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Thomas Cook - seat selection issues

(11 Posts)
ToastDemon Sun 24-Apr-16 12:24:45

We have booked a Thomas Cook flight as part of a four-airline booking via Opodo. (Two long flights and two internal flight). The other three airlines have been no bother - been able to log in online and choose my seats. All completely seamless.

Thomas Cook Airlines have been a nightmare. Can't select seats online, phoned, no help, tried their online chat, no help. Tried to get Opodo to do it - they tried, but the payment system was blocked by Thomas Cook.

I've been told conflicting things - on the one hand they are saying that they've had a system upgrade and third party bookings will be loaded at the end of May, but someone else told me that they can't tell me whether or not my seats will be bookable at all prior to flying.

The thing is, I have horrific claustrophia (and generalised anxiety). And it's a twelve hour flight. And everyone else will pre-book so I have visions of being split up from my DH (disappointing, but not the end of the world) and stuck between two strangers with no access to the isle (nightmarish for me. I get panicky and weepy just thinking about it).

So instead of looking forward to my trip to visit my family, I'm dreading it.
Can anyone shed any light or offer any suggestions? I've never used Thomas Cook before and I've never had this issue with another airline.

ToastDemon Sun 24-Apr-16 12:25:17

That should read claustrophobia. I have no idea what claustrophia is!

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 24-Apr-16 13:03:04

Do you have a reference number for the Thomas Cook portion of your flights, OPODO should be able to give you that. If they have made the booking with TC they should be able to give you the reference for that part of the flight.

According to OPODOs t and c's (I sincerely hope you read all of it prior to booking) the contract is with the travel supplier and not OPODO.

Are you at present receiving medical help for your anxiety and claustrophobia?.

ToastDemon Sun 24-Apr-16 13:10:54

Yes, I've got the relevant reference number, I was just told by TC that as it's a third party booking it's not yet loaded into the system.

I agree that my contract is now with Thomas Cook which is why it's so frustrating that they won't give me a straight answer. They just seem to work completely differently to the other airlines. If it's genuinely system problems or due to their system migration then fair enough, but no-one even seems sure about that!

I'd rather not go further into the anxiety thing on the travel forum, I just mentioned it because it's relevant to why I'm fretting so much about the seating arrangement, but I'm specifically looking for advice around what's going on with Thomas Cook.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 24-Apr-16 13:37:58

Have TC advised you directly when they are going to load it into the system?. I would want written (not e-mail) confirmation in any event from them. The good thing here is that you actually have the booking reference. Is there any indication on TCs website as to when they start the seat allocation process; some airlines usually do this a week or two only before departure day. Its only a guess but there may have been an aircraft change; this is perhaps also why you cannot yet confirm seat allocation.

I have searched online and it seems that many people have had recent problems with TC airlines (citing computer problems and lack of customer service).

Good luck to you, I hope it gets sorted.

ToastDemon Sun 24-Apr-16 13:54:54

Thank you very much, it's a way to go yet so fingers crossed.

If I don't get it resolved I'll take your advice and write to them formally. As things stand, I've barely been able to get the same answer from two people.
It's like they don't see anything wrong with their service.

We did the booking, Opodo sent through the various booking confirmations with references shortly thereafter and as I said, the booking references for the other three flights allowed us to do what you'd expect - it's clearly been correctly passed over and we are now customers of those airlines.

Anyway lesson learned, just wish I hadn't learned it when the flight in question is 12 hours long.
On the upside it was very cheap... and there's always valium. And at least it's only the outward leg of the journey so once it's done I can relax and enjoy my stay.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sun 24-Apr-16 14:03:07

I believe TC always allocate flights bought directly from them first and load on flights sold by third parties afterwards. When they're loaded, you should get an email which will let you choose your seats.

When is your flight? Unless it's imminent, I wouldn't worry yet.

ToastDemon Sun 24-Apr-16 14:13:07

Please don't laugh at me but it's January! We have just booked though so still in freaking-out mode due to that.

I really wish I'd known that about Thomas Cook, I would never have made the booking. I've done a lot of flights recently with Emirates and Qatar Airways booked by a third party and it's no different from booking direct, so I had no idea this was going to be otherwise.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 24-Apr-16 14:53:00

You should hear from them re seat allocation around 3 or so weeks before departure. You have a reference number with TC and it should be ok.

for future reference I would consider booking direct with the airline next time rather than use Opodo; they are the middleman really and its easy enough to book direct these days.

Only1scoop Sun 24-Apr-16 14:54:57

Seat allocation won't have been released.

All will be fine is it the A330?

ToastDemon Sun 24-Apr-16 14:58:39

Indeed Attila I think for me it's direct bookings only from now on. Would have been slightly more expensive in this instance but worth it. I'll probably even try Thomas Cook Airlines direct if this doesn't turn into a total stuff-up at the time.

Yes it's the A330 Only. I have read good things about that.

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