Should a travel agent know if the hotel they booked you into is also used as a homeless shelter? They told me that it's not their job to know this, is this right?
I am going to New York in 2 weeks with a 9 year old and dreading it. I paid £1600!
(Ms Carolyn Eadie, 9 December 2008)
As an agent acting on behalf of someone else – such as tour operators, airlines, cruise lines or hotels – the travel agent is not actually liable for the misleading hotel information provided by their clients – they are essentially a go-between. Nevertheless it is their job to inform you who to contact in the event of query or complaint. In fact a good travel agent should follow up any queries on your behalf.
As it is likely too late to try to alter your travel arrangements, I would advise proceeding with the trip as planned but making sure you retain any evidence that relates to the holiday, such as booking documents and advertising information. It is also recommended that you have a camera (or video camera) to hand to record any evidence of the hotel’s intrusive secondary usage as a homeless shelter.
If the homeless shelter was not referred to in the brochure or elsewhere prior to your booking, and your stay in the hotel is adversely affected in some way as a result of its presence, then the hotel or tour operator responsible may be committing an offence. If they mislead you about the holiday then it is within your rights as a consumer to complain and demand compensation.
If your stay is affected and it is the hotel’s fault for providing misleading information then it is well worth raising the issue with the hotel staff whilst you are staying there as they may be able to offer alternative accommodation. Alternatively, once you have returned from your trip, you should contact the tour operator or hotel in writing and explain the problem and tell them what you expect to receive in compensation.
Nevertheless, rather than allow the situation upset preparations for the trip, it is worth considering the possibilities that either the shelter is not what you think it is or that its presence is completely removed from the hotel to not be invasive in any way.
Do bear in mind that any holidaymaker would balk at the idea of sharing an expensive hotel with New York’s homeless community, and so it does seem unlikely that such a situation would come to pass. If it was a disagreeable experience in any way then people would either refuse to stay there or demand their money back, and the hotel would promptly close down.
My mum booked her holiday through Thomas Cook but it was actually a Tui holiday. When booking the agent added 2 excursions to the deal. When she got email confirmation it was from Tui with their reference but no mention of the excursions. She's returned to Thomas Cook, the individual travel agent has left the company, no one could work out how it was booked and can't find any reference and referred her to Tui. Tui, even though it's their ref won't take anything to do with it because it's TC's problem as they were the agent. TC advised it's Tuis holiday so not them. Who is responsible here?
Gnic - 17-May-19 @ 7:15 PM
Booked a holiday for my wife's 30th through alpharooms for us and our two kids. Our friends did the same with their family. And her sister did with her partner through onthebeach.
When our friend called up alpharooms to add an additional bag to her booking over a week later they told her the hotel and flights had not been confirmed even though they had a booking reference.
When we heard about this I called up and was told the same thing. Although they apologised they insisted hotel was now full and there was nothing they can do except look at another resort nearby they would try and get a deal on but as her sister had booked in to this resort it wasn't an option.
Next day we found the hotel still showing as available on alpharooms. When I called up to question this I was told adamantly by a supervisor there was no way he could get me into this hotel as it was full and all he could do was hive me good discount on anothe hotel.
Asked him several times why they were still advertising it on their website and he insisted they were not and implied it was just showing the price but hotel was definetely full.
After a couple of hours I decided to try and book it online again with £1 deposit as left with no other option.
Got another booking reference number and phoned up this morning and spoke to their call centre. I asked them to confirm rooms were definitely booked and he confirmed they were. When I questioned what I was told previously I was just led around in circles and he simply stated they use different suppliers. When I asked about a discount on the booking I had now made I was told it could only be done before and not after but he would take my feedback.
Obviously flight prices have gone up massively since our original booking and they room went up too. I was told the supervisor would call me back later but we will see. Really need some advise on this.
Our friends are also fighting to get their original booking price.
Roy - 9-Jan-18 @ 10:06 AM
Please advise do I have any case to request refund in this situation:
Booked flights with 3rd party agent (Known name on website), cost 1000pounds. Price on the airline website -1160 pounds.
12 hours after booking they sent an email with a link to process booking- stating price tickets have increased and to secure flights I should pay further 250 pounds. I clicked the link to make sure I didn't risk further price increase.
After work, upon investigation I discovered prices on their website stayed the same! Prices on the airline website were also the same as at the time of my booking! So the agent increased the prices overnight, not the airline! So now my cost through the agent is 1250 pounds. From the airline website price still at 1160ponds! My lost of 90 pounds. They say they do not make money on bookings and there must have been a system error, however I have not received any refund so far. My feeling is that as a minimum they should refund 90pound but based on their misleading pricing practices would I stand a chance to get back 250pounds? And where should I refer it?
thank you for any help.
eva - 2-Apr-16 @ 1:06 PM
Disappointed - Your Question:
I booked a holiday with opodo, and entered the wrong dates. the website states that bookings can be cancelled or amended on the same day, but their phone lines were already closed. I called the next morning at 8 am and was told that I should have called the day before. the fare terms of my ticket with Luxair state it could have been cancelled 24 hours after booking, but Opodo refused.I have been through the complaints process with Opodo, who simply say it is my fault. Is there an ombudsman I can refer to?
Please see Which link here which should help you further.
ComplaintExpert - 28-Oct-15 @ 1:00 PM
I booked a holiday with opodo, and entered the wrong dates. the website states that bookings can be cancelled or amended on the same day, but their phone lines were already closed. I called the next morning at 8 am and was told that I should have called the day before. the fare terms of my ticket with Luxair state it could have been cancelled 24 hours after booking, but Opodo refused.
I have been through the complaints process with Opodo, who simply say it is my fault. Is there an ombudsman I can refer to?
Disappointed - 27-Oct-15 @ 12:20 PM
Lauz29 - Your Question:
To whom it may concern,We would like to complain about a holiday we have booked online unfortunately someone has had to drop out this has become very difficult because I am unable to understand what they are saying to me.I have rang them on many occasions to discuss this matter I have been passed from one person to another still no answers they are trying to say not only have we got to pay for that person still which we understand they are also asking for £300 aswell.I dont believe this to be right but unable to get them to understand me there seems to be no communication at all.could we please speak to someone at your department so we can speak to you and see if you have any better luck.many thanks Laura,
I'm afraid we are not an intermediary site. You would have to continue to contact the tour operator or holiday company in oder to try and get a resolution from directly. I advise you read the terms and conditions of your holiday contract and I am afraid you will be bound by those terms and conditions. It will tell you what you are expected to pay/forefeit if someone drops out once the holiday has been booked.
ComplaintExpert - 25-Aug-15 @ 11:36 AM
To whom it may concern,
We would like to complain about a holiday we have booked online unfortunately someone has had to drop out this has become very difficult because I am unable to understand what they are saying to me.
I have rang them on many occasions to discuss this matter I have been passed from one person to another still no answers they are trying to say not only have we got to pay for that person still which we understand they are also asking for £300 aswell.
I dont believe this to be right but unable to get them to understand me there seems to be no communication at all.
could we please speak to someone at your department so we can speak to you and see if you have any better luck.
many thanks Laura,
Lauz29 - 24-Aug-15 @ 4:50 PM
@car - I think you would have to get back on to Thomas Cook, especially if you say it was the adviser's fault. They may voice record phone calls, so that might be one avenue to pursue. As the article suggests, a good travel agent should follow up any queries on your behalf. At the same time you might want to ask whether it would be an issue. We couldn't advise on whether it is OK to travel with this mistake, as some passport control may not bat an eyelid, but it only takes one to make your journey an unpleasant experience, and especially if the name is theoretically a different one. Most operators charge for changes, but yes, this does seem rather extortionate.
ComplaintExpert - 28-May-15 @ 10:02 AM
my daughter booked a holiday with Thomas cooke and the next day they sent through confirmation of booking asking to check to make sure all is correct.She had put my name as Carol instead of Caroline (name on Passport).When we phone to correct this they said that I would have to pay £130 (holiday only cost £150) to change this to Caroline. I think this is so unreasonable, unfair and a rip off.Can anyone tell me if this would matter when travelling? Why I have to pay so much to change? how can this be right