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Thomas Cook and the hell they put us through!

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Ok well I have decide to let you know the torture that the lovely company Thomas cook had put us through!


17th December 2008 myself, my wife and her Dad were due to fly to Las Vegas from Manchester airport when we arrived we were told by the check in girls that their was a 4.5hur delay and that they were very sorry and gave us a £5 food voucher. It ended up that our flight was delayed for over 5 hours. No one from TC were available at the airport to give us any information and when we tried to contact the number in the back of our ticket booklet it was dead lol. We eventually took off 5hurs and 26 mins late and headed towards Las Vegas, however just after 12 noon UK time the flight crew were informed that their could be a problem at McCarran International as their was “snow on the run way” the first time in 40 years ok we have no problem with freak weather we come from Middlesbrough where the sun never shines due to the smog. We were diverted to a small airport just outside LA and landed, we were told by flight crew that “ McCarran was closed due to snow” this turned out to be a lie! After sitting on the tarmac in LA for over 5 hours Thomas cook finally advised the local customs that we had landed and handed over the relevant paper work, (stick with me it gets better and better) a further 4 hours sat in a freezing cold hanger, with no food water or heat with no help at all from TC the good people at American Airlines came to our rescue, they managed to arrange hotel rooms for all passengers on the flight, just to let you know that the flight crew and cabin crew just left the airport advising passengers that “it wasn’t their problem” we then had to travel another 90 mins to get to our hotel. We checked in and managed to get 3 hours sleep! ( not the start to the holiday I had been looking forward to) we then went back to the airport at McCarran and waited, and waited, and waited for another 2 hours for the flight and cabin crew to arrive we were told when we got to the airport we would be taking off at 12 noon, we took off just after 2pm.


We were over 30 hours late and missed the best part of 2 and a half days of a 7 night holiday!


By this time we had been treated so badly by Thomas Cook, that out of the 300 or so passengers about 250 has exchanged email addresses and were going to complain about Thomas cook and the service that we had received.


We filled a complaint for in and went on about our business in Vegas.



When we landed back in the UK on Christmas day we were still slightly annoyed with out treatment so we started to complain to Thomas Cook and this is where it got interesting.


Thomas Cook then gave 2 excuses to why the flight was delayed 1st was that their was a problem with the aircraft returning form another destination and the second was they needed to do a safety check, however they then went on to say that the flight was only delayed for 4 hours and we were not entitled to any form of compensation they also told us that we were diverted due to the closure of McCarran because of snow, we have an email and a press release from Vegas saying that the run was open and that they were accepting inbound flights, so we could have landed, as well as this we have information from Manchester airport showing that the flight was infact delayed over 5 hours. By law we were entitled to compensation and alternative flights.


We wrote letter after letter after letter complaining to TC about our nightmare journey and most of the time they wouldn’t respond, and when they did the letters were full of lies and contradictions…………….so we wrote to ABTA who were not interested what so ever and told us to take Thomas Cook to county court. So we have.


We filed with our local court and submitted over 60n pages of evidence and documents showing that Thomas Cook had infacted breached the Montréal Convention and 261/2006 air regs and they also had no acknowledged our correspondents………… it gets even better, Thomas cook responded to the Court saying that customers were not entitled to compensation unless 261/2006 and the Montréal convention was breach and as far as they were concerned this was the first they had heard of any complaint. We are now waiting to have our day in court however there are just a few things that TC have forgotten about.


In 2007 air France were taken to court by a hand full of passengers, it went to the European court and was ruled in the favour of the passengers, this invoked a financial settlement in favour of the passengers. Air France used the same delaying tactics and argument as TC had. However Thomas Cook had made an even bigger mistake, they actually settled with one passenger for just under £500 and offered an apology for the delay and the way he was treated, so they have all ready admitted liability and admitted to him that thay were wrong and had broken the air regs and law! ( the air France case states that Tour operators or holidays companies can not use mechanical errors or safety checks as a reasonable excuse for delays and that a delay over 2 hours can be seen in the eyes of the law as a cancelled flight) on this ruling alone Thomas Cook have cocked up!


Once we have a confirmed date we will contact the press regarding this case however until the court sets the date we wait.


Fight Thomas Cook, I would advise everyone who has a problem with them to take them to a small claims court, and if any one wants a copy of the laws and regs we have used to fight Thomas cook drop me a message and I will send you the links.

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A real tale from hell, you have my sympathies!


You might want to post your story on the forum at www.flightmole.com. The experts there really know their stuff when it comes to air passenger law and could even offer some relevant advice for your upcoming court case.



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Oh what I also forgot to mention is that when I checked in I was advised by check in staff that I could only take 1 vile of insulin on the flight and that I would have to put the rest of my medication in my suite case, I have no problem with this however the Cabin crew and flight staff refused to open the hold to allow me to get my slow acting medication out that I need at night once we had landed at LA, they told me that “ we cant be bothered to shift through bags just for you to get your medication, you’ll just have to do with out” and when we were on the tarmac in LA the cabin crew refused to serve us any food or soft drinks and would not let us stand up, stretch our legs or use the loo’s. lol looking back i can laugh and smile about it now but at the time we were going mad lol


thanks cityboy62 i'll have a look at their site

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Smoggy, may I suggest that any communication is kept on thread for your safety and others'.


Links etc.. can be posted here for everyone's benefit.


This site does not encourage communication by PM or e-mail, simply because you do not know who the person contacting you is or what their intentions may be. In the open, everyone is much safer. ;-)


Good luck with the court case, let us know how it develops. I do believe the travel industry has had it all their own way for far too long and the more people challenge their shoddy ways, the more there is a chance they will get better regulated as time goes on. ;-)

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Hi Banthamed and Bookworm


thanks for both posts


all information will be submitted to the site including corry's from our self and TC i just need to take some info off (addresses etc) once i have done this hopefully this may help anyone else wishing to take TC or any other Holiday Company to Court :)

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  • 5 months later...

I was on this flight and you got your story down to a tee! complete nightmare! After 3 or 4 letters and endless phone calls we decided to give up on complaining!


You forgot the part where the reps told us all that it would be sorted in the morning at the welcome meeting and then they proceeded to try and sell us stuff and waste another 2 hours of our holiday!


They let us off the plane by sections so certain passengers were probably only on the tarmac at Ontario for maybe 3 hours! we were on the second to last row at the back and were 4-5 hours! the worst thing was that freezing terminal!


Let us no what happens in court etc!

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