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    • patch9495
    • By patch9495 11th Jan 19, 8:16 AM
    • 51 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    patch9495
    Good Morning All,


    We have booked a flight to within the EU departing in 2 weeks through a package holiday.
    Yesterday whilst checking an issue with the hotel (completely separate issue) a sales rep of the travel agency said to me "I assume you know your flight has been changed." This was the first I had heard of this issue with no previous communication from the travel agent. The alternative flight offered is a full 24 hours after, and will not be suitable as the city break was only for 3 days now cut to 2.


    People have booked transport from all over the country to attend this event.


    There is a different flight on the same day stated, however with a different airline. The hotel transfers and return flights remain unaffected. Holiday was paid for on a Credit Card with 25% deposit on a debit card.


    What rights if any do I have and how do I approach this with the travel agent, as they have stated they may well issue a response only 3 days before we fly!!


    Thanks in advance
    • jpsartre
    • By jpsartre 11th Jan 19, 8:39 AM
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    jpsartre
    You're probably entitled to rerouting but I expect you will have troubles arranging it since airlines are generally hesitant to offer it on other airlines and in your case you will need to go through the agent which won't make things easier. You could book the new flight yourself and seek reimbursement from the airline later or request a refund of the changed flight. If you tell us where you're flying to/from someone in here may be able to suggest alternatives as well.
    • patch9495
    • By patch9495 11th Jan 19, 8:48 AM
    • 51 Posts
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    patch9495
    Thank you for the response, we are flying from London Gatwick to Prague, there are alternative flights available with alternative airlines on the same day which we require


    Additionally the package holiday contains ATOL protection and we all have valid travel insurance


    Many Thanks
    • jpsartre
    • By jpsartre 11th Jan 19, 9:24 AM
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    jpsartre
    Assuming you were originally scheduled to fly out on January 24 you may consider simply booking a new easyJet flight yourself and getting a refund for the (I presume?) changed Smartwings flight. They're pretty reasonably priced.
    • patch9495
    • By patch9495 11th Jan 19, 9:46 AM
    • 51 Posts
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    patch9495
    That is exactly what we were considering doing, however were unsure how we go about this especially as through a travel agent.


    Only the outbound leg of our flight has been cancelled, not the return leg. Would it be possible to book an alternative outbound flight (only get refund for this) and still used the booked planned return flight?


    Many Thanks
    • jpsartre
    • By jpsartre 11th Jan 19, 10:08 AM
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    jpsartre
    Only the outbound leg of our flight has been cancelled, not the return leg. Would it be possible to book an alternative outbound flight (only get refund for this) and still used the booked planned return flight?
    Originally posted by patch9495

    You'll need to talk to the agent about that. In theory it should be possible.
    • JPears
    • By JPears 11th Jan 19, 10:51 AM
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    JPears
    The responsibility for this lies both with the airline and the travel agent.
    You need to push them very hard to make alternative arrangements that are suitable to you, at their expense.
    Both have failed in their obligations to inform you of the change. Who ultimately pays is not your concern.
    You are almost certainly entitled to re-routing at a time convenient to you, including alternative airlines. Make both the airlinie and the agent fully aware of your rights under regualtion 261/2004, irrespective of any rights under ATOL or package holiday benefits.
    You may have to pay for the flights and then reclaim fromn airline or agent. Its a complicated area and we don't have much info on ATOL or package holiday rights on this particular forum.
    Also if you have been given less than 2 weeks notice of the cancellation then youo may be due compensation.
    Last edited by JPears; 11-01-2019 at 12:15 PM.
    If you're new. read The FAQ and Vauban's Guide

    The alleged Ringleader.........
    • legal magpie
    • By legal magpie 11th Jan 19, 11:48 AM
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    legal magpie
    So far as I know, ATOL only applies if the airline goes bust. The package holiday regulations make it clear that if there is a breach by one party, the tour operator is liable. The usual scenario is where the hotel is deficient in some way, in which case you can sue the tour operator. In this case, you should follow the advice of JPears (post immediately before this one) and make it clear that if they can't or won't reroute you, you will make your own arrangement for the flight and claim the cost from them. Put it in writing and do it quickly. Also make sure that the airline does not cancel your return flight. Some airlines do this if the passenger isn't on the outbound flight.
    • patch9495
    • By patch9495 11th Jan 19, 1:10 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    patch9495
    Thank you very much all for the responses.


    We are now being told that for either rerouting or a full refund we may have to wait up to 10 days for a response, of which a satisfactory answer may not be guaranteed. Additionally the tour operator are digging their heels in as they are claiming that a refund breaches the T&C's and we will be charged a fee in order to do so


    I would have thought they would be breaching the agreement by changing our package and not notifying us until 2 weeks before we are due to fly


    Additionally for compensation the initial flight was 24/01. As were told on 10/01, would this fall under the 14 day window as it is the 14th or is compensation only issued if less than 14 days. if so who do we claim this from tour operator or airline?


    Many Thanks in advance
    • JPears
    • By JPears 11th Jan 19, 1:26 PM
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    JPears
    Regarding your last point, there is an arguement, should a compensation claim go to court, that it was only because you contacted the agent that you became aware of the change in flight.
    I woould put in a compensation claim, directly to the airline anyway. Bypass the agent.
    As for the agent, BS is the term that comes to mind. As you say there is a breach of contract with substantive change to your original agreement.
    If you still want to do your trip, just book the alterntive flights yourselves. You have given the agent a chance, they have declined to assist you.
    Make your re-routing expenses claim directly to the airline.
    It will get messy but at least you will have surety of travel.
    PS the 2 week limit doesn't apply to the re-routing, just the compensation claim.
    Last edited by JPears; 11-01-2019 at 1:40 PM.
    If you're new. read The FAQ and Vauban's Guide

    The alleged Ringleader.........
    • patch9495
    • By patch9495 11th Jan 19, 1:49 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    patch9495
    Many Thanks for your clarification JPears,


    Would it be wise to book the hotels and trasnfers separately as well, and add this cost to the total cost of the claim, or should the hotel, return flights and transfers still be honoured by the tour operator, as part of our package holiday?
    • JPears
    • By JPears 11th Jan 19, 2:53 PM
    • 4,537 Posts
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    JPears
    You'll need to check with travel agent. I can't answer that.
    If you're new. read The FAQ and Vauban's Guide

    The alleged Ringleader.........
    • jpsartre
    • By jpsartre 11th Jan 19, 4:02 PM
    • 3,834 Posts
    • 2,389 Thanks
    jpsartre
    Additionally for compensation the initial flight was 24/01. As were told on 10/01, would this fall under the 14 day window as it is the 14th or is compensation only issued if less than 14 days. if so who do we claim this from tour operator or airline?
    Originally posted by patch9495

    The airline but whether you're entitled depends on whether or not the airline had your contact details. It's possible they notified your agent who then should have notified notified you. All in all, it sounds like your agent is pretty useless. Is it a proper travel agent or one of those dime-a-dozen travel sites like Travel Republic?
    • patch9495
    • By patch9495 11th Jan 19, 4:44 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    patch9495
    lastminute.com Never used them before however large company ATOL protected ad have generally positive reviews.
    • jpsartre
    • By jpsartre 11th Jan 19, 4:50 PM
    • 3,834 Posts
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    jpsartre
    Unfortunately Lastminute is part of the Bravofly group which is one of the most complainted about travel agents out there.
    • patch9495
    • By patch9495 11th Jan 19, 5:23 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    patch9495
    Lesson learnt, will not be using again in the future


    Many Thanks
    • patch9495
    • By patch9495 15th Jan 19, 11:06 AM
    • 51 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    patch9495
    An update as to the situation regarding the above.


    After many phone calls and hours spent on hold over the weekend, we have finally been able to agree with the tour agency a full refund of the outbound cancelled flight, whilst all other aspects of our package remain the same. We have used this refund to book an alternative flight that has actually worked out a little cheaper.
    Considering filing for compensation regarding the cancellation of a short haul flight within 14 days.


    Is there anyway I can check when the flight was actually cancelled, decifering if its the airline cancelling within 14 days and I am actually entitled to compensation, or if it was cancelled weeks ago and my tour agency being useless.


    Many Thanks
    • JPears
    • By JPears 15th Jan 19, 12:11 PM
    • 4,537 Posts
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    JPears
    patch, it doesn't matter. Its when you were informed that is the time point, which ultimately is (and has been established by EC) the airlines repsonsibility.
    If you're new. read The FAQ and Vauban's Guide

    The alleged Ringleader.........
    • Justice13075
    • By Justice13075 15th Jan 19, 1:10 PM
    • 1,634 Posts
    • 552 Thanks
    Justice13075
    As JPears says it is when you are told of the cancellation not when the flight was actually cancelled and it is the airline's responsibility to inform you.
    • jpsartre
    • By jpsartre 15th Jan 19, 2:41 PM
    • 3,834 Posts
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    jpsartre
    As JPears says it is when you are told of the cancellation not when the flight was actually cancelled and it is the airline's responsibility to inform you.
    Originally posted by Justice13075

    I agree *if* the airline had the passenger's contact details. If not, there is nobody to contact but the agent.
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