Marooned in Venice: flying back to London cost 879. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
I BOOKED TWO FLIGHTS THROUGH EDREAMS, FLYING TO VENICE WITH RYANAIR AND RETURNING TO LONDON WITH BA. I RECEIVED A BOOKING CONFIRMATION BY EMAIL, INCLUDING CONFIRMATION NUMBERS.
THE FIRST FLIGHT PROCEEDED WITHOUT HITCH, BUT WHEN I ARRIVED FOR THE RETURN LEG I FOUND THAT MY SEAT HAD NOT BEEN CONFIRMED. EDREAMS TOLD ME MY CARD PAYMENT HAD FAILED DESPITE BOTH FLIGHTS HAVING BEEN PAID FOR IN THE SAME TRANSACTION, BUT I NEVER RECEIVED ANY PRIOR WARNING.
BA STAFF AT THE AIRPORT TOLD ME THEY'D HAD THIS PROBLEM BEFORE WITH EDREAMS AND THAT IT OFTEN FAILS TO PASS ON PAYMENTS FOR BOOKINGS. I HAD TO PAY 879 FOR A FLIGHT HOME, INSTEAD OF THE EUR300 I'D HAVE PAID IF THE EDREAMS BOOKING HAD GONE THROUGH. JO, London
EDreams insists that its first email - despite its title "booking confirmation" - merely reiterates the details of your reservation and that a flight is not actually confirmed until a second email is received as per its terms and conditions. You never received this, but understandably assumed that if the booking had failed you would be alerted.
When I contact eDreams, I'm told it has been in touch with you to resolve the issue and that the case is closed. This turns out to mean it's reiterated its terms and conditions to you and absolved itself of all blame. It declines to explain why it cannot inform passengers when a booking cannot be confirmed. Obviously, you should always read terms and conditions and contact the company if promised messages don't arrive, but given eDreams confusing system and uncompromising stance I'd steer well clear in future.
IF YOU NEED HELP EMAIL ANNA TIMS AT YOUR.PROBLEMS@OBSERVER.CO.UK OR WRITE TO YOUR PROBLEMS, THE OBSERVER, KINGS PLACE, 90 YORK WAY, LONDON N1 9GU. INCLUDE AN ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER. PLEASE NOTE THAT ANNA CANNOT RESPOND TO LETTERS INDIVIDUALLY. //