What would you do if you were on a stag weekend abroad, on your way home, and your airline demanded £20,000 from you and your fellow passengers before departing?
Some would think it’s a joke, others would be enraged. This week this happened to Comtel Air passengers travelling from Amritsar, India to Birmingham when the plane stopped to refuel in Vienna. Asked to speak of this bizarre event the Civil Aviation Authority thought it was, “unusual to say the least”, which gives the word ‘restraint’ a whole new meaning.
The Comtel Air flight was already running several days late when it stopped in Vienna. Passengers were then told they had to raise £20,000 between them otherwise they would not be returning home, one of the air hostesses was recorded saying, “If you want to go to Birmingham, you have to pay. We can’t do anything else”. The flight of 180 passengers had to fork out an extra £130 per person (children under 2 were exempt) to reach the total.
Flying with an airline, such as Comtel Air, is technically considered public transport. Would it not be the most ridiculous scenario if on your way to work, your commute was halted and you weren’t allowed off until everyone emptied their pockets?!
Comtel Air claims they had no choice but to demand money from their passengers as certain travel agents had not forwarded payments of the ticket fares made by those passengers. The travel agents say they had forwarded the money. The CAA are now helping hundreds of Comtel Air passengers get home due to this fiasco.
This story certainly paints a very different picture to that of the glamorous age of air travel as portrayed in the brand new American TV series Pan Am, which aired last Wednesday on BBC2.
Airlines have no obligation to provide financial protection for their passengers. If any issues arise it is up to the customer to get themselves to their destination, in some cases that means buying another ticket. Those that booked their flights as part of a package deal with Comtel Air are covered by ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licence), an aviation authority designed to protect air travellers. This means they will get their money back from the CAA for their flight home. Those who booked their flight separately, may not be entitled to this cover.
If you were thinking of having a hen party abroad make sure you are fully covered. The Air Inclusive Packages and Flights available through Redseven are ATOL protected. When you book an overseas package holiday operated by Redseven, your payment is financially protected by the the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), under ATOL number 3802. This means that should the unexpected happen, you won’t be left stranded abroad or out of pocket.
Consider our revolutionary flight inclusive packages like our Marbella Purely Party Weekend which takes care of everything you need, removing all the stress and hassle from a great weekend.
Start scheming – plan your party!
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