Advantages Competitively priced and generally honest brochures
Disadvantages Beware last minute hitches on early bookins
|Where did you book|
|How often have you booked through them|
|Value for Money|
|How good were the guides?||Excellent|
|How satisfied were you with the Hotel/Appartement||Very satisfied|
|Quality of the tour in general||Excellent|
Thomsons, the no longer British tour operator who is still UK market leader - confused? The whole company has been taken over lock stock and barrel by the major German tour operator TUI, and are in the process of revamping their brochures and repainting their airlines a nice pale shade of turquoise blue.Every package holiday I have booked has been with Thomsons. Their brochures generally replicate the end destination, and their prices are, without a doubt, the most competitive in the industry.
I know there are people out there who will dispute this, but I priced two holidays over Easter this year to the same hotel, from the same airport, cost per person with Thomsons - £319, Airtours - £867 and JMC - £768, thats one mighty big difference for the same accommodation. I am again off to Lanzarote with my daughter and her friend on what is traditionally the cheapest week of the year to travel, before Christmas - total cost with Portland (Direct arm of Thomsons) - £644, cost with Airtours - £1,200 - I know where I will be putting my money.
Their airline 'Britannia' to be comparable to any scheduled airline (see separate opinion under airlines). On the one occasion we found the holiday did not in any way resemble the brochure (prior to the development of the 24 hour helpline), we could not complain to the rep as he was sacked on the first day, and we didn't see anyone else until the day before departure, we were issued with an acceptable level of financial compensation upon our return home.
In addition to the fair prices and honest brochures, they provide financial incentives to customers who book early, we traditionally tend to book the next holiday before we have had the current one, it gives us something to look forward to upon our return home. For anyone out there thinking I must be rolling in money, I am not, however, by travelling out of high season, this is getting harder as the kids are getting older, and taking advantages of the excellent low deposit offers and free insurance from Lunn Poly and the Travel House (both owned by the Thomson group) and also Co-op Travelcare, we are able to manage our holiday finances accordingly.
In 2000, we had to cancel completely, and secured a last minute deal with JMC to Protaras, which was fabulous. By taking the route of advising you of any last minute changes or problems with your holiday, Thomsons exonerate themselves from having to pay any financial compensation. It is possible that this happens with other tour operators, but as I always book with Thomsons, I have no knowledge either way, and would be very interested to know if this is a common occurrence in the travel industry.OUR CANCELLATION
Our holiday to Salou in 2001, went relatively smoothly, save for an error with the booking, we paid for a suite and were initially allocated two separate rooms, although I wouldn't rush back to either the hotel or the resort in a hurry.WHERE CAN I FIND THEM?
I recently booked with Portland Direct, but over the telephone as I didn't feel the internet could answer all my queries, the service was prompt, efficient and helpful.Sue - UPDATED 17/04/022nd UPDATE - 05.05.02
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