My friend, who I will call Cautious Peggy, is always telling me that I am too whimsical with my choices in life and I say to her, shut it Peggy, I am a free sprit.
But I should’ve listened to her when she told me that booking holidays with lesser heard of travel agents. But it wasn’t my fault! We listened some guy who works with Mr C’s who we shall call Norman and booked out hols with Holidaydiscountcentre.co.uk.
Prices were lower than most of the other sites we looked at *alarm bells*. Anyway we booked to go to Egypt…everything seemed fine till a few weeks later, lo and behold I see on the news that a company called Kiss Flights has gone bust.
I don’t know why but I had a distant memory of seeing the word Kiss on our travel confirmation – so I looked over our records just to see if we were affected and…yes we were. Flights gone in an instant.
What annoyed me is that when you are booking a holiday through The Holiday Discount Centre, they don’t tell you that they are going to a third party agent – obviously if you are booking with an agent who book with an agent who book with an airline the possibility of things going wrong are greater.
If I knew that this was what the Holiday Discount Centre were doing I could’ve just booked directly with the airline. Turns out the cost wouldn’t have been far off and the flights would’ve been secured (it’s so weird to thing an agent takes your money but your flights aren’t secure)…So the next stage is to claim for the money back from the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority).
We filled out the forms as soon as possible and sent them back to the Holiday Discount Centre – apparently we have to send it to them first so they can fill out a section and get it sent of “in bulk” to the CAA.
Well the holiday has been and gone (we found replacements). But nearly 10 weeks later and a lot of phone calls, the holidaydiscountcentre.co.uk have STILL not sent the forms off to the CAA.
When I asked why they just said they had “lots to do”.
Yes I can imagine a lot of people were affected (Kiss Flights were on their way out for a while – why were they still using such an unreliable source and therefore risking their customer’s money?) but I still can’t believe it takes THIS long to get some forms filled in.
Where are the temps? Where are the extra staff? Why aren’t this company focusing on helping the people screwed over by Kiss Airlines going bust through no fault of their own – instead they focus on a crappy website revamp and new bookings. Nice.
Bear in mind that the Holiday Discount Centre are terrible at communication. There’s no stage by stage acknowledgement – it took a few emails and a Twitter complaint to get someone just to email us and say, “Yes we got your forms….”
With something as important as claim forms, surely they should email or send letters to let people know when their letters are received and when forms are posted off to the CAA. And, when Kiss first went bust it was impossible to talk to anyone. They called about 8 days later (!!!) after Kiss went bust to let us know (“Have you heard…”) and to offer alternative flights for now, a hugely inflated price.
So at the moment…still waiting.
Never going on a package holiday again unless it’s to Bora Bora.
Never ever booking a holiday with the Holidaydiscountcentre.co.uk again – full stop.