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Anyone booked through Holiday Gems?

(12 Posts)
Curlybrunette Tue 31-May-16 21:43:46


Please reassure me, we've booked a holiday to Orlando with Holiday Gems, I've got all the travel documents, booking confirmation, ATOL receipt with all of the flight/accomodation details and confirmation of the price, hotel voucher, etc.
The only things I haven't got are the flight e-tickets, but they said I'll get them within 14 days of travel.
Tonight I've just read a couple of really bad things about them, although the things I read were from about 4 years ago, and I'm slightly panicking that it's all a con and the holiday doesn't exist...
Can anyone tell me they've booked through Holiday Gems and it was all wonderful if you had a bad experience I'm not sure I want to know


Creampastry Wed 01-Jun-16 06:48:54

Who are you flying with? Do you have a booking reference to see the booking online, with the airline?

Curlybrunette Wed 01-Jun-16 10:59:36

We're flying with American Airlines, I don't have a booking reference to directly log in to AA and check, but I have the flight itinerary, with flight numbers, times etc.

Everything seems ok, and even not getting the flight tickets until 2 weeks before we go is fine, as that was what used to happen (I think?), it is purely reading these 2 really negative posts that have worried me a bit. I had a panic last night that 2 weeks before we go (in October) they would suddenly say the flights don't exist and it would cost us thousands to book new ones. As I said above I have the ATOL receipt/confirmation with everything on as I expected.

One of the posts said that luggage wasn't included and cost them a lot more to add it on at a late stage, it does say on my confirmation "20kg luggage" it doesn't say 4 x 20kg luggage, but I think with it being AA longhaul it would be a suitcase each. Though actually if it was just 1 20kg suitcase we were allowed that would be fine. We'd manage with that and the allowed hand luggage.

Same goes for meals and drinks on the plane, with it being an international flight I'm sure it will be included as standard. I might email Holiday Gems and ask them if I can have a log into the AA flights to check things out.

I'm going to have to just think positive and assume everything is fine!

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 02-Jun-16 16:05:42

You would have been far better off booking with the hotels and airlines directly.

I would double check with AA but they do generally charge for baggage to be put into the hold. The first bag is free but any subsequent cases are charged (£65 for a second bag and £140 each for 3rd and 4th bags).

Is this a direct flight or is it an indirect one?.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 02-Jun-16 16:08:42

This is also buried in their terms and conditions:-

"Please note that any airline/airfare displayed on this site and unless stated does not include hold luggage however you are able to add this to your booking up to 5 days prior to departure. Where this is the case extra charges will apply per piece of hold luggage. Please check at the time of booking that hold baggage is included within your booking. It is your responsibility to ensure you have sufficient baggage allowance. Please be aware that hold baggage weight restrictions may also vary between the airlines, brokers and suppliers we feature. Unfortunately, it is also not uncommon for restrictions regarding purchase of luggage being on a “none or all” basis on the flights we sell.

Currently, all hand luggage is FREE (ranging from 5kg’s to unlimited per person) however and as mentioned, in line with the majority of UK airlines, brokers and suppliers, hold luggage charges vary from £20-£60 (short-haul) or £30-£60 (long-haul) each way per suitcase and weight allowance per suitcase will also vary between 15kg’s and 22 kg’s. It should be noted that airlines, brokers and suppliers also place compulsory “admin fees” or “check-in charges” relating to luggage charges/changes however, and for the avoidance of doubt, it will not follow that a direct airlines price or policy of charging for luggage, admin fees or check-in charges will be reciprocated by Holiday Gems Ltd and additional administration charges may apply. Please note, luggage charges may be considerably more when paying at check-in and our advice is to pre-book any hold luggage you require prior to departure".

Curlybrunette Thu 02-Jun-16 19:35:48

Attila - the flight is not direct but is with AA all the way.

It does say 20kg luggage on my ATOL receipt so perhaps we do get 1 20kg piece of luggage but would have to pay for others. That's fine, we really don't need more than that.

The deal was such a good one which is why I booked through them, and assuming the flight tickets do turn up before we go dear god I hope they do then even if luggage wasn't included it was still worth going with them.

It cost £2,200 for the flights and hotel for 10 nights. The flights are not direct but are decent times, with only 1 stop for about 2 hours. It was about £1000 cheaper than any other deal I saw.

I've never booked a holiday and been unsure about whether it would happen. Serves me right...but if it does work out ok then I've got a hell of a deal!

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 02-Jun-16 22:22:47

It looks like the first bag is free but you will need to pay for any subsequent hold luggage. AA are like that, they like many US based carriers see hold bags as a revenue stream.

May I ask where your first point of arrival is into the US?. I ask only as you may well need all of those two hours to get the second flight (that particular clock will start ticking as soon as your plane from the UK lands). You will need to clear US immigration and customs before putting your suitcase onto the transfer carousel (hopefully you will be leaving from the same terminal you arrive into as that will save time too). If not I would familiarise yourself with a map of the airport.

I hope it all works out ok for you and you have a great holiday come October.

Curlybrunette Fri 03-Jun-16 08:24:22

Thanks Atilla, we arrive into Philadelphia, and yes now you've mentioned it the guy did say about clearing customs there, before the domestic flight on to Orlando.

I will look at the airport terminals, and perhaps wear trainers to help me run if I need to!

Coconutty Fri 03-Jun-16 08:27:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Louise1964 Sat 24-Sep-16 16:00:04

Hi I booked and been twice with holiday gems really good service and prices. No worries just make sure you print all the e tickets out and check in when meant to. Enjoy your holiday and relax

Curlybrunette Sun 02-Oct-16 21:29:46

Thanks Louise1964 we go in 2 weeks and 4 days, I still haven't received the flight e-ticket, but they did say we wouldn't get it until 2 weeks before so I aren't panicking (very much).

I'm really pleased you've replied, and that Holiday Gems were good for you, I think I'm just used to booking everything separately myself so getting immediate confirmations.

I'm so excited about this holiday I could squeal!

Louise1964 Sun 02-Oct-16 21:47:11

Enjoy your holiday

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