Volcano’s golden ashes – and the winner is…

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Sunshine 22 Apr 2010
at 09:34

Viewing 3 posts - 16 through 18 (of 18 total)

  • ekond111

    …Well said VK… the value that TMC’s offer when the chips are down is in decline with so much information available on the net and ..time and time again I find its myself providing alternative options for myself to TMC’s… thus I may as well take care of it myself in the first instance…

    For example a few years ago I flew First on BA from LHR to LAX… as I had arrived at the airport early and was offered the option of taking the earlier flight – which I accepted. I travelled to Houston and Dallas – in the lounge I rang BA to ensure that seat 1D had been allocated on my last leg of the same itinerary, JFK-LHR on Concorde– to which they replied that I did not have a booking. I called my TMC and they said as this was the last month that Concorde was flying – all seats had been sold (…yes that October) there were no seats available and that they could offer a place on a waitlist in First on a 747 on an earlier flight but not on Concorde. I rang BA exec who informed to contact BA in JFK – I did and they informed me to turn up at the airport as per schedule and they would take care of this anomaly. I checked in, 1D had been allocated as per the orginal booking on Concorde . I asked what had happened to my booking to which they informed me that because I had boarded an earlier flight the rest of my itinerary technically had been cancelled (although I had flown the rest of it successfully), thus the value of a TMC proved to be zero – as through my own efforts I was able to resolve the issue.


    Gosh, lots of interesting questions you raise there Isabel. ekond111 must have been gutted to lose a seat on one of the last Concorde flights.

    In answer to one of your points, that TMC’s can guarantee lower “corporate” rates in times of crisis, I would strongly disagree.

    I managed to book a hotel in Paris for Friday night for myself, online at about 1am Thursday, knowing the disruption would get worse. It was a decent three star major global chain property for a relatively modest €65 (flexible) using our corporate code. A bargain even in regular situations, and perfect for the planned six hours we would stay there.

    My colleague tried to sort her travel by calling the minute the TMC opened for business, about seven hours later (note: no special hours!) . The cost of the exact same hotel was more than triple the amount I paid, and not flexible.

    I really don’t have the time to faff around with an insurance claim if the amounts are relatively modest, and booking myself ensured the extra costs were immaterial. I reckon the whole event added about £200 in costs to my commute, which would have been significantly more (and less comfortable) had I relied on the TMC who was suggesting a “get yourself to Calais on your own” policy, followed by a ferry to Dover and no onward arrangements.

    She alleged all ferries were presently sold out, but had not checked SeaFrance where I could see availability myself, and also did not propose Dunkirk as an alternative. She also never mentioned the French Rail strike, which was essential information.

    In the event, I organised a pleasant night in Paris and Eurostar Leisure Select on the first train out in the morning for me and three colleagues. Simples.

    I would add this is one of the “major” TMCs not some tin-pot operation.


    There are loads of companies who made great profits as a result of this and at the cost of stranded people – hotels, train companies, the ferry companies. All of whom jacked up their prices by obscene amounts to cash in on this terrible situation.

    A friend saw her hotel bill in London jump by £150 a night. A colleague saw a cross channel ferry (which he takes regularly) jump from about £22 a crossing to over £90!

    This is totally disgusting… and something the government should really look into.

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