Thursday 19 April 2018

My refund for holiday hotel mix-up was a long time coming

Keelin McNamara travelled to Istanbul with Abbey Travel for a long weekend break last October.

The first thing that went wrong was on their delayed arrival, when there was no travel rep or coach to meet Keelin and her fellow travellers. They had to call the hotel responsible for the coach pick-up, and after a wait the coach arrived and they were brought to their hotel.

Keelin writes: "When we were dropped off at the hotel that we had booked and re-confirmed with Abbey Travel, we were told that they were unaware of our arrival and of our booking. Eventually we were collected from the hotel and brought to another hotel nearby, where we were shown a double room. We had requested a twin room. A fold-up bed was put into our room, and the following day, a more acceptable replacement bed was provided."

She continues: "Although every effort was made by the hotel to ensure our comfort, during our short stay the initial evening of our holiday was spent arguing for a service that we had already paid for and confirmed.

"As we had only a limited time in Istanbul, the waste of the whole of the Thursday evening was hugely discommoding."

Keelin sent a letter of complaint to Abbey Travel in November requesting a partial refund of €115. This letter was acknowledged but she heard nothing more, despite sending a follow-up letter in January and subsequently telephoning for an update.

A Under the Package Holiday and Travel Trade Act 1995, Keelin was entitled to get what she had booked and paid for, and she shouldn't have had any unexpected changes to her accommodation.

She complained in writing within the 28 days prescribed by the legislation and is entitled to a partial refund.

Smart Consumer contacted Abbey Travel, who immediately resolved the matter and issued Keelin with the partial refund she had requested.

An Abbey Travel spokesman added: "We have had really fantastic testimonials on all of our Istanbul trips and the feedback is really excellent.

"I am very sorry that Keelin had the problems that she did and I hope that this matter is now resolved to her satisfaction.

"I would very much welcome the opportunity of personally organising another trip for Keelin."

Irish Independent

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