My partner has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer which meant we could not go to the Maldives as planned in February. I contacted Travelbag to inform them of this in November 2013 so we changed our holiday to August 2014 and had to pay flight and administration costs. As the holiday in August are not peak rates, we were due a refund of £300 as the total holiday was £4000. It is now 9 weeks since I 1st contacted them when she was diagnosed and have not received my refund or confirmation tickets. I have spoken to numerous personnel including assistant manager and the Manager who states I should have received my refund by now. I have left him voicemails to call me back and the last time I spoke he said he would chase it up and phone me back - YET NOTHING!!! My partner's cancer has since spread and looks like we will not be going on holiday in August either so will be trying to rearrange for next year. God help me trying to sort that out as they have been terrible with the 1st rearrangement. They are very quick to take money off you but are not very good at handing your money back. We are both very stressed with the current situation of having no confirmation or refund and really didn't need this on top of my partner's illness. If any personnel from Travelbag are viewing this e-mail it would be nice if you could sort our holiday out for us without having to constanty phone you to no avail and has also cost lots of money in phone calls!. I wait in anticipation but not holding my breath.....
I booked a last minute holiday with these people, who were extremely helpful before they got my cash! Upon my arrival in Bankok after 2 long flights, there was no transfer waiting for me as promised and paid for, I wasted over 2 hours in the airport, then hd to pay for my own taxi! I called UK several times, they certainly weren't prepared to help by contacting the transfer company and after several requests they finally gave me the number, only to find hey didn't speak English. I Lund the company at he airport and they wouldn't let me on their bus because my name wasn't on their list and I hadn't a travel voucher even though I had confirmation. On returning to theUK, it isn't any better, their service to customers is shocking, and I now seem to be reading soooo man bad reviews about them. Wish I'd read them before I booked, and I will NEVER USE THEM again!!
Travelbag should not be trusted, though I had booked tickets to Dubai at the end of the transaction I was told that I had to wait 72 hours to confirm booking. I feel I should have been told this at the begining so that I could have made a informed decision regarding my booking. I will be reporting them to Trading Standards because their on line booking is far too ambiguous and mis-leads customers.
I also booked some flights for 3 people with Travelbag only to get rung back the next day and told the flights were not available and instead was offered much more expensive flights. I obviously declined.The annoying thing was that I could have got the flights through some other agents for only a couple of pounds more. Now the flights I wanted have gone up by over £150 per ticket so by going with Travelbag I have lost almost £500 If you get a choice, don't bother, even to save yourself a few quid.
Booked my Holiday with Travelbag after searching online.we recieved great advice on the location and its facilities.We were met by our rep who was friendly and helpful.Our tickets came in plenty of time and their customer service was greatEverything went smoothly great holiday will definitely use them again.
Booked return flights london - bangkok for £460, got a 'flight reservation confirmation' email saying that they would be in touch within 72 hours to confirm booking of the flights. I called the next day just to see what was going on and they then informed me that the flights I had originally 'booked' were apparently no longer available - they were actually £640 and either I could pay the extra cost or cancel the flight completely and they would refund the money. Had to chase them for written confirmation that the booking was definitely cancelled and still waiting for the money to be in my account. DON'T USE THEM! The prices they advertise are lies.
hi all iv been staing at dougies for a 1 munf naw and iv rilly injoud my stay all the starf ar rilly frendly and thave got a rilly good facialaty and good survis.
Booked 3 hotel rooms for a group of 6 to Egypt. They booked the wrong hotel which by coincidence (yeah right!) was a cheaper one. When we discovered this error before the trip we contacted them but they said that this was resolved and said that one we were there their agent would take us to the right hotel we booked. The agent there did not know anything about this and we ended up staying in a rubbish hotel, nowhere near the beach which our original one was and we got ill due to the poor food hygene in this hotel. Travelbag did not care about this and they have not refunded the difference between the cheap hotel and the original one we booked. They did not care, no customer service help and was not their problem attitude. Will never use again - stay well away!
We booked our flights to South Africa and Flights and accommodation in Zambia with a South African specialist at Travelbag. The person that booked our trip also booked us brilliant seats on all of the BA flights. Our accommodation package for 4 Nights at Victoria Falls was perfect for us, as we were in Soth Africa to watch the British and Irish Lions play Rugby - which we knew would be exhausting!, so we wanted somewhere where we could relax but also walking distance from the falls. At all times the person booking the holiday asked questions to find out what was important to us and we knew what we wanted from our holiday. We were offered choices of airlines and the benefits discussed of type and class of ticket and prices available. The cheapest is not always the best option on long haul flights. I am surprised that some people have had poor experiences because this was not the first time we booked with them and had excellent service. We were sent our itinerary via e-mail at each payment stage so we knew exactly what we had paid for - even the times of the excursions that were included in the Zambian package was detailed in the information. I would recommed them to anyone who wants a specialist package. Very efficient, helpful with choices and cost effective.
For the past three years my partner and i have booked our holidays through Travel bag, the service we have received has always been first class, the staff are all very knowledgeable on the destinations, speaking to them about the places we wanted to visit made us want to go there even more. The first holiday we booked with Travel Bag was a Month in Australia, we had our own ideas on what we wanted to do so arranged an appointment with one of the representatives in their Winchester shop, we spent nearly four hours talking, arranging and booking our holiday, and i have to say the time just flew past, we ended up with return flights to Australia, with a 1 night stop in malaysia on the way out, Internal flights in Australia, various hotels dotted around Oz for varying lengths of time, (you can also booked tours with travel Bag before going which we did) we'd also booked a stop over on the return Journey to England just to brake up the long flight a bit, on the stop over on the way to Australia we stayed at the airport hotel in Malaysia, you have to remember though this was not England so the hotel was not at all like the rubbish, dodgy airport hotels here, no this is a 4/5 star, marbled floor, yes sir no sir hotel, which at the beginning we felt slightly uncomfortable because dressed in trekky shoes and trousers carrying backpacks seemed some what wrong for this plush looking hotel, however we were treated exactly the same as their first class travelling clients, the staff and service were excellent and would go out of their way to help, we were led to our room by concierge which turned out to be one of the most comfortable rooms we've stayed in, clean,spacious and with a great shower, that night we ventured down to the hotel bar, which had photos covering the walls of Formula one stars, it turns out this is where the F1 teams stay when in Malaysia for the grand prix, you must be getting some idea of what a nice hotel this is, and to top it all off only cost about £30 for the ROOM, excellent value, thanks to Travel Bag. The next morning we continued our journey to Australia flying into Sydney early evening, this i might add is a great time to arrive certainly helps with ridding jet lag quickly (assuming that is like us you have pre-booked some where to stay for at least the first night), arrive at the airport, transfer to hotel, beer and then bed, that way you can wake the next day having had a good nights sleep and hopefully getting yourself into to the Ozzie time pattern, just need to make sure when you book your flights you know what time your likely to land.(if you've never had jet lag before, it feels like going up and down in a lift - constantly) we stayed in Sydney for a few days, doing the usual stuff, Harbour bridge, opera house, the Rocks etc....when in Sydney make sure you get a chance to do a bridge climb, which you can pre book with Travel Bag prior to going, We moved on from Sydney to another hotel we booked with Travel bag in the red centre, we'd also booked a sunset and sunrise tour of Uluru (ayers rock), this is a fantastic experience but i would suggest spreading the tours out a bit, we only had planned on staying there for one night so was probably a bit much to do in the time we had, The next day we picked up an internal flight to Cairns and transferred to Port Douglas about an hour north, here we had planned on staying for about five nights then transferring to the airport to collect a hire car (again this was all arranged by Travel Bag), however on the first night disaster struck, we had lost all of our travellers cheques, £1600s worth - Doh. however a few phone calls and a couple of days later we had managed to arrange for them to be re-issued, nightmare over. we'd pre booked a barrier reef tour with Travel Bag and enjoyed a days snorkelling on and swimming, looking at amazing fish and coral. we moved on travelling down the east coast in our hire car stopping where we wanted to when we wanted to, all in time to meet our return flight booked out of Brisbane, we had arranged a beach stop over on the return journey in langkawi (malaysian island), this is a fanstatic way to brake up a long haul flight and an ideal time to reflect on our recent experiences and what a good job the Travel bag consultant had done to ensure we had a fantastic time away. Since our first Travel bag experience we have booked and been to Borneo and Thailand, both of these holidays have also been out of this world I wouldn't book with anyone else and look forward to using Travel Bag again and again.
Here is a cautionary tale of how my wife and I ended up on the streets of Singapore with ... - No money - No accommodation - A bad case of sleep deprivation - And our dreams of luxurious accommodation in tatters Be warned - it could happen to YOU if you book with TravelBag. The nightmare begins... In early April I was walking through Leeds when I saw the TravelBag® shop on Briggate, which is part of a chain of TravelBag® stores throughout the UK. I was interested in booking a flight to New Zealand for my wife and myself so went into the store and sat at a desk manned by a young lady called Victoria Sims. I asked her if she could get some prices for the flight to New Zealand and left her with my phone number so that she could call me when she had obtained the necessary information. A very special offer - or was it? The following day the phone rang. It was Victoria with the prices for the flight to New Zealand. Unfortunately, the only flights she could get us on involved a stop over in Singapore. Victoria then told us all about this "very special offer". Not only did we get an inexpensive flight, but we got an INCREDIBLE bargain on the accommodation. Our first night in Singapore would cost us just £1 and if we wished to stay a second night it would just be another £2. It sounded too good to be true! We went ahead with the booking there and then. Victoria took down our credit card information and our address details and told us that we would be staying in the Plaza Hotel in Singapore. She told us that the paperwork would be sent out to us prior to our trip. At this point both my wife and I were impressed with the service we had received from Travelbag. Victoria had called us as promised. She had found us a good deal on both flights and accommodation and she had processed the booking and got the paperwork out to us in good time for our flight. The document s arrive Several days later we received a pack containing the documentation. Inside were the flight tickets, an itinerary and a letter from Victoria. The letter read: Re: Your Final Itinerary (Book Reference: GDKGMX) Thank you for your payment. Please find enclosed all outstanding documentation that you need for your trip. With regard to other items that you have booked, please rest assured that we have included everything that you need to travel. You may find that within this pack you do not have vouchers for all ground arrangements that you have booked. We are currently working with our suppliers to streamline our ticketing system which means that you will not now require vouchers for all of your land arrangements. It looked like we had everything we needed to get going on our trip to New Zealand. We hadn't planned on going to Singapore, but were now looking forward to a couple of days of luxury in The Plaza after the 14 hour flight from Manchester to Singapore. The Flight to Singapore We flew out of Manchester on 15th April 2002. The plane headed to Zurich where other people boarded and then it was non-stop to Singapore to arrive roughly FIFTEEN HOURS later in Singapore. By this point we were obviously VERY tired and looking forward to getting to The Plaza and getting some shut-eye. After collecting our bags we followed all the other people on the flight to the coaches that Singapore airlines put on to take passengers to their hotel ... ... and that is when the nightmare began! "Can I have your coupons, Sir?" said the man behind the counter at the coach departure point. "I'm afraid we weren't sent any coupons" my wife replied. She took out the documentation that TravelBag had sent to us and pointed out the paragraph that read: "Where vouchers have not been issued, you will need to present the enclosed final i tinerary as confirmation of your reservation and the supplier may need to take a copy" He gave us a puzzled look and told us he'd be back in a minute. After discussing the matter with a couple of people, one of whom looked like they could be his superior he returned and asked us which hotel we were booked into. We told him that we were booked into the Plaza and he picked up the phone and called the hotel. Guess what? TravelBag hadn't made the reservation It wasn't good news. The Plaza had never heard of us. There was no booking and never had been. TravelBag hadn't made the reservation as they'd promised to. We were then asked various other questions and then asked to take a seat. The young man went away and we sat twiddling our thumbs for about 15 to 20 minutes. Whilst we were doing this a coach driver came in and asked if anyone was going to the Plaza, which was a little bit annoying to say the least. The young man eventually came back with the bad news. He'd called lots of other hotels and nobody had heard of us. "There definitely was no booking in our name" he said apologetically. He offered us two pieces of advice. Firstly, that we should call TravelBag and get them to sort it out. Secondly, that we should go upstairs and talk to the people on the Singapore Airlines customer service staff to see if they could help. We set off pushing our trolley through the airport, up the lift, and along to the Singapore Airlines customer service desk. We went through pretty much the same routine. Out came the paperwork, lots of questions and answers, more waiting, more questions, etc. We spoke to three people at that desk; two women and one man. Another hour wasted. We were only in Singapore for a short time, but at this rate we were going to waste it all trying to sort out the mess the TravelBag had got us into. After 20 hours of travelling we were VERY tired (to put it politely) In the end Singapore Airlines told us that they couldn't help. We decided to cut our losses and get in a cab and find any hotel. By this point we had been traveling for close on 20 hours and were desperate to get some sleep. Before getting in the cab we stopped off at a hotel booking agency in the airport. The lady was very helpful and managed to find us an inexpensive 3-star hotel where we could at least get our heads down. After a 30 minute taxi-ride we arrived at the hotel. It wasn't anything flash, but it contained beds, and that is what we needed more than anything. We checked in and made our way up to the room. It wasn't quite what we had been expecting, but the bed was comfortable and that was what was most important at this point in out trip. The last thing we did before falling asleep was to set the alarm clock to wake us in 3 hours so that we could call TravelBag as soon as their staff arrived in work at 9am GMT. If we'd known the kind of response we'd get from TravelBag we certainly wouldn't have bothered. When we awoke the afternoon Singapore sun was beating down through the gap in the curtains. It was a beautiful day. The last thing we wanted to do was get onto the phone to TravelBag, but we thought it best to get the matter sorted out as quickly as possible. We thought we had sorted the matter out with a single phone call, but ... At first we tried to call TravelBag on the hotel phone, but for some reason we couldn't get through. Finally, we tried using my Orange mobile phone and got through first time and after navigating the TravelBag phone system the phone was answered by the same person who we had booked with, Victoria Sims. I explained about the hotel and after a few seconds thought Victoria replied: "I remember now. I'm really sorry". I told her not to worry. All we w anted was to sort out a solution. We were okay about staying in the hotel we were in as we didn't really want the upheavel of a move just for a single night. All we asked was that TravelBag pick up the bill for the hotel for the two night, which in was about £45 per night - considerably less than it would have cost to stay in a hotel comparable to the Plaza. Victoria said that this was fine. All we needed to do was bring back the hotel bill and we'd get reimbursed when we returned home. I agreed to that, but asked if she could just confirm this by sending a fax to the hotel to save any confusion when we arrived home. I thought this was a wise move as we've all seen those horror programmes on TV about travel companies breaking their promises so I thought it best to get it in writing just in case they "forgot". Victoria agreed to send the fax to the hotel and I hung up and told my wife the result of the phone call. We were both happy that Victoria had sorted the matter out so promptly and at that point in time we were, despite the booking mess-up, quite impressed with TravelBag. Anyone can make a mistake, but the sign of a good company is one that can repair the damage quickly and satisfactorily - it appeared that TravelBag had done just that. We spent a pleasant few hours wandering around Singapore and then headed back to the hotel. Before going to our room we checked with reception to see if the fax had arrived, but it hadn't. We thought this was a bit strange as Victoria had, by this point, had over two hours to respond. A message that we hadn't been expecting I called TravelBag from the room and asked them why we'd not got the fax and was told that one would be arriving shortly. Fine - I thought. Shortly after, a fax was pushed under the door. It read: Dear Mr Smithson Following our conversation this morning I do recall the phone call we had in March discussin g your stopover in Singapore with Singapore Airlines. However there was nothing booked and paid for or sent to you in writing that stated a package had been confirmed for you in Singapore. Please accept my deepest apologise for any misunderstanding and inconvenience caused. Your sincerely Victoria Sims Specialist Sales Consultant 0113 386 1356 ext 3923 I was gobsmacked. "Misunderstanding". They had to be kidding. The fax was from the same person who only three weeks earlier had called me at home to tell me that she had found us a great flight, but that to qualify for it we had to stop over in Singapore and that the accommodation for the stopover would be £1 for the first night and £2 for the second night. This was also the same person who we had gone over the hotels with and decided on the Plaza. It is worth bearing in mind that this was not a booking that took several phone calls to sort out. Everything was sorted out in ONE phone call. There was no time for a misunderstanding. She had called with the best deal she could find, we had accepted the deal and with her help had chosen the Plaza as the place we wanted to stay and then we'd given her our credit card details and name and address. It was that simple - ONE PHONE CALL. At no time were we asked to confirm anything in writing - not the flight or the accommodation. And when we read through the letter that TravelBag sent it said quite clearly: "With regard to other items that you have booked, please rest assured that we have included everything that you need to travel". The same letter went on to say: "You may find that within this pack you do not have vouchers for all ground arrangements that you have booked. We are currently working with out suppliers to streamline our ticketing system which means that you will not now require vouchers for all of your land arrangements". I called TravelBag on my mobile and asked to speak to Victoria Sims, but instead I was put through to a Manager called Sally Terry. Sally is no expert on customer service. Indeed, it seems that Sally's total knowledge of good customer service would fit nicely on the back of a bus ticket. TravelBag would rather run up a massive bill on international calls to a mobile phone than admit they've made a mistake It is important to remember that all I was asking was for TravelBag to pay for the 3-star hotel we had to stay in because of their mistake. Instead of agreeing to this Sally Terry called me back on my mobile (75p per minute from the UK of which they had to pay half and I had to pay half) and spent over an hour arguing with me. It seems that in TravelBag's eyes the customer is NEVER right and that they would rather run up a massive phone bill than admit they have made a mistake. By now my wife and I were very tired, upset, in a three star hotel, we'd run up a substantial mobile phone bill, we'd wasted several hours trying to sort everything out and we were no further down the line. Instead of enjoying our holiday we were being forced by TravelBag to prove that we had actually made a reservation in the first place, even though it was a member of their staff that had sorted the "special offer" out in the first place. At the end of the conversation with Sally "Customer is King" Terry I asked her to send me another fax detailing TravelBag's position with regard to this matter. Part of it says: "Having looked into this matter further it would appear that the Stopover Package has never been requested or confirmed to you on any of the itineraries sent, therefore we have never entered into a contract to provide hotel accommodation during your stay in Singapore". My wife and I were absolutely livid when this fax appeared under our door. We had both been presen t when Victoria Sims had called with the "special offer" and so we both knew (as did Victoria Sims) exactly what had been offered and what had been booked. TravelBag only need to ask themselves two questions to satisfy themselves that this is true: 1. How on earth would we have known about the offer of accommodation for £1 for the first night and £2 for the second night if Victoria Sims hadn't told us about it. 2. How would we have known the The Plaza was part of the special offer that Singapore Airlines was running if Victoria Sims had not told us. We were told, in no uncertain terms, by Victoria Sims that the only way we could have the special price being offered by Singapore Airlines was if we agreed to a stopover in Singapore. There was no misunderstanding and the offer wasn't exactly complicated and open to misinterpretation. In a nutshell we were told: "If you want to go to Singapore at this price you MUST stopover in Singapore and the accommodation will be charged at £1 for the first night and £2 for the second night". Surely, the above is clear enough to convince even the worst customer service representative in the world - not if you are talking to TravelBag. In the end we had no option but to accept our 3 star accommodation and pay for it ourselves. People say that travel is a learning experience. Well we certainly acquired some new knowledge on our travels. What did we learn: 1. That TravelBag representatives cannot be trusted to make travel arrangements even if they are the ones who chose those arrangements for you. 2. That TravelBag are willing to leave you in the lurch whilst you are traveling. Luckily, we were in Singapore and alternative arrangements could be made quite easily, but I dread to think what could have happened had we been somewhere more remote. One thing is for sure - TravelBag wouldn't have been any help. 3. From our experience it appears that as far as TravelBag are concerned the customer is always WRONG unless they can prove, beyond ALL doubt, that they are actually right. Don't be drawn in by TravelBag's claims of excellent customer service. From our experience this is all hot air and means absolutely nothing. If you think this is an isolated case you should think again. I'm not the only person to have had this kind of shoddy treatment from Travelbag. I did a quick search of the Internet to see if TravelBag® had done this kind of thing before and what would you know - within two minutes I'd found the following. Milford Plaza Hotel - Hotel & Excursions package not booked on arrival. Departure Date:17-Feb-2001 Date posted: 26-Feb-2001 Arrived at hotel on Saturday eve to find no reservation for us. Hotel took credit card imprint for payment before admitting us (there were insufficient funds in account anyway). No excursion package for us (Liberty Island, Helicopter ride, World Trade etc.) Stranded in NY with not enough money to cover these basics already paid for in UK. Travelbag contacted on Monday - unhelpful and unwilling to resolve. Problem was that Travelbag not paid USA. Sorted out by ATI in NY and hotel paid on penultimate afternoon of holiday. Managed to cram in as much as possible of packages, but missed some. Much distress, upset and embarrassment caused. Holiday (second honeymoon for 10th anniversary) ruined due to not knowing if anything could be salvaged or if we would have to pay again (via wiring of funds by family in UK). We could not spend much of our holiday money (especially wanted to see Broadway show) until sorted out, but still had to eat etc. Complained to UK whilst in US, and letter of complaint sent 23/02/01. Awaiting reply. How many more times have TravelBag® messed up people's trips and not been willing to resolve the matter? In conclusion What TravelBag fail to understand is that this has nothing to do with compensation or money. All that was required was a sincere apology and an offer to put things right at the time. People need to be able to rely on the company they have used to make their travel arrangements both before they leave home and whilst they are traveling. People need to be able to: - Trust that the company will book the right things (which they quite obviously didn't on this occasion) - Trust that when things go wrong the company will be ready to help (which in this case they quite obviously were not). If I had wanted a thousand pound compensation and two night in Raffles then I may have been able to understand their point, but I wasn't even that fussed about having exactly what we had booked (two nights in the Plaza at £1 for the first night and £2 for the second night), if they had just paid the bill for our two nights in the 3 star hotel my wife and I would have been happy. It boils down to a couple of things - the honesty to admit when a mistake has been made and the professionalism to do something about it. From our experience TravelBag lack both. My advice to fellow travellers is - "THINK TWICE BEFORE BOOKING ANYTHING WITH TRAVELBAG"
I'm organising for myself and some friends to go to the USA in September for a holiday, and as we aren't what could be described as well off, we want to do things for the best value (not necessarialy cheapest, although cheap is good) that we can. We had decided to fly using American Airlines, for various reasons. Things like direct flights, and they have most legroom, which is handy when you are 6 foot 5!! Anyway, looking around on the internet a while ago we could get the return tickets direct from American Airlines for about £270. All nice and good. But, as is always the way, things took a while before our plan was agreed, and when we came to book the tickets, guess what?? Yes, you got it, the price had gone up, and not just a little. Tickets were now in the region of £470. A £200 price rise!!! No way could we afford that much! So some scouring of the internet ensued.... Our findings were that we could still get plane tickets for around the original £270, but not with American Airlines. Also the flights we could get were not direct, and the planes have less legroom :( Then we stumbled across travelbag.co.uk. Did a search on their site for the journey we wanted, clicked search, hoping that possibly we would find something affordable that offered direct flights, as we weren't too keen on spending hours sat in airport lounges in some remote place. Lo and behold!!! It came up with the exact American Airlines flights that we wanted, for the original £271. I can honestly say that I got quite excited!! Quick phone calls followed to check that everyone wanted to book the tickets, and then out came the magic piece of plastic, otherwise known as my credit card. A few days later the postman rang the doorbell at an unearthly hour to get me to sign for a nich shiny silver Special Delivery bag thing. Opened it up to find inside the plane tickets and invoice, along with a few leaflets and things. So, excellent price, speedy delivery, but what's the site like? The site itself looks quite nice. Once you search for flights, it does get a little bit messy and confusing, but if you read all the explanation bits, and use a bit of common sense, selecting the flights you want doesn't take you long. Once you choose which ones you want, the ordering process is nice and simple. ALl the usual stuff. Give them the names of who the tickets are for, delivery address, credit card details etc... When you have booked the tickets they send you an e-mail containing details of what you have booked. At this stage the booking is still provisional. Within 48 hours you then get a firm confirmation e-mail. You also have access to a site which shows you information about your trip when you put in your booking reference. It tells you what seats you have on the plane, if they are reserved seats, what type of plane, departure and arrival times, length of the flight, and what the weather is currently like at your destination!! Overall I was really pleased with the service, especially with the really good prices. I would definately reccomend you take a look when booking flights. I have only used travelbag to book flights, not hotels or anything else, so don't know what their prices in that respect are like.
My wife and I had been planning to go to Australia for some time, always being put off by two things. The cost of going for any decent length of time (e.g. a month) and the unlikelihood of my being able to get four weeks off work at one time. Then two things happened – I took early retirement, which gets over the length of holiday problem. My wife is a teacher, so she has some quite wide “windows of opportunity” to work with, although not as wide as outsiders would have you believe. Then we realised that a 10-year endowment policy was about to mature, which took care of the money side. So with an approximate itinerary in hand, off we set to Travelbag’s Piccadilly office, where we were appointed to one of their Far East/Australasia experts. Having our own rough plans obviously helped, but the degree of interest and background knowledge coming from our expert was excellent. We have come away in high spirits, with a detailed itinerary that leaves us plenty of time to do our own thing, like visit friends whilst packing in all we wanted to see on our first trip – I am particularly pleased to be going on the “Ghan” 1st class train ride from Melbourne to Alice Springs, from where we will travel on to Ayer’s Rock, and then Cairns. Maybe we just got lucky that everything we wanted was available, but I get a reassuring feeling about Travelbag, especially after reading one or two other opinions on them. We have since had to make a couple of minor adjustments, which have been dealt with promptly, and backed up in writing by first post.
In 1999 my children's father asked if I would send the children over to Australia to spend Christmas with him and his family. I checked around a few travel agents, and settled for TravelBag, as they were not far from where I worked in London. They checked out the flights for unaccompanied children (at the time aged 5 and 8). Cathay Pacific advised that the children would be welcome with them, so in August 1999 we booked two tickets for the children with Cathay Pacific through TravelBag. The unaccompanied minor's forms were filled in and returned to Cathay by the end of August, and the tickets were received at the end of October. The flight was booked for the end of November, on a Sunday morning. The Friday before they were due to leave I got a frantic phone call from TravelBag. Cathay Pacific had cancelled the children's tickets and given no reason. I was stunned. The staff at TravelBag were excellent. They spent the entire weekend organising another flight with British Airways for the Tuesday morning, and covered the difference in cost themselves. They checked with three different people at BA regarding the ages of the children, and were advised each time that as it was a straight through flight (1 hour stop for re-fueling in Singapore) that there was no need for an escort. I was very relieved. We arrived at Heathrow at 7am on the Tuesday morning, and started to check in. After ten minutes of tapping away at the keyboard the young man behind the counter said "I'm sorry, these children can't travel alone." As you can imagine, I was floored. He called his manager and we discussed it. We were advised to wait for the travel agent to open at 9am, and that the check-in people would call them to find out what was going on. So a very worried family, including two extremely upset children, went for a rather expensive breakfast at Heathrow Airport to try and kill two hours. TravelBa g came through again. They were able to provide BA with evidence that BA staff had been advised of the children's ages, and that on three different occasions had confirmed that an escort was not required. Eventually BA agreed to provide an escort for the flight out and the return flight at their own expense. Not until the following day though. We went home again with two sobbing children. The next morning we did the whole thing again, with the difference this time that we were met by a very nice BA staff member who would be travelling with the children. This time all went well, and the children finally got to Australia 4 days late. TravelBag were brilliant throughout the whole ordeal. They could so easily have said "Not our problem. So sorry. Goodbye." But they didn't, and they covered the initial difference in costs themselves. I would recommend them to anyone. They have a website at www.travelbag.co.uk and I will be using them again the next time I need to organise holidays.