Dumped by their airline. Risk to holidays for online bookers.

We're used to picking up the pieces when people book on the internet and things go wrong but we can still be shocked by the cavalier attitude of some travel operators.

Take Anita Carthew and her husband who booked an easyJet holiday to Madeira on their website. They took off, full of excitement and anticipation only for the flight to be diverted to Lisbon because of 'bad weather in Madeira.'

They were then told they had to find their own way on to Madeira or fly back to Gatwick for things to be sorted.

So they flew back to Gatwick where easyJet apparently then refused to help them because they had booked a package holiday, rather than a flight only, even though it was from easyJet's own website! Read full story

Mrs Carthew then called us from Gatwick, where they were stranded, and we were delighted to come up with a solution. TrustPilot

See also this report from Kate Moran whose holiday flight was cancelled 24 hours before she was due to travel.

Passengers experience severe delays... in getting compensation

Learn more

Greek resort kicks out party-loving British holidaymakers

Find out more

Now you can sit back and relax and let the planes take the strain

Read article

The Sky's the limit for Formula One TV presenter Natalie Pinkham

My best holiday ever

A selection of customer comments from Trustpilot

What people are saying

This month's roundup of the hottest new hotels

This month's new hotels

Our top 6 money savers you can't afford to miss

What's on offer?

10 things we didn't know last month

Travel facts and gossip
2017
2016
2015

Passengers experience severe delays... in getting compensation

Airlines avoid millions of pounds of compensation through bureaucratic complaints procedure

More than a million British air passengers could be owed up to £360 each in compensation caused by severe delays to their flights.

A recent study found around 1.2 million are entitled to a payout after their short or medium-haul flights were delayed by three hours or more last year.

This works out to around 3,300 people every day who experienced severe delays on flights to or from Britain that were supposed to be only a few hours long.

The investigation by consumer group Which? found that the number of passengers on delayed flights with easyJet, British Airways, and Ryanair has doubled in the past five years and hold-ups at some of Britain's busiest airports have risen sharply.

Current EU rules state that passengers flying from the EU, or with an EU airline, are entitled to between £220 and £360 compensation on short haul flights and up to £535 for longer flights, depending on the length of delay.

But many passengers do not bother to claim as they are put off by the amount of bureaucracy. Some airlines are also adept at wriggling out of paying any compensation, regularly citing 'extraordinary circumstances' as a reason for not paying up.

This is legitimate in the cases such as extreme weather or an air traffic control strike. But it is often used as an easy get-out clause by firms, which use a range of excuses such as unforeseen technical difficulties and lack of staff to avoid paying.

Now Which? has said 'enough is enough' and has called on government ministers to force airlines to automatically pay compensation for severe delays.

Greek resort kicks out party-loving British holidaymakers

Party-loving Brits are being banned from the island resort of Malia, Crete

Rowdy young Britons are being banned from a Greek island resort because they are destroying its image. And hoteliers in Malia, Crete, are demanding a new law to stop block bookings of boozy holidaymakers.

The angry hotel owners have already withdrawn bookings for 10,000 British holidaymakers and now town hall officials are applying for a court injunction stopping tour operators offering holidays with organised pub crawls and all-day partying.

Bad behaviour by scantily-clad revellers on the town's mile long strip of more than 80 bars and clubs have made Malia notorious. Locals say that the Brits, who make up most of the troublemakers, are behaving like animals, fighting, urinating and being sick in the streets and having sex in public places.

They are fuelled by cheap alcohol, including fish-bowl size cocktails and one local clinic reported prescribing the morning after pill to 100 women a day in peak season.

Malia was the setting for The Inbetweeners Movie in 2011 in which a group of misfit schoolfriends went on their first boozy holiday abroad. It triggered a 243 per cent increase in hotel searches for the resort from the year before.

Malia's deputy mayor Efthymios Moutrakis said: "We've given tour operators a free hand in branding an image completely alien to what the town really is. Malia isn't about sex, drugs and everything goes, it's the prime tourist destination in Crete and the drunken behaviour must be stopped."

Officials say that tour operators offer packages where 200 to 300 young people at a time are put up in hotels with all-day partying. They spend the day drinking then the holiday rep arrives with a whistle and a flag and escorts them into town where they go on organised bar crawls visiting up to 17 venues.

One local said: "These holidaymakers are out of their minds before they even set off."

Malia is the latest in a long line of to suffer from the problem of unruly British holidaymakers. Faliraki in Rhodes, Ayia Napa in Cyprus, Magaluf in Majorca and the Ibiza destination of San Antonio have all taken action to crack down on loutish behaviour.

Meanwhile, passengers broke out into applause and cheered when a rowdy hen party was kicked off a flight to Spain. The women, who had been drinking heavily, swearing and fighting with each other during the Ryanair service from Liverpool were detained by police when the plane landed in Alicante.

Now you can sit back and relax and let the planes take the strain

Innovations in hi-tech planes are improving the in-flight experience for many passengers

Sitting shoulder to shoulder with miserable passengers for hours on end is still one of the worst parts of jetting off on those summer holidays. But, thankfully, the latest crop of hi-tech planes will take some of those in-flight headaches out of the equation.

Quite literally in the case of Norwegian, whose new fresh-air system in the 787 Dreamliner is improving the experience of sitting in a cramped metal tube for hours. Its planes are made from carbon fibre composite, bringing better quality air into the cabin so you arrive fresher-faced and with no need for a paracetamol.

Also improving the brain frazzling effects of time-zone hopping are the electrochromic windows on Virgin Atlantic. Instead of rattling plastic blinds up and down you now get adjustable smart glass which can be tinted to black out light. Turn it all the way up and you can doze off in simulated darkness, before touching down in daylight.

Airline film selections are getting more up to the minute too. Emirates catalogue has been named the best for 13 years in a row, while Virgin customers get the summer's blockbusters Guardians of the Galaxy and Fast and the Furious 8. Playback quality is also increasing thanks to compact video technology.

Icelandair has even been know to hand out free ipads full of content to keep passengers occupied - though they have to be handed back on touchdown.

Then there's the matter of going online. Planes are no longer internet-free zones - although mile-high wi-fi isn't exactly going to rival fibre broadband for connection speeds. Some airlines charge extra for it, but Emirates, Qatar Airways and Norwegian offer it for free.

On the downside, it means that there's now no excuse for not checking those work related emails . . . but at least you can post your social media bragging photos!

My best holiday ever

The Sky's the limit when it comes to foreign trips for Formula One TV presenter Natalie Pinkham

Describe your perfect holiday?
Before having children, holidays always involved delving deep into whichever country's culture we were in. Now it's more about trying to get some much needed sleep. A lot of it. But I'm always quick to acknowledge and appreciate what a privilege it is to travel, whether it's through work or personal.

Which Formula One track is your favourite?
Monaco is the ultimate. It's glamorous and steeped in history and nostalgia. This year I took the kids and my parents and other friends and we rented a house on Airbnb in Menton just outside Monaco. The weather was great - so my family had a lovely little holiday while I went to work. It was perfect.

Some of your favourite places?
I'm lucky enough to have a career that allows me to escape and immerse myself into a new environment quite often. It may sound cheesy but I feel blessed. I have had trips to Patagonia, Namibia, to the middle of the Indian Ocean and the Arctic Circle, where life is so different. Landing back at Heathrow and seeing British number plates is always a little freaky after a trip like that.

Your most treasured destination?
Óbidos in Portugal where I got married. It's a medieval village with cobbled streets. Our wedding party were given shots of the local drink by bar owners as they walked up the winding streets to the church, so we were all a bit tipsy on arrival.

What do you most like to do on holiday?
Wiggle my toes in the sand and feel the sun on my cheeks. Before we had kids we took more risks and were more daring with our trips but we play it safer now and will do until they are a bit older. Although Wilf did come down a zip wire strapped to me when he was eight-months-old in the Caribbean. It was a new world record I believe!

Who are your favourite travel companions?
My husband Owain shares my sense of adventure. We have taken our little ones Wilf and Willow to lots of places already as we don't want them to ever feel fazed by travelling and trying new things.

What has been your most adventurous holiday?
Camping out in the Bush in Botswana. We weren't in a camp, but in the middle of nowhere. I felt pretty exposed to the wildlife - but also so alive. You recognise your place in the food chain so are kept on your toes. My problem is that I sleep walk - which as you can imagine is pretty risky out there. Owain tied our ankles together to stop me getting out of our tent in my sleep.

Have you ever thought of emigrating, and if so, where?
We came very close when I was young. My family bought a house in Sydney and my brother and I got in to schools there. For various reasons we didn't end up going. It's a real sliding doors moment as I often wonder how different our lives would be now if we had grown up in Oz.

Best piece of travel advice?
Go out of your comfort zone and get in with the locals, it's the only way you get to fully appreciate the country and culture you are in.

Your most memorable travel experience?
Going to India on honeymoon. My 6ft 3 blonde, pale skinned husband stood out like a sore thumb, but was quickly accepted when he played cricket with the local kids.

Your favourite hotel?
The Splendido in Portofino.

Your favourite airline?
Virgin Atlantic.

Describe your perfect holiday?
Sun, beach, sport, sailing, adventure and trying new things. I'd also love to get the kids into skiing. As a bucket list country I've always wanted to go to is Cuba, but I fear I'm running out of time before it changes too much.

Natalie can be seen on Sky Sports covering F1

What people are saying

A selection of customer comments from Trustpilot

I can't recommend this company enough, says Anita

I can't recommend this company enough - we had booked a holiday with easyJet, and after a complete disaster found ourselves with packed bags and passports in hand but no holiday to go on. We searched online but couldn't find anything that would enable us to travel that day. We called DialAFlight at 9am in the morning with the instructions that we needed some sunshine, and wanted to travel that day. Within a couple of hours they had found us flights and hotel, and we were on our way later that day - they really pulled out all the stops to get us a holiday, can't thank them enough. See Lead story

Anita Carthew gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trust Pilot.

Sparkling footnote: Anita Carthew's name was pulled out of the hat in our monthly Trust Pilot draw and a case of Prosecco is on its way.

Fully booked flights with no seats left. How DAF managers fixed it.

Fantastic service from Joseph and Harley. Can't recommend enough. Booked a last minute flight to Barcelona for my daughter and her friend and where all the flights were booked when I tried to do it direct, Joseph found a way around it with shared flights from BA which I had no idea existed. He also found a better deal on the hotel they wanted too. Will definitely use again and will recommend to all.

Lynn Thompson gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trust Pilot

I discovered DialAFlight 15 years ago and they are still the best

I started using DialAFlight in 2002. Since then I have made used of their services and booked multiple flights (and rental cars) with their help. They have always managed to help me, even at short notice. Professional and friendly help that surpasses all others.

Paul van der Westhuizen gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trust Pilot

No more self booking for us. We let DialAFlight take on the responsibility

So we wanted to do something different from a beach holiday for our annual holiday this year. So with an idea of where we wanted to go it would have been very easy to have simply booked our own flights, our own hotels but what if something went wrong? Would we get the best deal? What are the alternatives that we don't know of?

So initially I started down the route of booking everything myself and had a budget in mind. So for peace of mind I decided to find some holiday companies to give me a quote. I found 4 different companies that I had never used before and called each of them to get a price for as near to my own itinerary as we could get. Calling DialAFlight for the first time the very helpful agent Bruno took down my itinerary and promised to come back to me as soon as possible. He was true to his word and to my astonishment he was the only person who listened to what we wanted, where we wanted to stay and when we wanted to fly. He sent us a complete very professional itinerary that matched everything we wanted, something none of the other 3 agents had done for various reasons. The price was much better than I had managed to garner from web searches and trying to book everything online for ourselves.

The answer was easy. Book everything with DialAFlight and let them take the pain away of trying to do everything ourselves. The biggest bonuses to doing this was we didn't need to pay for everything straightaway, just a 10% deposit. But secondly we had ATOL protection for the whole holiday.

Bruno kept us up to date all through the process and if he was not available when calling there were always plenty of very helpful colleagues to help us. Two nice touches were the mobile phone app that gave us all our holiday information, booking references, flight details, hotel details and any vouchers we needed. Plus DialAFlight had a 24 hour helpline to support customers in need while away on holiday.

Right from first contact until our holiday DialAFlight kept us up to date which resulted in a pain-free great holiday and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.

A special thank you to Bruno who we learned after booking the holiday had only joined DialAFlight recently, but from the professional manner he dealt with out enquiry you would have never known and the fact he listened to exactly what we wanted stuck in my mind.

Ian Mckenzie gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trust Pilot

Read more reviews

This month's new hotels

FIVE Palm Jumeirah

FIVE Palm Jumeirah - Dubai

The iconic architecture of the FIVE Palm Jumeirah is both a captivating welcome to guests and a benchmark of the levels of luxury that can be expected inside. With 468 stylish guest rooms and suites spread across 16 illuminated floors, the hotel is an imposing sight near the gorgeous Arabian Gulf. This idyllic resort provides refreshing spas, impeccable fine dining services and a whole host of activities to ensure you have the stay of your dreams here.

Treehouse Hotel

Treehouse Hotel - Finland

Experience the Arctic Circle and the beauty of the Northern Lights like never before with a unique stay at the Arctic Treehouse Hotel. Snuggle up in style amidst the treetops at this intimate winter retreat where romance blossoms and Christmas can truly come alive at Santa Claus Secret Forest. Take in local traditions and cuisine with Scandinavian design at this snug winter retreat, ideal for hosting family and friends around Christmas.

Hodges Bay

Hodges Bay - Antigua

Nestled on Antigua's secluded northern shore, Hodges Bay offers luxurious suites and accommodation in the most wonderful of beachfront locations. A multi-million dollar development, the resort is design to immerse guests in a world-class experience of luxury with strong Caribbean influences, from innovative dining options to expansive leisure facilities. All guests will get an experience of spacious, refined living with all suites and accommodations including king size or twin beds and a cosy living area.

What's on offer?

Our top 6 money savers you can't afford to miss

Rome sweet Rome - Save 20% at 5* Grand Hotel Via Veneto

Italy's 'Eternal City' offers so much to see and explore from its famous archaeological and historic sites to its quaint piazzas, parks and fountains. Just steps from Piazza Barberini, Fontana di Trevi, Piazza di Spagna, and Villa Borghese lies the sensational Grand Hotel Via Veneto which will be your luxurious pied-a-terre for 3 nights. Save 20% with our offer including flights from a choice of UK airports all from £399pp. Valid for deps 1 Nov - 10 Dec.

Fall for Washington, DC - Save 10%

Enjoy a city break like no other in Washington, DC this autumn. From vibrant foliage and waterfront views to family-friendly festivals and fabulous shopping, there's an endless amount of things to see and do. Catch DC's exciting sports teams in action, spook your friends at the best Halloween events and explore free and interactive museums across the city. Just make sure to save time to take in the sights along the National Mall in full 'fall' splendour. Stay 3 nights at the stylish Palomar - A Kimpton Hotel flying with Swiss Air from £499pp when you travel this autumn.

Save 30% at 5* Kempinski Seychelles Resort

Surround yourself in luxury and the brilliant blues of the Indian Ocean with a serene stay at Kempinski Seychelles Resort & Spa. Set in one of the quieter spots of Mahé on the south-western coast, guests can choose to laze away the days in the sunshine or take part in a huge choice of activities from tennis, badminton or beach volleyball to snorkelling and sailing. There is also a heavenly spa for utter indulgence and pampering. Stay 7 nights in a Hill View room with our offer and save 30%. Flights and transfers included all from £1239pp. Valid spring 2018.

Iconic Dubai: Save 35% at the Burj Al Arab with free HB

Save 35% on a stay at one of the world's most iconic hotels- the exquisite and opulent Burj Al Arab. Even taller than the Eiffel Tower, the infamous Burj Al Arab sits on its own man-made island and boasts 2 large swimming pools and butler service in each suite. Stay 3 nights with our offer which also includes FREE half board and Virgin Atlantic flights with a FREE one-way flight upgrade all from £1855pp when you travel in May & Jun, 2018.

Self-drive Costa Rica and Save £100pp

Costa Rica is a country bestowed with an amazing array of natural attractions - majestic volcanoes, misty cloud forests, stunning river valleys and literally hundreds of beautiful beaches along its Pacific and Caribbean coasts. It also has a fascinating ecological story that is woven into the history of a peaceful and family oriented culture. On this 13 night tour you will have lots of time to relax as well as explore and you'll also save £100pp. 13 nights in superior accommodation from £2199pp including car hire and flights. Valid Feb & Mar 2018

Beijing's greatest hits: Save 10%

The Great Wall, Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven... this four day stopover in the Chinese capital city Beijing has it all. You will see so many wonders of the ancient and modern world on this action packed visit to one of the world's truly great cities. Throw in a Peking Duck dinner and a special Kung Fu show and you will see why this short visit makes a great add on to any trip behind the Bamboo Curtain. 3 nights from £1355pp including flights, 2 lunches and transfers.

10 things we didn't know last month

1. Flying tonight? Why McDonalds is serving plane food

This disused plane in Taupo, New Zealand, seats 20 customers

Forget the drive through. In Taupo, New Zealand there's a 'fly through' McDonalds inside a decommissioned DC3. The disused plane had sat next to the already established McDonalds for 24 years when the owners decided to extend their seating by converting the plane and painting it in the fast food giants signature red colour.

2. The 10 airlines that make the most from extra charges

Everyone hates all those add ons when booking a flight but they are now a major part of an airline's profitability as you'll see from our list.
1. United (£4.77bn)
2. Delta (£3.96bn)
3. American (£3.76bn)
4. Southwest (£2.17bn)
5. Air France/KLM (£1.61bn)
6. Ryanair (£1.52bn)
7. EasyJet (£1.04bn)
8. Lufthansa (£1.04bn)
9. Qantas (£912mn)
10. Air Canada (£904mn)

3. Cheaper flights to the Scottish islands

A price war between airlines serving Shetland, Orkney, and the Hebrides has slashed the cost of flights between the mainland and some of the UK's most remote islands. One way fares between Glasgow and Stornoway on Lewis, typically top £300 in high season, making the one hour journey one of the most expensive routes per mile in the world. But they are now on sale for just £50 with Flybe and Eastern Airways who have agreed an alliance and code share arrangement.

4. Visitors 'see through' the Azure Window

Before and after Malta's Azure Window collapses into the sea

Holidaymakers are leaving only one star reviews of Malta's Azure Window on TripAdvisor after being taken to the island's coastal site by tour guides only to find that the famous rock formation has been lost to the waves. The limestone arch collapsed in March after a storm but tour buses still stop there. "Went to where it was but there are few attractions other than the sea. Nature wins", wrote one visitor on the travel website. "Don't waste your time going there", posted another.

5. Better protection for travellers

The ATOL scheme - which protects holidaymakers in the event of their travel company going bust - is to be extended to all travellers, not just those who book a package or a bundle of flights, accommodation and other services from the same firm. Anyone who books flights with one company and a hotel with another will now also be covered. More than 16,500 British tourists were repatriated or refunded under the scheme last year at a cost of £14.7m.

6. The gain is in Spain

Not surprisingly, Spain has once again been our favourite holiday destination so far this year, with 3.3m Britons visiting before June 24, up 270,000 on the same period in 2016. Greece is the nearest competitor, with 1.1m visitors, up by 96,000. Turkey is the biggest loser, with visitors down 70,000 to 420,000. Numbers are also down in France, Egypt and America.

7. No more clambering up those temples

A ban on climbing the pagodas at the archaeological site of Began in Myanmar is to be reinstated. The authorities prohibited tourists from scaling the iconic temples last year, but back tracked on the ban after tour operators expressed concerns that it would be bad for business. The latest about-turn is thought to have been motivated by Bagan's bid to become a Unesco world heritage site - in order to qualify for such a status, the authorities must show they are taking sufficient measures to protect the monuments.

8. Beer at eye-watering prices

Beer prices start at more than £9.31 for a litre

It's one of the most hotly anticipated events in the European calendar, but Munich's popular Oktoberfest is becoming an increasingly expensive proposition, with the cheapest beer at this year's festival set to cost an eye-watering £9.31 per litre. Even more outrageous, according to local media, teetotallers will pay an average of £7.67 for a litre of water.

9. Promise to behave yourself in Iceland

Iceland is aiming to improve the behaviour of its visitors by encouraging all tourists to sign up to a pledge of eight rules. The island's soaring popularity in recent years has led to concerns over how parts of the country's infrastructure can cope with an influx of visitors while also protecting the natural beauty of the landscape. The new Icelandic Pledge, launched by the government in partnership with the travel association, urges holidaymakers to "be a responsible tourist" as well as leaving places as they find them, never venturing off road and only camping at designated sites.

10. Counting the cost of fake sickness claim

A couple who made up a fake holiday illness in an attempt to claim £10,000 in compensation have been ordered to pay nearly £4,000 in legal costs after a court found them to be "fundamentally dishonest". Thomas Cook, which took Julie Lavelle and her partner Michael McIntyre to court, said the case was the first of a number it plans to contest. Liverpool County Court heard how the pair and their two children had gone on a two week all inclusive holiday with the operator to Gran Canaria in 2013 before filing a claim three years later demanding compensation saying the family had been struck down with gastroenteritis.