We booked a holiday with Benz Travel to Langkawi in Malaysia booking number 127278. On the 08/05/2009 we departed from Manchester airport on British airways flight BA1407 at 19:25 bound for London Heathrow. At check in in Manchester we asked if we could check our baggage right through to Langkawi in Malaysia and were told by two different representatives from British Airways that we could not and we would have to pick up or bags in London. We arrived in London Terminal 5 at 20:30 and had to go through security and wait at the carousel for our luggage we then had to haul our luggage on to a train to take us to terminal 3 the train sat in the station for between 10-15mins before moving. By the time we got to terminal 3 and reached the check in desk it was closed as they close the desk 1hr before the flight. We were told at the Malaysian Airways information desk that you should allow at least 3hrs to pick up luggage and transfer from terminal 5 to terminal 3. The next fight left at 12 noon on the 09/05/2009 we had to pay £200 to change our flights and then a further £100 for a room for the night and £16 for transfers to and from the hotel. We have also missed a nights stay in Langkawi. When I spoke to Ronald at Benz Travel Ltd. the agent responsible for booking the holiday he tried to imply that it was our fault for not moving fast enough. Anyway the upshot of this is that I am £316 out of pocket and missed some of my holiday because we were not allowed enough time to transfer at London Heathrow. I feel that this is the agents fault for not allowing enough time for the transfer at Heathrow.
I have sent several e-mails and made lots of calls to the agent Who at first tried to ignore me then told me I had not been in touch with them. I found this hard to believe as I even had a reply to one of the e-mails. They then after about 6 weeks told me they are not prepared to do anything to compensate me in this e-mail:
**Edit to remove copied email. Please can you summarise in your own words their reply, as many emails have a stiplulation attached to them that they are intended for the recipient and not to be re-produced - thanks. Admin**
With regards contact I, and others always advise that you write and post recorded delivery ( signed for service) which enables you to track and proves it got there. Email not received is an excuse they all trot out at times. Some are genuine but most are not.
Give it a couple of days on here and hopefully some of our members may be able to help.
If this turns out to be significantly less than what Benz Travel booked you then read this
http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/consumers/fact-sheets/page38337.html - note the emphasis on suppliers of a service exercising reasonable care and skill - an airline reservations company ought to know transfer times so it would be a skill of their business. If they have caused this problem then you have grounds to start legal action against them. But if they allowed the official time and something went wrong on the day then you may struggle.
All my flights were booked through the Cruise Company. BMI said that due to the way the flights were booked they could not do anything for me. I had to pay £48 baggage allowance and collect the bags. They told me that it would have cost more for the Cruise Company to book the straight flight. Now I always make sure that my flights are as I want them even if it means paying a bit more.
I do feel sorry for you as 3 hours used to be the acceptable time allowance but things change.
My next holiday flying out to Rome for the start of a cruise. The flight would get in at 12.30pm and the Ship sails at 6pm. My TA as well as myself felt it important to go a day ahead just in case of a road accident. There are so many problem waiting to happen.
Not sure what if anything the TA will do. They will probably tell you as you have said that leaving enough time was your responsibility even though they book the flights. Has happened to my Sister who got no joy.
I've no idea why they put you on a separate ticket with BA that had nothing to do with the Malaysian flight, except cost of course. Did they offer you bmi as an option? If they had explained it fair enough, but sounds like they didn't.
The 1 1/2 hours does conform to the airlines minimum connection time rather crazily. Was the booking done online?? Again, I presume you booked flights only?
steve8482 wrote:Presumably the quoted minimum connection is for passengers who have been checked right through so only need to do the actual moving from one plane to the other. If you're not checked through you'd have to add that time to the checkin time of the second flight plus something for getting your bags from the first flight. So the advice of 3 hours sounds like the least you should allow and 4 hours would be reasonable in this case. So if Benz Travel have not done this I'd say have a go under the care and skill rule.
Nope. I'm afraid the MCT (Minimum Connection Time) is the recommended minimum time airlines recommend you should leave between flights, irrespective of whether it's a through ticket. The terminals / flights numbers / airline to airline connections are is then loaded to show the MCT. This would allow you to book (online or offline) to book connecting flights that adhere to this. It's calculated in conjunction with the airline and airport authority, and should be fine should everything be working most of the time.
However, it rarely does at Heathrow as many of us have said. What might surprise you is that as little as 20 minutes is the accepted norm (for domestic flight connections to / from the same terminal). For a BA flight arriving at Terminal 5 connecting to a flight departing from Terminal 3, 90 minutes is the MCT.
I think you'd have a hard job proving Benz Travel are negligent rather than rubbish at what they do, as they are going by what the BAA have established as being fine, not that that helps much.
I'd still like to know why they put you on BA as opposed to bmi though. Can the OP expand on whether they were offered bmi, or the difference explained to them?
90 minutes is the official MCT irrespective of what the BA website says. Even 2 hours is insufficient in my experience, and personally would leave 4 hours to counter any problems which i've frequently come across.
I'm just bracing you for the fact that you will be fobbed off, and why you will be fobbed off, and who will be blamed. And that possibly they have a case in law. I'm not making any judgements apart from advising that.
If the airport minimum connection time is 90 minutes add it to the second airline's had a minimum checkin time (I'm guessing at least 1 hour and maybe 2 for this flight). If this is a lot less then what Benz Travel booked you then do something about it. If they thought they'd allowed enough time didn't realise that you wouldn't be able to checkin at Manchester for the whole journey they should have done and are just as liable. It doesn't mater how many negative comments you post here -just look at how many complaints we have against Thomas Cook, First Choice etc. yet thousands still use them.
You have to stand up for yourself, compensation won't fall out of the sky just because you are right. The only way you're likely to get anything back is to start action in the County Court. The problem is that the vast majority of people who come to this site with valid complaints don't take them further. Two years ago MyTravel sold me an impossible flight due to the professional incompetance of someone in their planning office and then tried to hide behind their T&Cs. It took 6 months but in the end I got back the cost of the dearer replacement flight I had to book with Monarch. But I bet no-one else who was messed about like me bothered to fight them and in the case of whole families there could have been significant losses.
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