Armed guards held airline victim


A Barnsley man was ordered to pay a hotel bill of £1,000 in Egypt as armed guards surrounded his hotel to recoup money owed by collapsed airline XL.

The hotel where Matthew Bailey and his girlfriend stayed in Sharm El Sheikh demanded the money when the travel company went into administration.

The couple were among guests held by armed police at the resort until they paid the money XL owned to the hotel.

Mr Bailey said the “frightening” incident ruined the couple’s holiday.

They had been on the last day of a two week all-inclusive trip when they were called to a meeting to explain they too were affected by the airline’s collapse.

Armed guards

Guest were told, by a hotel representative, that although their holidays were booked through other travel operators it was XL which had been due to pay the hotel bills.

XL had 21 planes grounded on Friday leaving some 85,000 people stranded abroad and leaving many to foot extra bills in order to return home.

Mr Bailey said: “Originally the hotel wanted £3,000 from me, but the travel company negotiated a lower price of £1,000.

“The guards were there holding guests in the hotel lobby until they paid.

“You could see these guards had guns, we were in a strange country, you daren’t do anything out of the ordinary.”

According to Mr Bailey armed guards were also at the back entrance to the hotel to prevent holidaymakers from leaving without paying.

Mr Bailey added: “I still feel bitter about it all.”