Should I accept this?

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  • Anonymous
    Guest

    StewartK
    Participant

    On a recent trip LHR/DBX/JED/DBX/LHR my travel agent booked me on flyDubai for the JED/DBX sector (rather than EK) as I wanted to be back in Dubai for dinner. On arriving at Jeddah airport I discovered that the flight I was booked on, FZ7610 left from the Haj terminal and was a Pilgrim Flight. The flyDubai agent declined to let me fly on this or the next Dubai flight. My travel agent has attempted to recover the fare but flyDubai declines as they say the agent made an error in booking the flight. My agent has only recovered the tax, £24.20 and has also agreed to refund all my booking fees of £112. I’m still considerably out of pocket.

    Is it worth pursuing flyDubai in the UK courts?

    Thanks

    Stewart


    Haggis68
    Participant

    You should take the agent to court not Fly Dubai, as the agent made the error when booking your flight. All bookings for flights to Jeddah, (normal timetable or extra umrah, haj flights) be it with Fly Dubai (or EK, QR, EY, etc.) have warnings which distinguish between normal flights and Umrah Flights.

    Your agent failed to read the warning. Below is from Fly Dubai.

    You can travel on our extra flights (FZ 7000 to 7999) to Jeddah if:

    you’re holding a valid Umrah visa or
    you’re a GCC national (excluding Saudi nationals).

    These flights arrive into the Hajj Terminal and depart from the Hajj Terminal in Jeddah.

    You can bring 5 litres of Zam-Zam free of charge on your return.

    You cannot travel on our extra flights (FZ 7000 to 7999) to Jeddah if:

    you don’t have an Umrah visa or
    you’re a Saudi national or
    you are a non GCC national holding a Saudi residence permit, new employment visa, business visa or a visit visa.

    You can travel on our other scheduled flights to and from Jeddah. These scheduled flights will arrive into the North Terminal and depart from the North Terminal in Jeddah.

    It’s your responsibility to obtain the correct visa to enable you to travel on these flights. If you arrive at the airport and don’t have the correct documentation you’ll not be able to travel and there will be no refund offered


    StewartK
    Participant

    @Haggis: Thanks, but is this information also posted on the airline booking system used by agents? The company I use are fairly large and over 15 years have never caused me any problems – including on some very complex and obscure routings and airlines!


    Carajillo2Sugar
    Participant

    This is what shows on my system:

    MON 27JUL15 LONDON AREA /JEDDAH *EK
    FREE CHAUFFEUR DRIVE FOR EK F/J PAX-SEE EK PAGES IN YR GDS
    1 LGW DXB 27/1425#0025 EK 16 F4 A4 J7 C7 I7 O7 PC Y0 EC#388C*E
    2 JED 28/0145 0340 EK2813 F4 A4 J7 C7 I7 O7 PC Y0 EC#388C*E
    GCC NATIONALS ALLOWED EXCEPT SAUDI NATIONALS
    FLT ONLY FOR UMRAH PAX. ARR/DEP JED HAJ TERM.

    Seems fairly clear to me!


    StewartK
    Participant

    Thanks!


    conshaldow
    Participant

    Here’s what comes up on my system, very similar to what C2S witnessed.

    DEPARTS DXB TERMINAL 3
    *ADD ADVANCE PASSENGER INFORMATION IN SSR DOCS*
    *GCC NATIONALS ALLOWED EXCEPT SAUDI NATIONALS*
    *FLT ONLY FOR UMRAH PAX. ARR/DEP JED HAJ TERM.*

    I have to admit though the location of where this info appeared is usually where standard terminal info appears so the booker may not have noticed or expected such info to appear here. I think the system/airline should have done more to advise the agent at the time (i.e. big alert signs) as this is quite important info.

    However, I have to agree as the agent didn’t spot this I would say the error lies with them. I wouldn’t say taking them to court would be an option though. If you go back to them and advise they have booked this without advising this info then surely they should pick up any cost implications to yourself as a result of this.


    SamCollins
    Participant

    Oof – they are strict in not rebooking you though.

    This is what would have initially been seen:

    JED DXB 0745 1135 FZ 836
    JED DXB 1700 2055 FZ7758
    JED DXB 1735 2140 FZ 834
    JED DXB 1115 1520 FZ 832
    JED DXB 0320 0725 FZ7756
    JED DXB 0030 0430 FZ7950

    or

    1. FZ 7950 Y 24JUL JEDDXB HS2 0030 0430 O E
    DEPARTS JED TERMINAL H – ARRIVES DXB TERMINAL 2
    *FLIGHTS 7000 TO 7999 STRICTLY FOR UMRAH VISA PASSENGERS ONLY*
    2. EK 1 Y 24JUL DXBLHR HS2 0745 1215 O E
    DEPARTS DXB TERMINAL 3 – ARRIVES LHR TERMINAL 3
    *ADD ADVANCE PASSENGER INFORMATION IN SSR DOCS*
    *AS PER EU REGULATIONS PAX CAN ADV EMERGENCY CTC IN SSR PCTC*
    ADD ADVANCE PASSENGER INFORMATION SSRS DOCA/DOCO/DOCS
    PERSONAL DATA WHICH IS PROVIDED TO US IN CONNECTION
    WITH YOUR TRAVEL MAY BE PASSED TO GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES
    FOR BORDER CONTROL AND AVIATION SECURITY PURPOSES
    OFFER CAR/HOTEL >CAL· >HOA·

    So it’s not exactly blatantly obvious if the agent has no experience of dealing with the unusual situation of flying to JED. But, like others say, I think they should take some / most / all blame.

    Remember all GDS’s show things in different manners so they may have had less clarity – and I am very surprised FZ wouldn’t rebook you.


    StewartK
    Participant

    Thanks for all your wise counsel and expertise which despite my many years of travel experience are a revelation. I’ve passed the points made to my agent and await their response.

    Incidentally, the flyDubai agent was extremely aggressive, rude and unhelpful – a contrast to the Emirates staff who welcomed me into their office and allowed me to use a computer and offered me refreshments which I was rebooked onto their evening flight.


    conshaldow
    Participant

    I have had feedback from a few travellers who have had similar experiences with FlyDubai, and have to say I feel the same way having contacted them over the telephone previously. They are not a very welcoming company at all.

    If you were on a fare which allowed changes I would say you can challenge the airline for the costs (despite agent error). The airline should have offered you to change onto later flight at change fee/any fare difference, as is normal procedure. Even if it was a non-changeable fare I still find it ridiculous that FlyDubai wouldn’t even consider changing for you considering the circumstances.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Where is the travel agent located? If in the UK I would go after them.

    I wouldn’t waste time in the UK courts suing a ME airline flying between Saudi and Dubai.


    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    Depending on how GDS shows it is not immediately clear (on GAL anyway)

    1 JED DXB 0745 1135 FZ 836 A0 B0 C0 E0 I0 J4 K0 L0 M0 N0 73B B*E
    Q0 R0 S0 T0 U0 V0 W0 Y4
    2 JED DXB 1700 2055 FZ7758 A4 B0 E4 I4 K0 L0 M0 N0 Q0 R0 73H B*E
    S0 T0 U0 V0 W0 Y4
    3 JED DXB 1735 2140 FZ 834 A0 B0 C0 E0 I0 J4 K0 L0 M0 N0 73B B*E
    Q0 R0 S0 T0 U0 V0 W0 Y2
    4 JED DXB 1115 1520 FZ 832 A0 B0 C0 E0 I0 J0 K0 L0 M0 N0 73H B*E
    Q0 R0 S0 T0 U0 V0 W0 Y4
    5 JED DXB 0320 0725 FZ7756 A4 B0 C4 E4 I4 J4 K0 L0 M0 N0 73B B*E
    Q0 R0 S0 T0 U0 V0 W2 Y4
    6 JED DXB 0030 0430 FZ7950 A0 B0 C0 E0 I0 J4 K0 L0 M0 N0 73B B*E
    Q0 R0 S0 T0 U0 V0 W0 Y4

    However upon booking it says the message about Umrah visa holders only. Ultimately it is the agents responsibility and anyone experienced should have noticed the 4 digit flight number and be curious as to why. Not a FlyDubai error (though they could have made the effort to change the flight for you). So you shouldn’t be out of pocket and the agent have to cover any costs your new ticket. Doubt it would need to go to court – I’d just go back to them and politely point it is the agent at fault and thus they are liable for the costs you have incurred.


    Carajillo2Sugar
    Participant

    Tim – I’m on Gal, too – *EK on the availability entry returns the info I posted earlier so no excuse really.

    Just hoping the OP is not a client of my TMC!


    StewartK
    Participant

    Thanks to everyone for their kind input and wise counsel. I’m pleased to report that my agent has refunded fully the ticket costs and booking fees.


    Carajillo2Sugar
    Participant

    That’s good to hear and I trust they were suitably apologetic?

    Hopefully everyone is now wiser for the next time!

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