XL customers 'still await refund'

By Duncan Crawford
Newsbeat reporter

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Thousands were stranded when XL collapsed in September 2008

Almost 10,000 people still haven't had a refund since the collapse of tour operator XL a year ago.

More than 65,000 XL customers have tried to get their money back since the travel group went bust in September last year.

Eighty five per cent of claims have been dealt with, which total more than 55,000 and around £37.5m in payments.

The deadline for holidaymakers who lost money to put in a claim for a refund is 11 September.

Thousands of people were stranded overseas when XL, once the UK's third largest package holiday group, stopped operating on 12 September 2008.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has been paying refunds to those who missed out on package holidays as a result.

XL customer Debbie Edwards is from Stoke. She booked flights for herself, partner and son from Manchester to Gran Canaria for £552.

Holiday guarantee

Debbie showed Newsbeat piles of letters and emails that have been sent to the CAA about the claim.

She said: "I've had to post stuff off, fax stuff off, email stuff off.

"I've done everything possible to get my claim to go through. Even though originally I sent everything off completed."

People should be covered by the Atol system. It's a holiday guarantee funded by the travel companies and run by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

But the issue was complicated by a dispute between Atol and the banks over who should pay some of the claims - which led to delays.

Now the Civil Aviation Authority says the problem is that the remaining unresolved claims are missing information.

David Clover, Atol's spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority, told Newsbeat they're doing their best.

He said: "The problem is people not being clear on the information we're looking for.

"So they may have sent in what they believe to the correct information but there are information perhaps from travel agents that isn't complete."

In May, the Civil Aviation Authority told Newsbeat all claims would be dealt with "in the next three months or so".

David Clover, Atol's spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority, told Newsbeat it's not their fault the claims haven't been processed.

"Once we have that information we'll start settling those claims. That will take as long as it takes to get the information we require," he said.

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