When an all-inclusive holiday isn't quite

  TOPCAT® 19:57 06 Aug 2006

A couple of weeks ago my daughter started looking for a two weeks all-inclusive holiday for her family, my wife and I and a sister-in-law. This was subject to the sister-in-law, a nurse consultant, getting the time off later this month. She couldn't, so the holiday now has to start in late October when the children break from school again. My daughter started again checking the options and finally settled on a Thompson all-inclusive holiday to Cancun, Mexico.

Thompson quote a saving of between £60 and £100 when booking online but my Jay spoke with them and managed to get a substantial booking discount for a family trip, which was very acceptable. It's what transpired later that rankled me a little.

The day after she booked the trip, which incidentally will mean a ten hour flight, I decided to see what would happen if I went online and booked my wife and I on the same trip.

On entering all relevant details I was greatly surprised to see that the in-flight meals were extra and a supplement was required. Okay, I knew any fuel supplement was additional - £70 per person for this trip - and an exit tariff from Cancun airport of $53 would be required, but for the life of me why wasn't the meals surcharge included in the quoted price for the holiday? Is this happening on all long distance flights now or is it left off to make Thompson's holiday asking price look better? It's like those stores which list items without VAT on the price tags - I like to know the full asking price especially if, as in this case, the flight and holiday is advertised as all-inclusive. What say you? TC.

  ventanas 21:16 06 Aug 2006

TC, Thomson changed their system some years ago, giving people the option to opt out of the in flight meal if desired.

I always use Thomson and have never had a problem with this. It does give you more choice.

This is only a personal opinion, but I would never advise all inclusive. The drinks are like coloured water, and the food is usually as bad. I only tried once and will never do it again. I only holiday bed and breakfast now. Have had enough of hotel food, and much more choice when it comes to the evening meal.

  LastChip 22:33 06 Aug 2006

I too, am about to go off on a Thompson all inclusive holiday, to a destination that I have visited once before.

Part of the reason I'm returning, is the food is superb and as a non drinker, Coke is Coke wherever you are in the world.

Personally, I opted out of the meals as it's only a couple of hours away, preferring to arrive early at the airport and eating before the flight. Having spent my professional career eating the airline "cusine", I am only too pleased to give it a miss.

However, I do find the practice of effectively charging you to sit together as a family, disgraceful and can only conclude it's just another way to screw more money from you.

A holiday advertised as "all inclusive" should be just that. No hidden extras!

  Pamy 23:07 06 Aug 2006

"However, I do find the practice of effectively charging you to sit together as a family, disgraceful and can only conclude it's just another way to screw more money from you."
Could you explain this a litle more please?

  TOPCAT® 23:20 06 Aug 2006

Maybe I can help there. There is a £20 surcharge on my trip for 'sitting together' would you believe. The plane's seating layout is 3-4-3. There is also a £70 surcharge for 'extra legroom' TC.

  Pamy 23:25 06 Aug 2006

Thanks TC I have never come across that. At first I thought lastChip was talking about sitting together for their meals etc. at the resort hotel

  LastChip 23:26 06 Aug 2006

There is an option to pre-book your preferred seat on the aircraft at a cost of (from) £10 per person. If you opt out of this, you will end up with whatever is left over at check-in. So a family of five for example, could be spead all over the aircraft depending on what's left.

  Pamy 00:05 07 Aug 2006

I have always thought that was how it was (nieve me). We have gone as a party of four adults and arrived early for booking in and have never had any problem sitting together 3 and 1 on the other side of isle or, 2 together behind the other 2. Never had the problem of a larger party or children. Have seen families swaping seats once on board with other families or couples though.

  SG Atlantis® 01:30 07 Aug 2006

On our last holiday the Rep was practically torturing us to pay for prebooking seats, at a cost of over 50 Euros. I didn't do it, the coach got us back to the Airport in plenty of time and we got to sit together again... as we did on the way out. We just went early to check in and we get on first having young children.

We also didn't pay the meal supplement, the girl in the travel agents said we get a meal anyway that we didn't need to pay it... we did. I still don't understand what the supplement was for, if that's the case.

Seat prebooking and the meal supplement would have added £120approx onto our holiday if I had been daft enough to pay it.

  ventanas 08:36 07 Aug 2006

It depends what you want out of a holiday, and I want comfort, so we always book seats together, and also pre-book the actual seat numbers (which you can do with Thomson). We also make use of the executive check in and the airport lounge. And we always book a taxi transfer to and from the hotel. The cost of all these, (which for two holidays this year has added an additional £463) as far as I'm concerned, is irrelevant.

All tour operators make you pay more to sit together, and I've actually seen it being touted in the queue, as has already been mentioned. I believe the guilty operator was Airtours.

It's not the flight that's being advertised as all inclusive anyway, there will be plenty of others on that plane taking what I consider to be a sensible holiday.

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