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Premier Travel Inn profteering from Alton Towers closure

(195 Posts)
TheGrocer Mon 08-Jun-15 13:50:42

Hi there
I have a new story you may be interested re Premier Travel Inn at Rugely profiting from many customers who had planned to visit Alton Towers last weekend 6/6 and 7/6.

I had pre booked a room at the Rugely Travel Inn using the Whitbread web site and booked 2 rooms under their lowest cost offer Non Flexaible Premier Saver Rate to £232. The sole purpose of driving myself and my 3 kids 300 miles each way to the Hotel was to treat the kids to a weekend break at Alton Towers. Im not currently working and so couldn’t afford to book the Alton Towers hotel or though now I wish I had.

After making the booking the terrible accident at Alton Towers occurred and the park announced it would be closed for several days while the investigation continued. On Friday 5/6 the Alton Towers web site announced it would not be open over the weekend and I therefore called the Hotel and the Customer Service line to try and re-arrange the booking due to the tragic accident and the fact the park would be closed. I met with a brick wall and blank refusal of any type of re-booking. I have attached my letter to them and their response and Im sure many families for the Premier Travel Inn hotels would have met with the same fate. While they hide behind the T&Cs of the booking they aren’t doing the RIGHT thing and its disgusting behaviour.

I have contacted BBC and Watchdog - Has anyone else been affected by this??? Thanks for reading

Whitbread Customer Services letter below and my original letter below that.:

Hi [name removed by MNHQ],

Thanks for your email.
Your reservation [removed by MNHQ] was booked under the Non Flexible Premier Saver rate.

Although we appreciate no one books a hotel room with the expectation to cancel or amend, the only reason we're able to offer these discounted rooms is by adhering to strict booking terms. This is why customers are informed at the time of booking that they will not be able to cancel or amend the reservation, once confirmed.

For these reasons, we regret that we would not be able to assist with your request on this occasion.

Please note that any pre-paid supplement charges for breakfast, meal deals etc will be refunded back to the card held on the booking.

Kind Regards
[name removed by MNHQ].
Email Support Team
Premier Inn - Central Reservations
Telephone: 0333 003 0025 (option 2)
Write to us at: Oakley House, Oakley Road, Luton, LU4 9QH.


I have contacted you today in relation to my reservation [removed by MNHQ] held in the name of [removed by MNHQ] for two room on the night of Friday 5/6/15 and Sat 6/6/15. The rooms were booked under the Premier Saver Rate at a total cost of £232 at your Rugely Hotel. The purpose of travelling 300 miles from my home in Kent with my children was to enjoy a weekend at Alton Towers. As you will know after the tragic events earlier this week the park has now announced that it will remain closed over the weekend thus making my trip a waste of time.
I contacted your reservations team and your guest relations team speaking to [name removed by MNHQ] to be told that nor change of reservation can be made! While I understand the T&Cs of the booking surely you have been inundated by customers who through no fault of their own have literally nowhere to go.

The team at Alton Towers have been great in breaking their T&Cs and re-issuing tickets etc. and to be honest it seems as if Whitbread is taking advantage of a situation which has been a personal tragedy for those involved in the accident. The two hotels closest to Alton towers appear fully booked when I made the booking and I’m sure over 50% of those staying over the weekend had planned to visit Alton Towers. Yes I know the T&Cs which have been quoted to me but come on Whitbread let’s look at this from the angle of what may be the right thing to do and prove that you have some feelings for the situation that I and many other families find themselves in. From a PR point of view you could take this two ways - one show your loyal customers some flexibility due to the problems that have beset the theme park or two you could provide some great local TV and radio negative press when they are contacted as the perception is your taking advantage of an unusual set of circumstances!

I’m not asking for a refund just the opportunity to rebook to an alternative date when they re-open?

Yours hoping you will do the RIGHT thing please??

ilovesooty Mon 08-Jun-15 13:54:29

You booked under non refundable non flexible terms and got a cheaper rate?

Sorry, but I wouldn't expect to be allowed to transfer the booking. I think you should look at any travel insurance you may hold to see if you can recoup your money that way.

Lilithmoon Mon 08-Jun-15 13:54:45

You have included a lot of your personal info. I think you should ask MN to delete and repost with your info removed.

IKnowIAmButWhatAreYou Mon 08-Jun-15 13:55:35

Hmm, torn on this TBH.

You deliberately bought the non flexible tickets.

They'd potentially had to turn away other customers because you'd reserved those rooms for that weekend. Why do you think they should lose that money?

You could still have gone & done other things in the area.

I'd still have gone & learned to book flexible next time personally...

Mistigri Mon 08-Jun-15 13:55:35

YABU I'm afraid.

This is the sort of thing that should be covered with travel insurance. Do you have anything that might cover you eg annual travel insurance?

Use it or lose it hotel rates are just that - you get a cheap deal (often much cheaper) in return for taking on the risk of cancellation.

TwinkieTwinkle Mon 08-Jun-15 13:55:36

Why should they refund you or change your booking? They have nothing to do with Alton Towers and will already be losing money because Alton Towers was closed, so they wouldn't be getting any last minute bookings. I actually think you saying they are 'profiting' from what happened is completely out of line and it seems like you are trying to get something because of the tragedy.

PickleSarnie Mon 08-Jun-15 13:55:56

It might not be right but it's legal and inline with the terms and conditions. Do you have travel insurance?

Perfectlypurple Mon 08-Jun-15 13:56:47

I don't think they are profiteering. You booked the super saver rate that means no refunds or changes which is clear when booking as I have done this myself on numerous occasions. The premier inn is not affiliated to Alton towers and have no obligation to lose money because of it. They would lose the payment for the rooms if they allowed everyone to change their booking when booking a super saver rate. That is why it costs more to have a room you can cancel so if you do change it they are still getting something for an unoccupied room.

AssembleTheMinions Mon 08-Jun-15 13:57:21

Much as I sympathise with you, you booked a non flexible rate. It's quite clear that no changes can be made. Why should Premier Inn take a hit on cancelled rooms at the last minute through no fault of their own?

You could have gone ahead with your plans and visited somewhere else instead in the area. Do you have any form of travel insurance with a bank perhaps? You could try and make a claim that way.

timelyreminder Mon 08-Jun-15 13:57:41


Chchchchanging Mon 08-Jun-15 13:58:51

Pay more if you want refundable.
You could have gobe to other things in the area. Drayton mannor isn't that far away from there for a start

DoJo Mon 08-Jun-15 13:58:59

I don't see how they are 'taking advantage' of the circumstances - they are honouring a booking taken in good faith and according to their Ts and Cs.

I agree with a PP that putting your email address in your OP probably wasn't a great idea so I will report it in the hope that MN can edit it to preserve your privacy a little.

AGnu Mon 08-Jun-15 13:59:09

If you'd booked the hotel for a wedding & there was a family tragedy the day before which resulted in the wedding being postponed, would you expect the hotel to let you rearrange? The accident at AT, whilst tragic for all concerned, is nothing to do with them - why should they lose out on a non-refundable booking just because something completely out of their control happened?

InstitutionCode Mon 08-Jun-15 13:59:26

I really don't see you issue. You took advantage of deal that specifically didn't allow cancellation or amendment, for any reason, so you can't cancel, for any reason. If you wanted flexibility, for any reason, you should have booked the flexible room.

If you had travel insurance, maybe that might be a valid claim.

Perhaps you could claim compensation for costs incurred from Alton Towers, but to think the hotel should be out of pocket and change its terms just for you is ridiculous.

I've made these kind of books many time, but always in the knowledge that if I have to change the plans, I'll lose the money.

What happened at Alton Towers wasn't your fault, but it wasn't the Hotel's either. It would have been poor if AT hadn't allowed tickets to be re-issued, as the park was closed, but the hotel isn't.

Baaaaaaaaaaaa Mon 08-Jun-15 13:59:30

YABVVU. stop griping, accept what you've done. You booked it. They are not profiteering. Get real.

LurkingHusband Mon 08-Jun-15 13:59:56

Could this be the first unanimous AIBU I have witnessed ?

Cantbelievethisishappening Mon 08-Jun-15 14:00:19

Why should Premier Inn lose out because of something that happens at a completely unrelated venue.
As has been said you took the option of the cheaper deal.

and to be honest it seems as if Whitbread is taking advantage of a situation which has been a personal tragedy for those involved in the accident
This is uncalled for IMO

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Mon 08-Jun-15 14:00:49

YABU. Alton Towers has no direct relationship AFAIK with the hotel, so why would the hotel be expected to absorb these costs ?

I hope the personal details (yours and the hotel's) in the post aren't real - if so, please get MNHQ to edit it ASAP!

TheFairyCaravan Mon 08-Jun-15 14:00:55

It's not their fault that Alton Towers was closed so I'm not sure why they should have to lose money because of it.

When you booked you will have ticked the box agreeing that you agree to the terms and conditions. If you didnt agree to them you shouldn't have booked.


InstitutionCode Mon 08-Jun-15 14:00:56

And...there are loads of other things to see and do in the area. You could have just gone and done them instead. You might have even enjoyed it.

Heels99 Mon 08-Jun-15 14:00:56

They are doing nothing wrong. You opted for the non flexible cheaper rate.

It is not their fault the park is shut.

DeeWe Mon 08-Jun-15 14:00:59

They're not profiteering. They didn't sell you rooms on the basis you were going to AT. You chose to book rooms for you because you were going.
They'll book up for those times so if they refund everyone then they'll make a big loss, which isn't their fault any more than yours.

SavoyCabbage Mon 08-Jun-15 14:02:54

It would not have crossed my mind to think that I could change a hotel booking for a reason that was nothing to do with that hotel and expect a refund. It's not taking advantage or profiteering. It's just normal.

ThomasRichard Mon 08-Jun-15 14:03:04

YABU, it's a non-flexible rate. I book the same rate as it's so much cheaper but know I'll take the hit if we can't travel for any reason.

Do you have travel insurance? An annual policy or free cover with your bank account etc.?

TedAndLola Mon 08-Jun-15 14:03:56

YABVU. If you hadn't been able to travel because of a tragedy in your personal life, would you expect them to refund? This is the same thing - a third party event that they had no control over. They are correct that they can only offer lower prices because of the non-flexibility, and that's what you accepted when you booked.

You may be interested to know that Alton Towers are considering refunds for travel costs / hotel costs for people who had inflexible tickets for the park on its closed days. Get in touch with them and you may have more joy.

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