I'm a seasoned traveller. On 11th November 2004 I booked a holiday to the Maldives. The first available flight with premium seats was 14th March 2005 to the resort I had chosen. I researched and spoke to 4 people who had been there recently. As a scuba diver it's probably the most popular diving destination going and on a par with Mexico, which is about the same flight time. Ok, so we all know about the tsunami. Just after Christmas I checked my itinery and suddenly realised I was flying with an airline that has a royal feel to the name, who I have heard have a terrible repuation as a charter flight company, and only 20kg luggage allowance (think dive gear). So, imagine my response when TC phoned me up in January to say that the flight had been cancelled and that I was now on Britannia Airways, 25kg allowance, but the date had changed to 13th March, but I checked and they confirmed that I still had the premium seats. Woo !! Luckily I run my own business so it wasn't a problem to change the date. A week ago they phoned me and said that they were terribly sorry but they'd overbooked the premium seats. I went mad. Twice they had now changed the booking and it wasn't my fault. They offered a refund or an alternative flight on a scheduled airline from Heathrow on 13th. I rang every holiday company I could think of and trawled the internet but nothing was available with upgraded seats unless I spent another 2 grand. So, I eventually looked into what exactly were "premium" seats. Only being 5ft 2" leg room isn't an issue, but I like width of seats. On a premium seat it's 18 inches width. On a scheduled airline (Sri Lanka Airways) it's 17" to 19", depending on where you sit in the plane. And you get all the perks you would have got on the charter flight. So, I went for the TC option as I need a holiday. Lastly, I get the paperwork through. I'm now on a holiday to Lanzarote with a Mr Rees, and I'm also still flying with Britannia to the Maldives. Phoned TC up, went mad. They said we'll sort it out. Received new paperwork today. I'm on a chartered flight with Sri Lanka Airways, checking in on Sat 12th at 2225 and flying out on sunday 13th March at 2125. Yet again they are sorting it out.
What I did get out of TC was an invite to the Executive lounge at LHR and nearly £600 off my holiday, so not all bad.
If I ever get to the Maldives, if they are still there anyway, I'll write a report back here at the end of March.
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