Tour Operators and Travel Agents

Discussions regarding Tour Operators and Travel Agents
We booked with Holiday Gems this year. We went to Turkey. The holiday was fine and we enjoyed it. Sadly Holiday Gems are the worst travel company I have every had the misfortune to use. Completely disorganised and inept.

If you phone Holiday Gems are in a queue for ages - the shortest time my call was answered in was 35 minutes when we called their customer services line.
Don't phone after 5pm - although the answering machine message says that you are in a queue the customer services close at 5pm and you will never be answered. They have lots of people on the sales part but no one on the customer services, I was promised numerous phone calls and did not get one returned. We made 18 phone calls to get our e tickets - even then the tickets were wrong - flights for 2 weeks accommodation for 1! - I was not asking for anything difficult - I just wanted my tickets. I hadn't changed any part of my order - I was not going any where difficult - I finally got the tickets the day before I was to travel - they were e tickets - I have no idea why it was so difficult.

In the end we had to resort to using the say no to 0870 website to get a telephone number of someone else at the company and they put us through to someone who eventually helped.

You have to be very, very persistant - by the time we went on holiday we were really upset and angry.
I would never use them again - they were absolutely ghastly. Maybe I was just unlucky.

On the plus side the holiday was wonderful. I hope you have a wonderful time
Dont go near them have sent them 3 emails no reply and i go on holiday in 3 days i shall call again and be on phobne for 40 mins at 35ppm a total nite amre save ur money go with someone else id recomend lowcostbeds i was so stupid to book with these clowns.
Funny how people have different opionions. I have been with this company for 3 out of my last 4 holidays and have nothing but praise for them. There cheap as chips and only once could they be beaten and believe me, I do my research before I book. The people there are pleasant and unlike other companies I have had the displeasure of dealing with in the past there true to there word. Some person mentions lowcostholidays and I can tell you categorically they are defiantly not lowcost compared to holidaygems. If you want a bargain book with these and there ATOL licensed too so there safe as houses. And with respect to however mentioned waiting on the phone, I think you may have been very unlucky maybe dialled the wrong number as they answered on the two ocassions I had to query my tickets. Ian (oldham)
Holiday Gems are members of The Global Travel Group who are the Atol licence holders. If anyone has a real gripe over the way they are trading I would complain to Global.
Nothing wrong with this company i have booked with them before becuase they was protected and they have been really good value for us and i will be booking with them again
Hi Guys

I want to book holidays with them. Can you give any more feedback? Is it safe website and did you experience any difficulties with tickets, flights or hotels.

Many Thanks for you help

hi just came back from sharm in egypt had a fantastic time accomodation beautiful an absolute brilliant place booked through jason at holiday gems i wasn't sure where to go and the advice i recieved from him was great and very helpful i will be booking again soon for egypt and definately through holiday gems. :)
I will never book with this company again in my life!!! Note that the parent company is Global Travel Group Ltd.

I would not recommend them. Their prices are good however I booked a one week holiday to Lanzarote through them. Got a phone call to tell me the flights I had booked from Glasgow International Airport were no longer available and asked if flights from Prestwick would do instead. I asked if there were no flights from Glasgow Int were available and was told no. I asked this twice in the phonecall. So felt had to take them. Discovered next day on looking at website that not only were the flights I had booked still available but there were also several other flights avail. (This remained the case for weeks after.) When I phoned the boy who told me the flights were unavailable I did not get anywhere except to be told it would cost me £500-£600 to cancel flights and rebook. If I waited til next day it would have been whole cost of holiday. Sent e-mail after e-mail to parent company Global Travel since then (booked 22 Jan 2010) and have still not had a response to my complaint. Only one e-mail and eventually on Saturday received a letter stating they were dealing with my complaint and thanking me for my continued patience. My tickets also just arrived and I travel on Thursday!!!

Will definitely not go with them again!!
In response to the posting from KarenS I would confirm that as a member of the administration department for the group this complaint is being handled in the normal manner with our client and we do not feel it benefits from public debate. As stated correspondence has received initial acknowledgment and, following completion of enquiries, our final response is formulated which will incorporate reference to factual inaccuracies in the complaint.
Well I must say that this is the quickest response I have had from Holiday Gems/Global Travel. Maybe I should have posted here in the first place. I look forward to hearing about these factual inaccuracies. Also it does not bode well that an organisation is contacted on 26 January 2010 by written e-mail with the complaint and today is the 02 March 2010 and I do not have a full and written reply to my complaint, especially if this is a complaint being dealt with in the normal manner.
I dont normally do this but I thought Id share my experience in booking, or trying to book, a holiday through Holiday Gems.

I booked a holiday on Monday evening to Sharm in June for myself and my partner. We had good flights, accommodation and transfers, so at this stage we were pleased especially as it came in under £900.

I received a phone call from Holiday Gems on Tuesday afternoon saying they had managed to book my hotel and transfers but if I wanted the flight I would have to pay a futher £37 per person. The reason given was that "everyone is going there and the airline have increased the fares". I was almost tempted to say "yes no worries, Ill pay the 15% increase", but I didnt and after a short discussion with the person on the phone, niether Holiday Gems or myself willing to budge so I decided to cancel completely.

How can a company book me a holiday at a price then phone the following day saying I would have to pay more? In all the years I have booked holidays on the internet, I have never had such a problem.

Funnily enough, my children also booked through Holiday Gems to Sharm in July and would you believe it they got the phone call saying the flights had increased in price.

I had a quick look on the Thomas Cook Airlines website and noticed that flight prices were in fact decreasing for the time I wanted to travel.

I have since booked a holiday with a different company. This time, hopefully, I will be pleased!
That's the trouble with a lot of these company's - their prices aren't 'live'. You will see that written in small print on the website somewhere. I think it's best to keep away from these company's and book with the 'big boys' at least the price you see is what you will pay.


I have had a recent experience with them this weekend just passed. I booked online for flights 1 adult to Turkey, their price was £136, and the hotel was inexpensive to. I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email within 20 minutes informing me that I should hear from them within 36 hours, if I didnt I was to contact the number provided.

I received a phonecall the next day from a member of their staff informing me the flights I requested were no longer avilable at the quoted price, "They had all sold out" [img][/img], however, I could pay an extra £40 and fly later that day, and would I like to proceed. I declined the offer after the young lady asked her line manager if there was anything they could do, unfortunately the answer (which I was suspecting) was no. I requested the holiday be cancelled and my card refunded, to which she seemed somewhat annoyed. Later 24 hrs, I checked their website for the flights available and they had the same time and dates for £145 which is not £40 more expensive, how is that justifiable, I was tempted to try and re-book, but will look elsewhere, and have since used this forum to seek detail in relation to complaining about such practices of what I deem to be false advertising. Their website was easy to navigate around and use, but I could not understand why it took them a day to inform me of the price increase, and when they did, it was not advertised at the prices they were informing me of.
Every site I go on, I hear bad things about this company. Yes they have good advertised prices but I doubt very much they actually exsist as Im yet to hear someone book a holiday at the price quoated then not that it either increased to changed. I say book elsewhere and save the stress this company seems to create
thanks to this site i have now cancelled with their sister group beach collection. i was worried about booking my hols and them taking 72hrs to contact me, so doing the search and getting on this site it gave me all info i needed.

Just after i read about the flights changing my phone rung and yes you guessed it my flights had changed. I told the woman on phone that i was on this site looking at wot people had wrote and she was dumbstruck.

so cancelled with her, i also went to the trouble of cancelling my card and have now booked with low cost holidays. i have heard good reports about them.

so whoever wants to book a cheap hol, make sure you dnt book with global tours who run holiday gems, beach collection and whoever else.

happy holidaying to you all xx
Hi everyone, Just back from my holiday to Lanzarote which was good (weather not so good) but hotel good. Note that this was not due in any shape or form to Holiday Gems/Global Travel having made the hotel seem a worthwhile bet. I knew this before I booked as we were there in October. Through a different company I might add.

Anyroad, have been excited all the way home to see if the reply to my complaint, that CarolD stated I would be receiving, had arrived yet!!! Alas would seem that they are still carrying out enquiries after 6 weeks and 2 days!!!!
  • Edited by Fiona 2010-03-12 17:14:33
i felt i needed to reply to the posts because i was horrified with what i read after i booked a holiday to majorca online with them last night! thankfully a lady kindly rang this morning to confirm everything had been 'booked' & i needed to prebook lugggage -which is not what i expected but having looked on the easyjet website since i believe the luggage is the same price and classed as an 'extra'. i'll let you all know if everything esle runs as smoothly!!! Jas

What exactly did they say about easyjet luggage? We've had complaints about some of the bigger companies making a complete hash of booking people on easyjet and then leaving them with huge luggage bills at the airport, so if this company is doing things better it may be worth a couple of brownie points!
I just searched on google & saw this thread pop up in the results - i was searching for holidaygems so i could book my summer holiday with them having so thoroughly enjoyed a recent holiday to sharm el sheikh which i booked with holidaygems. Have to say i'm amazed to see so many negative posts, i never had any problems when i booked my holiday with them & have even recommended them to friends & family.
I presume its just the fact that people are more likely to log onto the web to complain on forums than they are to praise but for me holidaygems get a big thumbs up :tup
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