Written on: 24/09/2013 by jillkanga (1 review written)
I searched for suitable holiday as a single female - within 2 weeks of departure. I took 3 days to find appropriate accommodation - where I would feel safe and in a location I would feel comfortable with. Rather than confirm the booking online - I contacted a customer service advisor to book over the phone and speak to someone in person. I sought reassurance that I would NOT have any problems with my chosen accommodation. She assured me that the accommodation provider they use is rated very highly and that I would be indeed in the hotel I was about to book and pay for - in full. I felt reassured and started to look forward to my 1st holiday as a single woman - something I was nervous about.
When I arrived at my destination - Esperia Beach Rethymnon - Crete - at approx. 12.30am - I was greeted with a confused a troubled expression from the Manager - and my heart sank - with the slow realisation that I wasn't expected. There was no record of my booking - yet I had the printed accommodation voucher for the 10 days that I was in Crete for. I was 'put up' in 3 hotels in total -with the last one being the original one I had booked - but only after 5 days of my arrival. The accommodation offered and priced at was - was for single occupancy -sea-view. This was not the case at ANY time of my holiday. I had purposely chosen this accommodation as it was the ONLY hotel which was advertised as having a sea-view for single occupancy. As a single woman - alone in the resort - I did not plan to 'walk the streets' in the evenings to eat out. The board base was self catering and I had planned to have my eve meals on the balcony - relaxing with the sea-view. I chose this travel operator and accommodation - SOLELY because they were offering what I NEEDED. I could have opted to book the same holiday with 'travelrepublic.com' - but liked the fact that I could package the holiday - including flights and transfers without any fuss. There was only a minor difference in total cost between the travel agents.
Not only was I messed around with the accommodation aspect of my holiday - I also had a disastrous experience on my return transfer to the airport. I checked within the timescale advised - to see what my pick up time was for return transfer. The transfer arrangements - also under the management of LCH - had all details of my return flight (which had not changed). I confirmed the flight time for return. The coach picked me up on time - I was one of the first pick-ups. approx. 2 hours later I arrived at the airport - 5 mins after final 'baggage drop' - and was told that I was not able to check my suitcase in. I was informed that I was too late - and that I would have to pay a fee of 50 euros. I was disgusted and attempted to explain why I had been delayed and that I had been transferred to the airport late - and that I had come immediately to check in. This was ignored. I was then taken through the baggage checks and x-ray equipment. I was told to open my suitcase (the hold case - which I had already paid for previously) - and told that I had to remove any liquids. Purely because I had been delivered to the airport 5 mins late - I was now facing a further financial loss of approx. £200 in personal belongings - which I was told that I could not take onto the aircraft. When I arrived at the aircraft - my suitcase was taken to the hold!!!!! The case was NOT taken into the cabin - and yet I had to go through this humiliation and robbery.
I wrote an email while I was in the resort - regarding the accommodation issues - and was told to contact the in-resort customer service team - which I did. I did succeed in getting in touch with someone at the other end who promised to all me back the next day. No contact - during the remainder of my holiday. I have since sent another email - in the same style as this review and have received an automated response - to say that my complaint may take upto 6 weeks - before they have collected the evidence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am out of pocket by approx. £240 for the delayed transfer for my return and then there is the difference between what was paid for accommodation - and what I ended up having.
Im very disappointed in the fact that I took time and effort to research the most suitable online travel agent and accommodation. I trusted that I would actually get what I was paying for and that I would be experiencing what was being advertised and promised. For someone to say that their holiday ended in tears and humiliation - and all I wanted to do was get home asap - is a really sad story.