Travelgenio / incompetence on an incredible scale and a warning never to use them
All we want to do is get home for Christmas. So much so that we booked our flights in January! Regrettably we did so through Travelgenio which was evidently a massive mistake in retrospect. Here follows a warning to avoid using Travelgenio at all costs. It's really not worth it.
So, we booked flights from Manchester to Cape Town (via Lisbon and Luanda), departing 22 December 2018 and returning from Cape Town on 4 January 2019.
In August we received notification of a schedule change for the airlines from Travelgenio, which resulted in a very short connection time in Lisbon. I contacted Travelgenio to resolve the schedule and was told to contact the airline, which I did. The airline said they weren't able to help as the booking was made by an agent and that Travelgenio would have to modify our flight into Lisbon to an earlier one in the day.
I contacted Travelgenio again to request their assistance in moving us to an earlier flight. Eventually in September Travelgenio emailed to say they couldn't confirm another connection and offered an alternative flight, which we accepted.
Then a few days later they emailed to say that flight was no longer available. They offered another alternative leaving Cape Town a day earlier which we accepted. We didn't hear anything and emailed many times through September and October requesting updates, with no response, other than "We are waiting for the Airline to confirm the flights".
We called the Madrid contact centre a number of times too. Most of the attempts to get through failed, as when waiting on hold the calls were often just cut off, or even when getting through to someone were cut as soon as they put us on hold to "bring up the booking details". At this point we started to get worried.
Finally in early November, following another email from us with an ever-more desperate tone, we heard back from Travelgenio, "We regret to inform you that the Airline could not confirm the flights."
They offered another alternative schedule, and because we were desperate at this stage to get things finalised, we confirmed immediately.
We followed up a number of times of the next few weeks asking for confirmation, until on 3 December Travelgenio emailed saying we could either take a refund or pay a whole bunch of money to change our flight. How has it come to this? We booked and paid for our flights in January!
We've phoned them a number of times, getting cut off numerous times, and even asked a Spanish friend to help us overcome any communication difficulties by explaining everything to them on the phone.in that call the person was extremely patronising and not at all helpful.
We are desperate to find a solution. We even offered to find another way to Lisbon (and pay for it) as long as we could still use our connections to Luanda and Cape Town, but they are not even telling us which flights we actually have confirmed.
I phoned the first connection airline, TAP, who were extremely helpful and understanding, but as much as they wanted to help, because it was booked by Travelgenio on another system there was nothing they could do.
We are at a complete loss. Clearly someone at Travelgenio has made a mistake somewhere and now they're not willing to accept any culpability, even when we're offering to work with them to find a solution. It's disgraceful. We are so upset and frustrated. Flights would now cost over £3500 so we literally cannot afford to take the refund and rebook. Travelgenio just seem to be a sea of incompetence and an unwillingness to help.
In conclusion, I would warn anybody considering booking with Travelgenio not to do so.
I hope we can still make it home for Christmas somehow, but I'm losing hope.
TravelGenio Customer Care's Response, Dec 06, 2018
Hi Matthew, of course we can help you with your booking changes. Sometimes airlines change their flight plans and our agents inform passengers about the possible alternatives. Please send us a mail to email@example.com and we will inform you about the latest flight schedule and the alternatives they gave us in case they don't suit your plans. Regards
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