Tui

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Julie's complaint against Tui

Julie Blackman

15/07/2016

[RESOLVED] - Our disabled passengers are unable to use on flight toilets and we weren't told.

Complaint against Tui

Please see below a letter of complaint that we submitted to Thomson on 26/6/16. We have further letters that we have sent to our Local MP, please let me know if you require these. When we booked our holiday with you at New Year 2016, we made it absolutely clear that as 2/4 in our party are full time wheelchair users (me included) the plane (787-800 Dreamliner) we went on and its accessibility was paramount in our decision to book this holiday, as it would mean the difference between us physically being able to travel or not. However, in recent weeks thanks to us being part of different Thomson Facebook groups and forums, we happened to come across a post from an individual who stated that their flight from Birmingham to Barbados was no longer on a 787-800 Dreamliner (the route we were planning on doing in January 2017). This obviously put doubt in our minds and lead us to do the research that we have done, resulting in my contact to you today. Our lead traveller phoned 4 different departments within your company, including our local store and your welfare team to try and find out if our flight had been changed from a 787-800 Dreamliner to another plane. She also submitted a question through your website, to which she received a reply on the 24th June 2016. This reply stated that both our outbound and inbound flights were still scheduled to be 787-800 Dreamliners. In reply to a phone call she made, an email was also received on the 23rd June 2016, which stated that our flight from Birmingham to Barbados was in fact not scheduled to be a 787- 800 Dreamliner! As you can probably appreciate, by this time we are getting very frustrated, as this is not a cheap holiday, and for reasons that cannot be helped (mobility issues) this issue surrounding the plane used for a journeys is one that will ultimately decide whether we can actually go ahead with the holiday at all! Our lead traveller finally went into our local store and spent 2 hours trying to get to the bottom of this matter. The end result was that our flight is no longer on a 787-800 Dreamliner, but instead a 767-300er V2! We have therefore phoned your welfare team AGAIN today, to check if the toilets are accessible on board the 767-300er V2, we were told that the toilets ARE accessible, to which I asked if you can get the on board wheelchair into the toilet cubicle. After the gentlemen went to find out the answer, he informed us that you CANNOT get the on board wheelchair into any of the toilets on board the aircraft. This, therefore does not make the aircraft (767-300er V2) toilets accessible! As I, an individual who CANNOT walk or weight bare AT ALL who needs the on board wheelchair in the cubicle with me for movement and transfer purposes, would not be able to use the toilet facilities for an entire 9 hour flight! This in my opinion is not acceptable, and Thomson should really reconsider there categorisations when it comes to accessibility of facilities! We have been told that Gatwick is the only airport to do this route, where we can be guaranteed a flight on a 787-800 Dreamliner (unless the aircraft is unserviceable on the day), which DOES have wheelchair accessible toilets onboard. Due to Thomson's inability to inform us of this change in plane, (knowing our situation,regards mobility), we see no other option but to have to change our plans so that we can go on holiday. This, however means us changing the airport that we fly from/back to, to guarantee our flights being on a 787-800 Dreamliner. However, we have been informed that we can't just change flights, but we have to cancel our holiday and rebook it, with Gatwick as our new airport?! This does incur an additional charge, which we do not feel that we should be responsible for paying, as the apparent change in planes for the flights in and out of Birmingham are inaccessible to us, not out of WANT but out of NECESSITY. We also feel that, with people that have additional needs, Thomson should be responsible for ensuring everyone’s needs are met, especially as this change was made AFTER us booking onto the flights/holiday. However, if for some reason this is not possible we should be contacted out of courtesy, allowing for them to help us in making reasonable adjustments to our holiday. We would very much appreciate it if you could look into this matter for us, and provide us with a reasonable solution to this matter!

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Julie Blackman | | VERIFIED

With thanks to a lot of persistence and support from A Spokesman Said we have now had our problem resolved. THANK YOU!
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