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Company booked us onto wrong flights, what are our rights?

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Hi all, would really appreciate some advice on this.


We booked some flights with a company a couple of weeks ago. Whilst getting quotes from them through email they made a few mistakes (wrong flight dates/times/flight numbers etc) but we persevered as they were cheapest but also as they came highly recommended. We paid a £100 deposit each and got a confirmation email from them confirming our flight details, which we checked carefully and was correct.


A week or so later we supplied them with our numbers for the airline's reward scheme, which they linked to the flight booking for us. It was at this point we realised something was wrong.


We got an email from the airline confirming the booking which had the itinerary on - the return flight was wrong. We'd booked a late evening flight with a 6 hour transfer half way home. They've booked us onto a flight leaving early morning with a 19 hour transfer. We also noticed that the email account this airline mail went to wasn't the one supplied to the company, when linking it they had made a mistake and swapped two digits round in the email address. It's absolutely pure chance that we also own this email address, otherwise we'd be none the wiser that our flights are wrong.


We got in touch with the company straight away and told them that they'd booked us onto the wrong flight. They spent a few hours looking into it and got back to us saying that at the final page of the booking process, the airline is changing the flights but not alerting the booker to this - basically passing the blame to the airline. They're also saying that the price of the flights that we asked for has now gone up and so we will have to pay over £100 extra per person to change to those.


Our arguments are that:

a) the onus is clearly on them to check every page of the booking process (especially the all important final one!) and this problem is fully down to their lack of care;

b) had we not (through complete and utter chance/luck) also owned the incorrect email address, we would be completely oblivious for months yet to the mistake; and

c) the fact that prices have gone up since the original booking is not our concern, they should be covering this cost.


We have tried to be as flexible as possible, even down to changing our holiday dates which would mean rearranging the accommodation and annual leave at work etc, but the owner of the company is completely unwilling to meet us half way - he is offering us flights on alternative dates which we've said we'll accept as long as the company is willing to cover the extra £15 per person cost of this, but he is flat out refusing. He's only willing to refund us our deposit (we'd then have to pay substantially more to rebook elsewhere) or transfer our flights at entirely our own cost.


I have managed to find their terms and conditions online and I believe they have contravened quite a few of these (and that them cancelling our booking would also contravene these on their part).


Where do we stand on this? I know that £30 doesn't sound a lot in the grand scheme of things but it's a lot of money to us and it's the principal now!


Thank you :)

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So you don't miss your holiday, you might like to pay with an annotation that it is paid under protest and then claim it back.


Once back from holiday you can then set in motion the claim.

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Thank you Conniff, hadn't considered that. My worry is that if we continue on with them but give any hint of a future claim, they'll just cancel our booking and refund us. Which would really leave us in trouble as the cost of flights for that period are going up every week.


Is there a time limit on claims (i.e.small claims?)? If we pay now but don't claim until next year is that a problem?

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Thanks Conniff.


In your opinion (and anyone else reading) are we right in our belief that they should be paying the extra cost to make this right? I can't tell sometimes if I'm letting the principal of things get in the way when I should just count my losses :| It's the fact that their customer service has been so shocking that's spurring me on more than anything.

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