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flinty
Post subject: Whitehall Leisure ceased trading.............
PostPosted: 20:59 on 9th Feb 2009

Joined: 03:23 on 18th Aug 2008
Posts: 20
News is Whitehall Leisure ceased trading 5th Feb.......................

For passengers booked to travel please contact:

Civil Aviation Authority
ATOL Section
K3
45-59 Kingsway
London. WC2B 6TE.
Telephone: 020 7453 6350 / 6543 / 6345

have been told that the CAA will tell people not to travel but that we should.......... bloody right I will!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going even if i have to swim there myself!!!!!!!!!!! anyone else book their trip with these guys????? Only just heard this news.................
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daley_lama
Post subject: Re: Whitehall Leisure ceased trading.............
PostPosted: 21:13 on 9th Feb 2009

Joined: 12:05 on 5th Jan 2009
Posts: 78
Terrible news for anybody booked with them, commisserations to anybody who has been left in the lurch.

Seems like they trade under a few different names so there may be a fair few affected booked under other tour operator names.

"Additional Trading Names registered with ABTA:
(V2503) Whitehall Holidays Turkey Paradise Turkey Direct Sporting Journeys Luxury Hotels and Resorts of the World Lanzarote Direct Jet Fares Direct Jet Fares Eurosky Travel Eurosky Holidays Cyprus Direct Caribbean Journeys Barbados Journeys Whitehall Leisure "
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2manymilos
Post subject: Re: Whitehall Leisure ceased trading.............
PostPosted: 21:26 on 9th Feb 2009

Joined: 11:37 on 23rd Apr 2008
Posts: 74
As pointed out above, they also sold tours under the Sporting Journeys name, I know a few people on here were looking at booking with them. Hope you can all get something sorted at this late stage

Advice on ATOL website http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=27&pagetype=87

Whitehall Leisure Limited - ATOL 2207
6 February 2009
Whitehall Leisure Limited ATOL 2207 trading as 'Whitehall Holidays, 'Barbados Journeys' and 'Caribbean Journeys' based in London has ceased trading with immediate effect. ATOL is issuing the following advice to passengers due to travel during this weekend.

Flight only bookings

Passengers in possession of scheduled tickets should travel as scheduled and cannot make a claim.

Flight inclusive bookings

All passengers with flight inclusive packages are advised not to travel and to claim a full refund. A claim form to claim a refund will be posted here in the near future.

Those who do chose to travel with issued scheduled tickets can still claim, however, they travel on the clear understanding that the CAA will not be able to assist them if they have any difficulties whilst overseas. These passengers can submit a claim to ATOL for additional costs incurred when they return to the UK, but only in replacing those services which formed part of their flight inclusive package. Passengers will have to submit receipts for these and evidence that they made payment. Passengers should also be aware that their expenses claim will be capped at the cost of the original package less the elements received.
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Big Harvey
Post subject: Re: Whitehall Leisure ceased trading.............
PostPosted: 00:52 on 10th Feb 2009

Joined: 09:14 on 23rd Apr 2008
Posts: 2361
flinty Wrote:
have been told that the CAA will tell people not to travel but that we should.......... bloody right I will!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going even if i have to swim there myself!!!!!!!!!!!


That's the spirit!

It's a situation I've never been in myself thankfully, although when opening up my flight-booking "favourites" in my browser last night, I was quite shocked by the number of companies in there that are no longer trading.

Most notable was Zoom, the no-frills transatlantic airline who went bust last summer leaving thousands stranded in Canada, and seriously out of pocket, because unless you can persuade your credit card company to reimburse you, you've got no comeback over airline bankruptcy if you book direct with the airline. I arrived home from Winnipeg on a Zoom flight only the week before, and my wife did the same literally the day before they ceased trading! It came as a total shock, because they'd always seemed a good airline, and had been expanding rapidly. In hindsight, probably too rapidly!

I'm not totally sure what happens in the situation of ATOL bonded package tour customers. It looks from the small print as if your flights are covered but that you might have to pay for your transfers and digs yourself and claim it back from them when you get home (up to the cost of your original booking minus the cost of the flights). Check ASAP with ATOL whether that is the case, and if it is and you still intend to travel, I'd e-mail the hotel sharpish to check firstly that they haven't already cancelled your booking, and secondly how much they intend to charge you if they honour it. Also, if the cost of your flights isn't itemised seperately on your invoice, check with ATOL how much they're going to charge for these if you go.

If it's either going to cost you a lot more money or your hotel has sold on your room, don't panic. There's a worldwide credit crunch on, and it may be peak season, but Caribbean tourism isn't immune from it. There will almost certainly be beds available at a relatively sensible price somewhere, and quite possibly at a lower price than you originally paid.

Alternatively, (and this may be the easier and cheaper option) just claim your full refund off ATOL and rebook it all yourself. I've had a quick look, and the likes of Opodo, Lastminute.com, and even Expedia have surprisingly cheap direct flights with Virgin Atlantic to Barbados. Flying out on the 24th February and back on the 4th March, for example, would set you back £578.60 return, which I'm guessing is probably less than some people paid for those dates who booked months ago. If you book with Expedia, they'll even put points on your Nectar card. I must admit to being pretty gobsmacked to find so many direct flights still available at this late stage!

Meanwhile, there are certainly hotels with vacancies. A cursory look at hotels.com reveals that one or two have even cut their prices! Admittedly I almost had kittens when I saw some of those prices, but I'm a guesthouse/backpacker hostel/budget hotel type myself, and most of the hotels they deal with are at the opposite end of the market!

Best of luck to anyone who's been left up the creek at this late stage.
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flinty
Post subject: Re: Whitehall Leisure ceased trading.............
PostPosted: 01:02 on 10th Feb 2009

Joined: 03:23 on 18th Aug 2008
Posts: 20
Big Harvey Wrote:
flinty Wrote:
have been told that the CAA will tell people not to travel but that we should.......... bloody right I will!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going even if i have to swim there myself!!!!!!!!!!!


That's the spirit!

It's a situation I've never been in myself thankfully, although when opening up my flight-booking "favourites" in my browser last night, I was quite shocked by the number of companies in there that are no longer trading.

Most notable was Zoom, the no-frills transatlantic airline who went bust last summer leaving thousands stranded in Canada, and seriously out of pocket, because unless you can persuade your credit card company to reimburse you, you've got no comeback over airline bankruptcy if you book direct with the airline. I arrived home from Winnipeg on a Zoom flight only the week before, and my wife did the same literally the day before they ceased trading! It came as a total shock, because they'd always seemed a good airline, and had been expanding rapidly. In hindsight, probably too rapidly!

I'm not totally sure what happens in the situation of ATOL bonded package tour customers. It looks from the small print as if your flights are covered but that you might have to pay for your transfers and digs yourself and claim it back from them when you get home (up to the cost of your original booking minus the cost of the flights). Check ASAP with ATOL whether that is the case, and if it is and you still intend to travel, I'd e-mail the hotel sharpish to check firstly that they haven't already cancelled your booking, and secondly how much they intend to charge you if they honour it. Also, if the cost of your flights isn't itemised seperately on your invoice, check with ATOL how much they're going to charge for these if you go.

If it's either going to cost you a lot more money or your hotel has sold on your room, don't panic. There's a worldwide credit crunch on, and it may be peak season, but Caribbean tourism isn't immune from it. There will almost certainly be beds available at a relatively sensible price somewhere, and quite possibly at a lower price than you originally paid.

Alternatively, (and this may be the easier and cheaper option) just claim your full refund off ATOL and rebook it all yourself. I've had a quick look, and the likes of Opodo, Lastminute.com, and even Expedia have surprisingly cheap direct flights with Virgin Atlantic to Barbados. Flying out on the 24th February and back on the 4th March, for example, would set you back £578.60 return, which I'm guessing is probably less than some people paid for those dates who booked months ago. If you book with Expedia, they'll even put points on your Nectar card. I must admit to being pretty gobsmacked to find so many direct flights still available at this late stage!

Meanwhile, there are certainly hotels with vacancies. A cursory look at hotels.com reveals that one or two have even cut their prices! Admittedly I almost had kittens when I saw some of those prices, but I'm a guesthouse/backpacker hostel/budget hotel type myself, and most of the hotels they deal with are at the opposite end of the market!

Best of luck to anyone who's been left up the creek at this late stage.


thanks for this big harv and others, usefull information, i shall do this first thing tomorrow, you are quite right when you mention the credit crunch, in a way i'm not too worried, i'll get there somehow, it'l have to go on the old card and sod it, this is my first tour and i've been looking forward to it sooo much, i can't wait, i've been packed for 2 weeks and i don't even go til next friday... sad i know... there wil be nothing stopping me... thanks for the support, much appreciated
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Digger
Post subject: Re: Whitehall Leisure ceased trading.............
PostPosted: 07:52 on 10th Feb 2009

Joined: 15:28 on 31st May 2008
Posts: 91
Hope you still make it Flinty. I was going to book with Sporting Journeys, I think they are involved as well (judgeing from the previous emails). Glad I decided against it, not for any other reason than cost and they did not at the time do a 10 day trip.
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superdek
Post subject: Re: Whitehall Leisure ceased trading.............
PostPosted: 09:25 on 10th Feb 2009

Joined: 19:06 on 10th Jan 2009
Posts: 37
Location: stockton on tees
LOOKS LIKE GEORGE GOT HIS WISH NO SMOGGIES booked with sporting journeys just read forum got brio out of bed to tell him good news . what a nightmare .transfers and flights to trinidad accomodation etc all paid for we have our tickets and test tickets .for both venues the cheeky bees even sent us a travel bag polo shirt and cap.will look for advice brio will be on the case as i am stuck at work till 7 . hope we see u all over there fingers crossed .cheers and good luck SUPERDEK and BRIO
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mimmimmim
Post subject: Re: Whitehall Leisure ceased trading.............
PostPosted: 09:38 on 10th Feb 2009

Joined: 09:31 on 10th Feb 2009
Posts: 4
Hi, long-term lurker here.

Thanks for posting the info on Whitehall - am now looking into whether our first England tour abroad will ever happen!

Have you got your flight tickets, Flinty? We've got those, and Whitehall says the match tix will arrive, so it's just the hotel that's a problem.
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flinty
Post subject: Re: Whitehall Leisure ceased trading.............
PostPosted: 09:44 on 10th Feb 2009

Joined: 03:23 on 18th Aug 2008
Posts: 20
superdek, and ltl, just phoned BA about my flight, they said it was a block booking which has already been paid for so no probs there, am wating on a reply from my hotel (Time out at the gap) to see if that is stilll ok - the now unemployed lass i booked with seems to think the only thing that will be shaky would be the transfer but hey whats a 15 min taxi ride in the grand scheme of things, if not as mentioned by some of the others there is no shortage of accomodation in barbados this year so i'm gonna get somewhere, might even bring a tent......
i'll keep you posted on here as soon as I know any more chap, chin up
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superdek
Post subject: Re: Whitehall Leisure ceased trading.............
PostPosted: 09:55 on 10th Feb 2009

Joined: 19:06 on 10th Jan 2009
Posts: 37
Location: stockton on tees
cheers flinty in no mans land a the moment im sure things will turn out ok thanks for your help [brios india trip was cancelled but for different reasons of course so he will be cock a hoop ]
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