Page last updated at 12:54 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 13:54 UK

'Stuck' XL cancer woman to return

Cherry Dodgson (centre)
Mrs Dodgson is in the final stages of lung cancer

A terminally-ill cancer patient on a trip to Egypt who feared she would be stranded when holiday firm XL collapsed is to return to the UK.

Cherry Dodgson, 49, from Somerset, was also threatened with arrest by hotel bosses, over an unpaid 1,400 bill.

But the Civil Aviation Authority has arranged for her to fly home, early on Wednesday, and confirmed any payments made to the hotel will be refunded.

Mrs Dodgson, who has lung cancer, has been on holiday in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Holiday ruined

Speaking from the resort, she said the hotel had put them under pressure to pay the 1,400 bill and had become "quite hostile".

"They now say, 'You don't pay, you don't leave. If you try to leave, you will be arrested and put in jail'," she said.

"This was supposed to be my final holiday with my family before I die and it has been ruined.

"It has been absolutely horrendous, physically and mentally I feel worse than I ever have. I'm really not well at all but all I want to do is get home.

Mrs Dodgson has been wrongly charged by the hotel and we will be trying to organise a refund of the money before she leaves
CAA spokesman

"We have spent the last four days trying to pull together the money to get out of here by negotiating with people and calling the banks in England."

Her daughter Shani Winfield said it had put her mother under stress.

"Mum has taken a turn for the worse," she said.

"Anything like this is emotionally draining for a healthy person but my mum is poorly so it is a whole lot worse."

Mrs Dodgson has had five rounds of chemotherapy and is due to have radiotherapy when she returns home to stop the cancer spreading to her brain.

Her son Alan Collins, from Bristol, said: "We have spoken to so many people at the CAA and it has not been easy to get consistent advice.

"The CAA have said all along that people should not be charged extra but it hasn't stopped the hotel from demanding more money to the extent that they felt they had no choice but to hand it over."

The CAA said that Mrs Dodgson should not have had to pay any more money to the hotel and that they would be seeking a refund on her behalf.

A spokesman for the CAA said: "None of the XL passengers have been stranded, we are bringing all of them home.

"Mrs Dodgson has been wrongly charged by the hotel and we will be trying to organise a refund of the money before she leaves.

"If not, she will receive a refund when she gets back to the UK."

Thousands stranded by XL collapse
12 Sep 08 |  Business

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