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  • Thomsonfly LGW-POP-LGW

    Flew to the Dominican Republic with Thomsonfly using their Premium Economy. Flights were generally on time, cabin service good, good IFE, good food and comfortable 37" pitch seats and the only way to fly direct, along with the other UK charters......but.....and its a BIG BUT !......the booking process and eventual seat allocation, despite having prebooked everything was abysmal.
    I'll let my emailed letter of complaint to Thomsonfly explain it. I've deleted names and identifying codes.....

    On September 17th, 2007 my wife and I and two other friends flew from London Gatwick to lace on TOM5143 and returned on 1st October, 2007 on TOM5144. The booking numbers and passenger names are as follows.

    Booking No :TH*******

    Mr Brian Whitelegg (myself). Premium Economy seat 2A.
    Mrs ***** ******** (my wife). Premium Economy seat 2B.
    Mr ***** ******. Premium Economy seat 3A

    Booking No : TH*******

    Miss ******* ********. Initially booked into Economy seat 7A but later upgraded by myself at my expense to Premium Economy seat 3B outbound and seat 2C inbound. The upgrade was primarily made to enable Miss ******** to sit with us as she is a nervous flyer.

    We arrived at check-in at approximately 0730 for a 1020 flight and were the second group in the queue. The queue for economy check-in was virtually full. It immediately became obvious that there was a problem with the group in front of us who were being kept waiting while the check-in clerk attempted to correct the fact that their pre-paid seats had been double booked. It became even more apparent that they had been double booked with some or all of our seats. The check-in clerk proceeded to allocate our pre-booked and paid seats to the first group, despite my protestation that we had booked them. I was told in no uncertain terms to wait my turn, the clerk would deal with us once he had finished with the first group and would not speak to me further until then.
    We were eventually allocated seats 2A and 2B as booked but Mr ****** was moved from his booked window seat to seat 2C in the centre of the aircraft and Miss ********, the nervous flyer, was nowhere near us in seat 5E. All this procedure took almost two hours. The Economy queue had all but ended and our so-called priority check-in had now become rather a farce. We had intended to take a leisurely breakfast and do a bit of shopping but were unable to do either and had to settle for a hastily taken drink before proceeding to board the aircraft, which departed late anyway. Happily the service throughout the flight lived up to the Thomsonfly promise and we have no criticism of that aspect of our bookings.

    We arrived early at the airport ( 4 hours before flight time ) and were first at check-in in an attempt to avoid the outbound dramas and hopefully get our selected prebooked seats. This proved not to be so. We had to await the arrival of the Thomsonfly representative who skilfully persuaded us to accept the middle three seats in 1C,1D,1E and Miss ******** in 2E. We were at least seated together this time but not in the window blocks of two pairs of seats. The reason that I book and pre-pay for window seats is because I am 6 feet tall and weigh 20 stone. Having a window seat allows me to rest into the window aperture thus providing more elbow room for myself and my wife sitting next to me. This was not to be on the return flight and I had an uncomfortable time wedged in the middle seat 1D. While the cabin service was again up to expectations the level of comfort was not. I can accept an uncomfortable flight if I have not gone to the time, trouble and expense of paying for the comfort level that I need but in booking Premium Economy and prebooking specific seats I believe that I took all reasonable personal effort to secure my needs. I realise that I could have swapped seats with another member of my party but why should they be put to discomfort in a seat that they don't want to satisfy me ?

    Frankly, the booking service experienced for our holiday flight was abysmal. How a modern, computerised booking system can still allow for double booking is beyond me. I had to expend considerable time and effort to secure the Premium upgrades for Miss ******** as the outbound seat could not be released until 7 days prior to flight and the inbound seat 14 days prior to flight. I was on the telephone to your booking agency booking the inbound flight while trying to check-in on the out bound flight ! The delays and arguments concerning our booking tainted our holiday experience somewhat with Miss ********'s experience leaving her unlikely to ever fly anywhere again.

    We received a total of two of the eight prepaid seat bookings and I therefore request a refund to the sum of 30.00 to reflect this failure to supply contracted services. I further believe that a compensatory payment is due to us to mellow the spoilt holiday experience. I would suggest a refund of the return upgrade costs of Miss ********s' Premium Economy seat to a total of 196.00. An offer of holiday/flight vouchers would not be acceptable.

    I look forward to your early reply,

    I'll keep you posted on the result of this complaint
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !

  • #2
    Well I'm sorry to hear you had to file a complaint. Hope your future travels are better.



    • #3
      That sounds a bit of a disaster. Was there any comeback?


      • #4
        I've had an email to tell me that my email has been emailed to customer support for their attention and that they will email me shortly !!

        Why am I getting a bad feeling here ?
        If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


        • #5
          The bad feeling was well founded.

          Thomsonfly wrote to me saying that the airline data systems did not show that we didn't get the prebooked seats and would we please send photocopies of the boarding passes. I ask you, who keeps old boarding passes ? The computer systems at check-in on both flights showed the prebooking error, we were told by the agents at both check ins and the flight crew purser that the problems had been recorded and reported. All we needed to do was conatct Thomsonfly on our return.

          I telephoned Thomsonfly customer services ( that's a bit of an oxymoron really !! ) and was told that they would "reappraise" my complaint. That hasn't happened yet. All they mentioned was the claimed refund for the prebooking fees, no mention of compensation.

          I have to repeat that the flight, service and comfort was very good but if this is the kind of service you get as a result of a Thomsonfly error then we won't be using them again. We travelled with First Choice on our previous visit to the Dominican Republic and, although they are a bit more expensive I think we'll use them next time for a direct flight. If we decide on scheduled non direct flights then I'm looking at Continental Airlines via the USA with a stop for a couple of days in the States enroute. It seems really odd to me that a major tourist location like the Dominican Republic isn't served by a direct scheduled airline from the UK ?
          If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


          • #6
            Originally posted by brianw999
            I ask you, who keeps old boarding passes ?
            Me. Well I'm sorry to hear it didn't work out. Hopefully they will give you something for your time and effort.