We are seasoned cruisers having enjoyed some twenty cruises with most of the big cruise lines. This was our first and last Thomson / TUI cruise. As soon as we checked in on line, we quickly discovered the first of many reasons why Thomson /TUI is a cruise company to be very aware of.
On the outward flight, we were allocated acceptable adjacent aisle seats, one in front of the other. The Dreamliner aircraft has 9 seats across which does not divide evenly into travelling couples, this. therefore leaves odd seats which we had and accepted. However, for the return flight, we were allocated unacceptable separated seats on opposite sides of the aircraft. Although on the seating plan our same outward seats were available. When we made a manual request to change our seats to the acceptable outward seats, up popped a £30 charge which we found infuriating and unacceptable. We rang Thomson / TUI to complain and was told that the administration cannot override the computer system. If we wanted to change the seats we would have to pay. We refused to pay this charge and wrote to Thomson /TUI to complain. Thomson / TUI did not have the decency to reply. However on the return journey our separated seats, as indicated on our boarding-passes, were surprisingly taken. As the same two acceptable seats were still vacant, we were allowed to sit in them anyway. The steward checked our status and told us we had the acceptable seats all the time. On the face of it, Thomson /TUI tried to sell us our own seats back for an extra charge of £30!!
At the outward check in at Gatwick, I was misinformed by two check-in staff that I could not check in my wife's baggage without her presence. I arrived at the check-in early to beat the rush and my wife was still sleeping in the airport hotel. I was furious at the thought of having to return with my wife and join a long queue. Luckily, another check-in staff with common sense made an enquiry and confirmed that baggage can be checked in by a fellow passenger. The lack of training was obvious and infuriating.