* Prices may differ from that shown
Last year my partner myself and her 14 year old daughter all went on a holiday to Cyprus we asked for quiet resort close to the beach,we arrived at what i can only describe as something out of a war zone. Kozmar had only put us into an 18 to 30s apartment bearing in mind we had a 14 year old with us.That was only the biggining,the room was discusting filthy air con dropping off the wall a used CONDOM hanging over the door to the balcony, a melal spike sticking up out of the bed the balcony unsafe with a notice saying IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIFE DO NOT GO ONTO THE BALCONY AS ACCIDENTS HAPPEN !!!!!!Also youths having sex at all hours and taking drugs,all that for a 14 year old to see. We complained straight away but they just didn`t want to know after many phone calls back to England we were finally moved after one week of HELL!!!!! i could go on and on. When we got back to England we complianed after 1 year and many many letters and going to court we finally got our money back plus court costs.So people out there don`just sit back and let them get away with it take them to the small claims court we did and won. We will never ever go with kozmar again.
Thought it only fair to post our comments. We have booked through Kosmar 3 times and yes we have had our accomodation changed once, but it was a much higher standard .The flights were the main problem some delays but hey this is Britain i would just like to say i would book with them again"in more secure financial times" thanks Kosmar you will be missed
We chose a Kosmar hotel near the beach requesting in writing a high floor.We booked early but months later we were told Kosmar were no longer featuring that hotel and were booked into an alternative. No refund for the cheaper hotel was provided until asked for. The hotel was completely unsuitable - try carrying children up a 1 in 2 slope, I'm not joking. The rep had been at that resort so long she knew how to do the very least and get away with it. It took a week of our holiday to be moved from a dark lower basement apartment to one on ground level which was the best Kosmar could do. Kosmar have now vastly increased their prices for no apparent reason.
Kosmar are singularly the worst, most unhelpful, misleading and careless tour operator we have ever had the displeasure to deal with.
We booked a holiday in Samos many months ago and were told just a few weeks before departure that the accomodation suddenly was cancelled.
We refused their offer of alternative accomodation as none of it was to an agreeable standard.
They are now withholding our compensation and thinking they can get away with it.
Let me tell you this Kosmar - YOU WILL NOT.
I don't care if it ends up costing us more to take you TO COURT. We want ethical payback for us and the thousands of other holiday makers you have doubtless treated in this shoddy and underhanded manner.
The email I sent to my Kosmar is as below.
On behalf of my wife, 10yr old daughter Laura and 7yr old daughter Charlotte, could I just say, "THANK YOU FOR RUINING OUR SUMMER HOLIDAY AT PARGA"
We went to Parga with Kosmar in 2003, staying at the Belos apartments, the balcony of which looked onto a 10ft high concrete wall, which was very disappointing. I looked at all of your other accommodation whilst I was there and hand picked the apartment that we booked, because of the views and the proximity to the restaurants that overlooked Valtos beach, and access to the beach itself. We vowed we would go back to enchanting Parga when our kids were older, and this was to be the moment. Is it too much trouble to ask you for an explanation as to why you only became aware NOW, that there was a potential problem with this accommodation, when it never featured in your brochure, and laterally on your website??????
I hope you will understand how bitter I feel about this, and, pending your reply, intend to make holiday makers aware of our experience, via the many holidaymakers forums.
KOSMAR HAVE NOT REPLIED
Below is an email sent to our travel agent re.Kosmar following the cancellation of our family holiday 4 weeks ago. It is self explanatory.
The holiday that has just been cancelled by Kosmar was booked in June 2006.
Could I thank the agent from your company that contacted me at work last Friday, 13/05/07, to give me the news that Kosmar had contractual difficulties with the accommodation that we booked and couldn't offer a suitable alternative. I didn't catch her name, but would like to say a big "thanks", for trying so hard to look for an alternative holiday without success. I said it would be best to cancel the holiday under the circumstances, as there was no way we would consider taking up Kosmar's offer of 2 studios at other accommodation, given that we are a family with two children ages 7 and 10yrs.
Since Friday night I have spent literally hours on the internet trying to find another suitable holiday with no success whatsoever. All suitable family accommodation in Greece has obviously been long snapped up, leaving nothing left but the "2 studio syndrome", or apartments that are 2 miles away from the resort centre. I have had 7 holidays with Kosmar over the last 10 years, and I will never book with them again. There always seems to be a flight time change after the booking, which is never favourable, and in the case of this holiday, they waited until we had booked until they told us that we would have to endure a stop of at Kefalonia on both legs of the journey. The accommodation we booked never yet appeared in the 2007 brochure, and I did wonder about that. When I saw that it was no longer on the website, I did start to wonder why???
Kosmar Holidays have ruined, and I mean ruined, our long standing holiday plans without as much as an apology or explanation to ourselves.
We have now had to change our annual leave via our employers, which luckily we were able to do, and have ended up booking 2 weeks in Spain at an apartment owned by a family member. Not what we wanted at all
I booked a holiday to Greece in January and when I came to pay the balance I noticed the accomodation was no longer on the website. I queried this and was told that all was OK and not all accomodation was on the website all the time. A few weeks later I got a letter, no apology, saying that the studios I had booked were not available and I have been booked in to another studio nearby. The studio I was offered was cheaper but no discount was offered because they were more expensive when I booked. The reviews for the new studios were poor. I asked for a refund but was told that this would cost me £200 because Kosmar had offered me alternative accomodation of a similar quality. Customer Services are a joke, they are not interested. Where else would you pay £600 for something, not get the thing you paid for, be offered a substitute that you did not want, that was cheaper than the one you did want, and not even be able to cancel it without incurring a £200 penalty. I have written to Kosmar and they have ignored all my questions and just sent a standard letter of apology saying that they are not able to offer any compensation.
Be very aware of the small print when you book, trust me Kosmar will not be interested if you have a problem, see other reviews for confirmation.
Booked with Kosmar Oct 06 for a specific hotel, informed by them 2 months later that they didn't book enough allocated rooms at the hotel. I was offered an alternative hotel that was not suitable at all. Kosmar then proceeded to refuse to refund my deposit as it state that the can offer an alternative of the same specification or lump it! My advice don't expect to get the holiday you booked! Read Terms/Conditions
Below is a letter to Kosmar complaining about a holiday we booked with them, they denied our request for compensation but received a letter stating that we had no cause for complaint. This is the worste holiday I have ever been on and I NEVER use Kosmar again, it is my intention to inform as many people as possible of the appauling accomodation and service provided by Kosmar
Dear Kosmar/Thomas Cook,
We write to you to outline our complaints regarding a holiday in Perissa, Santorini, Greece. The holiday was booked initially online via the Thomas Cook web page, a DOUBLE room was booked in the names of *********. The room was booked between the 6th of September and the 13th of September in the Andreas apartment complex on a self catering basis. As a payment confirmation was not seen at time of booking, My girlfreind telephoned the Thomas Cook booking line and made the same reservation for a DOUBLE room during these dates, the internet booking had not worked. It was made clear by my girlfreind during this conversation that a DOUBLE room was required and not a twin room, we are a young couple expecting our first child in January and specifically requested a DOUBLE room as being pregnant and sleeping in a singe bed is not very comfortable for my girlfreind. My girlfreind was told that it was not a problem at all, that we could have a double room.
After a cramped/late plane journey with excel airways and enduring a ridiculously tight plane seat when being 63 and being on the back window with no leg room or space, we were relieved to arrive at our destination.
We were greeted by a Kosmar rep who informed us that the Andreas apartments were double booked and we were to be moved from the Andreas to an alternative complex called Robertos. Having a personal recommendation for the Andreas from a friend we were a little disappointed but we were told that the Robertos apartment block was of the same standard and that we would have a room with a balcony.
We were dropped off at Robertos complex by our rep Scott, he did not show us to the apartment but instead told us to walk down the drive and speak to the owner. The owner didnt speak English but she showed us to our room to leave our case. The room had not been prepared and was dirty with sheets and towels from the previous occupants still in place. We were then met by the owners daughter who explained that we were not expected and hence the dirty room. The room was a twin. We were then asked whether we wanted air conditioning/a fan/a deposit box or a TV. We said we would like them all as we were not aware that we had to pay extra for these, we therefore refused to pay for these and did not have access to them.
We explained to the daughter of the owner that we had booked a double room, she said this was not her responsibility and that we should phone the rep, she gave us the number and pointed us to a payphone. When we called the number provided we spoke to Tina who said that we needed to talk to our rep but that he was doing airport runs and we needed to call later.
When the room was ready we went to look at it and to our disgust, it was more basic than we had imagined, it resembled my image of a 1950s butlins holiday camp. Between the twin beds were wires hanging from the wall and taped together with masking tape (attached pictures electrics1.jpg and double_bed.jpg), there were also dirty marks leading from the power sockets and light switches.
We then opened the single wardrobe to find everything shoved into the bottom of it (wardrobe1.jpg and wardrobe2.jpg). We then inspected the en-suite shower/toilet and were immediately hit by the strong smell of urine and noticed the disgusting shower tray and filthy shower head (attached pictures shower.jpg and filthy_shower_head.jpg).
We then moved onto the kitchenette and were horrified by what we found, the cutlery draw (cutlery1.jpg and cutlery2.jpg) was disgustingly dirty and the cutlery itself was a dull silver colour with signs of food and dirt stains, there was no way we were going to eat using these. The pans (pans1.jpg, filthy_pan1.jpg and filthy_pan2.jpg) were covered in very old burnt in milk or liquid of some variety and signs of what looked like lard and grease deposits. We also found a juice jug which has ground in and very old brown stains around the neck and lip where the juice should be poured (filthy_juice_continer.jpg and filthy_juice_container2.jpg)
The final straw was seeing the cutting knife, this is pictured (rusty_bread_knife.jpg) and is exactly as the pictures name describes, it is rusty, I cant begin to explain my anger at finding a rusty bread knife in a draw in a kitchen I am supposed to live in for 1 week!
We decided to call the rep again, we explained all of this to Tina again using the payphone and she explained that Scott was doing the airport run and he be at the resort at 5:30. This was 1.5 hours from then and we hadnt had a meal and the bar at Robertos looked filthy and over priced (we discovered later that the bar was more than 3 times more expensive than the local supermarket and twice as expensive as the local restaurants).
We found a local café to eat and drink, as we sat down, directly opposite us sat Scott, he looked straight at us and ignored us, he was sitting having a drink. I approached Scott and decided it was fruitless asking why he couldnt come to Robertos when we called or why he didnt return our calls. I very calmly and politely informed Scott that a mistake had been made and that we booked a double room but had been placed in a twin. Scott informed us that our booking was a twin room and said that he didnt think that it was possible to change this.
We told Scott that we had been moved from our original complex and that we werent happy with the one we were moved to. Scott told us that in the brochure it states that we can be moved at any time and that we had to pay for local costs such as air conditioning etc and that we were not entitled to a double room and that if there had been a mistake, it must have been with the organisation that we had booked with. Everything Scott said basically amounted to, Its not my problem and I simply dont care! Scott told us that he couldnt do anything until the morning and he doubted that he could do anything anyway, I quickly realised that unless you were booking a trip or a car through Scott, he wasnt interested and his arrogance made this blatantly clear. Scott was of no help to us at any time of the holiday.
When we met Scott at 10 AM the next morning, he gave his welcome meeting and then sat with people booking trips etc, when we sat with him, he said that he had checked and there were no available double rooms in the resort and that he would ask the owners if they had anything available after he had completed all the bookings. When we spoke to Scott again after waiting about an hour, he informed us that the owner had one of his own double rooms available but if we wanted to take that, we would have to pay the owners full rate as this was not a kosmar contracted room. There was no way we were going to pay more money for something that we had already paid for.
We again realised that we would gain more from talking to our rusty cutting knife as talking to Scott, we did ask about the pots/pans knives etc, later that day the owner came to our room, I was in the bathroom at the time and listened as the owner very loudly shouted and screeched at her in Greek, occasionally counting in English ONE, TWO, ONE, TWO. My girlfreind later told me that she was holding up the filthy kitchen wear as she was counting as if to say You have 2 of everything, what is your problem. When I emerged from the bathroom she stopped shouting and said something to a man she was stood with, they then left, she was muttering in Greek all the time. I realised that she was trying to bully my girlfreind, a tactic I was and am not happy about. To shout and scream at a guest is bad enough but at a pregnant guest who simply wanted things clean is a little ridiculous.
A complex employee named Mario later appeared and washed the knives and forks and one pan, Im afraid the only thing he was successful with was the pan. Nothing was replaced and was therefore unusable.
I assume Scott receives commission from booking trips and cars as this was when he seemed interested in talking to people. Except the occasion when he didnt inform people that a trip he had booked people on had changed departure times and they waited for 2 hours in the heat only later to discover that the trip had already gone, he also tried to blame them for this !
We decided to make the most of what we had but this was pretty difficult to do as more and more signs of a shoddy, disgusting and at times ridiculous apartment complex appeared! We noticed that the towels provided smelled and left a horrible odour on the skin after drying with them, this drew attention to the fact that none of the towels matched. When we examined the towels, we realised there were many different brands and colours, one of the towels had a Primark brand label on it, as there are no Primark shops in Greece and I doubt Primark supply Greek hotels with towels, I can only assume that this towel had been left by a previous guest and was his/her private property and was now being used as a guest towel by the complex.
Later into the holiday we noticed a metal rack holding suntan crèmes with the clear notice 5 Euros ALL OF THEM, (5_euro_sun_cream.jpg) when I looked a little closer, I realised that there were British supermarket (boots etc) branded crèmes for sale, this struck me as odd, when I took the lid from one of the bottles, I suspect that it had been filled with water. I can again only assume that these were left in the rooms of previous guests, I cant imagine that the protection rating on the front of the bottle was correct when the crème was watered down. This goes beyond recycling and harmless money making and must be criminal. My suspicions were confirmed when I saw that one of the containers (5_euros_sun_scream_from_wilco.jpg) still had a price tag from Wilco showing that the previous owner had bought the item for £2.99. The top of the container also had clear signs that it had been used.
We write requesting a full refund for our holiday and compensation, if this is not provided we will be forced to take further action and show people what disgusting accommodation you have to offer, the standards Thomas Cook and Kosmar think are acceptable. In my opinion, the standards offered were simply not good enough. Not only were we given something we stated we didnt want at the time of booking but we were also given something resembling a prison cell for a week! Although we tried to enjoy our break, I was very relieved to leave the complex, the resort and the Island and to be honest, it was nice to return to work, simply because I was no longer in that room!
Oh if only i had read all about Kosmar before booking I would not have had an experience where I feel ripped off, badly treated and lied to.
having been to Greece 5 times with another company we could not get in with them on a last minute break so had to resort to Kosmar. Paid more in fact than the ebrochure price for one week in Aug, and was not advised of spending 2 hours in east midlands airport having got on in Bristol. Spent all together from getting on plane to arriving in hotel 8 hours, could have been in new york in that time!!!
Have to agree with some of the other reports that CS was appauling at Kosmar and have had no joy with subsequent complaints proceedures, burying head in sand and waiting for next years unsuspecting customers.
Rep in resort was rude and particularly unhelpful and i can guarantee we will never be darkening Kosmars doors again!!!!
My family and I know what we want from a holiday, we actually have a checklist. Quiet location, but not too far from the airport, close to at least one supermarket and a few tavernas, an on-site pool (keeps the kids occupied) and a balcony (for night-time wine slurping). Oh and it has to be in Greece. We find all we require by booking through Kosmar.
Kosmar claim to be the UKs No 1 specialist travel company to Greece and its easy to see why. An independent company with over 23 years experience, they dont offer huge discounts or fancy frills with their holiday packages as their prices are extremely competitive to start with. We are travelling to Crete this year with them in the childrens summer holidays and are paying less than £1500 for a family of four (including all insurances and supplements). Mind, we had to book before the brochure was actually published to get what we wanted. We have found that the apartments suitable for families are snapped up pretty quickly. As it was we were lucky to book ours, as it was the last apartment left in the accommodation we wanted. I have found that a lot of people who use Kosmar become regular customers.
This is essential reading matter when choosing our annual holiday. It tells me everything I need to know about each island, the resorts and the accommodation. So far I have found the descriptions to be accurate and truthful. If a resort is situated on a steep hill or is miles from amenities it tells you. You are often advised to carry a torch for late night returns. There is always a warning if the accommodation is close to an airport in case the noise disturbs the holidaymakers. We have had a couple of holidays close to the airports but can honestly say it has never spoiled our holiday, on the contrary sometimes it has been quite entertaining watching the aircraft landing and taking off. There is also a lot of information about what to expect when visiting Greece, such as the mosquitoes, lack of kettles and strange plumbing systems.
The brochure is colourful and well set out; each islands page is a different colour for easy reference. It gives lovely descriptions of each place and just flicking through it again makes me itch to book another holiday. Just opening at any page I am tempted by this:
Like Rhodes the friendly little holiday island of Kos has a busy main town, with a Crusader castle and lively nightlife, some fine beach resorts a mountain range providing a dramatic backdrop to the green and fertile interior, and an international airport for easy access.
Sounds idyllic, doesnt it?
Kosmar offer holidays to over fifty Greek resorts, catering for all age groups and all types of holiday. They introduce new islands and resorts each year to give their customers maximum choice. This year amongst old favourites such as Corfu, Crete and Zante, newer destinations include Ithaca, Alonissos and Finikounda. Last year we travelled to Skiathos, which is an absolute gem of an island. We have in the past visited Santorini and would recommend that particular island to everyone after a peaceful relaxing holiday.
One thing I abhor about package holiday is the tour companies representative (apologies to any of you who have been one). I still shudder at the memory of an all-inclusive holiday we endured (the whole experience was cack), where all the new arrivals were herded into an underground, airless room. We were then subjected to two hours of sales spiel from the pushy teenage reps who attempted to intimidate us all into purchasing overpriced excursions. We only went along cos of the promise of a free drink; we had forgotten we were all-inclusive. We had also wanted to sign the children up for the kids clubs but after seeing the reps decided that our children would be better off with us, poor lambs.
Kosmar reps are different. Always smartly dressed in a very bright orange and blue uniform. Attentive, but never pushy, we have never had any problems with these reps. Our rep in Skiathos, Ben, was pleasant, informative and knowledgeable about the island. His welcome meeting was hilarious as he didnt have a proper map of the island and used his souvenir tea towel complete with ouzo stains instead. He gave us a list of excursions but we found they were no higher priced than others offered on the island. We have always found the reps are easy to contact and very approachable.
The majority of Kosmar accommodation are self-catering apartments, a few being bed and breakfast. Each one we have stayed in has been simple, but clean and pleasant, with basic self-catering facilities. The owners generally live on site and are usually very nice and friendly. This year we had a double-glazed bungalow with two bedrooms, which was close to the pool area without being overlooked by others. The complex was set in its own well-tended grounds, well away from any roads (it was a bit of a trek to the main resort took about 5 minutes!). Kosmar regularly checks the pool areas. I had read on Holidays Uncovered that a lot of people who had holidayed at these apartments last year had ear infections from the pool, so maybe it was being more closely monitored. None of the Kosmar accommodation we have seen has been overly big or high-rise, the majority being only two storeys high and with never more than a handful of rooms or apartments, so it never gets too crowded.
Kosmar fly from many UK airports, Gatwick and Manchester being the main ones. We always fly from Newcastle and havent had a problem so far in getting a flight to whichever destination we fancy. One thing that really annoys me are flight supplements, but I have noticed that Kosmars arent too bad, we usually pay about an extra £100 for the entire family to fly from Newcastle. The aeroplanes Kosmar uses are not the norm. This year we flew by IslandFlug, an Icelandic company, I think they must have been the Icelandic equivalent of EasyJet as there were no films or entertainment throughout the flight and the interior was very basic. Actually the exterior was very basic too, I now refer to them as Meccano Jet. This is indicative of all airlines we have used when going through Kosmar. We prefer daytime flights and have found that Kosmar tend to offer times that suit us. Its awful having to vacate your accommodation at midday and hang around until late at night especially with children so daytime flights are ideal.
Transfares to and from the airport
The transfer times are detailed in the brochure and are very accurate. We did have a minor disruption with our transfer to our resort in Skiathos as a herd of mad goats and even madder farmer decided they wanted to take an amble down the main road, but I actually found it quite funny to hear our Greek coach driver screaming obscenities at the poor beasts. Transfer times back to the airport are posted a few days before departure and we found that we had no problems there either.
Special Offers, Car Hire and Travel Insurance
Kosmar offer two-centre holidays, discounts for children (if you are quick), two weeks for the price of one (at selected times) and discounted car hire. They insist on each holiday member having appropriate travel insurance and offer a very attractive policy.
As I said before, Kosmar are extremely competitive with their prices. The average cost per person is around £400 for a fortnights holiday, in peak season. We have been fortunate to secure a free child place for next year and get a £20 discount for our second child. This doesnt sound like a good deal until you total up the entire holiday and compare it with other companies. Thomsons prices were well over £2000 for the four of us.
Kosmar have their own website, where all the information is exactly the same as in the brochure apart from the fact that you can book the holiday of your choice on-line. I found this very handy when pricing out the total cost of my trip. I prefer to book through a travel agent as you can usually get free insurance and if you use Co-op TravelCare as I do, can have points put onto your Dividend card (at least enough points for a few bottles of decent wine).
I think the only fault I can find with Kosmar is that the holidays tend to sell out very quickly so early booking is essential. I have no hesitation in recommending this company to others who wish to book a low cost, hassle free holiday; just remember to leave a few holidays for me to choose from please!
We have travelled all over the Greek islands and the mainland and always with Kosmar.We have always found brochure descriptions to be accurate and our reps to be very knowledgable and helpful.The prices are exceptionally good value and they also offer some of the lesser known areas which,if found in other companies brochures, are much more expensive.We go to Tolon in June this year and I am really looking forward to being in the capable hands of Kosmar and to a very enjoyable holiday.I will post a review of the holiday as soon as we get back.
All we wanted was a reasonably priced, relaxing holiday to somewhere hot and beautiful, so we went along to our travel agent and picked up a few brochures. Once we had finally decided to settle on going to Kafelonia, we began looking for studios or apartments in our desired destination Skala. However we realised that this could be quite expensive as the prices companies were charging were phenomenal…until we came across Kosmar. Kosmar apartments and studios were by far the cheapest we came across and they had a very good selection in their brochure, so we went along to our travel agent and booked with Kosmar. Another bonus to Kosmar is that you get a free, (and delicious) meal on the plane. (However if like me you are a vegetarian, you do need to pre-book it) Once we arrived in Kafelonia, the reps were at the airport to meet us and directed us to our coach. Although we arrived at night, the rep was fantastic on our coach as we drove through the island to get to our destination. She highlighted the main features of the island, the things that we might like to go and see, and gave us other information that travel books just wouldn’t give you. She was very knowlegable and seemed very approachable. Our studio was exactly how it was described in the brochure and in exactly the same position of Skala as it was described. The destination was beautiful as was the island and after looking at the brochure once we returned, we noticed that the brochure had given a very good description of both the island and destination. The welcome meeting was also very good. Stella our rep told us a bit about the island, and the various trips that they did, (although unlike other companies, the reps didn’t pressure us into buying these, although we did book one we like the sound of). On top of this we got a welcome drink for Kosmar and a discount voucher of 10% (which doesn’t sound like a lot, but soon adds up) to us
e in one of our favourite restuarants in Skala. The reps were also very helpful in the Kosmar office in Skala. They gave us a map and directions of how to get to some places that we werent sure of and again seemed very approachable. They told us where to get the best exchange rate in Skala and also had special offers on car hire, (although we didn’t use these as we had already pre-booked ours). We actually found out that most of the reps had been coming back to the isalnd for at least five years which is why they were so knowlegable about the island. The trip that we went on was very well organised and a very enjoyable day. A rep accompanied us on it and was around all the time if we needed her. The coaches used were clean and had air conditioning, (a blessing if like me you get travel sick on coaches), and the drivers were always very nice and chatty. The transfer back to the airport was excellent and Stella kept us informed of where we were going on our way back in terms of pick ups etc. We enjoyed our holiday and the use of Kosmar that much, we have already booked with them for next year! Their brochure advertises the fact that they were the winners of the British Travel awards 2002 and to be honest, from our experience, I would be surprised if they didn’t get it for 2003 as well. You can book through Kosmar either by using their brochure and booking through a travel agent, or online at www.Kosmar.co.uk (if you know where you want to go then I would recomend this option as it is cheaper as you miss out the commission from the travel agent). Kosmar get a big thumbs up from us! Kosmar also offer various special deals both in their brochures and on their web site depending on when and where you book your holiday such as free kids places, two weeks for the price of one and free car hire. The only disadvantage I would say was that they only fly from selected airports, so w
e had to travel to Manchester, but hey, you cant have everything!
I would like to register my disappointment with Kosmar Villa Holidays. We booked a week in Skiathos in August for a friend's wedding, flying back on the evening of our own wedding anniversary. I have just been informed that Kosmar have had to completely change the flights and instead of a last morning by the beach, a leisurely lunch and an evening flight, we now have an early lunchtime flight which basically means our last day of our holiday has been cancelled and our anniversary ruined. My travel agent at Going Places spoke to the operations department who said there was nothing they could do about the flights. I accept that we have no choice but to fly at the new times and I know that according to our booking conditions we are not entitled to any compensation. However, given that there was such a big change to the day and it was a very special day, I tried calling the customer services department myself to see if there was any compensation or a gesture of goodwill they could provide to help me accept the situation. The customer services assistant was brusque and just said there was nothing she could do. I asked to speak to her manager, who was immediately defensive about her colleague and said there was nothing she could do, the change affected all their customers, her hands were tied and she couldn't start making exceptions for people. She was really rude, saying things like 'if you had bothered to read the brochure you'd know this' and 'Have you just rung me to argue with me'. When I said I'd like to write a letter of complaint about the situation and her attitude, she just said, well, that's up to you. This has completely put a damper on the holiday even before we are anyway near it, and I will never book with Kosmar or recommend them again. Their definition of customer service is laughable and their attitude arrogant and dismissive. I'm normally a very calm person but I ended up swearing at this woman after some minutes
going round in circles, which is not to my credit, but I am honestly really not looking forward to the holiday at all. If that's the treatment we can expect before we set off, what are the reps going to be like on the ground. Not good enough Kosmar.
My wife and I have just returned from the worst holiday of our lives through Kosmar and after complaining and following up the complaint within 28 days of our return, we have received a standard reply which has totally denied any responsibility for the whole mess. We booked a fortnights self catering holiday in the Greek Island of Zakinthos through Kosmar. Our flight from Glasgow to Zante on 12/5/02 with Transjet Airlines, was delayed from 14:30 until 23:00. One hour after we eventually took off, the pilot announced he was diverting to Gatwick as one of his engines was low on oil pressure. The disappointment after our long delay was overshadowed with fear as the cabin began to depressurise and my usual sore head on landing started long before there were any airport lights in sight. We were further distressed when a young air hostess ran down the plane at full speed. When we landed at Gatwick the fire engines surrounded the plane and we were told on leaving the plane that the engine had actually caught fire. We were taken by bus to Gatwick and spent a further 8 hours huddled under blankets they handed out. We had no intention of going any further and at least 12 people demanded to be flown home to Glasgow. By 4:00am we were told that an Air 2000 jet would be taking us on to Zakinthos departing Gatwick at 8:00hrs. I discussed this with some of the other passengers and we decided to continue because we were all by then in such a state of fatigue that we agreed we were very much in need of a holiday and being assured that we would not be travelling on another Transjet plane we decided to give it a go. The plane eventually took off from Gatwick at 9:00 and arrived in Zakinthos at approximately 12:30 which was 14:30 Greek time. We both knew what to expect at Zakinthos having visited the island before. While waiting in the small crowded airport terminal for the previous flight's bags to be unloaded we got talking to some Newcastle passengers who had
just arrived after us and the conditions were by then getting a bit hectic. As luck would have it, the Newcastle flight's bags were unloaded first and we were left in a state of complete anger and frustration. There was nothing to kick. If I had lashed out I would have been attacking an innocent Geordie who had nothing to do with my dilemma. I could hear some kind of angry words being exchanged with passengers and reps in the background but I was by then at a point of wanting to pass out but I had to make an effort to stay active as my wife has chronic back trouble and I had to retrieve our luggage and get us into some accommodation, having become seriously concerned about what she'd already been through. We eventually got clear of the airport and into our accommodation about 15:30. There was no rep to bother us for a couple of days and when we did see her we were beginning to settle down to retrieving something of the holiday spirit. We asked for a complaints form and duly filled it in and returned it. She asked us to phone home as it had been in the national press and news about our flight and the engine catching fire. We expected to be flown home by Air 2000 after having lost all faith in Transjet. She told us to watch the board outside our apartment and the flight times would be announced two days prior to departure. We were due to fly home on Sunday 26/5/02 at 11:30. On the Friday night a girl called Jan we got to know from the flight out, became very ill and had to be taken to hospital. We learned on the Saturday morning she had died on the way to the hospital. She was only 27 and she had no record of heart trouble or indeed any kind of trouble and yet the doctors said she'd suffered a heart attack. We were dumbfounded. Needless to say our holiday was over then and we could only wish for a safe return. We were told that the flight home would be with Transjet as originally planned, departing 11:30 on the Sunday and that due to t
he number of flights leaving at that time, we were being picked up at 8:30 to get checked in at Zante airport as early as possible to avoid delays. We arrived at Zante airport as planned and by 9:00 our bags had been checked in and we went through passport control into the departure lounge. This was the last we seen or heard from any Kosmar reps. At 12:00 it was announced that our Transjet plane had been diverted to Kefalonia due to congestion at Zante airport and had landed with damage to it's undercarriage. We were left sitting with Jan's bereaved parents and another couple who knew them. We knew from other people we had flown out with that another Air 2000 flight was due to take off for Glasgow at 16:30. All we could do at this stage was hope that someone could help Jan's parents to get on this flight. Their holiday was through Libra and their rep had given them her mobile number to get in contact with her at any time. Harry and Margaret phoned the Libra rep and we later learned that she did manage to get them on the Air 2000 flight to depart at 16:30. The next thing that shook us was another announcement. "If there is a doctor in the airport would he please go to the main reception immediately as his assistance is required". Next we saw an ambulance driver and it turned out that another passenger from our flight had taken a heart attack and we watched as he was stretchered away to the hospital. We haven't yet learned how the chap is or if he survived. The next announcement said that a Transjet Plane was flying from Rhodes to Kefalonia to pick up the passengers stranded there from the previous flight and it was hoped it would arrive at Zakinthos at 19:00. We were given a small baguette with a hint of cheese and a scliff of tomato and a cup of warm kola. The 16:30 Air 2000 flight was boarded on time and we said farewell to the others, and we waited, and we waited. At 19:30 another announcement came over the system and I cou
ldn't make it out because a big cheer had gone up because a Transjet plane had just landed. Everybody mistakenly thought they were telling us to take our boarding passes to the departure gate. What they were actually saying was that the plane we were expecting was further delayed and we were to take our boarding passes up to the bar for another stale roll and kola. We were eventually flown out of Zante at 21:40 on a Transjet plane which was originally scheduled to fly to Gatwick but the passengers were ushered into the airport and back out into temporary accommodation on the island. I need legal advice as I don't feel capable of any more stress in having to go over this situation again. Others I have been speaking to from the flight lost work on their return because of the stress of the whole thing. As far as I see it, Kosmar have had various opportunities to put things right now but have failed hopelessly throughout and should now suffer the full consequences of their inaction. As for Transjet as an airline, I would never take a chance on them ever again. I never felt safe on their plane from the time I sat down in it. I don't feel it was airworthy when it left Glasgow and I would like to know if there is anyway of checking on the amount of air miles a plane is allowed to fly before undergoing a major service. During our flights on this trip we were twice boarded on aircraft whilst they were refuelling. Is this not a compromise of passenger safety? Maybe I haven't flown enough, or maybe I'm just too careful, or maybe I'm looking for a bit too much for my money. The Transjet flight crews were all openly admitting to being pulled out at short notice and having to endure long hours in flight. Do Kosmar or any tour operator for that matter need to compromise people's safety to get their packages going? Zakinthos airport is a disgrace to say the least. It lets down the island which it supports. I love Zakinthos and I like the G
reek people. I do think however that their airport standards need upgrading if a catastrophe is to be avoided. I had hoped to take my grandchildren to Zakinthos but after my recent experiences I would not fly there again.