Wrecked our holidays

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Will No One Stand Up And Take Large Holiday Companies To Task?

Thomson is probably the largest tour operator in the UK and Europe with a monopoly on most of the holidays booked in the UK and yet treat their passengers with little or no compassion by wrecking their travel plans at the 11th hour!

We have a special birthday coming up in September so decided to book a holiday to escape all the fuss. We booked and paid the deposit early, in December and paid in full in May, 15 weeks before we were due to fly to Sorrento. On June 4 the travel agent said our holiday had been cancelled due to our rooms being over-booked. How can this be when we had booked seven months earlier?

Our option was to change to a similar 5 star hotel but on a half board basis and not the all-inclusive one we’d booked. How can they justify this and state ‘it is a comparable hotel’?

Thomson got round this by offering us £20 per person per day compensation to cover the cost of lunch and drinks. With water costing 3 euros at the other hotel anyone can see £20 is inadequate. If this option wasn’t acceptable then the only alternative would be a full refund.

On checking, we found we could fly out a week earlier of our travel dates or three days later and have the same holiday, which we were prepared to do but Thomson said we’d have to pay the new price of £1,700 (at time of booking, it cost £1,250 each)!

Thomson deny the overbooking has anything to do with them and blame the hotelier, saying because our holiday falls on a bank holiday weekend the rooms are reserved for local people.

A more sceptical person may think it’s more to do with the extra £900 they could cream off us if we changed our departure date.

Our holiday’s cancelled, even though the flights are there and rooms available albeit three days later. So why can’t we have the holiday we booked?

It’s time the Government brought in protection for holidaymakers. The travel industry is the only one that can treat people this way without redress.

Peter Horsfield, Maple Grove, S9