What do you think of UK Online Travel Agencies ?

kay7

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Today I had the most horrible phone ever. I always talk calm on the phone and rarely I raise my voice to anyone.
Back in december I was looking at 2010 Summer Holidays and said to myself: i'll take my family in the summer someplace warm. Looked at some online travel agencies and decided to book from Travel Republic: 2 Adults, 1 Child, half board, flights, 4* to Tenerife for £910-1 week.
had my email confirmation within minutes and everything was ok.
Last week they called me and said there is a problem with my tickets...well, pricing went up to £1170. I said fine, paid the extra amount.
Today they called me again and told me : * Your payment couldn't be processed due to some technical fault to our server and you must send a cheque ASAP*. OH!. Right. ( this was around 9.45am )

Checked online banking and ...voila... 04.05.2010 12.34 Paid Out £260 Travel Republic.
Had a shock ! Called the bank and yeah, money gone. Called Travel Republic and after explaining the problem , the lady on the phone told me : *Sir, I cannot do anything to help you now. We cannot find your payment in the system.* Damn!
One of my best friends works for Mastercard UK as IT antifrauds manager and asked him to trace the money. Money aid yo Travel Republic, of course. I have real proof from Mastercard UK.

After 9 hours of hell and shouting decided to get my money back and I did. I don-t have time for legal action as british law is crap.

I'm warning other people as well. Please! Avoid Travel Republic ! They-re a bunch of silly kids with no respect for customers.

Found reviews online about them and I was right. Same problem with OT Beach. So far found around 12 UK Travel Agencies.

Be aware! :eek:
 

Mr E

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It helps having a travel pro in the family (Mrs E) but I'd never use an on-line agent. I've seen too many tales of woe, although I'm sure that there are many, many happy customers.

Proof of the pudding comes when things go wrong.....
 

Spinal

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A close family friend is a travel agent, so we tend to use her... if not, we only use agents that are personally recomended by friends.

This was a problem when booking tickets back from Timbuktu - and we duly had our issues when trying to get a refund (ended up getting £25 refund on a £300 ticket)

M.
 

robpow

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I always book travel and accomodation separately, check Tripadvisor for a good hotel and then just pick whatever flights work best for you.

Matt
 
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kay7

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Never had problems like this. Im looking on Expedia for some good hotels now. I always Tripadvisor as i have an account there:)
 

crockers

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I always book travel and accomodation separately, check Tripadvisor for a good hotel and then just pick whatever flights work best for you.

Matt
Not sure on this - but if you book via an travel agent you get ABTA protection and if its a package holiday they look after you (aka ash problem) if you book seperately isn't the air travel ATOL protected but there is no protection on the accommodation.

I am sure an expert will correct the above..;)
 

NormanC

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Have used Expedia quite a lot without problems until ......

Morning .....book 2 nights in Holiday Inn Express in Aberdeen

Then drive 450 miles to Aberdeen

Arrive at Holiday Inn Express to be told that there was no booking and the hotel was full - booking had been made by Expedia but cancelled an hour later - whilst I was driving!!

Phoned Expedia to be told "We haven't cancelled your booking" Holiday Inn Express say "We're full!"

In the end Holiday Inn Express got me a room in the Holiday Inn next door and I didn't have to pay any extra, so the problem was resolved but.....

I've often used Expedia to book rooms in Crete, the Peloponnese, USA, etc. What would have happened if my booking had been screwed up in these places? I'm now worried about using Expedia again.
 

BlackC55

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Get Mrs E to sort your holiday out. She did for me and it was stress free and brilliant.
 

cheffy

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I can relate to your frustration. In 2008 we booked 2 weeks in Tenerife all inclusive, with On The Beach, everything was confirmed by email, inc ref nos, booking number etc etc, even spoke to them on the phone quite a few times, on our arrival, we were informed by the (very rude) head receptionist that we were on R O basis only, he said our booking confirmation "All Inclusive" did not include food, but only soft drinks, several calls to O T Beach got us nowhere, and strangely, the girl that dealt with our booking had left, so, were informed that we must pay another £670, for food and drink, so, paid it by visa, but it took them 2 days to fax details to our hotel, during which time we had to pay for food etc. On our return, we took O T Beach to small claims court, eventually after about 14/15 months, they settled out of of court ! which included the extra we had to spend for 1st 2/3 days + £35 in calls (to them) from the hotel, this was not thier first offer, and it was the day before the case was in court !
Very annoying and spoiled the holiday. NEVER EVER use ON THE BEACH.
Since then we have booked everything ourselves, long w/e in Prague last July, 1 week nr Porto Banus in Oct, and just came back from 4 nights in Barcelona for GP, we booked flights, hotels, tickets, parking, car hire etc all seperately, no problems at all. It is a bit of a chore, but does work out cheaper (not much) but I find travel agents never seem to call me back, even after calling them several times, I always get the "its been very busy today" story !
So, the old saying is, If you want a job done properly, do it yourself !!
 

robpow

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True.. but wasn't there something in the news that if you fly with an EU airline they have to provide accommodation and food if they cant fly you back? Otherwise a good travel insurance is a must.

Matt
 

Spinal

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I can relate to the expedia experience... I had booked 3 tickets via expedia in 2006 when some friends and I were due to goto New York.

A few days after booking the tickets, they sent us an email stating that one of our party was being moved to another flight, at another time.

It took us weeks (which luckily we had) to get them to cancel all three tickets so we could rebook on another flight (and we weren't being difficult, all we asked for was 3 tickets on the same flight... be it by changing 1 ticket, 2 tickets or all 3!)

M.
 

AMGeed

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I wouldn't touch Expedia with a bargepole. Didn't inform me until 2 days before a flight out to Thailand that my return flight times had been changed. With a connecting flight to make, I had to cut short the holiday by one day, change flights at cost, and Expedia didn't want to know about reimbursing me.
Turned out that Expedia knew of the flight change 3 months before but failed to inform me. I could have changed my itinerary then, but it was too late.
 

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