Talk

Advanced search

..to wonder if I can claim for any of this holiday saga?

(67 Posts)
KnowBetterDoBetter Fri 06-Dec-19 18:45:40

Very long, apologies. I think most, if not all of it, is relevant.

Me and 4yo DD went to Disneyland Paris from Monday - Wednesday. Booked shuttle bus transfers to and from CDG airport from a well known company.

Wednesday afternoon, we got on the shuttle bus to go back to the airport and make our way home. My ticket is taken and the barcode is scanned. Traffic is shocking due to the strikes going on in France, but we get there with 90 mins to spare (online check in and no bags to check). Pulling in, I see signs for 'Orly', which is the airport on the other side of Paris. I panic, nobody else speaks much English on the bus, but I work out that we are a long way from the airport I'm flying out on.

I ask the driver for the quickest way to get to CDG. She's very defensive, saying that she asked everyone if they were going to Orly. She didn't, but I said it did not matter right now and I just needed to get there. She directed me to a taxi, but they said it would take over 90 mins due to the traffic and would cost £££. My phone said the train was quicker. And if I was going to miss it any way, I didn't want to pay €100. So DD and I rushed for the train, helped by some lovely people... and made it there just in time for the plane taking off.

Easyjet said their next flight was tomorrow night, as they've cancelled 70 of their flights due to the strike, and they'd book us on it for €400. The closest hotel with rooms available online was 15km away, and would cost €200. I couldn't afford it.

There was a flight leaving at 7am the next morning, which I was trying to book, but I kept getting error messages. So I rushed to the terminal where the airline was (a fair old walk in the freezing cold with DD and our suitcases on a trolley), where they told me it was overbooked, hence why I couldn't book it.

So I paid €400 for a flight to Venice at 7am, with a connecting flight to Gatwick, getting us home at midday Thursday. We went back to the other terminal, and I got DD as comfy as I could on the chairs with all our coats, ready to check in early morning. I get this was maybe shitty parenting, but I was worried about getting taxis to far away hotels in a country where I can't speak the language, have next to no money, and I know there are a lot of riots and tension in France ATM. I was scared. Anyway, I stayed awake all night keeping an eye on her and our bags.

Went to check in at 5am the next morning, and was told that the airline had received no payment from the travel company, so had cancelled our booking. I called the travel company, who said they'd call me back in 10 minutes. I waited half an hour, searching for coach tickets. I found one, and called my DM to ask her to transfer me the money for a taxi and tickets.

The travel company then called back and said sorry for the inconvenience but they'd book us on a flight to Germany that night, and Gatwick tomorrow morning. I said no, I just wanted a refund but I didn't have much battery and couldn't talk right then. Asked them to call me that night when I was (hopefully) home.

Go to the coach station, the taxi ticking up by 10c every few seconds and the taxi driver chatting on WhatsApp the whole way. When we get there, the shutters are all down. I ask the taxi driver about it but he just drives off. Google translate tells me the signs say that it's shut from 5th - 8th due to the strikes.

I was at rock bottom. It's -2, we're stuck outside, I've just spent €60 on a taxi for no reason and will have to spend it again to get back to the airport. I see a family rush past with suitcases saying something about a bus. I rush with them, through a park, and find a coach station with a coach going to London at 10am. Got very cheap tickets (£19 each!) and finally get back to London at 5pm, and back home by 7pm - 27.5 hours since we left the hotel.

I've requested the refund from the travel company that did not pay for the second flight tickets - they say that very few people get refunds, and I'd hear in 30 days (hmm). Can't see how they can't not give me a refund for those tickets, but what about all the other costs I've incurred?

The train tickets from Orly to CDG, food and drink at the airport and for the coach, the taxi to the coach station, the coach tickets, the train fare home from Gatwick, lost earnings from yesterday when I should have been at work etc. all adds up to at least £250. Including the flights is £650+.

I've spent more on this cock up than I did on the whole holiday (which I've been paying off monthly for a year). And I guess it all stems back to whether I should have asked whether the shuttle was going to my airport or not? I just thought that I had a ticket which was checked and scanned, there were no markings on the bus. I don't believe I'm at fault here.

And if I'm not, who should I be trying to claim this money from? Travel insurance, or the shuttle company? Do I have any chance.

Sorry for the length; I still feel absolutely shattered and have had the usual post-holiday stressful day at work with a full to bursting inbox, I owe my family so much money, feel so bad on my poor DD (who actually hardly moaned at all and was a little star throughout; I tried to make it a fucked up kind of 'adventure' for her) and I just wondered if I had any chance in recovering any of this, or if IABU and am at fault for it all.

endofthelinefinally Fri 06-Dec-19 18:50:26

All you can do is ring your insurers and ask.
I am so sorry your holiday was ruined. I think a lot of people have been caught by this strike and I understand it has been extended by a further 2 days.

KellyMarieTunstall2 Fri 06-Dec-19 18:52:01

Sorry, that sounds horrendous. Poor you.brew
Have you got travel insurance? Give them a call and they will be able to tell you what you can claim for.

MissMudskipper Fri 06-Dec-19 18:52:41

Awww that sounds like an absolute horrendous time. I don't have any other advise than ask the insurance company. Didnt want to read and run flowers

Stressedout10 Fri 06-Dec-19 18:55:09

Legally I've no idea, did you have insurance?
Morally its the bus driver and the company fault from the sound of it you wouldn't have been able to get on your original flight as they weren't paid for in the 1st place

Pippa12 Fri 06-Dec-19 18:55:32

I can definitely see your frustration, what an awful situation. You could try speaking to your travel insurance and see if they can advise you on if you have a claim, although I think it’s highly unlikely they’ll be very cooperative and imagine they’ll say it human error for not checking you were on the correct transfer. Did you book with a travel agent?

I’m abit confused about the flights in the middle bit.

Such a shame this happened to ruin what I’m sure was a magical trip wine

KnowBetterDoBetter Fri 06-Dec-19 18:56:20

*All you can do is ring your insurers and ask.
I am so sorry your holiday was ruined. I think a lot of people have been caught by this strike and I understand it has been extended by a further 2 days.*

I feel for them. The people at the airport and the taxi driver etc were distinctly unhelpful, but the French people on the way were amazing - helping us into the right train, finding somebody on the train who would help us on the next one, finding a charging point for me at the coach station etc. Even with bloody brexit, so many people went out of their way to help us and I'm so grateful for them.

From what I've read, this pension stuff is the tip of the iceberg for the general public. It's just rubbish luck that all of this happened after we got taken to the wrong airport, making it near impossible to get home.

I'll call the insurer tomorrow, but I didn't know whether I should be making a claim against the shuttle people. Or whether I'd have no luck with either of them. Just wanted to prepare myself before approaching them IYSWIM.

Gabrielknight Fri 06-Dec-19 18:58:16

Sounds horrible. But I'm not sure what you will get back. Contact your insurance company

KnowBetterDoBetter Fri 06-Dec-19 18:59:30

I have got travel insurance, but I booked it with the original airline, EasyJet. So I'm worried I won't get too far with them! But they are underwritten by Zurich, and reviews online call it 'mid-range'. I've read the policy documents but I guess this situation isn't all too common.

MrsBungle Fri 06-Dec-19 19:00:18

That sounds horrific, I hope you get some money back.

RedHelenB Fri 06-Dec-19 19:00:30

I think it was your error in the first place. Always ask when you get on. There are a lot of English speakers at Disneyland.

TheCanterburyWhales Fri 06-Dec-19 19:00:44

I doubt you'd get anything tbh, but worth a try.
Unfortunately you went to the wrong airport and it was from that moment that the chain reaction nightmare kicked in.

Clangus00 Fri 06-Dec-19 19:02:02

I doubt you’ll get anything because you went on the wrong bus and subsequently missed the flight.
Sorry.

Finfintytint Fri 06-Dec-19 19:03:53

Absolute sympathy for you. Sounds bloody awful. Not very helpful but I think I would have hired ( stolen? ) a car smile

KnowBetterDoBetter Fri 06-Dec-19 19:04:47

Not a travel agent, no sad

I’m abit confused about the flights in the middle bit.

Sorry, so I booked the original flights with EasyJet, the ones I missed due to the shuttle going to the wrong airport on Wednesday evening.

Because of this, Wednesday night I booked some indirect flights with AirFrance for the following morning, though a third party travel company (Kiwi.com - don't give a shit about naming them at this point).

Went to check in Thursday morning, and Kiwi had not paid AirFrance, so they had cancelled our places on the flight.

backinthebox Fri 06-Dec-19 19:05:37

It sounds as though you’ve had a bit of a miserable journey home and I sympathise with that, but I don’t think your insurance company will recompense you for getting on the wrong bus. It’s your responsibility to get on the right bus. I’m also confused as to the bit in the middle about the flights that you paid for but a travel company hadn’t paid the airline for. Who did you give money to and did you not get a PNR (travel booking reference, usually a 6 letter/digit code?) PNRs will follow you from booking to boarding the flight and you get it at time of booking, whoever you book with.

FrankieDoyle Fri 06-Dec-19 19:06:24

Hoping you're having a well deserved rest with some wine OP.

KnowBetterDoBetter Fri 06-Dec-19 19:07:07

Not very helpful but I think I would have hired ( stolen? ) a car

Oh my god! I didn't even think of that! That's exactly what I should have done (hired one, not stole one grin). Knew I should have asked on Mumsnet at the time blush

KnowBetterDoBetter Fri 06-Dec-19 19:08:30

I’m also confused as to the bit in the middle about the flights that you paid for but a travel company hadn’t paid the airline for. Who did you give money to and did you not get a PNR (travel booking reference, usually a 6 letter/digit code?) PNRs will follow you from booking to boarding the flight and you get it at time of booking, whoever you book with.

Hopefully my last post is clearer, I did get a PNR. The airline said my booking was made, but no payment was made, so they cancelled my booking.

Pippa12 Fri 06-Dec-19 19:11:14

That’s awful of kiwi.com! Surely you’ll get your money back if they didn’t use it to secure your seats and in turn you lost your flight!!! That really is shocking service/terrible luck angry

Hire a car... that’s a good idea! I wouldn’t of thought of that either, although I doubt you thought you’d be £650 lighter by the end of the saga!

Gazelda Fri 06-Dec-19 19:18:11

How did you pay for the kiwi booking? If by card, then contact your card provider and ask them to help you get your refund for the flight.

The rest is down to your insurer, but I think you may have to depend on their sympathy for misunderstanding rather than any incompetence.

zonkin Fri 06-Dec-19 19:20:46

I doubt that your insurance company will pay out as you got on the wrong bus and didn't make it to the airport for the original flight.

kiwi.com must have to refund you for that debacle. You must have the booking confirmation so should be fairly straightforward.

breakfastpizza Fri 06-Dec-19 19:25:19

What a nightmare!

If I'm understanding correctly, you were not able to use the flights from Kiwi.com (as they hadn't booked them)? So you're owed money from them?

As they are based in the Czech Republic, you can raise a complaint through the EU Online Dispute Resolution Platform. All EU traders are required to link to the platform on their site, but they usually hide it somewhere obscure. It's super easy to complete, takes a few minutes. smile

From Kiwi.com's T&Cs:

Pursuant to EU Regulation No. 524/2013, EU consumers are also entitled to commence the out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes on-line through the ODR platform for the online resolution of consumer disputes accessible at (ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr).

Prior to the commencement of any of the above methods of dispute resolution, You are advised to contact Us through Our contact form available at: Kiwi.com/content/feedback to resolve any of Your complaints or suggestions.

LIZS Fri 06-Dec-19 19:28:23

Does the same shuttle bus really service Orly and CDG or did you board the wrong one? Who booked the transfer bus? I doubt you will be covered for any more than the additional cost of new flight, if that. Depends on the missed departure clause. Your choice to arrange random flights through a third party. Was eurostar not an option?

KnowBetterDoBetter Fri 06-Dec-19 19:31:10

Yep, I've sent them my booking confirmation, and also evidence of all the stuff that I paid for or lost out on following their cock up, though I'm not holding out hope for any of that. I did pay on card (though not credit card) so I'll contact my bank tomorrow.

I get what you're all saying. It's what I'm battling over in my head too. I just think - I booked transfers to the airport, this bus turned up saying 'airport', I had my ticket which clearly marked which airport I'm going to, this was looked at and scanned. This is by far the most common airport used by people who visit Disneyland. It wasn't like I hopped on a random bus and expected it to take me to the airport.

Saying all that, I know you're right. I do take ownership for the situation (though not the shitshow with the second flights) and understand that I'm probably grasping at straws.

I have ADHD, and have always been the person that is flustered and disorganised whilst travelling and needs guidance from whoever I'm going on holiday with. This was my first trip with DD (I'm a single parent) and I was determined that for once, I'd be the adult, I'd get to the airport with lots of time and nothing would go wrong. Just sad that I fucked it up for us so spectacularly. Thought I could do it, but I clearly can't.

Sorry, I am partaking in wine as a PP suggested, and feeling sorry for myself blushgrin that feeling when we finally got home though and I got us both bathed and into bed. Was as close to heaven as I'll ever get!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »