Fair Play: Thomsonfly and the tale of a dog

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THOMSONFLY may be cheap, but one local couple found that their dealings with the company were less than cheerful.

Julian Bernstein is in dispute with the airline because he feels that his wife Martha was misled when she asked what the procedure was for transporting an animal.

Mrs Bernstein planned to collect a puppy while she was in Doncaster and called Thomsonfly to find out what she had to do.

‘They said that the best way to transfer the puppy was in a dog box checked in as an extra piece of baggage,’ Mr Bernstein said on behalf of his wife.

‘We were passed on to their cargo department, who said the same thing and assured my wife that it had been done before without any problems.

‘When my wife checked in they said that the dog, Bella, should have been checked in four hours beforehand with a muzzle and a waterproof blanket. We had not been told that.’

Mrs Bernstein was then told that she couldn’t fly. with the dog. Her husband had to organise a different flight from Jersey to get his wife back, and Mrs Bernstein ended up driving from Coventry, then London, and on to Bournemouth to catch the flight — all of which cost around £500.

‘The trouble with Thomsonfly is that they won’t talk to anyone about it on the phone,’ said Mr Bernstein. ‘You can send a letter and they send one back, but it doesn’t even address your problem.

‘What they try to do is stonewall you. They don’t reply, and there is no way of getting through to them to talk about it, so people get bored with writing.

‘We have lost money unnecessarily. If we’d known the procedure we would have collected the dog in some other way. I am aggrieved because they lied to me. It was not just misinformation. They lied.’

So we got in touch with Thomsonfly on the couple’s behalf to find out how such incorrect information could had been given out. But it seems that neither Thomsonfly nor ANA Aviation (the cargo company) appear to want to take responsibility for the fiasco.

A Thomsonfly spokesman said: ‘Customer satisfaction is of paramount importance to Thomsonfly, and we are very sad to hear of the distress experienced by Mr and Mrs Bernstein when they attempted to fly their new puppy from Doncaster to Jersey.

‘Mrs Bernstein spoke to ANA Aviation, the cargo company which we used on this route, which transports thousands of animals each year. After conducting an internal investigation, the company has informed us that they can only presume that, on this occasion, there was a misunderstanding between Mrs Bernstein and the member of staff that she spoke to regarding the safe travel of her pet.

‘Unfortunately, because this is a matter between ANA Aviation and the Bernsteins, we are unable to comment further on it.’

ANA Aviation also refuse to accept blame, and in a letter to Mr Bernstein they claim that they had been unable to identify who gave his wife the information. They go on to say:

‘As I mentioned, we are the cargo department for Thomsonfly, and have no direct dealings with passenger services, although customers do advise us that they wish their pets to travel on the same flight, which we always try to accommodate. I have copied Customer Relations on this reply, for them to review, and if needed to make any further comments relating to your complaint and compensation.’

And so it goes on in circles.

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