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Southall Travel advice

Cambridge, United...
posts: 42
reviews: 4
Southall Travel advice

Hi,

I am going to book flights to New Zealand soon and Southall Travel have offered to take a deposit of £360 to secure a flight booking with Malaysia Airlines. The price is good at the moment (same as Expedia etc.) and I want to take advantage of it but don't have quite the full amount just yet so can't pay in full.

Has anybody used this company and done this? They have said that the fare is guaranteed but I'm just a little worried as from what I can see, they don't have the best reviews.

Alternatively, has anyone used another agent and been able to only pay an initial deposit?

Many thanks

Edited: 5:13 pm, April 10, 2012
51 replies to this topic
Poulton-le-Fylde, UK
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
posts: 25,664
reviews: 61
1. Re: Southall Travel advice

Dial-a-Flight (http://www.dialaflight.com/) offer a deposit scheme but, as with Southall or anyone else, you should read their T&Cs carefully and fully understand them before committing to this method of payment, particularly as " Although a provisional reservation for a scheduled flight may be made on payment of a deposit a confirmed booking can not exist neither can the price be guaranteed until final payment for the ticket has been received and the ticket issued." There are also implications if you have to change your flight dates or cancel.

Newcastle, England...
posts: 320
reviews: 4
2. Re: Southall Travel advice

Southall travel have been around a long long time ... based in erm Southall, with a physical office you can go into if something wrong happens, rather than an internet company where you'll have to explore legal avenues if something goes wrong. It's a security i like.

Never deal with them though.

Madrid
posts: 2,651
reviews: 7
3. Re: Southall Travel advice

A long way to pop into the office from brighton.

Remember if you buy a ticket from a travel agent,and anything goes wrong in NZ like ash clouds or other problems,the airline will refer you back to the travel agent,so you may get a few sleepless nights.Much easier to deal direct with the airline of your choice.

Nannup, Australia
posts: 3,605
reviews: 23
4. Re: Southall Travel advice

Unlike online bookings which generally require instant payment Travel Agents have access to fares that don't. They have what is called a Ticketing Time Limit (TTL) - a time by which the ticket has to be paid for and issued. Depending on the fare and lots of other variables the TTL can be a few days after the booking is made or a few days/weeks before travel. If you pay Southall a deposit they won't pass that on to the airline immediately, but will wait until you have paid them in full. Just be aware that if you don't proceed after having paid a deposit the AGENT may keep all or part of that deposit as a fee for the work they have done.

So you need to know what the TTL is (ie - final payment date) and what the cancellation fees for both the agent and the airline are.

Hounslow, United...
posts: 18
5. Re: Southall Travel advice

Hope you have already booked by now. This is a common and customer friendly approach that many travel agents adopt. We booked last year with southall and paid only part payment and cleared the balance a week later. Faced no problems and got the same fare as promised.

London, United...
posts: 1
6. Re: Southall Travel advice

I definitely should not use Southall Travel. They gave me wrong advice from their call centre in India when they told me that all onwards sectors of my flights in India were automatically cancelled, and all the money lost, because I had to get off a Jet Airways flight from London to Delhi because I had forgotten my Laptop at security. Jet Airways told me that I would be able to get the flight the next day (possibly having to pay any difference in fare). they said that I would need to organise it through my travel agent. But when I phoned Southall Travel they argued with me, saying that Jet Airways were wrong, and that this was a "No Show". When I asked Southall Travel to phone up Jet Airways, they said that they had tried but could not get through to the right person. This was strange because I managed to talk to the right person at Jet three times on that day. I ended up buying six new flights through Southall Travel, after they agreed to pay some of the airport tax back to me. It cost me an additional £1000. I found the Southall travel operatives rude, pushy and badly informed and am currently pursuing them through ABTA and the small claims court.

7. Re: Southall Travel advice

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UK
posts: 40,850
reviews: 85
8. Re: Southall Travel advice

I suspect you'll find that Southall were right and Jet wrong, and the Jet agent misinformed you. When you miss a segment it's standard practice that all future segments are cancelled.

However, just to repeat the mantra here, if you book direct with the airline then in the event of a problem it's clear with whom you have to deal and there is no buck passing or problem of miscommunication when issues arise.

Had you bought direct with Jet for example then they could have rebooked your flights over the phone ( though as I say I think you'd have found you ended up paying the same as you did to Southall)

Croydon, United...
posts: 7
9. Re: Southall Travel advice

I learnt it the hard way last year when I was not able to make it to the checkin on time. all following legs of my travel were cancelled by the airline. My agent could only get a small amount as th erefund. I knew it was my fault and so didnt take it any further. I still book with the same agent! But only recently booked with Southall and found them to have more organised way of working besides being cheaper than their other counterparts (we booked last minute to Dubai!). The agents (two we spoke to) were efficient, friendly and knowledgeable. I think they just earned my future custom.

Sunderland, United...
posts: 14
reviews: 30
10. Re: Southall Travel advice

I defiantly would not use Southalltravel again. I asked them for flights from Newcastle to Delhi on the 5th October and return 21st Delhi to Newcastle. I booked on the phone , price and times were good. So I took there advice and booked there and then.

Unfortunately I seemed to be talking to a call centre in India and they booked me Newcastle to Heathrow .Heathrow to Delhi.Great the problem is on the return leg.Delhi to Heathrow and Gatwick to Newcastle !!! I rang them to tell them they had made a mistake and that I only had 3-45m to land get through customs, find a taxi travel over an hour to another airport and that is if every thing was on time and I could find a taxi? , I was. Told it was booked and payed for and they would change it for a £100 each plus any extra on the flights.They have my money and arn,t interested.

I am stuck with flights at the wrong airport and I don't know if I will make it in time plus god knows what it will cost for a taxi.

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