Tui

1.00 stars

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Rishi's complaint against Tui

Rishi Somaia

19/01/2018

Diabolical Holiday experience

Complaint against Tui

Dear Customer Relations Department, Booking reference: 4144503, I am writing to you to raise an issue about Tour Operators at Thomson Holidays on June 27th, 2017. Dear Sir/Madam, Re: Holiday experience and  Flight delay complaint under EU261/2004 Regulation Booking reference number: 4144503  Date of travel: 27 June 2017 from London Gatwick to Tenerife South Airport  Number of passengers: 4  Flight: TOM4226  Flight delay time: over 8 hours from expected take off to landing I am writing to inform you of the terrible service we received pre, during and post travel with Thomson. We were all very excited to go on our first family holiday (2 children under the age of 2.5 years old) and paid in full for a full board, 5 nights holiday to the TUI Sensatori Tenerife Resort following positive reviews from others. Having been saving for over 10 months, we were happy to pay over the odds as with a name like Thomson, we assumed we’d receive excellent service along with a stress free holiday – with 2 children, that’s exactly what we needed! That said, right from the outset it was a hassle to get a straight answer from your pre-travel service when I’d called a week before our flight. We called on several occasions to enquire whether I could get extra luggage allowance as both my children suffer from a dairy allergy. I had also wanted them to make the resort aware of our dietary requirements in advance of our stay. It took me over 6 calls with 8 different advisers to confirm that notes had been made on our file to let the resort know of the dairy allergy. I was also put on hold on 3 occasions, each time for over an hour in order to speak with the welfare department to see if I would be allowed extra luggage to cater for my children’s food whilst on holiday. All of this even before I’ve left for the holiday! This is not the service I’d expect from any holiday provider – especially seeing as I’ve paid over £2000! I finally received an answer 2 days before my travel which left me with hardly any time to get a doctor’s note issued from my GP in order to confirm the dairy allergy, buy a cooling bag, along with all the food requirements. This caused me some stress. Regardless, I put this to the back of my mind as I was determined to not let this pre travel experience ruin our first holiday and I was keen for us to enjoy the 5* service and experience we had paid for. Unfortunately, our experience worsened. Even though we’d already checked in online and paid to have seats together (again, to remove any stress during our travel), we were forced to queue to check in our luggage from 11:15am for almost 50 minutes! Our TOM4226 flight had the gate opened at 12:15 and boarding was at 12:45pm in line for a 13:40 take off. This of course meant that we were only able to feed our babies snacks rather than a proper lunch as we weren’t allowed enough time to order anything due to their special dietary needs (their dairy allergy). We arrived at the gate on time, expecting to be boarding at 12:45 however after 30 minutes of waiting, we were informed of delays as the plane was being cleaned due to a prior late landing. There was no communication of how long the delay would be. After a long wait both before boarding and also whilst seated on the plane, we finally took off at 15:15 expecting a short flight to Tenerife. We specifically booked a holiday with a short flight time as it was our children’s first flight and we wanted it to be a positive experience. However, due to issues with Tenerife airport and without any communication or warning aside from ‘Tenerife airport has been closed’, our plane was landed in Lanzarote at 18:50. By this point, my children had only snacked on some crisps prior to the flight, then on one portion of the chips which we paid for on our flight (we had asked for 2 portions, however the air stewardess informed us that only 1 portion was available). We were not allowed off the plane into the airport to even get some food for the children. At 19:30 the Captain advised that we would be taking off in 40 minutes for Tenerife (i.e. at 20:10). By this point, I was extremely worried for my children with not having eaten a proper meal all day and now missing their bedtime milk feed so I went to speak with the air stewardess about what could be done in this situation. Rather than being understanding, offering any snacks or water to any of us on the plane, I was met with a rude response of “what can we do – you could have brought your child’s milk on the plane with you – we’ve done our best in this situation”. I had to explain that I spoke with the pre travel services team on several occasions and each told me that I could only bring 100ml of milk on the plane with me. My son who is 1 years old has milk before his bedtime at 19:30 each evening so any 100ml I would’ve brought onto the plane with me for a 13:40 flight would not have lasted until the evening. I had instead, packed longlife milk cartons in with my checked baggage as I was expecting to be at the resort by the evening and I’d wanted the milk to stay fresh for my baby. After discussions about the allergies, the ladies offered me a banana and an apple and sent me back to my seat. My kids were obviously distraught with being on a plane for so long and in essence feeling trapped within the 3 confined seats we had, coupled with not being fed all day. Our flight actually took off at 20:45 in the end – again, without any communications or explanations for the even further delay. We finally arrived in Tenerife at 22:00 however they then wouldn’t let us off the plane for another 45 minutes as they did not have the transit buses to take us to the airport. Again, completely ridiculous as it would’ve been common knowledge that a plane would be landing on the runway in advance of our arrival. We finally were allowed off the plane at 22:45. By the time we boarded the private transfer we’d booked and arrived at the resort, it was 23:45. This journey for us started at 07:30 in the morning with the children and ended with our kids hungry, very weak and tired at 23:45 which is completely unacceptable! Upon arrival at the resort, I asked reception to double check the notes on my children’s dairy allergy so we wouldn’t encounter any problems over breakfast, only to be told that there weren’t any notes on our file. Too tired myself to argue, I just requested they add the note and let us go to our room to settle down. Our room was very dark (not ideal for changing children’s nappies as we need to see), dusty – the telephone in the toilet was covered in dust and a towel had a dark black stain on it. Nevertheless, we put this to the back of our minds for the night. Our immediate thought was to order room service (24 hour room service) for the children and ourselves as no one had eaten all day. We ordered 3 pasta dishes at 00:15 and were told the food would arrive within 20 minutes. To add insult to injury, 30 minutes later, the food still hadn’t arrived and our kids had fallen asleep waiting. We called to chase on the food and were given some excuse about troubles due to the Tenerife airport being shut that day. Whether an airport is shut or not, that surely does not stop a whole reputable, establishment with over 5 onsite restaurants providing food!!! I chased twice by phone and was then forced to walk to reception to speak directly with staff about the food order. I complained and was fobbed off with an apology, with the hotel saying they wouldn’t charge us for the order. The food eventually arrived at 2am!!! Shambolic service to end our horrendous day and completely unacceptable from a so-called 5* establishment. This is not the luxurious experience we were expecting/paid for. I then spent almost 2 hours of the next morning going through my travel and room service experience to an onsite Thomson representative, Rebekah, who typed it all up in my presence and said it would be on my file for when I travelled back home to London and called the after travel services. She kindly made us some dinner reservations with the onsite restaurants we wanted, emailed the chefs to inform them of the dairy allergy for our children and did try to show us an alternative room but that was equally dark and sheltered so we decided to stick with what we had on the basis that someone would give it a ‘deep cleanse’. The following 2.5 days went relatively smoothly despite our prior experience, as stated before, we were determined for the kids to enjoy it and also for us to have time out considering we’d paid all this money to do so. On our 3rd day, we went to the Oasis restaurant for lunch and ordered the children some plain boiled pasta with just olive oil. The food came out, the kids ate and by chance, at the end of the meal I happened to try some of their pasta. To my utter shock and horror, I found that the chef had put butter in their pasta!!! A dairy allergy means – no BUTTER! Despite all the previous notes, emails, my discussions personally to waiters, how had this happened?! A complete health and safety fail!!!! I made the waiter aware of the issue and he just apologised claiming that the chef was used to adding butter to pasta and did just that. However, an apology does not help my children’s situation!! This matter was not escalated or taken further to anyone. My poor children subsequently fell ill that evening and were poorly during the final day and night of our stay with terrible diarrhoea and vomiting. A final incident on our last evening occurred when I went to speak with the guest relations of the resort directly to confirm the time of our dinner booking at Ocean restaurant and to my dismay, they said they could not find any booking for us for that night. This resulted in me speaking with Rebekah again to find out what had happened. Finally, Rebekah confirmed we did indeed have a booking for that night and she wasn’t sure why the hotel staff weren’t able to see us on their list. This sums up our terrible experience of the resort from start to finish. The flight journey back went on time but unfortunately my children were so ill (2 year old was vomiting and my 1 year old had liquid diarrhoea which meant plenty of nappy changes in a tight toilet on the flight and I even had to throw his clothes away as poo had seeped through). We returned on Sunday evening and on Monday I had to take my kids to the GP as they were suffering from fever along with severe nappy rashes (bruises and bleeding which wouldn’t improve due to the constant diarrhoea). I called the after travel team to complain and after 35 minutes of being on hold with 2 consultants (Thabiso and his manager Mozzie), was told I’d have to email my complaints to 2 separate departments. They also claimed there were no prior notes on file despite me spending almost 2 hours with Rebekah who typed it all up on my first day in Tenerife. I am furious! I have invested so much time and money into this trip expecting the holiday of a lifetime without any stress or hassle and instead, I experienced the worst possible service and have come home with 2 sick children. I told Mozzie I was not happy to spend any longer complaining as I simply did not have the time with 2 small children and he advised he would do it on my behalf, speak to the relevant teams and would provide me with updates. It’s since been 4 days and surprise, surprise, I have not heard a peep from him. What is Thomson going to do to rectify this situation?? Especially as my holiday experience and service was abysmal. We would like a refund of some of the monies paid for this holiday.

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