within an hour air fares had doubled. Her dream Holidays to Greece became nightmare since than as everything went out of budget by latest developments.

The latest quote from another operator would see them forking out an extra £1,800 on top of the £3,413 already paid.

But Gavin Leach, 31, and his fiancee Shian Llwyarch, 29, who feared their £70,000 wedding at Disney World, Florida, was ruined by the XL collapse, were celebrating yesterday after salvaging their trip. Thomas Cook offered to honour the bookings. XL announced on Friday it had called in administrators, blaming high fuel prices and a worsening economy for its demise.

But accountancy firm KPMG claimed it had been blocked from investigating alleged misrepresentations by “certain directors” that could have led to “material errors” in company reports.

British Airways boss Willie Walsh has predicted another 30 airlines will go under in the next four months. And yesterday analyst Douglas McNeill, of merchant bank Blue Oar Securities, said the aviation industry was contracting at the same rate as after the 9/11 terror attacks.

He added: “Sadly there are likely to be more insolvencies plus a decade’s worth of mergers in the next 12 months.”

Hello everyone!

SecondCityWelcome to SecondCity.in weblog. I think it is necessary to have an open space for every website such as this. Thanks to the great guys at WordPress.com who allowed us to do so. Secondcity.in will be doing so many updates in the coming days and I hope that you will keep checking on with those updates. Apart from our rich content which consists of world’s top travel site’s database of Air & Hotel, SecondCity will be frequented by its’ visitors for low rates and last minute real time bookings unlike other travel sites which will just pop-up a message after getting the details of your credit card by saying “Thanks for your recent query. Our dedicated staff will look for the room of your choice and will get back to you in 48 hours” (just imagine if the request was for next day booking).

Well, we can’t criticize our friends too much after all they belong to the same business category but still such hide and seek with the customers will only do harm to the online travel business. Not much to say about the sites offering air tickets online but there are hardly any site which offers really cheap rates. Every time you search for an air ticket, you will be shown the price less taxes, fuel surcharge and some kind of service charge and when you are ready to pay for your ticket it will become almost double the price which was actually shown to you. Why can’t they just show the final price at the first instance only? Some great Indian travel sites like cleartrip, Makemytrip, Travelguru and Yatra have already showing full price on their landing pages which is a very good sign but they are only catering to the domestic Indian market but still they are really cheap options for anyone traveling within India.