✉ My vacation with Crystal Ski, which I booked more than 18 months ago, was changed 11 days before the scheduled departure date. When I received an email with the final details of the trip, I was surprised to discover that the resort had changed and the accommodations had been downgraded from a four star hotel to a three star hotel. I called Crystal and after waiting an hour they told me that the original hotel had reduced the number of rooms available. I found out through an online forum that this had happened to numerous clients, sometimes as little as three days in advance. I have now received an email with a £138pp reduction in price, which is a very poor reward for a ruined holiday. Us I could cancel, but at such short notice there are no alternative holidays available.
It hasn’t been an easy ski season for tour operators to navigate, but Crystal should have warned him about the problem with the hotel and avoided that unpleasant surprise. She apologized for changing the reservation on such short notice, saying that she had been overbooked in her room assignment. This was a “significant change” to her package, and she was initially offered the option of canceling the holiday with a full refund or accepting the change with a refund of the price difference plus £50pp compensation. She has now been offered an additional £50 per person, as well as a £500 discount on future holidays. “We understand how disappointing this was and have offered Mr. Smith an additional gesture of goodwill as a further apology for the upset caused, which we hope he will accept,” Crystal said.
Cap Juluca Resort in Anguilla
✉ My wife and I will be celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary soon and are interested in visiting Anguilla. Could you suggest the best route from Manchester and the time of year to go?
Anguilla’s luscious white sand beaches would make a fabulous backdrop for your anniversary trip. From Manchester, you’ll need to fly Air France via Paris to St Maarten, then take a 25-minute boat ride from there to Anguilla. Alternatively, fly from London to Antigua, from where it’s a 40-minute plane ride to Anguilla.
Travel between Christmas and Easter and you will get the best weather, but also high season prices; go from April to June or November to early December and rates are lower, it’s easier to get reservations at the best restaurants, and you can still expect good weather.
However, to get the best deals, you should travel between June and August, when it will rain the most, but you should avoid the worst of hurricane season. If this option appeals to you and you’re happy to spend, Cap Juluca, one of the most elegant hotels on the island, has a celebration package that includes seven nights of bed and breakfast in a Deluxe King oceanfront room with a bottle of champagne upon arrival, a dinner for two on the beach and a couple’s massage. With flights through Paris and transfers it costs £4,260pp (inspiringtravelcompany.co.uk).
If you prefer a winter vacation, the beloved Carimar Beach Club has condo-style suites, excellent service, and a fabulous location on Meads Bay. A week of accommodation only, including flights across Paris and ferry transfers, starts at £1,920 per person between November 15 and December 15 (tropicbreeze.co.uk).
Oslo fjord in Norway
✉ We hope to spend a few days in Oslo this summer and then rent a cabin by the water somewhere nearby. It would have to be accessible by public transport because we will not be renting a car, and suitable for young teenagers. Any suggestion?
Tonsberg is Norway’s oldest city and is located on the sunny side of the Oslofjord, the capital’s summer playground. It’s just over an hour from Oslo by train and there’s plenty to keep teenagers entertained, including excellent hiking and biking trails, fishing, and boat trips to Verdens Ende (“End of the World”), where they can go horse riding. . Stay at the beachfront Furustrand, a collection of cabins and cottages, including some built in the style of a Viking fortress. These sleep five and a week in late August costs from £1,045 (furustrand.no).
✉ We hope to travel to Italy in June and pay for our accommodation by credit card when we leave. The UK government advises that at Italian border control we may need to show proof of sufficient funds to pay for our stay, but we’re not sure what that would entail. We’ll take some cash, but not enough to cover the cost of the hotel. Would a credit card statement be acceptable?
This is a post-Brexit requirement for travel to Europe, but it is unlikely that you will be required to present proof of funds at the border. However, to be on the safe side, a credit card or other bank statement would suffice. Visitors to the UK must also take out adequate insurance, so even if you have the Global Health Insurance Card, which, like its predecessor the European Health Insurance Card, is free of charge and covers medical services, You’ll also need a policy for things it doesn’t cover, like emergency repatriation.
✉ I booked Jet2 flights to Krakow, costing £490.20, through eDreams, and was also charged a “mediation fee” of over £100. The flights were canceled last month and Jet2 refunded £490.20 a few days later. However, it has since been impossible to contact eDreams to determine if I am entitled to a refund of the mediation fee (the purpose of which has never been explained to me, and I cannot see it covered in the terms and conditions). Can you help?
The travel agency says its customers receive a full price breakdown before they buy and its fees cover the services it provides, including its technology platform and “search, comparison and assistance during the booking procedure,” so they are non-refundable. in case of cancellations. While it won’t reimburse you for Flexible Dates service (£32.94) or a Premium service option (£21.96), he admitted that the £74.46 he paid for the six-seat selection should have been refunded, and this has now been returned, along with a discount voucher “as compensation for the delay”. Given these unavoidable additional fees, the next time you’re tempted to book flights through an online travel agent, it might be worth checking the cost of booking directly with the airline.
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