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Travel with Thomson

loopytloopyt Member Posts: 80 Courageous
Hi, not sure if anyone can help. I booked a holiday to Mallorca with Thomson and requested airport special assistance for 2 members of our party. We received it without problems to our destination but when we got to Palma airport it was so upsetting. The rep refused to help and told us to walk to Thomson desk quite a distance away. I explained this was difficult as we are disabled, oh it's  not far was his response. At the desk we were told the same and told to walk to check in. At check in they said they couldn't  help. We did eventually get to the assistance desk but by this time my friend was breathless and I was in agony and exhausted. It was very distressing. Response from Thomson is that they requested assistance and their duty ends there, it's down to the airport. Abta have said we have to pay £100 to take it to arbitration. My question is, should the Thomson rep have done more? The special assistance team said they should have called from the door and wheelchairs would have been sent. I really don't want Thomson to get away with their appaling attitude to disabled customers but don't know if it is worth pursuing. Any comments would be grateful


  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger

    Why not write to the Travel Editor of The Independent newspaper?  I think his name's Simon Calder.  He might be interested in your story.
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    I also travelled with Thompson and the help in Italy was a little better but still not particularly good. I was fortunate enough to be on a scooter meaning I was at least mobile. I also had my healthy son with me to do any running around necessary.

    I cannot say I'm impressed with the attitude Thompson have shown in supporting you and ABTA sound like a complete waste of time.

    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • loopytloopyt Member Posts: 80 Courageous
    Thanks Topkitten for responding. I do feel I should take it further because their attitude is unacceptable and they keep getting away with it. Thought Abta would help but so far they keep saying Thomson have no case to answer! 
  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @loopyt,

    So sorry to hear about your recent experience, I've had similar experiences myself in the past and it can put such a downer on your holiday. If you do decide to take it further with Thompson, there's a link to their online complaints form on this page, and also a number you can call (about halfway down the page). Hope that helps! 
  • loopytloopyt Member Posts: 80 Courageous
    Thankyou Pippa, I have gone through their complaints form, etc. and all they had to say was that it was the airport that were responsible. This is despite the fact that it was their staff who told two disabled passengers to keep walking saying oh it's  not far!! I do feel quite strongly about it and really don't want  to let them get away with treating people like that. I think until someone challenges them further it will keep happening.
    Thankyou so much for taking the time to post a reply, this site certainly helps me feel less alone.
  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    How frustrating, @loopyt! Just goes to show how far we still have to go in increasing disability support/awareness, particularly when it comes to travel. 

    You're more than welcome, I hope you find plenty of understanding people to chat with on here. Have a lovely day!
  • airgeekairgeek Member Posts: 1 Listener

    Just want to add my say to this as I work in palma airport.

    Genrally, assistance wont start in the airport until the passenger has their boarding pass. They are expected to make their way to tje desk themself.

    Thomson staff are NOT allowed to ring for assistance as they are one of the only airlines with a dedicated assitance desk. 

    If you were flying with Air Europa, for example, they can ring from the office and Air europa dont have a special lane for check in.

    You need to remember that you are in a foreign country and assitance is not a priority in spain or the airport. 

    If you seriously couldnt of walked the distance of the door to the check in theb maybe yiu should have your own wheelchair.
  • loopytloopyt Member Posts: 80 Courageous
    I checked in on line so already had my boarding pass and we only a small bag so had no reason to go to check in. I am not complaining about the airport special assistance team as when we finally got to the correct place they were great. I didn't take my wheelchair because I had booked special assistance and had never encountered this problem before. I always check in on line as I am unable to stand for long. Not sure what you mean about Thomson having a special assistance desk as there was no mention of this to us. The upset was caused by the attitude of the Thomson representatives. As for saying that assistance is not a priority in Spain I have never had any issue before this and travel by air regularly. I also thought the laws governing services for the disabled apply throughout Europe. I have now found out that as long as the airline makes a request for assistance that is the end of their duty.
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