Thomas cook refusing to refund flights due to illness

42
Found 13th Jan 2013
My mum had bought my gran for her birthday, a foreign trip away in febuary to i think barbados or something, anyway just before christmas my gran had a mini stroke and has been advised not to fly at all.

So although my mum and her sister could fly my gran couldn't, my mum and her sister had flight insurance but because my gran is over 65 the airline would not offer insurance they wanted my gran to get it through help the aged or something and at the time my gran had never any health issues and was perfectly fine.

My mum contacted Thomas Cook about this and they offered just to change the names on the tickets for £35 per person per sector if they could find anyone to use the flights however this was not suitable plus it meant forking out more money after spending a couple of grand, they then offered a refund which my mum took although there was administration charges and other charges involved meaning barely anything was actually returned.

My mum contacted thomas cook on their facebook as they seemed to be very helpful in offering people resolutions on there however they just returned with the same scripted information that they could just change the flight names for the charge or they could cancel with heavy admin charges etc and as my gran had no insurance she would not be entitled to any refund on her tickets which i think were £700

Now i fly myself but i normally fly within the UK back and forward i know with flybe they will refund without admin charges for example if you have a stroke or a heart attack etc reguardless of insurance are thomas cook really basically alowed to say tough as you dont have insurance?
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are thomas cook really basically alowed to say tough as you dont have … are thomas cook really basically alowed to say tough as you dont have insurance?



yes
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deleted568030
I think they are, that's what your insurance is meant for after all. BUT Thomas Cook does not have a good rep as far as customer complaints are concerned. I'm in the middle of a long dispute with them over flights delays totaling over 17 hours. I's not the guys in the end of the phone or keypad you need to be talking to at Thomas Cook, if you can get hold of a complaints manager/director they will have more discretion over refunds/admin charges etc. If your mum paid by credit card for any of the travel booking you may find she could claim a refund through the card provider. The main thing don't give up, that's what TC relies on. Hope your gran carries on improving.
Thats the point of insurance - YOU insure YOUR risk. It's nothing to do with Thomas Cook.

Their offer of a name change at £35 is generous
Yeah my grans improving unfortunly she's not allowed to fly, it's starting to become one of these things now for people who fly when their older... the airport wont offer insurance as their over 65 and ask you to get it 3rd party when it will cost more than the under 65.

You'd think by the way it was booked then contacting 2 months before the flight is even due to depart to explain the circumstances they could be somewhat human rather than saying no insurance no refund, i obviously was wrong myself i never choose insurance when i fly although that's because its an extra £15 everytime i fly back and forward to my gf and thats just northern ireland to southampton it is an expensive little flight for me personally costing £150 on return then another £20 for the train, considering you can fly elsewhere outside of the uk for cheaper.

I just feel personally that my mums kinda got a raw deal you work so hard then you pay over 2k out to a company and before you've even used any of their services or used any of their resources as such they don't have to pay you back 10% of your flight if you dont have insurance, and yet even with the insurance the non affected people of the stroke insurance doesn't really cover them so they are only entitled to a small refund
dimebars

Thats the point of insurance - YOU insure YOUR risk. It's nothing to do … Thats the point of insurance - YOU insure YOUR risk. It's nothing to do with Thomas Cook. Their offer of a name change at £35 is generous



Yeah but the issue was they were only going to change my grans ticket to another persons name, and my mum and her sister wouldnt go and have my grans birthday holiday without her
Your mum didn't get a raw deal. It's the same the world over when booking flights. Be glad they offered a name change at £35. Ryanair would want 10 times that
dimebars

Your mum didn't get a raw deal. It's the same the world over when booking … Your mum didn't get a raw deal. It's the same the world over when booking flights. Be glad they offered a name change at £35. Ryanair would want 10 times that



LoL Ryanair are a funny airline their Boss would simply just tell you to go away and don't annoy their head, it's funny some of the stuff they said to their customers on a program on the BBC recently called Rip off britain they've even cursed at the customers, basically with Ryanair you pay for your flight and don't expect any customer service whatsoever
Yeah thanks for letting me know how Ryanair works.......

Why didn't you get insurance from help the aged/saga like advised?

Thomas Cook aren't doing anything wrong. Check their T&Cs which were agreed to when your family booked the flights.
J_B

Why didn't you get insurance from help the aged/saga like advised? Thomas … Why didn't you get insurance from help the aged/saga like advised? Thomas Cook aren't doing anything wrong. Check their T&Cs which were agreed to when your family booked the flights.



Well at the time my gran had no health issues what soever and previously had none so there was no rush although it would have been gotten unfortunly my gran had taken ill just before christmas so when it would have been most likely sorted in january it was too late as basically you wouldn't get insurance after the stroke had taken place
Why not advertise all the tickets for sale for a discounted price, where the buyer pays the £35 name change admin fee. At least you would get a bigger chunk of your money back. I don't think you are going to get every penny back through TC so you might as well do some damage limitation whilst you can.
Some airlines offer the flexible option which allows you to cancel etc, this usually costs more.

However, it does surprise me that they are not refunding some of the flight at least, your flight covers airport and government taxes, fuel cost and baggage costs, and if the ticket is not being used, these things should not be payable. Personally I would have a good look through the terms and conditions on the website and see what it says there, don't leave it too close to the time because the closer it gets, the less chance you have of doing anything.

Also, if your gran has one of those premier bank accounts, or even a goldcard of some sort, they can sometimes have free travel insurance, so have a look.
aircanman

Some airlines offer the flexible option which allows you to cancel etc, … Some airlines offer the flexible option which allows you to cancel etc, this usually costs more. However, it does surprise me that they are not refunding some of the flight at least, your flight covers airport and government taxes, fuel cost and baggage costs, and if the ticket is not being used, these things should not be payable. Personally I would have a good look through the terms and conditions on the website and see what it says there, don't leave it too close to the time because the closer it gets, the less chance you have of doing anything. Also, if your gran has one of those premier bank accounts, or even a goldcard of some sort, they can sometimes have free travel insurance, so have a look.



ill mention that to my mum, personally i only lost 1 flight in the past myself i booked with flybe and my plans had changed i could change the route or person for £35 per sector + taxs which worked out more expensive than booking a new flight or i could request a refund however they could only refund taxs and they had an administration charge of £50 per sector which means i would have ended up owning flybe £10 for canceling lol so i let that flight go without me and put it down to experince although shame the flights arn't that cheap anymore.


dimebars

Yeah thanks for letting me know how Ryanair works.......



Well i was only laughing about Ryanair cos like if you go the cheapest option you get the rubbish with their customer support along the way and their known for it yet their still the 7th largest airline in europe.


whatsThePoint

What will it cost to cancel my booking? (Excludes late bookings)If we … What will it cost to cancel my booking? (Excludes late bookings)If we receive notice of your cancellation more than 70 days before departure you will lose your deposit.If we receive notice of your cancellation between 70 and 64 days before departure you will lose 30% of the cost of your holiday (or loss of deposit if greater).If we receive notice of your cancellation between 63 and 50 days before departure you will lose 50% of the cost of your holiday.If we receive notice of your cancellation between 49 and 29 days before departure you will lose 70% of the cost of your holiday.If we receive notice of your cancellation between 28 and 11 days before departure you will lose 90% of the cost of your holiday.If we receive notice of your cancellation 10 days or fewer before departure you will lose 100% of the cost of your holiday.http://www.thomascook.com/travel-info/before-you-go/cancellations/looks fairly simple to understand if you ask me



Ill query with her to see how much she actually got back, although they can state the cost of the holiday but they can slap on high admin charges


whatsThePoint

op why chance it and book months ahead if taking an old person, using … op why chance it and book months ahead if taking an old person, using lastminute.com would make more sense



More pre-planning with the booking as my mum and her sister both work, the time off work and something to look forward to plus the lower cost, last minute is good yes but your not guarenteed to get the prebooking price and the dates you want plus planning ahead doesn't really work either
You can get travel insurance for over 65's from lots of companies. My parents are 68 and have free insurance through their bank. They had to claim on it the year that Icelandic volcano erupted as they were in Tenerife. They got free all inclusive accomodation for 4 days extra. I would never advise anyone to book a holiday without insurance, you just don't know what could go wrong!
Wouldnt it have be better for your mum and sister to just go without your nan, and you pay the £35 for her seat. Only one was ill, the other two had nothing wrong with them. Seems like cutting your nose off by all three losing the holiday and all the money.
pinkleponkle

Wouldnt it have be better for your mum and sister to just go without your … Wouldnt it have be better for your mum and sister to just go without your nan, and you pay the £35 for her seat. Only one was ill, the other two had nothing wrong with them. Seems like cutting your nose off by all three losing the holiday and all the money.



Looks like the OP has already had a refund..
cant believe you really expect a refund without insurance tbh
aircanman

Looks like the OP has already had a refund..



Yeah I saw that, I just cant believe some people. You go through the refund route first and weigh up how much refund you will actually receive with simply going without them. According to the OP the refund was next to nothing after all the cancellation charges came out. So why wouldn't you just find another person, name change and away you go?
pinkleponkle

Yeah I saw that, I just cant believe some people. You go through the … Yeah I saw that, I just cant believe some people. You go through the refund route first and weigh up how much refund you will actually receive with simply going without them. According to the OP the refund was next to nothing after all the cancellation charges came out. So why wouldn't you just find another person, name change and away you go?



They were only offering a name change for my grans ticket it wouldn't be a nice thing to do for her birthday go away on holiday with someone else with a ticket that was bought for her originally kinda like you had a stroke so your loss, yer my mum and her sister wouldn't do that to their mum
at least claim your apd and taxes back
Why doesn't you mum cancel her flight and than change the name on you grans ticket to your mum. Yes it costs money to do so but at least you get a full refund on one ticket.
soccergoods

Why doesn't you mum cancel her flight and than change the name on you … Why doesn't you mum cancel her flight and than change the name on you grans ticket to your mum. Yes it costs money to do so but at least you get a full refund on one ticket.



it's not as simple as that if my mum canceled her ticket and would recieve partial refund .... then transfers grans ticket to her well thomas cook isn't simple they would see what she woudl be trying.

Right i got an update on the situation

Basically my mum phoned them striaght away and she was told she would get just over half of the whole booking for canceling and also told the travel agent, they sent her an email saying this was confirmed and over the phone it was confirmed however then they sent my mum an email yesterday morning saying she would have to bring her booking information in to a local branch.

They left out this was to complete the cancelation of their booking, she got a phone call last night saying she would recieve 20-30% of the full amount rather than the original 60% she was told as it wasnt canceled until the letter was brought into the branch due to this plus the admin charges for all 3 tickets however if she wanted anything more she could only claim off the insurance for her and her sisters ticket, i suppose better than losing everything.

However it seems shes lost over 30% due to thomas cook not making it clear from the start she had to bring a letter in to the thomas cook travel agent rather than phoning them and then being told to email them to complete it, so misscommunication from thomas cook has ended up reducing how much she actually gets back.
If your gran is improving she might be able to go now.
Failing that i would sell the tickets and get much more than TC would offer.
Edited by: "madmax666" 13th Jan 2013
TallerPaul

it's not as simple as that if my mum canceled her ticket and would … it's not as simple as that if my mum canceled her ticket and would recieve partial refund .... then transfers grans ticket to her well thomas cook isn't simple they would see what she woudl be trying.Right i got an update on the situationBasically my mum phoned them striaght away and she was told she would get just over half of the whole booking for canceling and also told the travel agent, they sent her an email saying this was confirmed and over the phone it was confirmed however then they sent my mum an email yesterday morning saying she would have to bring her booking information in to a local branch.They left out this was to complete the cancelation of their booking, she got a phone call last night saying she would recieve 20-30% of the full amount rather than the original 60% she was told as it wasnt canceled until the letter was brought into the branch due to this plus the admin charges for all 3 tickets however if she wanted anything more she could only claim off the insurance for her and her sisters ticket, i suppose better than losing everything.However it seems shes lost over 30% due to thomas cook not making it clear from the start she had to bring a letter in to the thomas cook travel agent rather than phoning them and then being told to email them to complete it, so misscommunication from thomas cook has ended up reducing how much she actually gets back.



Don't want this to sound harsh but looks like user error to me.
Unfortunately without insurance your pretty much screwed terrible for your nan though, you'd think they would try to do something considering the circumstance.
Edited by: "OurNo24" 13th Jan 2013
to be honest mate i dont know how she could fly without insurance i have just come back from the states and they had to have my insurance details off all parties before i flew, i think its very risky going away with no insurance you imagine if your gran had a stroke whilst away the cost would have been horrendous
hope she recovers ok
I can't get my head round that if your nan hadn't had a stroke and had gone away on holiday she wouldn't have been insured but your mum and sister would have been. Can you imagine the nightmare and massive expense it would have been if she had a stroke or other medical problem whilst abroad and uninsured?

I'm glad your nan is getting better but I bet she is not pleased your mum and sister are not going and if she is like most old dears will only wish them happiness and would hate to spoil their holiday.

Saying that, I do understand how your mum and sister feel about going without her.



The cancelation went through

madmax666

If your gran is improving she might be able to go now.Failing that i … If your gran is improving she might be able to go now.Failing that i would sell the tickets and get much more than TC would offer.

soccergoods

Why doesn't you mum cancel her flight and than change the name on you … Why doesn't you mum cancel her flight and than change the name on you grans ticket to your mum. Yes it costs money to do so but at least you get a full refund on one ticket.

Peach25

Unfortunately without insurance your pretty much screwed terrible for … Unfortunately without insurance your pretty much screwed terrible for your nan though, you'd think they would try to do something considering the circumstance.

mercslkman

to be honest mate i dont know how she could fly without insurance i have … to be honest mate i dont know how she could fly without insurance i have just come back from the states and they had to have my insurance details off all parties before i flew, i think its very risky going away with no insurance you imagine if your gran had a stroke whilst away the cost would have been horrendoushope she recovers ok

Mark2111

I can't get my head round that if your nan hadn't had a stroke and had … I can't get my head round that if your nan hadn't had a stroke and had gone away on holiday she wouldn't have been insured but your mum and sister would have been. Can you imagine the nightmare and massive expense it would have been if she had a stroke or other medical problem whilst abroad and uninsured?I'm glad your nan is getting better but I bet she is not pleased your mum and sister are not going and if she is like most old dears will only wish them happiness and would hate to spoil their holiday.Saying that, I do understand how your mum and sister feel about going without her.



Nah doesn't sound harsh, although its rather annoying cos the information she was given by the person on the phone was wrong then the email and also she had messaged them through facebook so i dont know if shes gonna chase it up with copies of the email on the original date saying it had been canceled as she can claim it from the insurance


Flybe does reguardless of insurance only if its for medical reasons and you can prove that its clearly stated your unable to fly


you can fly without insurance however for the over 65s you need third party insurance as the airliner wont cover you, it was being arranged unfortunly she had a mini stroke before having it arranged

She's doing better now yes but still now allowed to fly or drive for that matter



The insurance was going to be sorted after christmas as it was a busy time of year.
Edited by: "TallerPaul" 13th Jan 2013
Thank you for clarifying that she was going to get insured before flying.

whatsThePoint

would insuring your gran to fly cover other peoples tickets if she … would insuring your gran to fly cover other peoples tickets if she couldn't go?



its too late now technically as the cancelation has gone through yesterday rather than the original cancelation date which was in december only a small percent will be refunded for that ticket, as there was no insurance the full ticket value cant be claimed back
i think there still would be charges for your mum ,as a few years back we were going on a family cruise and my mum hurt her back so couldnt fly, my mum and dad got a full refund through insurance but we got told if we cancelled we would loose money, as they said they wouldnt expect my dad to go without my mum, but the others lived at seperate addresses so wouldt get a full refund, i think a lesson learned is get insurance when you book your hols, my mother is 82 and fit as a fiddle i get her a yearly insurance. i took her to hawaii this year and taking her to the states in summer, but she has insurance so if some thing happens she will get a full refund ( but our other party wont we will be expected to go or have charges for cancelling) its a pity your mum couldnt put someone else on the flights i know it wouldnt be the same but at least she wouldnt have lost any money
TallerPaul

its too late now technically as the cancelation has gone through … its too late now technically as the cancelation has gone through yesterday rather than the original cancelation date which was in december only a small percent will be refunded for that ticket, as there was no insurance the full ticket value cant be claimed back


so they got 30% back?

they wont be able to claim from their insurance in any case as they are not ill.
Easyjet refused to refund my fathers flight £100 after he had a heart attack just a week before flying. £26 refunded and after speaking to customer services, a supervisor, AND then a manager, they refused to budge. Where is their compassion or any level of customer services? I understand they have their policies but surely they can make an exception???
cjdean1983

Easyjet refused to refund my fathers flight £100 after he had a heart … Easyjet refused to refund my fathers flight £100 after he had a heart attack just a week before flying. £26 refunded and after speaking to customer services, a supervisor, AND then a manager, they refused to budge. Where is their compassion or any level of customer services? I understand they have their policies but surely they can make an exception???



yeah it's so wrong yet no ones really in your corner, as i found on here even they just have an attitude of get used to it we never did get a refund and it was thousands spent on flights, like i missed a flight once just because my connecting train arrived late, i didn't seek refund or compensation for that as it was my own fault that i didn't get an earlier train, although once i had a return flight that cost £140 and i canceled the whole flight but flybe worked it out that if i asked for a refund with the charges and tax on the refund i would end up owning them £10 more lol so i just left the seat on the plane go without me.

But as where medical reasons are involved and the persons involved who an instant medical situation involves i wish the airports would have some compassion
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deleted265520
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cjdean1983

Easyjet refused to refund my fathers flight £100 after he had a heart … Easyjet refused to refund my fathers flight £100 after he had a heart attack just a week before flying. £26 refunded and after speaking to customer services, a supervisor, AND then a manager, they refused to budge. Where is their compassion or any level of customer services? I understand they have their policies but surely they can make an exception???

can you imagine how many people would be having heart attacks should airlines refund for this reason oO
csiman

can you imagine how many people would be having heart attacks should … can you imagine how many people would be having heart attacks should airlines refund for this reason oO



I doubt they would all be able to provide a doctors note though. They should have an exceptions policy like most companies. It's just disgraceful customer service. Why don't they offer a cancellation protection fee. Hotels.com offer room rates at a slightly more expensive rate with option to cancel or cheaper non refundable. What makes it worse is paying to call a peak rate number to a call centre where the don't seem to know what a heart attack actually is and have no compassion whatsoever. Fine, refuse to refund us, but at least say "i'm so sorry to hear that, i hope your father recovers".
cjdean1983

I doubt they would all be able to provide a doctors note though. They … I doubt they would all be able to provide a doctors note though. They should have an exceptions policy like most companies. It's just disgraceful customer service. Why don't they offer a cancellation protection fee. Hotels.com offer room rates at a slightly more expensive rate with option to cancel or cheaper non refundable. What makes it worse is paying to call a peak rate number to a call centre where the don't seem to know what a heart attack actually is and have no compassion whatsoever. Fine, refuse to refund us, but at least say "i'm so sorry to hear that, i hope your father recovers".


but then they would have added expenses of having to verify all the doctors notes, obtaining permission to access patient records etc etc

I can see why you are aggrieved but fully understand why airlines do not have exceptions. That's the whole point of holiday insurance.
csiman

but then they would have added expenses of having to verify all the … but then they would have added expenses of having to verify all the doctors notes, obtaining permission to access patient records etc etcI can see why you are aggrieved but fully understand why airlines do not have exceptions. That's the whole point of holiday insurance.



I see where you are coming from, but I truly question if it costs easyjet more in time dealing with complaints than it might cost in filling in a simple form. I at one time had the supervisor and manager on the line for about 30 minutes. Their policy sucks but I agree its how they keep their prices so low. Indeed holiday insurance is the way forward. Thanks for the comments.
cjdean1983

Easyjet refused to refund my fathers flight £100 after he had a heart … Easyjet refused to refund my fathers flight £100 after he had a heart attack just a week before flying. £26 refunded and after speaking to customer services, a supervisor, AND then a manager, they refused to budge. Where is their compassion or any level of customer services? I understand they have their policies but surely they can make an exception???



How about taking out insurance rather than expecting someone else to cover the risk? It's always someone else's fault.
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