Tui also offered an acceptable package with "Covid Protect", which would have covered all pandemic related costs during the trip. Attention - only during the trip...
With the much advertised TUI "carefree package" we thought we were in safe hands. During our vacation, we discovered a service desert in several respects.
Before the vacations it was already strange that only I could check in online, my girlfriend was denied this pleasure. After 20 minutes of unsuccessful waiting in the hotline of TUI, we hoped to be able to clarify everything on site, after all, we wanted to be in pandemic times already 3 hours before departure on site.
At check-in, it turned out that although the seats were reserved for us, but my girlfriend was not booked on the list of the airline. With TUI we have travel documents, but the flight ticket is never received in advance.
This turned out to be a big disadvantage. The lady at the Swiss counter gave us the TUI emergency number where we also reached someone. However, this lady at the TUI emergency hotline together with the lady at the Swiss counter was not able to solve the problem.
We should buy a one-way ticket at our own expense, TUI would refund this quickly and without any problems. One-way tickets are always a bit more expensive, we paid at the Swiss counter and reached the plane just before departure.
Two weeks later at check-in for the return flight, the problem hit us again. Only one could check in. We contacted the travel management at the hotel, who referred us to the TUI emergency hotline. Here I would have expected that the whole thing is taken off us - the whole thing is clarified for us.
The lady at the emergency hotline, a Swiss mobile number, told us that we should clarify this directly with the airline, that she can not help us. I insisted that she please do this for us. I described our journey and that we personally at the Swiss counter also could not achieve anything, that you should please take over here.
The conversation went on for 24 minutes, during which the lady gave all possible reasons why she could not help us. And I insisted that we would do that if we could. She would not budge - she was not allowed to do that for data protection reasons. "Clarify this yourself".
Subsequently, I tried twice to reach the Swiss Hotline with expensive calls from abroad. After 2 hours, my girlfriend's phone suddenly rang - the TUI emergency hotline. We should not try it ourselves, you would clarify this for us - my girlfriend would actually not have been booked clean.
After about 30 minutes, another call, we can now check in. Luckily I tried this during the phone call - and of course it didn't work. The lady promised to take care of it and gave the green light a short time later. Mind you - without being able to verify the details on this - but we hoped we could fly back.
Although we submitted the flight costs of the direct booking of 1,000 CHF on 21.9, we only received the message that due to many requests can not be expected before 8 weeks with a processing.
From TUI we are really disappointed, such a travel experience we would have expected with German discount portals, with trips we would have booked at Lidl or Aldi.
Our conclusion on package tours
We have traveled together on many trips, from package tours to self-booked trips.
As a rule, you are at a disadvantage as a package traveler, because you are not the direct customer of the airline or the hotel. You "only" have a voucher or booking number and not a flight ticket.
Often, stranded package passengers end up in transfer hotels in the late evening, where the individual traveler receives a preferred connecting flight from the airline.
Our preferred way of travel booking
From a financial point of view, and also to keep any problems during the trip as manageable as possible, the following has proven itself: the individual booking of flight, transfer and the hotel.
I always recommend booking flights directly with the airline. I search for suitable flight connections and costs via Skyscanner and Swoodoo, usually the flight is only marginally more expensive with the airline directly - and saves you from later expenses.
I search for available hotels with Booking.com, for more expensive hotels I also check the price on Trivago. Depending on the portal, you can sometimes get a better room category. However, loyalty is also rewarded, with free upgrades and discounts.
For hotels, I would also prefer to book directly and always check the price on the hotel website. But in 95% of the cases Booking.com or Trivago are significantly below the price that the hotel itself calls up. Even on-site this is often not negotiable.
The only disadvantage of the individual booking is the transfer, there waits at the airport just then no one with the sign of the organizer. Away from really cheap Greece, Egypt or Turkey vacations, individual booking is usually much cheaper - and also allows to invest a lot of teaching money to the local cab mafia and still book nicer hotels and rooms.
The hotels usually also offer pick-up service, there is then also someone at the airport with the name tag if you do not want to prepare minimally here.The following articles should also interest you:
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