Holiday Complaints

Do you have a holiday complaint? For help and advice post in here.
Just to add I have just received a letter from Thomson Customer Service it reads.
'' Thank you for your furthur letter.
I am sorry that you were dissatisfied with my previous response and have reviewed all the correspondence which has passed between us.
Having done so, I do not feel there is anything I can add to what has already been said. It is evident that no amount of further discussion will bring about our agreement.
I am sorry that I am unable to assist you further with this matter and that it has not been settled as you would wish.''
What do you think of that??????
Beannie contact Ros Fernihough on 01922 621114 for free advice on your rights.
''Yes - airline Tri-Star which was totally unsuitable for long haul" - this would be your opinion. The plane would have had the "range" to fly from Cuba to Gatwick (or they would not have put you on it) - therefore it was suitable for longhaul

"on the return journey to Gatwick causing them to abandon the flight and return to Holguin Cuba" - are you still there!?!?.
The point of your comments being?
Although long delays are an upsetting experience - they happen. I'm sure First Choice tried to minimise the delay and your inconvienence by accommodating you, feeding you and generally looking after you and your party. It sounds like they tried to minimise the delay as best as possible by sub-chartering another airline to operate the flight. This had to be better than either waiting much longer for the FCA aircraft, or cancelling your holiday?. Seems like what ever action they took would not satisfy you.
Wether of not the plane was suitable for long haul is not the complaint. What i should have explained was that we had booked the holiday on the pretext that we would have certain requirements on the plane. One in particular would be onboard entertainment. A 10 hour flight with nothing!
The fact that none of First Choice trolleys could be stowed because they didn't fit in the galley. Bags and bags of items stowed anywhere they would fit. Not too safe in my opinion. I could go on but don't want to bore you with all the details.
Obviously I am not still there as it was the flight to Cuba that I was on. I am in contact with many passengers who were unfortunate enough to experience the ''abandoned flight'' due to an engine fire on its return to Gatwick. They were totally traumatised by the incident.
Hi Bennie:

I'm sorry to hear this, and whilest I am unsure as to whether or not you are entitled to compensation, you have my total understanding.

I went to Tunisia last year, and the plane was not suitable even for a 3 hour flight, ours was sent to stranded passengers, and we where sent a no frills type aeroplane with no tv, which is normally used to like transport people from liverpool to london, so it was really uncomfortable, so I totally understand how bad it must have been. (I've been to Cuba twice, and the flight is frustrating enough)

I'm sure, given the choice between that aeroplane and waiting another 24 hours in the Cuban airport, you'd just want to get home and sleep.
This plane eventually had an engine fire on the return journey to Gatwick causing them to abandon the flight and return to Holguin Cuba. IT WAS A FIASCO !!!!HELP PLEASE!!!!"

so if you were not on the Cuba > UK flight. The one with the engine fire. The one that returned to Cuba, how can you describe it as a "Fiasco" and exactly what help are YOU looking for?
As I have already explained I have been in contact with many passengers who were unfortunate enough to experience that flight in particular. That is what they have all described to me, so yes it was a fiasco. The plane then sat on the runway for many days but I do not know what happened to it then and don't much care!
All I want is compensation for my 2 lost days holiday, thats all. Not too much to ask is it? The flight? well i'll just put that down to experience and remember never to use Thomson or First Choice again.
As you were on neither flight it is not for you to pass comment is it?
Well as you have posted to a public forum - it is.

You were also not on the "Fiasco" flight - so the same could apply to you - perhaps you don't need to comment on the Cuba>UK flight if you were not affected by it.

Not sure how 17 hours = 2 days?. Thought there were 24 hours in each day.

Your issue seems to relate to the 17 hour delay on the outbound sector of your holiday. I am truly sorry that you and your party had this horrid start to your holiday. I'll have two similar delays of over 24 hours. They happen, thankfully rarely.On the last one I actually wrote a "polite" letter to the CEO of the charter airline instead of the tour operator. They wrote a nice letter back with £100 compensation (two in party). Not a great deal but I wasn't actually looking for anything anyway - just to complain about the poor way that this particular delay was handled. You could try this approach with FCA as it seems that you have expired your options at Thomson. I always think a polite letter (keep to the point and for your flight only!), perhaps indicating your disappointment and asking how your faith in their airline could be restored, is a better approach to a ranting type letter (not however suggesting that yours was)
Beannie and Traveller, whilst you are both entitled to your opinions can I please remind you to keep it friendly please. We will not tolerate slanging matches in the forums.

Please read the terms and condtions of Holiday Truths.

Sarah HT Admin.
I am really friendly :lol: honest !!!
First of all bennie, I do sympathise with you about your 17 hour delay on the outward bound part of you journey; shame it wasn't on the inbound eh!! :)

However, I do have to agree with some of Travellers comments. Always, if you have a complaint it is best to stick to the facts, do not include anything that did not concern you personally, and be polite at all times. Obviously I haven't seen any of the correspondence you sent to Thomson, only what you have posted was their reply, but if you feel that you need to take it further then your next step is the airline itself.

As far as the aircraft not being suitable, and I see dramaqueen had the same problem, my thoughts are they are the same as cars, buses, trains etc. If they get you to where you are going (barring totally unforeseen problems) they are suitable, whether they are old, new, big, small, comfortable, uncomfortable etc etc!!!!!

One other thought. Your quote:

"What i should have explained was that we had booked the holiday on the pretext that we would have certain requirements on the plane. One in particular would be onboard entertainment. A 10 hour flight with nothing! "

Do you really, really book a holiday depending on what type of entertainment you will get on the journey!!!!!!!
the operators are quite happy to promote their holiday flights as having extras such as seat back tv's etc so if you don't get them when you go on your trip maybe you have the right to feel a little aggrieved. OK it maybe down to operational difficulties but perhaps the operator should recognise the fact that the full service promised has not been given. After all the promise of extras in flight might sway you to book one operator over another.

Looking at the flights forum it seems the provision of extras on a flight has a big sway over what people book. Personally I'd rather have more room.
Sunbear, I quite agree with you!! More space please!!!!!

And bennie, I see that you really had a good holiday once you arrived, and to me it seems you are stressing yourself out trying to get compensation for a 17 hour delay. Isn't that undoing all the point of the holiday?
The reson of me commenting on the return journey was to highlight the fact that the plane actually caught fire! It had to be abandoned, so yes this has concerned me due to the fact I had just spent over 10 hours on that particular plane. What if that had happened whilst we were mid- Atlantic?
Also you don't know that when we checked in for the flight we were told of a 45minute delay. Not a problem. Then later to be told that our plane had been used to take other passengers who had being delayed 36 hours to Mexico. First Choice knew there was a problem days before the 23rd of Feb. So why wait days to rectify a problem? Not good enough I say.
Due to being awake /travelling for 37 hours untill we arrived at the hotel that is where the 2 days comes from! I work very hard to be able to take a 14 day holiday and every one of those days are important to me.
If First Choice promotes the benefits of flying with them i.e. entertainment , then I expect them to be available.
Bennie, as I said earlier, it is nothing to do with YOUR flight that an aircraft caught fire!!!! You were not on it!!!!! That is completely irrelevant to your case. If you have any hope whatsoever of getting any compensation then I suggest that you stick to what happened to YOU and forget the rest!!!!!!

We can all do the "what if" scenario :roll:
I was a passenger on flight FCA 055 Holguin to Gatwick / 26th February 2005.

Following the first cancellation and delay of 48 hrs, First Choice Airways chartered the same 30 year old Yes Airways Tri-Star L1011 to bring us home. Encountering intense vibration and noise, a problem with this particular aircraft was evident during taxiing for takeoff and should have never left the ground (ref: benniebaby). After becoming airborne an announcement was made by the captain advising that we had 'engine failure' and that an immediate return to Cuba was required. What happened next can only be described as traumatic, as panic set in passengers were passing out, being sick and screaming, the 45 minutes that it took to dump the fuel seemed the longest I have ever known. The emergency landing was the most frightening and unforgettable experience. It left many passengers, including my family, in shock and very traumatised.
It is my understanding that some passengers were signed unfit to fly again the following evening, and it was only with medication and another four days that they were able to do so. We had to supply our own medication to our young children to calm them. The experience completely ruined our holiday and with all the benefits that the holiday had provided completely diminished. My wife and daughter are still extremely traumatised by the events and it is doubtful that either will consider flying again.

First Choice have since claimed 'a bird strike during take off from Holguin'. The very same plane Yes - Linhas Aereas Charter CS-TMX landed unexpectedly due to a engine failure in Lajes / Azores, Portugal on March 3, 2005.

I am sure the Tri-Star L1011 was a fabulous plane in its day, but I would seriously reconsider flying an airline still operating the L1011 for pax service. It's just a tired old airplane now, and very expensive to operate in a non-cargo capacity. It is highly likely that due to high operating costs, the airline probably doesn't maintain the aircraft to standards above what is required by the aviation regulations of the operator's home country (in this case Portugal). That's not to say that Yes - Linhas Aereas Charter operate in this manner, but 2 emergency landings within days of each other, it seems logical to me.

But even disregarding the engine problems which occurred, the plane was old, extremely dirty and did not appear to have even been cleaned prior to boarding; we were also advised that due to 'downgrading' their would be no in-flight entertainment or duty free on board, it is apparent that First Choice had resorted to the 'cheapest option' available to them when chartering the replacement aircraft.

The service provided by First Choice following the emergency landing was totally unsatisfactory. But that's another story..
Why I made comment to the engine fire is to reiterate the fact that I had just travelled thousands of miles on the airplane in question! Yes this did concern me very much. As I said previously I will just put that down to a very bad experience, (not one I would ever like to repeat). I am not trying to claim any compensation for that just for my lost days holiday.
Hear,hear denmarkhse. Maybe they can understand the reason for our complaints!
A result !!! This is featured in todays Holiday from Hell in todays Sun Newspaper page 49.
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