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XL Airways to end Caribbean routes

(21 Posts)
leapinglizzards Thu 28-Aug-08 17:26:13

XL Airways have cancelled ALL their Caribbean service which includes, Barbados, Antigua, St Lucia, Tobago, Grenada and St Kitts (the only direct route for St Kitts) for departures from November 2008 onwards.

I have been told that all passengers will get their flight cost refunded, or a refund of their deposit paid. If you have booked direct, contact them now. If you have booked through and agent, contact your agent. If you have flights departing at the end of October to November 08, I would check they are still operating the service.

UK travel agents and operators are trying hard to find alternatives for their customers, but some flights with other airlines are now full or just too expensive.

Alternative flights for Feb half term and Easter are already getting full, or now very expensive as the other two big airlines cash in on the chaos. How they must be loving it. angry

Some DIY holiday makers will struggle when they find their accommodation is booked and no way to get there, because there's no flights, or the flight cost is too high.

I expect they will be laying off XL reservation staff and cabin crew next.

This will also hit the Caribbean Tourism Economy.

<rant over>

MarsLady Thu 28-Aug-08 17:27:39

Not a fan of XL but not so good price wise for flights.

Did they say why?

CountessDracula Thu 28-Aug-08 17:27:45

I nearly booked with them recently
Thank goodness I chose BA instead

leapinglizzards Thu 28-Aug-08 17:31:45

They say
XL has experienced significant fuel increases with a downturn in demand which has made these routes unviable to operate.

However, they are the ones that forced prices down by trying to undercut everyone else in the first place. They've made huge losses in the last 12 months.

CountessDracula Thu 28-Aug-08 17:32:26

How do you know LL?

Not on their website.

i agree it will really hit the tourism economy

MarsLady Thu 28-Aug-08 17:34:14

I had wondered if it was because of my dramatic collapse on the plane and the resultant blood spill lol wink

Sorry... shouldn't make light of this.

CountessDracula Thu 28-Aug-08 17:35:04

I have just checked and the fllights we payed £2k for a week ago are £4425 shock

leapinglizzards Thu 28-Aug-08 17:36:45

I have been rebooking flights for the last 48 hours. I have letters on my desk from XL, trade company Freedom Flights. If you try to book a flight on XL, you will see it won't let you do it.

So far 32 flight seats rebooked. All extra work for no money. angry

leapinglizzards Thu 28-Aug-08 17:38:01

mars, i am off again and will speak to lady on beach wink

MarsLady Thu 28-Aug-08 17:43:15

ah... just sent you an email.

Tell her trouble daughter sends love. When are you off? envy And why hasn't my ticket to accompany you arrived yet? shock

CountessDracula Thu 28-Aug-08 17:46:10

so what happens to all the people who have booked package holidays? Do the companies have to honour the flights (ie pay teh extra themselves) or what?

leapinglizzards Thu 28-Aug-08 17:57:43

If you have booked a package with XL direct I expect they will have to refund any payment from you (deposit or full). I doubt they will re-book or provide an alternative. Not sure TBH. They are governed by the CAA, so if youu have any problems contact the CAA website

If you have booked through an operator or agent, they SHOULD refund you any payments if you decide to cancel, or provide alternative flights so you can continue with your holiday (you may have to be flexible week or so either side, if they can't get flights). The hotels are all being very flexible as they want the business still. However, if alternative flights are more expensive, you will have to decide if you want to pay any extra costs to continue with your holiday arrangements, or cancel and get your refund.

Because most travel operators only take full payment 10 weeks before travel, I expect most passengers have only paid a deposit ATM.

CountessDracula Thu 28-Aug-08 17:58:56

thanks - i was just being nosey
I have booked my flights (with BA) and accomomdation myself (thank goodness)

leapinglizzards Thu 28-Aug-08 18:06:34

Well BA fly daily to some Barbados, but may change their schedules to cover the gaps that XL have left, to some of the smaller ones.

I bet I could have booked your BA flights cheaper wink and your accommodation grin - ah well.

CountessDracula Thu 28-Aug-08 18:15:37

I shopped around a lot

£2k for 3 of us at half term for 10 days is pretty reasonable

And we are staying at a funny little place that doesn't deal with agents I believe and is very very cheap!

I will try you next time though!

CountessDracula Thu 28-Aug-08 18:16:19

Looks like they have already put on an additional weds flight to Tobago (they were only doing Thurs and Sunday last week)

MarsLady Thu 28-Aug-08 18:17:52

ll has always been able to get me cheaper deals (and better deals) than I have. smile

CountessDracula Thu 28-Aug-08 18:20:43

ooh good!
Will defo try you next time!

MarsLady Thu 28-Aug-08 18:21:37

'tis one of the joys of MN CD.

And now I'm off to take DD2 to see Wicked. It's her birthday grin

leapinglizzards Thu 28-Aug-08 18:29:16

BA do add more flights in Winter Season as it's peak. Virgin don't add more, they remain the same for Winter and Summer seasons.

Tobago is lucky in winter (Nov -Apr - when it's peak) that BA go in 3x, where VA still only fly once a week.

VA started a Manchester service to St Lucia, once a week and that began last Nov, that is continuing (direct and non-stop, not via Gatwick or another Caribbean island). Brilliant for those of us north of the river.

We don't offer really small places, because they all have to be vetted regularly and have passed all UK health and safety inspections.

Have a nice holiday anyway. I do like the Caribbean.

leapinglizzards Thu 28-Aug-08 18:29:51

Have a good time mars grin

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