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Have Your Say: Airline compensation

XL plane

Thousands of people are still waiting for compensation following the collapse of leisure group XL last September.

Most customers who booked through an ATOL travel agent believed getting their cash back would be straightforward.

But anyone who paid on a credit card - even if it was just the deposit - has been told an appeal to their bank is the only way they may get recompense.

Are you worried about how to protect your holiday money if the travel firm or airline goes under?

Have you lost money after the collapse of the travel group XL? Tell us your experiences.

How should customers get their money back?

What do you think about the existing guarantees?

We asked for your comments, a selection of which are below. the debate is now closed.


I had flights booked with XL for 15/09/08. I applied promptly for a refund through my credit card provider who took until 23rd December to tell me that my request for a refund had been rejected as ATOL have advised that they will now cover all claims where payment was made to a travel agent. My credit card company have not returned all my original documents but I have had a claim number issued by CEGA on 6th February 2009. The letter asks me to refrain from contacting them as this will divert their resources from processing my claim. After listening to your programme I am very confused and now beginning to think we might never get a refund!
S Horton, Bristol

I won't give them my business again
Janet Hargreaves, Buxton

I received my claim number on 10th December 2008 and have heard nothing since. You are told not to ring them unless they have requested that you do so. I am due a refund of over £1,000 but at times you feel like you will never get it as there is nobody to discuss the matter. Even the travel agent I booked the holiday through does not seem interested - one thing's for sure I won't give them my business again.
Janet Hargreaves, Buxton

Paid for two flights in September just before the collapse of XL. Still waiting for a refund. Paid by debit card. Received a letter saying I would be sent another form to fill up 9 March 2009. Why the delay?
Ros Ingram, Woking, Surrey

Been told there's a 30-minute wait for the CAA on the telephone
Suzanne, London

I'm mightily relieved to hear it's not just us. My friends and I were led to believe that the refunds would come through before Christmas but have still not received them. I had a letter very soon after sending the claim form, confirming the refund would happen but referring to an inaccurate sum. But nothing has happened since then. We've tried chasing but been told there's a 30-minute wait for the CAA on the telephone because so many people are asking where their money is.
Suzanne, London

Claim submitted Sept '08, refund still awaited. Written emailed and telephoned - cannot get through to anyone. I believe the phone line immediately puts you on hold with no intent to answer the call. I am owed £800 and have nowhere to go - someone please help - this is so wrong!
Amanda, Manchester

ATOL protection means nothing. I am disgusted
Anne Pearce, Montrose

I booked a holiday for myself and two children to travel to Florida in October 2008. With the collapse of the XL Group, I followed the initial guidance of claiming through ATOL as I paid all of my holiday by debit card, except the initial deposit which was paid by credit card. I am very angry and frustrated that I have now had to put in a claim for the full cost of the holiday to my credit card company. More months of waiting for a decision to see when (or if) I get my money back. Having finally managed to speak to someone at ATOL (months after submitting my initial claim), I was told my claim had not even been entered on to the system, and that it could take up to six weeks more to do so. So much for getting my original documents back in a timely manner then! Thankfully my credit card company have accepted photocopies for my claim. It is quite clear to anyone involved in this whole sorry mess that having been overwhelmed with claims, and unable to meet their obligations ATOL are now trying to pass the buck. Not good enough - ATOL protection means nothing. I am disgusted.
Anne Pearce, Montrose

I filled in the relevant forms ASAP when XL went down a week before our holiday. It was uncertain at the time whether we would get a refund, as a) there was confusion about who is who when booking a holiday through an agent, and ours seemed to be one in a long chain of vaguely associated names, and b) we booked with a debit card, and everyone said oh no it has to be a credit card. However the agent turned out to be OK after all, and now credit card bookings seem to be more at risk. I have been in contact with the CAA about three times, and finally got a "number" through the post about three weeks ago. I then got an e-mail in response to an old e-mail, telling me that they've never heard of me, and I need to reapply. It seems that there are two offices, one in London and one in Chichester, and they are dealing with different things and don't seem to be in communication. After a frustrating afternoon I got to speak to a very nice lady in Chichester who at least gave me some reassurance that all would turn out well, even if she didn't have my records.
Zanna Heighton, Bridport

Come on ATOL - pull your finger out!

Neil Young, Frome, Somerset

I placed a claim in September 2008 and only recently received a claim number. It would appear a third party have been appointed to process claims. I know there is a huge number of claims, but this is appalling. If Peter got his claim number in November 2008 and still not received a refund, its going to be getting on 12 months before I get mine! Come on ATOL - pull your finger out!
Neil Young, Frome, Somerset

I have now submitted my (XL) claim for a third time... CAA said each time that my papers have not been received... this time I sent recorded delivery... and I am still waiting... I also paid by credit card... I was told by my credit card provider that as I had paid via an agent... Travel Republic... which is still trading they are not liable and are not prepared to refund the money under the Credit Card act... I am now in the position of only getting my refund from CAA/ATOL... or nothing.
Ken, Feltham

I made my claim in September 2008. I received my claim number November 2008 but still haven't been paid. I'm owed over £700.
Peter Smythe, Ashington, Northumberland

The comments we publish are not necessarily the views of the BBC but will reflect the balance of views we have received. It is helpful if contributors state if they work for any organisation relevant to an issue discussed. Readers should form their own views on whether messages published represent undeclared interests, or views prompted by a common source.

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