A disabled pensioner whose Spanish airport transfer fell through says he is “aggrieved” at the firms he booked with and feels let down by Abta.
Don Parry-Jones booked HolidayTaxis transfers with Travel Republic for a holiday in May. He and his family waited three hours for a shuttle after their Liverpool-Barcelona flight arrived minutes late, before paying €195 for a taxi.
Parry-Jones contacted Travel Weekly after becoming frustrated at the handling of his complaint and finding Abta unable to help because although Travel Republic is an Abta member, HolidayTaxis is not. However, the story has a happy ending after HolidayTaxis pledged to refund him.
Parry-Jones said: “My wife, daughter, grandson and I arranged to meet family members at Cambrils in Spain for our annual holiday. The hotel and flights were booked direct and transfers through Travel Republic. Our flight arrived 18 minutes late – one reason given for us missing the pickup. I had wheelchair assistance from an airport employee who took us to the pickup area. We were told no one had been to collect passengers for an hour.”
After a two-hour wait, the family was told the transport had broken down and a replacement would be provided.
“Another hour passed before we hired a taxi,” said Parry-Jones. “I phoned the numbers provided, only to be greeted with a recorded message. On our return, I tried to resolve the matter with Travel Republic. They referred it to Holiday Taxis, which claimed we’d missed our pickup.
“I feel so aggrieved. At 78 and disabled, my wings have been clipped. Someone should explain that if you book through an Abta member, you’re not necessarily covered.”
Norman Turner, Holiday Taxis senior vice-president for purchasing and operations, said the company had dealt with the complaint correctly. “The contract is between the customer and supplier, and our supplier operated within the terms and conditions,” he said. “The flight was 23 minutes late. The shuttle operates to a maximum wait time. The customer was not booked in as someone requiring wheelchair assistance. However, I understand his frustration and I’d like to offer the refund he is seeking.”
An Abta spokesman said: “Abta agents may book services through non-Abta suppliers [and] customers won’t be able to use our support or arbitration services. However, we fully expect the agent to assist.”
A Travel Republic spokesperson said: “We’re sorry for any distress this caused Mr Parry-Jones and his family.”
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