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Plane swopped!!!

posts: 3
Plane swopped!!!

We've just been advised, some 28 days before we are due to depart for Mexico that Thomson have changed the plane and there is no longer a premium cabin available, our local branch has known about this for 30 days but only contacted us today. We've basically been told tough luck, they will refund us £300 and will have to sit in economy with no extra leg room available. They won't refund the holiday and said its only a minor change and we should read the T&C's.

Does anyone know why they would have done this and should they be offering some compensation?

Thanks

Donella

18 replies to this topic
Boston...
posts: 11,798
reviews: 9
1. Re: Plane swopped!!!

Airlines change planes all the time for a variety of reasons. It's happened to me any number of times. Many times it's based on supply and demand. I've had them change to a larger plane if more people buy tickets for that date and itinerary. In your case, they changed to a smaller plane. My guess is that there weren't many people buying tickets for that route on that date.

You're not entitled to any compensation other than getting the difference in classes refunded.

Tamworth, United...
Destination Expert
for Staffordshire
posts: 6,940
reviews: 9
2. Re: Plane swopped!!!

It does happen. We've had different planes to those we originally thought we'd fly on and with different departure times too. Nothing much you can do about it.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,379
reviews: 5
3. Re: Plane swopped!!!

The question is, is Thomson's Premium Economy a true premium economy cabin, separate from economy, with its own fare rules (like BA's World Traveller Plus)? Another way of checking is are you paying the higher rate of UK Air Passenger Duty. If the answer is yes, then YES there are compensation rules for "involuntary downgrades" (IDG) in the EU261/2004 regulations, article 10 - eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do…

In the case of an IDG the airline must refund you 75% of the (original) airfare paid for each flight that you are IDG'd for a flight of the length you are taking.

Now, there may be some complicating issues here. If you bought air tickets only, then it's easy to calculate the refund due. However, if the flights are part of a package you will need to determine the airfare component of that package in order to work out the refund. And in some cases the airfare component of a package can be very low.

Good luck.

Edited: 2:04 pm, September 13, 2013
Leyland, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
posts: 19,326
reviews: 34
4. Re: Plane swopped!!!

We has a long delay a few years ago, and after 5 hours asked about cancelling. It would only have been the flight element that would have been refunded, as it was a package holiday. The flight was to Jamaica. Flight only element £85 each!

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,379
reviews: 5
5. Re: Plane swopped!!!

"The flight was to Jamaica. Flight only element £85 each!"

Thanks Leyland. I thought that may be the case. In which case, even with PE I suspect that the £300 refund would be in the region of the IDG refund mandated by EU261 (and possibly more), even for multiple people.

The IDG refund is intended to stop airlines downgrading people from business class to economy and then paying a pitifully small refund by calculating the difference in fare based on the most expensive economy fare (as opposed to the fare you would have paid booking well in advance).

London, United...
posts: 161
reviews: 2
6. Re: Plane swopped!!!

So you still have a holiday, flights and got a lovely £300 compensation, why are you moaning?

Flights change all the time - read you T&C

Edited: 2:33 pm, September 13, 2013
posts: 3
7. Re: Plane swopped!!!

Hi - it's not compensation it's a refund for something they can no longer provide and I'm not moaning nearly asking if this is the norm or acceptable.

Quebec City
posts: 457
reviews: 34
8. Re: Plane swopped!!!

Donella,

my understanding is that they did refund you for the part they can no longer offer, i.e. the Premium cabin. They are giving you 300 Pounds, which as has been pointed out by others above is probably as much as you can get. The rest of the flight (getting you from A to B) is still available to you, so no refund there. Same thing for the hotel if this was a package.

You bought premium, they can no longer offer it, they refund that part of your ticket. It sucks, but I'm afraid there's nothing more you can do but endure standard economy like the rest and spend that extra 300 at your destination.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,379
reviews: 5
9. Re: Plane swopped!!!

Donella,

If this is a package holiday, I think the £300 refund is likely to be fair and reasonable. As LeylandSunaddict says, the airfare component of a package holiday is very small, and therefore £300 is likely to be close to if not more than any EU mandated refund.

Even in this case, the EU261 refund is not intended to be compensation, just to ensure that passengers get back roughly the difference in fare between the premium cabin care paid and the lower cabin fare that would have been paid if booking in advance. I don't think Thomson is screwing you financially on this, and as others have said, equipment changes happen from time to time, on all airlines.

posts: 3
10. Re: Plane swopped!!!

Thank you all for your responses. I think basically I just feel disappointed as travelling premium bas a birthday & wedding anniversary treat!!!

Regards

Donella

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