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Thomas Cook have changed our flight! Anyone have any tips for managing this?

(49 Posts)
KitKat1985 Fri 19-Jan-18 14:17:12

Hi. We're due to fly to Lanzarote in just under 2 weeks. We booked it last April. Thomas Cook have today e-mailed us to let us know that they have moved our flights from a day flight to a night flight. We're travelling with a 3 year old and a 1 year old so this is a nightmare, as they are going to be tired and distressed the entire flight. Spoken to customer services who said they consider it a 'minor' flight change as it's less than 12 hours difference in flight time and we are therefore entitled to no compensation. The earlier flight is cancelled and they can't move us to the flight the day before as it's full, so basically there's nothing they will do (and even if we did change / cancel now we're are fully liable for any costs involved as they won't cover costs for 'minor' flight changes). They won't even refund us the difference for moving us from more expensive to cheaper flights! angry Has anyone had this? Is there anything we can do? Seems pretty shite customer service to me.

KitKat1985 Fri 19-Jan-18 14:20:24

It's our first holiday abroad in 2 years and we've really scrapped every penny we had together to go on this holiday, and I just feel a bit gutted now about the whole thing as I'm going to spend the entire holiday dreading the return flight. sad

JuliannaBixby Fri 19-Jan-18 14:24:00

They might just fall asleep!

Thomas Cook don't seem like they're going to do anything about it, so I think you'll just have to not catastrophise it. Plenty of people choose night flights with kids so that they're more likely to sleep.

Just take stuff to do, snacks and blankets, it will be fine.

Bloodynorris Fri 19-Jan-18 14:26:35

Go in and speak to someone. They need this for our honeymoon and the manager was very good. He sat for ages with us sorting out different options on the end we chose a different destination and he gave us a huge discount to get us into a nicer hotel and they even sent us some euros for our honeymoon with a wedding card. This was 6 weeks before we was due to fly.

SparklySeaShell Fri 19-Jan-18 14:28:48

How do you know they're going to be tired & distressed? Have you taken them on a night flight recently? Ever before?

They might surprise you, they might be fine, they might fall asleep and be no bother at all.

If you go into the situation planning the worst possible outcome then that's probably what will happen, why not try to go into it with a more positive attitude and hope for the best?

No it's not ideal and of course we would all prefer a day flight, but I'd be very surprised if you were able to change it other than booking another flight so go, enjoy your holiday and try to make the best of the rubbish flight home.

MrsAndyDayTheFirst Fri 19-Jan-18 14:29:16

I know it seems a huge deal but your flight could have easily been delayed and caused these issues anyway. It’s only a 4 hour flight, as bad as it seems now it will be over n no time and you can enjoy your holiday.

Do you miss out on any of your holiday at all? If it means you’re missing your first afternoon by the beach then fiddling your fingers on the last day of they make you check out at 11 you could try to get some compensation there?

DoublyTroubly Fri 19-Jan-18 14:29:52

Firstly, try not to worry about the flight home. Just plan everything you can to make life easier then try and forget about it until the time

Some things that come to mind:
1. Bring a double buggy so 3 year old can rest in it (even if they don’t normally go in one)
2. Load up phones / tablets with their favourite programs so you have something calming for them to do
3. Maybe get them a special blanket each to use on the way home as a treat (and something to talk about / distract them with)

Just remember, it won’t be as bad as you imagine x

SandLand Fri 19-Jan-18 14:30:07

Mine are bigger, but I actually prefer night flights. Sitti g with 2 wide awake kids, stuck on a plane leads to horrendous jet lag.
Night flight (biggest doesn't usually sleep) are tougher on me, but much better in terms of settling back into home routine - normal days, a bad nights sleep, a day with some outside activity when you land, coupled with an early night and bingo. So long as I get an afternoon nap (DH or my Mum look after the kids, depending on which way we are flying) im ok too.

Flying home usually involves a plane change at midnight too, and the kids are remarkably ok with it.

KitKat1985 Fri 19-Jan-18 14:31:29

The problem I have is the baby will only sleep in her cot really. And she gets really ratty past 7pm so it's not going to be easy. And even if she does fall asleep we're going to have to wake her to get off and on the plane, in the car etc, so she's not going to be happy. No idea how the 3 year old will be.

We booked the flights online with travel republic so not worth going in branch really.

NewYearNiki Fri 19-Jan-18 14:33:44

We're travelling with a 3 year old and a 1 year old so this is a nightmare, as they are going to be tired and distressed the entire flight


I was on a night flight to Sharm El Sheik once, leaving at 10:30pm and landing at 5am.

There were plenty of kids and babies on that flight. They slept. The toddler that didn't initially was walked up and down the aisle a few times until she did.

Situp Fri 19-Jan-18 14:38:18

I would try again and see if you get someone more sympathetic. They may not have to find you anything but some people are more willing to try than others

On our honeymoon our flight was delayed by 5 hours which meant we missed our connection. Because the flights were with different airlines we coulsn't get and refund and the next available connecting flight was 2 days and 300 quid later.

I burst into tears at the desk and the rep suddenly found us a flight for the next morning at no extra cost.

Not saying that you should cry or anything

KitKat1985 Fri 19-Jan-18 14:38:34

Maybe I am catastrophizing and it won't be as bad as I feared. I still think it's really poor though that they've moved us to a cheaper flight and won't even refund us the difference.

Invisimamma Fri 19-Jan-18 14:39:57

We did this with a 9month old and 3yr old, 11pm flight arrived 4am. I was so worried about it but honestly it was fine, the baby slept in my/DH arms the entire way (didn’t expect him to as he never slept well at home!) and the 3yr old was so excited to be on a plane he sat really nicely, looked at a magazine, had some snacks etc. He didn’t sleep but wasn’t grumpy.

We did have to wake ds2 on arrival but he was interested at our new surroundings he was distracted and not distressed at all.

I’m not a laid back parent, we don’t travel much and my kids aren’t easy going, I was genuinely surprised and relieved at how easy it was!

KitKat1985 Fri 19-Jan-18 14:40:29

Oh and we've also now got to pay for an extra nights car parking as we wont be back now until the day after we were originally due to return!

ShoutyMcShoutFace Fri 19-Jan-18 14:40:47

I do think this is pretty shit OP as the holidays with day flights are priced way above the night flights. You can always tell if you seem to have found a bargain on your search results on a good hotel, when you go into check the flight details it will be a 2am return or something. In your position I would try kicking up more of a fuss with TC about how you specifically booked the day flights due to your needs / DC routine etc. I don't know if there is any chance they will be able to move you but maybe angle for an upgrade or some sort of discount? It's worth a go. I'm sure you'll be ok with the baby but it's hugely annoying when you had tried to plan in advance to make it easier for yourselves and then they randomly change it.

JuliannaBixby Fri 19-Jan-18 14:41:51

I agree that it shitty of them. But honestly, it's not a long flight, it will be a grin-and-bear-it situation, but it'll be over quickly.

They might surprise you! My son, who only slept in his cot, slept the entire flight home when he was 3. The heat and busy week absolutely knocked him out. It was bliss!

KitKat1985 Fri 19-Jan-18 14:47:01

Thanks for all of your replies. Maybe I am catastrophizing a bit but I had a plan for managing flying with them and this has really thrown me. You're right. I need to take blankets and cuddly toys and just grin and bear it. I am going to really push them though to see if they will at least refund me the difference from being moved from day to night flights as I think that is really unfair.

GeorgeTheHamster Fri 19-Jan-18 14:47:41

I agree with others that you should make the best of the flight.

But it's worth a try to get some money back if this flight was cheaper than what you paid, and for the extra parking charge.

Blackteadrinker77 Fri 19-Jan-18 14:48:29

That's awful, I hate night time flights.

I'd ring them and ask them to pay for the extra nights parking. Doubt they will but it's worth a try.

Queeniebed Fri 19-Jan-18 14:48:34

Sounds shit but its only a four hour flight (plus the time either side). Don't let it spoil your holiday but instead take toys/blankets/storybooks etc and make it an adventure. Kids pick up on our emotional state. If you get yourself worked up they will too.

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Fri 19-Jan-18 14:49:34

that seems rubbish re no compensation - Jet2 changed our flight times by 1.5 hours on both out and return, and gave us £30 pp vouchers (which meant we went again with them at Christmas). The hotel let us stay for lunch on the last day as we'd missed dinner on the first night, so see if you can get something like that at the hotel.

rookiemere Fri 19-Jan-18 14:50:27

I think it will be ok, but it's totally crap of them to put you on a cheaper flight and not refund the extra.

Something similar happened to our friends - they tried to put them on a different flight and she phoned up twice as first time she was basically getting nowhere. Second time they agreed to change her to a flight nearer them on a more suitable day.

I'd contact them again to see if you can at least get the parking cost refunded or some extras thrown in at the hotel to compensate.

Queeniebed Fri 19-Jan-18 14:50:28

On the other hand, my parents hotel was changed once, they kicked up a real stink and ended up completely changing their holiday at the expense of the provider

ArcheryAnnie Fri 19-Jan-18 14:53:02

If it helps at all, I took a 2 year old on a very long night flight, and it was brilliant, far better than the day flight home, because he slept the entire way!

mummmy2017 Fri 19-Jan-18 14:54:27

During all the night flights I have been on it's be quiet, and much nicer than the day flights, the airports were quicker to go through, and the people there really helpful.

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