36 Mariner Street
Nightmare holiday â€“ Abandoned in Bangkok Airport. We booked what should have been the holiday of a lifetime with The Travel House in Neath. The Holiday was for my family including our infant child and my elderly parents, we were visiting in-laws in Australia and stopping off in Bangkok. The total cost was over Â£7000.00. After the usual booking and deposit payments etc we were asked to attend the Travel House in Neath with all passports for visa purposes. At this point it should be noted that this was to be the third time I would be visiting Australia and the fourth time for my FiancÃ©; all booked through The Travel House, Neath, we therefore felt assured that all documentation required would be taken care of in the same manner it had been done in the past. However, despite receiving a confirmation letter after this visit stating that â€œvisa/passport documents had been updatedâ€ that was definitely NOT the case. At the check-in desk in Bangkok Airport we were denied onward travel and told to â€œcome back when you have visasâ€. (The plane was leaving in roughly one hour). After frantic attempts to find internet access in an unbelievably busy airport to attempt (and fail) to apply for visas online (with elderly parents and 2 year old in tow), we contacted The Travel House in Neath and were told to wait while they attempted to apply for visas on our behalf. When The Travel House Neath called back we were told that all visas were issued except mine, after offering no explanation for this or even a hint of an apology I was just issued with a number for the British Embassy in Australia to see if they could help and told to reapply in 12 hours! The next half an hour was the most frantic and stressful time of my life, at this stage I will not go into great detail, suffice to say there were lots of arguments and tears. We were forced to decide whether we would split up or wait and book emergency accommodation etc. Eventually we came up with a plan to re-present our passports in the hope that they would go through, so with my passport positioned firmly at the bottom of the pile we approached the check in desk again and for reasons unknown they went through ok. This wasn't the end of it unfortunately, I was convinced that I would be denied access to Australia and sent back on the next plane back to Bangkok so I became increasingly paranoid and never felt safe until back home in the UK, holiday ruined. As a result of this my parents have vowed never to fly again, this alone is very sad as they have retired and had plans to visit many countries, and we have decided that we won't be visiting Australia again. To reiterate, this is the third time we have booked travel to Australia with The Travel House, Neath (fourth for my FiancÃ©) and The Travel House, Neath have always taken care of the visas, naturally we thought this time would be no different! Also, The Travel House, Neath called my FiancÃ© and asked her to bring all the passports in to the office to take care of the visas and we received a booking summary from The Travel House, Neath which clearly states â€œPassport and visa information last updated on 18-Oct-2010â€. Reading this we felt assured they'd taking care of everything as they had done on all previous holidays. But this isn't the end of it, it gets better (or I should say worse). Upon our return we naturally complained to The Travel House Neath, after this ordeal a hero's welcome and open air bus travel felt appropriate, but that wasn't the case, and what happened next beggars belief. A couple of letters went unanswered and the Neath office manager â€œDavidâ€ wouldn't return my calls and would be mysteriously absent whenever I happened to call down there. So, I contacted the Area Manager Louise Williams demanding a face to face meeting, her reply not only made us sick to the stomach but brought my FiancÃ© to tears, againâ€¦ In a cowardly letter they stated that during the meeting (the passport/visa check meeting) we were offered Visas but WE CHOSE NOT TO BUY THEM!!! The LYERS. There was never, ever during this booking or any other previous booking any mention of buying visas, as if we would turn down the visas and then not bother to obtain them ourselves. Not only was this clearly a massive lie it was a direct insult. Why am I writing this here? Because I don't want others to spoil their holidays and waste their hard earned money with these incompetent cowboys. Book elsewhere, there's plenty of competition out there!
philip harrison - 29/08/2011 | report this review
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