Do you know your rights when it comes to delayed departures and situations arising where you miss part of your holiday? There are regulations and laws in place these days to protect clients from losing out when airlines have ‘operational’ issues leaving passengers waiting around in the airports for longer than they bargained for but it seems like some operators are taking the biscuit and taking advantage of knowing that not all holidaymakers are up to speed on their rights even though the European Air Passengers Rights rules stipulate that airlines must provide disrupted passengers with information about their entitlement. In addition, under the Package Travel Regulations, tour operators are required to pay compensation when a holiday is not delivered as promised.
Holidaymakers from the northeast England who booked a Mediterranean voyage with Tui’s cruise brand, Marella, should have spent the first evening dining aboard Discovery 2 as she sailed away from the island of Majorca but instead, they were stranded at Newcastle airport because of what the company called “operational changes”.
At lunchtime on 25 May, the holidaymakers checked in at Newcastle airport for the departure of their 3pm flight to Palma in Majorca, where their cruise ship awaited. But the flight did not depart until almost midnight, by which time the ship had long since sailed. They were told that they would catch up with the cruise at Palamos on the Costa Brava, her next port of call. But instead of flying the passengers direct to Girona, which is very close to where the ship would dock, Tui flew them to Palma where they arrived at 3am. They had to collect their luggage and line up to check in again for a 6am flight to Barcelona, rather than Girona. From Barcelona airport, the weary travellers were put on buses for two hours, finally joining the ship halfway through day two.
This is the super naughty part, instead of informing passengers about their rights, Tui simply gave them a letter apologising for the delay, and advised them to claim from their insurance company even though they are responible for paying out not only for the flight delay itself but also a percentage of compensation for the missed days of the holiday.
Since this incident has reached the press probably due to unhappy clients voicing their grievances on social media Tui have since responded saying: “Customers on this flight are entitled to compensation in line with regulations and should have been provided with a leaflet when they arrived at the airport with information regarding this. We are investigating why this didn’t happen on this occasion. We will be in contact with all affected customers to apologise and arrange their compensation and offer a gesture of goodwill. We know delays can be very frustrating and we would like to thank all customers for their patience.”
It just goes to show how some companies will try and ‘get away’ with it. Know your rights or atleast book through a travel agent who will be able to take up these type of complaints on your behalf and give you the correct information.
Have you had a similar experience with a holiday? Id love to hear your story.