Home > Common Complaints > Travel Complaints

Travel Complaints

By: Thomas Muller - Updated: 8 Mar 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Customer Relations Department Complaints

However carefully holiday plans are laid, flight delay and lost luggage are two unforeseeable disturbances that can affect everybody and disrupt everything.

The Flight Delay

Holidays are a precious time of the year for a great many people so it’s no surprise that complaints about travel agents, tour operators and airlines account for almost 7% of all complaints made in the UK.

One of the most common causes of travel grievance is the flight delay. It can upset carefully laid travel plans and eat into valuable holiday time. It is also a problem that often cannot be adequately compensated for, however generous the airline or tour operator; financial reparation cannot replace losing a day in the tropical sunshine or wasting a day off work.

What Rights Do Air Passengers Have?

When an airline sells a flight, it is bound by contract to take the passenger to their stated destination but there is no guarantee of arrival time.

Therefore, officially passengers cannot make a claim for compensation against the airline for a delayed flight. Any claims will need to be, if applicable, referred to either the tour operators or travel insurers.

However, the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) does state that charter flight passengers can refuse a place on an aeroplane delayed for more than 12 hours and expect a full refund.

Travel Insurance Cover

Compensation for any inconvenience caused by flight delay is largely the responsibility of travel insurers.

Those passengers with travel insurance should always check to see whether they are entitled to financial compensation for a delayed flight. If a delay is the fault of the airline then policy holders could, for example, be entitled to £50 reimbursement for the first four hours, and a further £50 for each additional hour.

Token Compensation

If a flight is delayed by over four hours, then it is usually regarded as being a significant delay and means passengers are often entitled to money vouchers that can be exchanged for free food and drink at the airport and also, if necessary, free accommodation. How generous the free gifts will depend on the airline or tour operator.

Lost Luggage

Alongside flight delay, lost luggage accounts for the largest number of passenger complaints.

The airline is liable for luggage carried in the aeroplane’s hold. However, its liability is very limited and passengers can only expect to receive £15 for every kilo of luggage lost.

The compensation does not take the value of the luggage into account and so a suitcase of nails would be entitled to a greater reimbursement than one filled with designer clothes.

Complaining

In the cut-throat world of air travel, where passenger traffic is more valuable than ever, major international airlines are often now more receptive to customer disgruntlement irrespective of the official line, and so it always worth complaining. Budget airlines and tour operators are less likely to sympathise with their customers and often need to be prompted into action with a complaint appeal.

When making a formal complaint it is advisable to make sure to include boarding tickets, and a record of the delay times. Also passengers that club together and complain as a group are more likely to get positive attention.

Who to Complain to?

If a problem arises during the flight procedure then action should be taken immediately. Whilst on the plane, the issue should be raised with the cabin crew and, if necessary, a complaint form requested. Whilst in the airport, complaints should be taken up with an airline representative.

If neither of these options provides an adequate response then a formal complaint letter should be addressed to the airline’s Customer Relations Department. Alternatively if the complaint relates to a scheduled flight then it can be referred to the Air Transport Users Council (AUC).

Charter Flight Complaints

Complaints relating to charter flights should be taken up directly with the tour operator because the customer has a contract with them and not the charter airline.

Reputable tour operators and travel agents are often members of the trade bodies, Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) and if a travel complaint remains unresolved then it should be taken up with the appropriate organisation.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Quite a good travel agency with reasonable airfares We booked a 4D/3N tour to Paris and we were accommodated at Hotel Gabriel. Got picked up at the airport really fast. Upon reaching the hotel, we could either relax or start the tour at once. I decided to venture out and feel great about being in Paris. It was already lunch time. Everything went like clockwork as if and fell in place. Our time in Paris went past like a lovely dream come true. Thank you Crystal Travel for going before and being behind us throughout this entire trip.
caroline - 8-Mar-16 @ 2:21 PM
My wife and I flew to Sydney and had a very good experience both ways. The Crystal Travel agents very well chartered out the itinerary to suit our requirements and budget. Pre travel, all our queries were promptly answered. Our trip was totally hassle-free and the guides were at hand to meet us at the airport. The entire trip was totally refreshing. We will definitely not hesitate to use Crystal Travel in the future. Highly recommended!
Vic - 8-Mar-16 @ 2:19 PM
Bob - Your Question:
I booked flights from Madrid to Lanzarote through EDreams. On arrival at Madrid Airport I was told our flights had left 2 days earlier. EDreams did not inform us of this change. I have complained to Edreams, their complaints system is a nightmare, and they eventually sent me an unsatisfactory answer stating that I should complain to the airline. Europa Air were extremely helpful and at no cost to us changed our flights but this meant we flew back two days later than planned. Can you tell me if there are any firms who can deal with this type of complaint on my behalf.

Our Response:
You can try the link here. I hope this helps.
ComplaintExpert - 22-Jan-16 @ 11:59 AM
I booked flights from Madrid to Lanzarote through EDreams. On arrival at Madrid Airport I was told our flights had left 2 days earlier. EDreams did not inform us of this change. I have complained to Edreams, their complaints system is a nightmare, and they eventually sent me an unsatisfactory answer stating that I should complain to the airline. Europa Air were extremely helpful and at no cost to us changed our flights but this meant we flew back two days later than planned. Can you tell me if there are any firms who can deal with this type of complaint on my behalf.
Bob - 21-Jan-16 @ 5:25 PM
gamu - Your Question:
I booked a flight for my husband on the 29th of sept2015 and paid a deposit of £50. I was told that I would need to pay the balance by 25th nov at 10pm otherwise I could inqur cancellation or increase in the fee. I paid £124 on the 25th of october. I then recieved a call frm the agent on the 19th of november telling me I had to pay the balance of £400 by 22nd I the questioned him why I was being asked to pay by then as my contract said I needed to pay by the 25th. He said he didnt know. I said I would try get the money and I made the payment on the 23rd by 7pm and tried to contact him I left him an email as I vouldnt get hold of him. I then recieved a call the following day which was the 24th to be told that tje ticket would not be issued unless I paid some more money to make it to £1279. I refused to pay and asked him if there was anything less than that and he told me the cheapest was if I topped up £350. I then thot through and asked for my money back to which I was told I would need to wait 72working hours and also lose £198 cancellation fee. How is that even posdible as I didnt even get the ticket in the first place and he is telling me there is no tivket available. Losing out£50 or £15 which was the admistration fee is understandable but £198 and also to wait 72 working hhours! What are my rights, please help !

Our Response:
You don't say what airline this is, what the original flight price was, or what the terms and conditions were, therefore it makes it difficult to advise. You may like to try the Resolver website, link herewhich may help.
ComplaintExpert - 26-Nov-15 @ 10:43 AM
I booked a flight for my husband on the 29th of sept2015 and paid a deposit of £50. I was told that I would need to pay the balance by 25th nov at 10pm otherwise I could inqur cancellation or increase in the fee. I paid £124 on the 25th of october. I then recieved a call frm the agent on the 19th of november telling me I had to pay the balance of £400 by 22nd I the questioned him why I was being asked to pay by then as my contract said I needed to pay by the 25th. He said he didnt know. I said I would try get the money and I made the payment on the 23rd by 7pm and tried to contact him I left him an email as I vouldnt get hold of him. I then recieved a call the following day which was the 24th to be told that tje ticket would not be issued unless I paid some more money to make it to £1279. I refused to pay and asked him if there was anything less than that and he told me the cheapest was if I topped up £350. I then thot through and asked for my money back to which I was told I would need to wait 72working hours and also lose £198 cancellation fee. How is that even posdible as I didnt even get the ticket in the first place and he is telling me there is no tivket available. Losing out£50 or £15 which was the admistration fee is understandable but £198 and also to wait 72 working hhours! What are my rights, please help !
gamu - 25-Nov-15 @ 2:26 PM
@nycki - you need to call and ask for their complaints procedure in order to try and sort it out asap, especially as the company said they would do it right away.
Anna - 2-Mar-15 @ 1:52 PM
my husband booked 4reservation tickets dec 26,2014to Philippines with crystal travel agent for july this year paid £2107.44. but he give the agent my wrong middle name and my husband ring the agent the following morning and told them to change it as not in my passport. the person who he booked the ticket said that yes I will do it. and until now agent didn't do nothing about the changes and telling me that airline refuses them to change the middle name and ask me to cancelmy ticket with refund of £200+ and pay him for 700+for new ticket as its non refundable ticket we booked. I phoned airline and told me that agent can easily change the name for £70 as they do it it late. I keep phoning agent before airline charge me for £70 of changes but agent wasn't do anything. I feel so frustrated....this agent want more money from us...
nycki - 27-Feb-15 @ 5:43 AM
@Herdkat. Our partner site, Travel and Holiday Regulatory Bodies Complaint might be of help link here. Also, here is the ABTA travel consumer zone which should help you further link here.
ComplaintExpert - 10-Nov-14 @ 11:22 AM
I booked a cruise with Thompsons for a week in August (22 to 29)this year but was not advised about an alcohol-free cheaper option.I cannot drink alcohol due to a medical condition and only discovered that I could have saved an unspecified amount of money on the cost of my cruise if I had been told about it in advance.I have written to Thompsons to ask if I could have a refund but have received a reply that I should have requested this when booking.As I did not know this option was possible I feel I was mislead by the Company.I have absolutely no complaints at all about the cruise or the excellent arrangements made by Thompsons but as I did not drink at all during the whole week I was on board I feel the company made a lot of extra money from me through a lack of information. Have I any cause for redress?
Herdkat - 7-Nov-14 @ 8:23 PM
I would like to find out if there is any compensation available for Canadians who book a flight to get to a cruise and are delayed by plane problems and only offered an alternate flight the next day which would cause them to miss their cruise connection? We, two senior inexperienced women travelers, had to scramble to figure out alternate routes on our own with little to no assistance by the airline. Things were complicated by a baggage handler strike at our destination which caused airlines to cancel flights into our destination. We ended up traveling by train to reach our cruise before it departed.
new world traveller - 29-Jun-14 @ 3:31 PM
On 30 January, my partner and I booked return flights to Canada with Canadian Affair / Air Transat. We booked to take advantage of the January Sale where a discount of £10 was awarded per flight. We paid £818 for these flights. The sale ended on 03 February and from this date the air fares actually reduced in price. The identical flights now costs only £798 and have remained at this discounted price sine the end of the sale. This leads me to believe that this company have misled customers by actually increasing flight prices to then apply January discounts, when in fact the flights are cheaper outside the sale period. It seems unlikely that on the day the sale ended prices fell. I feel we have been missold these tickets and that Air Transat / Canadian Affair, have breached Trading Standards regulation through advertising a sale price which was in fact higher than a normal price. I have contacted Air transat / Canadian Affair, but they state this is simply a pricing issue. I am completely unsatisfied with this response and feel this is a deceitful and misleading pricing policy.I want to warn other travellers of this company.
NeDo - 9-Feb-14 @ 4:06 PM
Hi can I make a complain and claim compensation if I book a flight with Thomas cook and they gave me a wrong date on my flight ticket 09/09/2012 instead 10/09/2012 so me my husband my 2 daughters 2 month and 2 years and 10 years old son went to airport 2 hrs before flight waited for hrs to be in touch with someone from thomas cook as it was a t 1:45 in the morning to be told that we have to go back to the agency to get another flight ticket with the wright dates how long do I have to complain thank you very much for your hrpl
Moi - 6-Feb-14 @ 11:49 AM
can I make a complaint about a flight that we bought as a direct flight which turned out the return flight we had to go to a another airport to refuel which delayed us for one and a half hours.
limer - 24-Jan-14 @ 9:25 PM
iv just retuned from turkey from a holiday from hell ditry linen dirty dishes swore at by waiter glasses dirty table cloths filthy music from 9 in the morning to 12 a night waiters fighting guest fighting no sleep for a fortnight cheated out of change cold showers cold food abrupt cheeky waiters drugs sold on premises waiters drunk on duty when shopping at market was called wanker b-----ds spat at attacked by a shop owners threatning behaviour same at Turkish baths if you didn't buy out fyhere shops my grandson was attacked on numerous occasions by hotel owners son
baba - 13-Nov-13 @ 4:23 PM
Holiday to Egypt booked mid June with Solitair. 20th Sept, no tickets, rang company. I was assured tickets would be put in post 23rd sept. Holiday to start 26th sept. 25th sept still no tickets. Rang company, was told they had been trying to ring me for previous 2week and holiday had been cancelled. Told chap I had rang Fri and ticketswould be posted out. After 3half hours on & off phone a 6 day holiday to Greece offered as alternative with £150 refund the difference in brochure price of respective hols. No refund offered. Complaint email composed and sent to company while in Greece via my daughter. 2 more complaint emails sent on my return to customer service with 2 feeble replys addressing nothing other than my complaint about hotel poor standard. Letter sent via recorded delivery to Company Chairman, still no reply. I have demanded full refund and refund of travel expense incurred due to hol change.
Filz - 21-Oct-13 @ 1:52 PM
How to redress the issue of additional charges on change of travel date?
Zak - 10-Oct-13 @ 11:46 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ComplaintExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.