Bott and Co recovers £2,171.75 in flight delay compensation from Thomson for a family of four who were originally told that their flight had been delayed due to a technical fault, but then found out it was due to the captain being taken ill.
Frequent traveller Mike Prytherch was flying back from a holiday in Orlando on 16th August 2016 ready for their flight to depart at 4:25pm.
The family arrived at the airport and waited in the queue ready to check in. Little did they know they would be waiting for a very long time.
“It was a complete disaster from start to finish. What annoyed me so much about the whole delay, which is one of the reasons why I contacted Bott and Co, is how the situation was handled. With my work I travel a lot. I do between 70 to 135 flights a year so I understand how airlines and airports work, but this is the worst I’ve ever experienced.”
Mike and his family were waiting in the check in queue for over an hour and had noticed that it wasn’t going down. “There were only two flights checking in, one to Glasgow and our flight to Manchester.
“Thomson called for Glasgow passengers to check in which I didn’t understand. Their flight was only leaving 10 minutes before ours so why wasn’t the Manchester flight called to check in as well?”
All of a sudden Manchester passengers were told check in was suspended. They didn’t say why, they just told them to wait.
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At first Thomson blamed the delay on a technical fault
“Thirty minutes later, a Thomson rep came to tell us that there was a technical problem with the plane and that it was being looked at. Still in the same queue for another hour, Thomson came back to tell us that the captain had been taken ill so they were trying to find another pilot.”
Mike and all of the other passengers on the Thomson flight stood there for two hours waiting for the rep to decide what to do with them all. Thomson later said the flight was cancelled.
This is when it got utterly bizarre…
“They told us they wanted us to check in, go through security, and wait in the airport for no flight. Thomson then told us that they’d call us, go back out the terminal and then take us to the hotel.
“It was handled so badly, it was horrendous. Some of the check in staff told passengers who had already checked their bags in, that they were allowed to take over 100ml of their liquids through security.
“I thought to myself this is America, the strictest security in the world! Security confiscated their stuff and passengers couldn’t do anything about it.”
4 hours later we were given food vouchers and told to go to a hotel
“They gave us $20 so we could get some food, but out of 8 shops there was only one that would accept the vouchers.
“We got our bags from baggage reclaim and got to the hotel at 20:30. We asked the Thomson rep if they were providing us with any dinner, but they told us that we had already been given the $20 so we had to pay ourselves.”
Returning to the airport the following morning faced with more queues.
Passengers were picked up from the hotel to be taken to the airport the following morning at 04:00 for their 08:00 flight. They checked in as normal and were told to use their boarding passes from the previous day.
“We get to security at 05:20 and there’s a queue because security doesn’t open till 06:00. It was endless. Another queue because we had to wait for security to come.
“As we came to passport control, the security man looked at our passes and realised they were for yesterday. He said we had to go back and check in again. People were going absolutely mental about this. Fortunately we were let through after a few calls were made. “
Claiming flight delay compensation
“I rang up Thomson twice and they said they weren’t paying out as it was an ‘exceptional circumstance’. I understand that pilots are an incredibly important part of the process, but at the end of the day businesses need to have cover for people who are ill. You have to accept the consequences.
“That’s when I contacted you guys.”
Mike found Bott and Co by a web search. “I have no complaints about the service you provided. I found inputting the details very easy and I liked how everything was done electronically. Thank you!”
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*Based on 10,211 court proceedings issued between May 2013 and February 2016.