Surprise treats take sting out of fraught holiday booking – The Crusader

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Higher costs and room changes caused the dissatisfaction, while Covid lockdowns were the trigger for Christine and Jake Hall having to change their plans for a luxury £3,260 stay on the Greek island of Kos that they had first reserved through Tui for May 2020.

++ If you’ve been affected by this issue or feel you’ve been a victim of injustice, please contact consumer champion Maisha Frost on [email protected] ++;

The Ikos hotel resort was the destination for their stay that included a roomy suite with a sea view for themselves and privacy and space their toddler while their flights had leg room and a bigger luggage allowance.

“Ikos offered everything we wanted so we kept with this and rolled over the date to June this year,” Christine told Crusader.

However they learned they would lose discounts originally offered, and Christine then slipped up on a second date she put in – by a day – leading to a further £150 charge. 

“We ended up paying over £800 more,” says Christine. “We appreciate that we’re going a month later and we’re staying an extra night, but having looked generally online it would have been cheaper for us to have booked again from scratch. 

“Also we thought we were protected from a price rise and any penalty would be waived, after all our rebooking shows we are loyal customers.”

The Halls’ disquiet increased this year as departure time drew closer when they checked their booking and were convinced their accommodation had been downgraded with just a limited sea view.

“We checked with the hotel and this the case,”  they insisted.

Tui disagreed both with this and the Halls’ understanding there had been a price promise attached to their switch because of Covid.

While fee-free amendments were possible because of the restrictions, “If the new holiday was cheaper, they would be refunded the difference but if the new holiday was more expensive, the difference would need to be paid,” a Tui spokesperson told Crusader.

However it did offer Christine and Jake a £200 goodwill gesture which they have now accepted.

Best of all there were some lovely surprises when they arrived in Kos, they told Crusader.

“We had been upgraded to a room with an amazing view and following this they upgraded us again to a premium room and arranged a special boat trip with free champagne.

“The general manager Effie Sidiropoulou was fantastic and Ikos could not have been more welcoming. Our honeymoon became everything we hoped it would be.”

[Christine and Jake’s names have been changed]  



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