Unexpected major flight changes to St Lucia and no rights given to UK Consumer

This is the letter I have compiled and sent to [TOUR OPERATOR] (all infor contained herein)
Ref; [NUMBER]
 
Dear Sirs;
I am writing in reference to the above holiday booking , made through [NAME OF TRAVEL AGENCY]l ([AGENCY NAME] ref; [NUMBER]). My girlfriend and I booked our holiday to St Lucia on the 1st June 2008, almost a year ahead of our departure date of the 7th May 2009. I received a letter from yourselves dated 11th February stating that my flights from Manchester had been cancelled, and that I would need to fly from London Gatwick the following day (new departure date of the 8th May). It states in the letter that [TOUR OPERATOR] will provide me with internal flights from Manchester, to Gatwick and then back from Gatwick to Manchester at the end of our holiday. They will also provide us with an overnight stay in Gatwick on the night of the 7th.
 
We selected the original departure date and departure airport for very specific reasons. My best friend is to be wed on Saturday 23rd May 2009, and I am to be the ‘Best Man’. We would have returned from our fabulous holiday into Manchester on the morning of Friday 22nd, and then stayed with my friend the day ahead of his big day. His wedding is taking place just 10 miles outside of Manchester.
 
Since receiving this letter, I have tried desperately to discuss this issue with members of your customer services team over the telephone. I have failed to receive either any reason as to why this cancellation has taken place, or any offer of compensation or apology. This has left me feeling disappointed and very angry.
 
[TOUR OPERATOR] have changed the dates of my holiday and as a result of this, the personal impact is much bigger than you state in your terms and conditions. I am left with a decision to make which will both affect me personally and cause distress to my friends. It feels like I either need to cancel the holiday completely or cancel my attendance at my friends wedding. Both are completely unpalatable, and my anger and distress at this time is vented towards yourselves, [TOUR OPERATOR]
 
The alternative arrangements offered in your letter are unacceptable for the following reasons;
 
Ÿ The return internal flight times from Gatwick to Manchester on the 23rd mean that I will have to wait at Gatwick for 4.5 hours, having probably had very little sleep on the overnight flight from St Lucia. This is unacceptable given my requirements for the 23rd.
Ÿ The original cost of our holiday was more expensive because we chose to fly from and to Manchester.
Ÿ Our arrival time back in Manchester on the 23rd would mean we have only 3 hours to get to our wedding and given my status at this wedding – the little sleep I will get on the night flight means that the wedding will be very difficult to enjoy.
Ÿ We have been informed by your customer services team (all be it, probably by accident), that the BA domestic internal flights you will be providing come at no extra cost to [TOUR OPERATOR]
Ÿ As the flights are subsidised to yourselves, and our original holiday cost was higher than the corresponding holiday departing from Gatwick, we gain nothing in the way of benefit or compensation.
 
As a result of the aforementioned issues I would request that you look at how my view of [TOUR OPERATOR] can be improved. It is fair to say that after reading all that [TOUR OPERATOR] say about putting its customer first, I am upset, angered, and totally bemused by your approach to managing change, and the resulting effects on your customers.
 
To this end, I would like to request the following;
 
Ÿ I do not wish to take up the offer of the internal flights to and from Gatwick, or the overnight stay. They do not help my cause at all. I would however like the equivalent deducted from the price of my original holiday in order to make my own alternative arrangements .
 
Ÿ I would like a free room upgrade for the entire 2 weeks of my holiday at the [NAME OF HOTEL] as a ‘goodwill gesture’ for the massive inconvenience you have caused, me, my girlfriend, and our friends who are getting married.
 
Ÿ I would like a free First Class upgrade for me and my girlfriend on the return flight from St Lucia to Gatwick so that we can be as refreshed as possible in preparation for the wedding on the Saturday when we land.
 
Ÿ If I am to proceed with the holiday I would like the holiday re-costed based on me flying from Gatwick. (This was a cheaper alternative at the time by approximately £150).
 
If the above requests can be actioned and agreed, then I will be happy to proceed with my holiday and should find some solace in the stress your changes will cause to me and my friends on their wedding day.
 
I would appreciate the swiftest of responses so I can plan the next 10 weeks carefully, however I feel you will have to demonstrate all of your customer service skills to retain this [TOUR OPERATOR] customer in the future. 

In order to benefit from the range of information contained within HolidayTravelWatch, it is important for any Travel Consumer or other User of this Website to understand the Nature of our Service, Limitations of Guidance, Restrictions upon the material contained within this Website, Obligations of Use imposed upon Consumers and other Third Parties; full details concerning your use of this site is contained within our Legal Notice. The use of or viewing of this site or the use of any telephone, postal or e mail or advice services of HolidayTravelWatch indicates your acceptance of our Legal Notice.

Travel Alerts

Travelling soon? Avoid problems, get up to date notifications on your destination before you travel.

Free Map Alerts

Cancel alerts at any time.

Having a Holiday problem?

Our team can you help you. Just call our free Holiday Helpline or click the button below
Contact us