Flights for Lyndsey Pereira’s January holiday from Gatwick Airport, London to Fuerteventura, Spain had been booked back in March 2018. The fights had been booked with online travel agent Opodo and they were due to fly out with Thomas Cook and return with British Airways (BA). However, when the pregnant mother of two and her five other family members turned up at Fuerteventura airport to return home, they got a horrible shock. They were told they couldn’t get their flight because British Airways was no longer flying from Fuerteventura.
It is alleged that Opodo failed to inform Pereira of this update, despite BA notifying the travel agent, reported The Independent.
Pereira had even received a message from Opodo telling her to check in for flight BA2701 at Fuerteventura the day before the booked flight.
It read: “Boarding passes cannot be requested in advance and you should collect them at the airport check-in desk. Have a great trip!”
When British Airways announced the suspended route last summer, Opodo should have notified customers and offered a range of options, including a full refund or alternative flights.
When Pereira contacted Opodo following the shock discovery at the airport, she claims she was given little help.
According to the Independent, they said BA could fly the family back five days later but did not offer accommodation. Opodo said she could get a refund from BA of the original flight price.
With no other choice, the mum-to-be and her family had to fly home via Dublin and stay overnight in the city in Ireland before flying back to Gatwick, costing her an extra £1,800.
An Opodo spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “We have thoroughly reviewed this case and appreciate it being brought to our attention, it appears that due to a rare technical glitch in our booking systems, we did not inform the customer of their flight cancellation.
“To compensate Mrs Pereira for the inconvenience, we would like to refund the price difference between the original tickets and the new ones.
“At Opodo, our customers’ experience is our number one priority and we are constantly innovating on their behalf to provide them with the best experience.
“We strive for 100 per cent customer satisfaction and always try to resolve any customer issue as quickly as possible.”
However, Pereira was not entitled to compensation under European air passengers’ rights rules because BA gave more than two weeks’ notice of the rate suspension and they do not cover the failure of the travel agent to share the information with the customer.
If holidaymakers’ flights are cancelled it is key to know what you are entitled to and be well equipped with the facts.
“If your flight is delayed or cancelled, head over to the airline’s counter and make sure to ask them for a leaflet with all the relevant information,” Michael Reay at travel search platform HolidayPirates said.
“Every airline in Europe is obliged to provide you with all the relevant information regarding cancellations and delays.
He added: “It is also worth remembering or writing down the names of the people you speak to, as that will help you in case of conflict and in terms of getting compensation.”
However, make sure you’re not wasting time and avoid queuing if you can. Being proactive at this early stage is vital – take action instead of waiting around.
“If it’s after 8pm and there are ongoing cancellations due to bad weather or a system failure and you are unlikely to be booked onto another flight, use your smartphone to look for a hotel room,” said Michael.
“If you are going to be waiting, you might as well be comfortable. If there is a possibility of you being booked onto another flight, call the airline while you are queueing.”
Daily Express :: Travel News Feed