Ripped off by Thomson Holidays VIP Lounge

You may recall that we had recently been on a Thomson Holiday to Mallorca and, upon our return, had purchased tickets to the VIP lounge at Palma at a cost of over 100 Euros.  Here's the original blog piece.  Due to the coach not arriving until 11am and our flight due to leave at 1pm, and a queue of 1 1/4 hours to get our bags checked in, Thomson have kindly sent me this reply today:

Thank you for taking the time to contact us about your holiday to Majorca on 21st May 2016.

We are concerned when a customer has cause to complain and we are sorry that you were
disappointed on this occasion.

I’ve taken the opportunity to read through your complaint and have noted all the points you have raised.
I understand that you have mentioned that you didn’t get time to use the VIP lounge at Palma.
I apologise for the inconvenience caused to you.

The coach pick up times are scheduled as per the flight timings and the distance or the time it takes
to reach the airport. The coach was not delayed. I see that you have also mentioned about the
long queue and the time it took to check-in the luggage. The check-in desk is handled by the third party.

We do not have any contract with the overseas lounges at the airport.

Whilst I appreciate your strength of feeling, I am unable to offer a refund/compensation on this occasion. 

I can fully appreciate that you’ve felt disappointed on this occasion, and would like to reassure
you that all customer feedback we receive is monitored and shared with our relevant teams, both
overseas and in the UK, in order for considerations and improvements to be made.

Finally, may we thank you once more for getting in touch and for sharing your experience with us.
I do hope you will still consider Thomson/First Choice/Falcon/Thomson Airways when making future
travel arrangements so we have the opportunity to restore your faith in us once more.

Yours sincerely,

Ashok Dixit Archana

Contact Centre Advisor

TUI Customer Contact Team email:

In other words, we don't give a damn that you never got to use the lounge. We got our money and tough on you that the ground staff at the airport were worse than useless.  Hang on Thomson, you say "We do not have any contract with the overseas lounges at the airport." What exactly does that mean?  You SOLD me and my family a ticket to the VIP lounge at Palma.  Are you telling me that this should not have happened? Surely you must have some kind of 'deal' with a VIP lounge to SELL a ticket for it. We didn't just magic it up you know.  If you had no contract, what were you selling to me?

The check in desk at the airport had THOMSON/TUI signs all over it. If that's not you, who is it?  Do I care what nationality the staff are?  The desks, as far as I am concerned, are YOURS!  Your labels went onto our baggage and your staff were given a lunch break at noon when hundreds and hundreds of people were queuing to check in.  Yours.  No-one elses.  Do you think for one moment anyone having a problem at the check-in desk with your signs over it would think "hang on, this isn't really Thomson's problem as they don't have anything to do with running these desks"?  Of course they wouldn't. As far as they, me and everyone else is concerned, they are Thomson desks.  End.

Would I consider Thomson again?  Are you serious putting that statement at the bottom of your ridiculous email?  Clearly the customer care words and please travel with us again are some stock, standard input to the response.  Seems the wording of your reply was given about as much consideration as my request to be refunded money I now consider you 'stole' from me (you must have done that right?  You didn't have a contract with the airport lounge. You said it yourself!).  Surely this needs to be investigated by the proper authorities then. I'm not a lawyer but I'm pretty sure you can't sell something to which you have no rights or contractual agreement.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this like me saying "hey, come and use this Rolls Royce for a day", taking the money and then when the owner turns up saying, "sorry, I never said I had the owner's agreement that you could use it" and pocketing the money anyway.

I am absolutely disgusted. Thomson Holidays, you have quite simply ripped us off.

28th June 2016 *UPDATE* - Thomson/TUI have contacted me after I escalated their response (and pestered daily on social media) to say they have reviewed my case and are issuing a refund.  I'm delighted.


  1. That's bloody disgusting. Thomson should be thoroughly ashamed. I can't believe they have admitted to having no agreement but sold you the ticket! Would seriously make me think twice about anything on one of their holidays. What next, excursions? Coaches to your resort? Use of a rep? I don't blame you being angry. I'm surprised you kept the language so dignified! Keep at them!

  2. Rip-off merchants! Fucking disgusting!

  3. Just saw this on Twitter. Not surprised your furious. I would be too. Had a similar experience with Thomson. Thought it was a one-off but clearly not. Hope you get a refund.

  4. Shocking. Can't believe they actually admitted they have no contract. I'm with you, how can they sell tickets then???????

  5. Ha, ha, saw your Tweet to Watchdog. Go for it! I hope they are interested. These big companies always think they can rip you off. Good luck!

  6. You are right. They clearly stole the money. How can they charge you for something they claim to have no entitlement to! Disgusting.

  7. Sandra Bennett9 June 2016 at 19:06

    Just saw this on Thomson's Facebook page so had to read your blog piece. Are they serious? I hope someone higher up in their management gives someone a serious kick up the backside and refunds your money. Talk about contradictory nonsense! Come on Thomson - refund now!

  8. Great post. Saw the link on the FB page. I'm not surprised you are furious. I would be too. I wonder if anyone at Thomson saw this response or did the 'customer service agent' cobble it together from his list of stock responses to get the customer to sod off with no refund? I hope you get something back. Good luck! Great move taking to social media.

  9. Ridiculous situation that the reps would have been fully aware of (I dated one once and the airport collect/drop-off days were her worst nightmare). Laughable response by Thomson. I hope you get a refund.

  10. What a joke! Thomson know how stupid these airports can be on departure arrival days. They know how many coaches are arriving and trying to shirk the responsibility of check-in desks - they must be mad! Of course they are Thomson desks, no matter who they sub-contract to. Keep us posted if you get a refund!


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