Tour Operators and Travel Agents

Discussions regarding Tour Operators and Travel Agents
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Payment for our May holiday was due on 11th February with Thomson and booked via one of their shops. We were due to fly to Spain (on a Thomson) holiday) for two weeks on 3rd Feb back on 17th. Thomson would not guarantee we would not lose the holiday if we did not pay by the due date. Of course the other problem is they will not now accept personal cheques even if payment is being made before the due date.

Having spoken with Thomson since our return the person I spoke with agreed that is was not a very satisfactory approach on their behalf particularly as we have been having at least two holidays a year with them for over 5 years. I suppose you take a chance if you pay late.

fwh
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If you are intending paying late, make sure you let them know otherwise they may cancel the holiday if they don't hear from you.

luci :wave
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My May holiday was due for the final balance to be paid on February 15th.
We were away from home(in the UK) and I asked if I could pay when we arrived home on the 19th February.
The answer was no so I phoned my local shop and paid on the day it was due. They also said I could pay at another Thomson branch.
I wouldnt risk not paying on the due date as there is no guarantee you wont lose your holiday.
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One good thing in your favour is that you have paid most of the outstanding balance, with only £100 outstanding.
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If it's been booked with a local branch I think they ask for payment earlier so that it can be in with accounts by 8 weeks before .There have been a few occasions when I have forgotten to pay balance by the due date and I've always been sent a reminder the following day with another date to make sure payment is in by .

I would just ring and ask .
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Thanks for all the replys, at the moment just getting a feel, for what could happen

Holiday booked in local shop, and they know where I work, and money was tight for Feb, due to wage constraints in my work place...supermarket

I sure when I first booked my holidays, 2005 full balance was due in 8 weeks,
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I should think they would be fine .. As has been said it's only £100 or so short and they will no doubt of built in an extra few weeks to get the money in to the accounts department . Highly likely it's not actually due with the T/O until 8 weeks before.
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I cant see why they have changed the final payment to be paid 13 weeks before. :que
I suppose the travel companies get a bit extra interest on our money! :rofl :rofl
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exactly Jean , They hold on to it for an extra 4 weeks before sending it in to the T/O but of course they tell you they need 4 weeks to get it there . :rofl
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There is usually no problem as long as you let them know when it will be paid, the problems arise if you don't tell them or you don't pay them when you said you would.

Just let them know and you should be fine :tup
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It didnt work with Thomson for us as we told them we would be back home on the 19th February but they wanted the final balance to be paid on the 15th. :duh
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What I find strange is when we booked our holiday for this may our invoice said balance to be paid by the 13th march, we then decided to change our hotel and when the new invoice came it said 12th feb :que , it was paid before that but it did seem strange as to why the balance had to be paid a month earlier
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we booked this summer with Co-op and the lovely man in our local shop couldnt have been more helpful changing the final balance date to work around my pay days, moving it back by about 3 weeks. He said they are usually happy to help as long as you talk to them and let them know well in advance - I guess it depends on who you are dealing with but its worth asking.
Last summer I was picking up my tickets in Thompson and some guy came in and paid weeks late when I was in there.
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I read on another forum of someone who didn't pay on time because he forgot and his holiday was cancelled. He eventually managed to get it reinstated after much pleading, but had to pay a higher cost as the price of the holiday had gone up.
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hi all... I booked for july this year...I took it for granted balance was due 12 weeks before travel date...but when I worked it out it was 14 weeks before.....they are forcing us to pay earlier and earlier...and the only alternative is dont book....or DIY

I have 2 trains of thought...first they are getting greedier ...the other is that thier cash flow is getting tighter and tighter....and they need to get new cash in now from holidays with 14wks to go...to pay the bill for holidays they are needing to pay for now....

This makes me nervious...it means our hard earned cash is out of our control for longer ...and the risk for us is greater...robbing peter to pay paul comes to mind....the crunch comes when there are less peters than the pauls that need paying....too many travel companies ect have gone to the wall to feel confident when parting with so much cash.

Think its time there were better laws made for our protection ...our deposits and balances need ring fencing in a protected account...and there should be a maximum time before travel date the balances can be demanded with out penalties or risk of loosing a holiday.

The bank I think rescued thomascook last year
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In the past there were differences between TourOps about when balances were due. And some were confusing - Thomas Cook usually required 12/13 weeks, whereas Direct Holidays (owned by TC) only asked for 8 weeks. Thomson asked for 9 weeks, sometimes with their subsidiary Portland only 8 weeks.
But now it's all changed - almost all are now insisting on payment 12/13 weeks before. If Thomson/FC have your Email and mobile contacts, then you can expect a couple of Email reminders at the 14 and 13 week points, and if you are late by as little as one day, then you are likely to get a serious warning text message on your phone.

I can, in a way, understand the TourOps doing everything they can to improve their cash flow like this, times are hard in the travel business.
But what really burns me up is the comparison between what they demand of you, if you are forced to change your booking, and the pittance that they are prepared to pay in compensation if they mess you about at short notice before you go on holiday.
There should be greater equivalence....if they change your flight/hotel at the "two weeks to go" point, maybe the compensation should be 50% of the holiday price, not just 20 quid!
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hi ...I agree with you ukbill about the balance being too much in the tour operators/travel agents favour...they are basicaly making thier own rules...and its about time things became more balanced...sauce for the goose is source for the gander... tweetie

ps...portland...are they still trading...they used to give great prices for early bookings
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I think Portland have gone the way of Eclipse Tweetie and are no more. :(

I had some very good deals with both over the years, as at that point in time you got a discount for booking on-line over what you got by booking in a high street travel agents.

But I guess as the mystery of booking on-line has disappeared and everybody is more confident with computers they don't need to offer any incentives to encourage people to book on-line.

Happy holidays everyone.

Doe :sun2
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