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  • FIRST POST
    • dialdfordave
    • By dialdfordave 13th Oct 19, 7:24 PM
    • 61Posts
    • 14Thanks
    dialdfordave
    0 WOW
    Do I have to accept alternative flight?
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 19, 7:24 PM
    0 WOW
    Do I have to accept alternative flight? 13th Oct 19 at 7:24 PM
    Hi all

    I've spent some considerable time on Google but I have not found the answer to my specific question.

    I have a package holiday booked, which originally included a return flight with Thomas Cook.The agent has (without any prior contact with us) replaced the original Thomas Cook flight with an EasyJet flight (due to Thomas Cook going bust) which does not fit in with our other arrangements, as it leaves almost 4 hours later and creates significant inconvenience for us.

    My question is basically, do I have to accept this flight or do I have the right to a refund?

    Cheers
    Dave
Page 1
    • Ganga
    • By Ganga 13th Oct 19, 7:29 PM
    • 1,851 Posts
    • 1,056 Thanks
    Ganga
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 19, 7:29 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 19, 7:29 PM
    Why does 4 hours make that much difference? what would happen if the original flight was delayed ( i know TC has gone but it could have happened )
    ITS NOT EASY TO GET EVERYTHING WRONG ,I HAVE TO WORK HARD TO DO IT!
    • dialdfordave
    • By dialdfordave 13th Oct 19, 7:44 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    dialdfordave
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 19, 7:44 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 19, 7:44 PM
    If I say 4 hours is highly inconvenient for us, can't you just accept it?

    Maybe it would be perfectly fine for you but that doesn't mean it's the same for us.

    I've never had a flight delayed more than about 40 minutes. I allow for some delays when making arrangements but 4 hours is excessive.
    • Westin
    • By Westin 13th Oct 19, 8:00 PM
    • 2,093 Posts
    • 1,538 Thanks
    Westin
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 19, 8:00 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 19, 8:00 PM
    You do not mention the tour operator you have booked your package holiday with so I can’t check the terms and conditions. Have you looked at them to see what they say about flight changes?
    • photome
    • By photome 13th Oct 19, 8:08 PM
    • 14,305 Posts
    • 9,800 Thanks
    photome
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 19, 8:08 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 19, 8:08 PM
    I doubt a 4 hour time difference would mean you are entitled to a refund.

    You are also lucky to have never had a delay longer than 40 minutes but thatís another story
    • dialdfordave
    • By dialdfordave 13th Oct 19, 8:27 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    dialdfordave
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 19, 8:27 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 19, 8:27 PM
    The T&C's is not what I'm concerned about here but how the ATOL rules are implemented.

    For example, everything I have read says they have to offer "a refund or a suitable alternative flight".

    What is not clear, is whether the customer gets a choice and what counts as "suitable".
    • Carrot007
    • By Carrot007 13th Oct 19, 8:29 PM
    • 2,735 Posts
    • 2,371 Thanks
    Carrot007
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 19, 8:29 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 19, 8:29 PM
    What is not clear, is whether the customer gets a choice and what counts as "suitable".
    Originally posted by dialdfordave

    What is reasonable is defined in the T&C's and I would be shocked if it were any less than 12 hours.
    • headpin
    • By headpin 13th Oct 19, 8:43 PM
    • 721 Posts
    • 368 Thanks
    headpin
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 19, 8:43 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 19, 8:43 PM
    You booked a package not a flight. It is the package T&Cís that will rule what can or cannot be done by both you and the operator. Forget ATOL unless your tour operator has gone bust too. Your package provider is under an obligation to get you from A to B for your hols and it is their T&Cís that you have signed up to that will apply. IMO 4 hours would normally be within what is considered as acceptable.
    • Polly Esther
    • By Polly Esther 13th Oct 19, 8:48 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Polly Esther
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 19, 8:48 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 19, 8:48 PM
    For clarification a refund of what costs?
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 13th Oct 19, 9:00 PM
    • 7,225 Posts
    • 7,838 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    I doubt there will be any entitlement to a refund for a 4 hour change to flight times. If TC was still in operation and they changed flight time by 4 hours there would be no entitlement to cancel or have a refund.
    • dialdfordave
    • By dialdfordave 13th Oct 19, 9:34 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    dialdfordave
    I will try to simplify by summarising everything I know, as I believe some people might be confusing regulatory (ATOL) with T&C's. T&C's cannot override regulatory as far as I am aware.

    A package was booked via LoveHolidays which included a (one way) flight with Thomas Cook.

    Thomas Cook went bust

    LoveHolidays rebooked a flight with easyJet, on the same day but 4 hours later. They did not contact us about this to ask whether it would be suitable, or if we would prefer a refund, they just went ahead and did it.

    To the best of my knowledge, LoveHolidays will be bound by whatever the ATOL rules say, their T&C's cannot override regulation or law (otherwise we would all be abused by loads of unfair clauses in contracts),

    LoveHolidays have some less than clear information on their own web site. One part says:

    "We have now contacted all customers who are due to travel up to July 2020.*

    For those customers who have requested refunds, we are working to process these as quickly as possible".

    This would suggest they have contact all customers and offered refunds to at least some of them. However it then goes on to say:

    "We are in the process of emailing all our affected customers (who were not yet contacted), to advise them on their holiday options. You will shortly receive an email from us with three main options:

    Keep your current holiday and choose a new alternative flight (some options will be at no cost, some options will require an additional payment from you to secure these alternatives),

    transfer what you’ve already paid for your current holiday onto a new holiday (plus a little bit extra on us!). Your current holiday will be immediately cancelled and replaced with your new holiday*

    cancel your current holiday and get a full refund**"

    This seems to suggest they have not yet contacted everybody, contrary to the previous statement, though it does again suggest that they are offering refunds to those affected. This is AFAIK in keeping with ATOL rules (which remember, their T&C's cannot overrule).

    So I guess there are two questions now.

    1. Why were we not offered a refund when their own web site says they will offer one?

    2. Do ATOL rules actually mean they have to offer a refund even when there is another suitable (in some peoples opinions, at least) flight available.
    • dialdfordave
    • By dialdfordave 13th Oct 19, 9:35 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    dialdfordave
    You do not mention the tour operator you have booked your package holiday with so I canít check the terms and conditions. Have you looked at them to see what they say about flight changes?
    Originally posted by Westin
    T&C's do not apply where a regulation or law is in force (otherwise we would all get shafted by every company).
    • dialdfordave
    • By dialdfordave 13th Oct 19, 9:36 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    dialdfordave
    What is reasonable is defined in the T&C's and I would be shocked if it were any less than 12 hours.
    Originally posted by Carrot007
    Actually I think in this case the ATOL rules would take precedence over the T&C's.
    • dialdfordave
    • By dialdfordave 13th Oct 19, 9:37 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    dialdfordave
    You booked a package not a flight. It is the package T&C’s that will rule what can or cannot be done by both you and the operator. Forget ATOL unless your tour operator has gone bust too. Your package provider is under an obligation to get you from A to B for your hols and it is their T&C’s that you have signed up to that will apply. IMO 4 hours would normally be within what is considered as acceptable.
    Originally posted by headpin
    ATOL applies even when only one part of the package holiday is affected, it does not require the tour operator itself to go bust.
    Last edited by dialdfordave; 13-10-2019 at 9:38 PM. Reason: clarification
    • dialdfordave
    • By dialdfordave 13th Oct 19, 9:41 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    dialdfordave
    I doubt there will be any entitlement to a refund for a 4 hour change to flight times. If TC was still in operation and they changed flight time by 4 hours there would be no entitlement to cancel or have a refund.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    Perhaps not but it would seem that the powers that be don't consider a 4 hour delay to be inconsequential. See https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/flight-delays/ where it states you will be due compensation for a delay of 3 hours or more.
    • dialdfordave
    • By dialdfordave 13th Oct 19, 9:44 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    dialdfordave
    For clarification a refund of what costs?
    Originally posted by Polly Esther
    A refund of the full package holiday, which is what many interpretations of the ATOL rules seem to suggest I am entitled to choose.
    • bobblebob
    • By bobblebob 13th Oct 19, 9:49 PM
    • 681 Posts
    • 130 Thanks
    bobblebob
    Im not sure there is anything you can do. Flight times change all the time and when you book a a holiday it will state flights are sibject to change and can only be confirmed a few month before you fly. I once booked a holiday years ago where the flight time was changed by 12 hours. I was given plenty of notice so had to make arrangements myself.

    I suspect that will be the case here. ATOL covers package holidays, your holiday company hasnt gone bust so dont think you can claim through them. Even the CAA website just says speak to the agent you booked with, so its up to them what they do
    • dialdfordave
    • By dialdfordave 13th Oct 19, 9:51 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    dialdfordave
    Im not sure there is anything you can do. Flight times change all the time and when you book a a holiday it will state flights are sibject to change and can only be confirmed a few month before you fly. I once booked a holiday years ago where the flight time was changed by 12 hours. I was given plenty of notice so had to make arrangements myself.



    I suspect that will be the case here.
    Originally posted by bobblebob
    You obviously didn't read the thread properly
    • duchy
    • By duchy 13th Oct 19, 9:55 PM
    • 18,414 Posts
    • 46,890 Thanks
    duchy
    I doubt there will be any entitlement to a refund for a 4 hour change to flight times. If TC was still in operation and they changed flight time by 4 hours there would be no entitlement to cancel or have a refund.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    This is the relevant bit.
    Thomas Cooks (and every other tour operator) t&c will say they can change your flight by up to twelve hours so if the replacement is only four hours later you don't have a claim. The fact it's a new airline won't change that.
    They might (but don't have to) let you cancel with a full refund, however any other package you book will have rhe same "up to twelve hours" clause.
    Congratulations on never having a longer delay than 45 minutes, long may your luck hold !
    Last edited by duchy; 13-10-2019 at 9:57 PM.
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

    MSE Florida wedding .....no problem
    • dialdfordave
    • By dialdfordave 13th Oct 19, 9:58 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    dialdfordave
    This is the relevant bit.
    Thomas Cooks t&c will say they can change your flight by up to twelve hours so if the replacement is only four hours later you don't have a claim.
    They might (but don't have to) let you cancel with a full refund, however any other package you book will have rhe same "up to twelve hours" clause.
    Congratulations on never having a longer delay than 45 minutes, long may your luck hold !
    Originally posted by duchy
    Beers all round tonight, I think?

    Seriously though, Thomas Cook T&C's don't have any relevance here, because Thomas Cook went bust and is in administration. As such, my flight with them was cancelled and to the best of my knowledge, no Thomas Cook flights are operating, hence the repatriation of thousands of holiday makers.

    The question which is relevant here is whether the ATOL rules mandate that I should have been offered a refund when one element of the package holiday failed (Thomas Cook).
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