Had a terrible experience with Thomas Cook, which just seems to be getting worse and worse!
We went on holiday (my first time abroad) to Turkey in June. Without going into too much detail (I've already written to complaints to them which have been ignored quite spectacularly!) the service that Thomas Cook provided was absolutely terrible, and I was really surprised at how such a large company can be making such dreadful mistakes (not all major but enough to together make the holiday really difficult to enjoy, and impossible to just relax!) Delayed flights, cancelled excursions, or coaches for excursions that just didn't turn up were the starting point, but then one thing after another, after another...
To mention a few problems:
- Asked for a quiet resort in branch. Recommended possibly the liveliest resort on that coastline.
- Really expensive excursions where people just aim to sell more. Coaches turn up late or not at all. No forewarning of a four hour bus journey to the destination.
- Delayed flights and expensive add ons (£18 to sit next to each other - EACH WAY!?!)
- Lack of support in resort. Excursions cancelled last minute (paid £45 each) through a fax sent in Turkish and posted under our door. Was advised to contact Rep that we could not get hold of as he was so swamped across so many hotels. (Ended up going on a boat trip that we arranged with a local travel agent instead - better guide, better food and better boat - £12 each!)
- Faulty goods purchased on the plane - which cannot be returned on the plane! Instead have to be posted after you get home (by which time half of your "28 days" has already gone!"
- Being ignored by resort staff, branch staff and complaints department.
On the up side, we did get online check in...
I feel I want to review Thomas Cook as have had loads of package deals with them over the years and continue to do so but generally dislike the company greatly. Having just returned from Turkey using them it seems timely to review.
So starting with the negatives have experienced over the years;
- Not getting in flight meals paid for
- No kids club despite booking for this
- Major changes to flight times - day flight to night flight (although did ring up and refused to accept and although the agent was clearly not happy, they did provide alternative)
- Booking on the promise that interconnecting rooms were available but when arrived, they had secured interconnecting for a completely different hotel in the same resort
- Massively over priced trips
-Really slow check ins
-Feeling "robbed" when doing there excursions
Things that generally really annoy
- Push throughout for customers to buy extra leg room, priority check in, seats together.....
So why do we still bother,
-They do have a vast range of destinations and hotels
-It is what it is, a package that you can book without having to think of the hotel, flight and transfers as separate entities
-When booking holidays I consider every company but Thomas cook often comes in so much cheaper that the rest despite desperately searching for alternatives.
-felt very safe and easy when children where little, having extra security of the reps.
-easy website to use
So I still use Thomas cook frequently as refuse to cut my nose off to spite my face, however my approach is
-search for other alternatives first
- we haven't booked seats together for years and still (touch wood) always sit together as have young children, I'm genuinely not sure if there's a legal reason but I can't see that they'd want minors sat without their parents and time and again I'm proven right and save loads of cash
-try alternatives for their trips, we have done loads of excursions for an absolute fraction of the amount they charge, an example would be doing a trip for the same price as 1 adult but for all of us (family of 5) and also walking 10 minutes to an aqua park that they said was too far to walk to as they did a "trip" there".
-use cash back sites such as top cash back
So giving a doo yoo of 3 as generally dissatisfied but keep going back for more (when I can't find alternative!)
I wanted to book a short holiday on the Thomas Cook website. I entered all my requirements (dates, airport, type of room etc) so the holiday was exactly specified. The price advertised was £1206 pounds. That seemed OK, so I clicked to buy. Immediately, the price sky-rocketed to £1476 an increase of £270 pounds!Thomas Cook's reason for this massive 22 percent price hike: "there are that many holidays and properties on our website the price on the front screen cannot be updated with the exact live price until you go through to confirm your choice".I suggest there is something very, very wrong with Thomas Cook's IT systems if that is the case. Some might say this sort of thing looks suspiciously like dubious business practice. I couldn't possibly comment. Needless to say, I didn't book the holiday and I will go somewhere else in future.
We went to Tenerife with Thomas Cook in December 2012. The booking process was easy and pleasant and the flights were fine although cramped. 4 1/2 hours on the plane was more than enough. We stayed at the Arenas Del Mar in El Medano. It was advertised as child free but I was woken by a child crying at 3am. It was also advertised as 4+ star. The food was very poor and the drinks were even worse. I have never before stayed at a 4 star hotel where the desserts are sponge , jelly, ice cream and tinned fruit. What food wasn't eaten at one meal was thinly disguised and served again at the nest meal.. The wine was on tap and for the first time in my life I spat it out. All in all not even 2 star standard. I complained to Thomas Cook who basically told me that this was 4 star standard and that that was the end of the matter. I submitted a poor review on the hotel which, suprise, suprise; they didn't publish. Their hotel reviews are therefore not to be trusted. They do not seem to care about customner opinion. It is little wonder that this company is in finacial difficulties. I certainly would never book with them again.
It has been some years since we last holidayed with Thomas Cook. Their recent financial problems have not inspired confidence. However, as my wife and I were in the market for an early season break and Thomas Cook came up with the right holiday in the right location at the right price, we decided to go ahead.
I initially started booking on the Thomas Cook website, as I would with most holidays, but I soon ran into problems not being able to find information and having queries regarding the insurance, that I ended up having to phone them anyway.
The holiday we had in mind was a week all-inclusive at the Sandos Papagayo Arena hotel in the Lanazarote resort of Playa Blanca, on the island's south coast. What I couldn't find out was exactly what "all-inclusive" actually meant. This is exactly the sort of information you would want to know but the website made it very difficult to find out.
The other issue was the holiday insurance, to do with special terms and conditions regarding pre-existing conditions. Trying to clarify this wasn't not made easy.
Anyway, eventually most of my concerns were sorted out on the phone and, despite having to deal direct with a Thomas Cook agent, I still got the online discount. I left the insurance as provisional as I was sure I could get a better deal elsewhere, and I was allowed 7 days to cancel that aspect of the package if I did. I did: the Thomas Cook insurance was twice what I eventually got through Explorer Insurance. The total cost was nearly £1200 for the two of us. This included overheads such as credit card charges, for which Thomas Cook charged us an unjustifiable £30. I fail to be convinced that that's the amount the credit card company charges them but then this is a rip-off most tour companies seem to inflict on their customers!
The holiday was supposed to shown in "complete breakdown" on the website but in fact only consolidated some of the items, such as the individual components of the flight cost, such as pre-booked meal. However, the electronic copy of the invoice emailed to me did have the full details.
The documents arrived a few days later and so we were ready to go. It was then that I realised that Thomas Cook only allow a stingy 15kgs of hold luggage rather then the 20kgs that most other carriers permit! Cabin luggage was only 5kgs; even Ryanair permits 10kgs and Easyjet has NO limit! I wasn't prepared to stump up even more money for a larger limit so we would have to be careful about what we packed. Not good.
We weighed all our luggage before we left and were, according to our scales, just under the limit. When we checked in the luggage the Gatwick scales said we were about 3kgs under! Strangely, on the return from Arrecife the airport scales there said we were nearly 2kgs over, which could not be accounted for by anything we were taking back that we hadn't brought! However, we weren't charged excess baggage.
The flight was from Gatwick's South Terminal; as usual we had booked the car in with Tudor Rose meet-and-greet valet parking, at a cost virtually the same as Gatwick's long-term parking, booked in advance! Checking in was quite straight-forward, with minimal queuing, but then this was a Thursday so perhaps one of the less popular travel days. However, the plane was full. We did get seats together though.
The flight took off on time. When settling into our seats we discovered yet another drawback of flying Thomas Cook. The plane was a Boeing 757-300. The seats were of a type I've neve seen before: no back adjustment and the leg-room enabled by dispensing with the normal seat-back pocket. So, nowhere to put all your travel stuff except on the floor! All this, undoubtedly, so as to pack as many seats as possible into the plane, and to hell with passenger comfort!
We then discovered that Thomas Cook has also dispensed with all in-flight entertainment. This was not going to be an enjoyable flight. Fortunately, as finally with most airlines, Thomas Cook now acknowledges that flight-safe mobile phones DON'T screw up flight controls, contrary to what the airlines always claimed (how could they: they don't make any wireless transmissions!?) so I was able to use the music player function. I also had a book to read, a real one, not an eBook.
The in-flight meals were decent enough and included hot drinks but anything over and above that cost extra. Apart from the inevitable "duty-free" trolley, nothing else disturbed us for the entire flight.
The return flight was pretty much the same except we had to sit one behind the other on the aisle. At least it enabled the two of us to take a comfort break without having to ask anyone to move. The plane was the same as on the way out.
At the hotel the Thomas Cook rep invited us to the standard "Welcome" meeting but the hotel hadn't made the room he obviously usually used available so we ended up wandering all over the hotel trying to find somewhere suitable. In the end he held it in the open-air theatre. He rattled through the presentation as though he just wanted to get it over and done with. In the end we didn't take up any of the advertised excursions. We even hired our car direct with the Plus Car rep at his desk in the hotel lobby - £55 for two days in a Peugeot 207, no mileage limit; no air-con either though!
So, in my opinion, pretty shabby treatment of customers by Thomas Cook. No wonder they're struggling. If they continue to try to make ends meet by treating passengers as cattle, I can't see them returning to being what was once a great company. Unless they change their ways, I won't be travelling with them again any time soon.
I am sad to say that I didn't get service as of what I expected to receive from an airline such as Thomas Cook.
The flight was good, and quick. The only faults were the delay in take off both outbound and inbound which was rather frustrating!
The in-flight entertainment wasn't good at all. The film choice was rubbish, well you had to watch what everyone else did. The earphone which you had to buy for £2.50 were rubbish, I plugged my htc head phones in and nearly blow my ears out because it was so loud as the ones we purchased onboard were rubbish.
The food that we pre-booked was better than expected but very overpriced. Just before the cabin crew started disturbing the food a message came over the PA system saying 'there is not enough meals for everyone on board please only accept a meal if you have paid for one.'
I thought that we would get drinks for free. Guess not, we had to pay for all our drinks, lucky we bought bottles of juice before we boarded.
The price was far too expensive for what we received. Very disappointed in Thomas Cook, first time travelled with them, and never again. Would rather pay less and go with a different company.
Thanks for reading! I hope this has been of interest to you and has helped assist you in your decision.
My recent holiday was booked through Thomas Cook.
Firstly, the sales experience, we had gone in just to see what was on offer, telling ourself we would not book, however, they did come up with the right holiday at the right price, so we booked there and then. Deposit I thought would be approx £50 each perhaps? We had booked in December, holiday was not til June, plenty of time. The holiday only cost £480 for 2, so was surprised when they asked for a £300 deposit, that was practicall the whole holiday!!!! After we said we would not pay that much for a deposit, they did come back and say there was a way we could pay £150, so, if they can do it, why not do it in the first place hey. The sales woman, to be honest, was a little strange, very over excited about everything, as we had booked so far in advance though, promised us a room with a pool view which we were more than happy about, we also had a 20kg luggae allowance which it seems a lot of other people did not get as 15kg seems to be the luggage allowance these days. But, all in all, we had the right holiday, at teh right price, with a deposit not due til end of February, so we now had something to look forward to.
Holidays tickets arrived a week before we left, no problems there.
Thomas Cook flights leave very little room, as is the same with all flights, havign to pay £15 each, each way for extra leg room, we decided to make do with tiny seats.
We were greeted by a Thomas Cook rep when we reached our resort and escorted to our transfer coach, unfortunately, we were last ones there, and there were not enough seats on the coach, someone had miscalculated, but Thomas Cook rep from coach liaised with coach company, who agreed to give us a private taxi to transfer us, so all happy there in the end. At arrival at hotel, the room we were promised was not the room we had, no pool view, mentioned to rep and hotel staff, owner was able to accomodate us in a room more suitable, however, stated they are only requests, so basically sales rep should not have 'promised' us these rooms.
The rep was on hand every day except for 1 day which was noted as a 'no visit' day and when arrived, would walk round asking people how they were, and also sat at hotel for a while in case they were needed.
Overall, the sales lady in travel agents was a bit strange, and promised us what they could not deliver, but, can't deny they did find us what we were looking for, and was nice to have a rep presence if they were needed.
Well firstly Thomas cook is a travel agents for anyone who is not aware of this company. You do not need to be a globe trotter to know what Thomas cook does and who they are.
I had booked my honeymoon with thomas cook last year and I am recently back from my honeymoon. So I just want to give my opinion on the whole experience. I am sure other peoples views are different some people have bad experiences on holiday others like myself was none to complain about. The checking in on the flights was time consumming but all flights and airlines are very time consuming. So The checking ion was fine and also the flights were great and smoothly and the staff were very nice and helpful. The pilot was also brillant and kept you informed on everything going on when aboard the flight. He was very assuring polite and helpful there and back. The flight was six hours and the airline had some great duty free offers on.
We were booked into the barron palms hotel in eygpt recomended by a thomas cook when we went in to the nearset outlet. I have to say the hotel was five star and it was the best reccomendation we have ever had. The only thing I had a problem with was that we had asked for a pool view and thomas cook told us they would request it. So we arrived and as on honeymoon we got to our room and it was not as nice of a view it just faced the road. So we had went to recpetion and asked would they move us as we had asked for it when we booked. The staff said we could uprgrade us for and extra twenty us dollars per person a night. We refused to upgrade. So we seen our rep and she siad she will speak to them if they have them available they usually give them to you. I replied saying the have them available as the asked us do we want one for a charge. So the rep said she will look into it. That was on the first night I then seen her the next day and she still had not looked into it and she was asked again later that week and was told the same thing so we just gave up. That was the only complaint I have had with thomas cook. I would reccomend this travel agent.
Flew to Gambia on a near 7 hour flight on a short haul plane with no seat back entertainment and an awful vegetarian breakfast was served to everyone whether you were vegetarian or not.
Upon arrival our hotel was dirty and definitely not the 4 star it was meant to be it was 3 star at best ( dirty communal carpets, paint peeling off walls etc).
Upon arrival to the hotel I went through 3 different room changes as the first 2 had ancient rattling air con units outside right next to the balcony ( the first was situated on the restaurant roof with no view whatsoever ).
Excursions seemed way overpriced.
The alacarte restaurant at he hotel was awful and the food was of a lower standard than the buffet.
The country of Gambia was good with great weather but I was not impressed with Thomas Cook and will be sticking to Thomson from now on.
Watch out if you are booking a long haul holiday with Thomas Cook. We booked in Feb 2010 to go in July 2010 and were expecting 33" seats as stated in the brochure. However, within a few weeks of booking Thomas Cook changed the flight and said we would only have 29" seats for the 9 hour flight. Needless to say we felt short changed as we were not getting what we had been sold. Numerous calls and letters to their Customer Service dept were to no avail. Despite promoting themselves with great customer service and their Chief Executive saying how customers were so important, they were not interested or even helpful. All we wanted was extra leg room seats but they weren't even willing to offer us that ! I complained to ATOL who said it was within the Terms and Conditions. I went to Trading Standards who said we had a case, but Thomas Cook obviously didn't value us as customers because they took months to respond and still stuck to their guns. All in all, a very bad experience and I certainly won't be using them again. So beware ! They aren't as customer friendly as they say they are and you are kept on hold for 20-25 minutes every time you try to contact them
I booked a surprise holiday for my partner to go to Egypt.
The staff were very freindly and helpful in the Nuneaton store, and advised me to go to Egypt at that time of year to be guarenteed the weather as it was in January.
The booking process was easy and fast and I only had to pay a short deposit as I was booking about a year in advance.
The flight times were fantastic we flew early morning and left Egypt in the evening which was what appealed to me about the holiday as it was all inclusive so we pretty much had a whole extra day!
So my experience so far was fantastic, but it was to get a lot worse!
I received a letter about 3 months before we were due to go advising me the flight times had changed and the way it worked out it took about 20 hours off our holiday! I was not happy with the change especially when we had arranged taxis to the airport. I spoke to the travel agents and they couldn't appologise enough and said that they do have the right to change the flight times. So i left it at that and re-arranged my transport to the airport.
About a month before we were due to go was when a lot of airlines were going bust, we hadn't heard anything so we thought we were lucky to have been on one that was ok.
It got to about a week before and I thought I had better just check. I went into the travel agent and it turned out that we were one of the unfortunate ones that was on an airline that was no longer trading! But they advised me that they had arranged another flight company to take us but the holiday dates had changed!! I asked why we hadn't been informed and they said they had written to us, I stood my ground and said that we hadn't received anything! Then another lady came out the back office and said that they had had a problem with the printer on one of the days and had not printed out the letters! They were not apologising this time and made me feel like i was causing an inconvienience! I said it would have only taken a phone call but they didn't seem bothered!
They said if i wasn't happy they could change it for a different holiday, but would only do one at the same cost. I managed to arrange it with my work to go on the amended days so off to Egypt we went!
When we arrived the Thomas Cook rep who didn't speak much english did the welcome meeting and we only had about 2 other english couples there. We later realised that day that we were pretty much the only english people there! There was no socialising the entertainment was mainly done in German! We arranged a trip through our rep and I asked him to arrange a birthday cake for partner, he said it was all sorted and i just needed to speak to the host who was on the door of the restaurant on the day.
Well I was quite embarrassed when the host looked at me like I was an idiot when I asked about the cake! And after that day the rep was not seen again! So much for the reps being there to help you!
I was very dissapointed by the whole process, I know some things in the hotel can't be helped by the travel agent but surely the rep should be on hand more than once a week to help!
When we returned I wrote a letter of complaint to Thomas Cook and surprise surprise we never heard anything back.
For a company with such a well known name you would think the customer service would be a bit better but I think there attitude is to get the money off you and then they couldn't care less!
|Do not book with Thomas Cook.
On our first night the rep was supposed to meet us to take us into Sharm El Sheikh he didn't show up but was ill so said to go in to town and find the other Thomas Cook reps. We managed this but when we got there we were completely ignored by all the other reps so in the end we left the group.
We were unable to book trips until 3 days before we were due to fly home as there was no rep in the hotel (as ours was still ill). We were scared into only booking trips with Thomas Cook by the original rep on the welcome meet as he said the others weren't insured and it was dangerous.
The new times were put up in reception but were wrong so we spent hours waiting in the hotel reception for a member of staff to show up which they didn't. When we phoned the Thomas Cook resort office we were given the wrong time (again).
Our flight was delayed by 4 hours on the way home. When we complained to Thomas Cook upon our return they have taken 2 to 3 weeks to respond by email.
My strong advice is do not go on holiday with Thomas Cook. They are not a reputable company you may as well go with a cheaper holiday company and save yourself the hassle and stress of having to deal with their staff or not as the case may be.
I recently returned from a package holiday with Thomas Cook in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.
I can't comment on booking through Thomas Cook or thier brochure as i booked through a different travel agent which i have used on many occasions before. However, the documentation provided by Thomas Cook once the booking was confirmed was pretty clear and provided in a timely manner.
Thomas Cook Reps:
The airport reps were decent, pointing you to the right transfer coach etc but thats about it. The resort rep was a very geniune and helpful chap who had lived in the resort for several years so knew alot about the local area and things to do. However I did feel at times that we were just getting quoted a line from the brochure!
The transfer from the airport was going to take forever on the bus so we got a cab ourselves for less than a tenner...well worth it! The hotel again was very good quality, as described by the travel agent. Thomas Cook seemed to have a good section of rooms reserved near to the beach and pool, many rooms in the resort overlooked the main roads far from the beach but all Thomas Cook holiday makers all seemed to be in the good locations.
I think this has to be the primary reason for picking a tour operator for a trip - the excursions that they can put on for you. We did a couple of fantastic excursions in egypt, arranged through the rep for a pretty reasonable cost. Without this you are potentially in danger of booking something through a dealer who isnt so reputable in the resort itself.
Overall i was pleased with the Thomas Cook holiday but couldn't help but feel like just another number. There was certainly a lack of personal service. I had one or two small complaints about the holiday which were brushed aside a bit by the rep and the airport reps which goes to prove that all in all, the customer isnt that important to them.
On the plus side it was nice to have the reassurance that there is a major tour operator behind the holiday should anything go wrong and that there was a rep available in the resort if we had any problems.
I probably would consider Thomas Cook again for a package holiday.
Last september my partner and i decided to be a little more adventurous and booked a 1 week holiday to Tunisia all inclusive. The booking was fine, no problems with transfers but as soon as we got to our hotel we encountered problems. The rep had disappeared as soon as we got of the transfer bus which was annoying as the hotel had no record of us having booked! We had a 3 hour wait before the rep could be located and there was no apology, just "its one of those things." We encountered several problems over the first couple of days including food poisoning, money going missing from our room (we actually caught the maid going through our suitcase!) and we were still unable to contact our rep. We managed to ring through to the only contact number that had been left for her (a mobile just to bump up the price) and were told rudely that the number was the only number for the whole of the country(!!!!) and that it was emergencies only and that was the end of the phone call! On our last day after leaving several complaints in the log we found that the hotel we were staying in was advertised as a 4* in the Thomas Cook brochure but 2 years earlier had actually been downgraded to a 3* without the changes being noted on the website or brochure! Needless to say we were very relieved to return home and fired off several letters of complaint. A few weeks later we were told that any complaints we had should have been adressed to the rep and that the rep for that area had left their employ and therefore they had no records of any problems that we ( and countless other people we spoke to!) had encountered. Not impressed, we definately won't be booking with them again. By the way-the hotel is still on their books and the brochure still lists it as a 4*!!!
i have booked my honeymoon with TC, going to Florida. first time with them, and the last.
i have booked premium seats and added your seat your choice, i have tried to reserve the seats but are unable to do so. tried for 4 weeks to get hole if TC Airline without any success, never answer the phone no email address to contact them.
i wanted to have a private transfer as it our honeymoon, but was told this is not possible, even though it is in the signiture book as an option. have to pay £60 for coach transfer. if i want to i was told that i can get a taxi when i get to the airport at Sanford, but will still have to pay for the coach transfer.
i have always arranged my own hotel accomadation and flown with scheduled airlines. i did a comparision and it would have been cheaper to book direct. so i wont be using Thomas Cook again