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Crystal Ski - gobsmacked

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
smithski wrote:
@OuchMyKnee, it was debit card IIRC, irks me to pay the c/card fee for holidays/flights etc.


You may still be able to use your debit card's chargeback facility to claim, contact your bank.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
smithski wrote:
@Alastair Pink, see post above @19:31 - absolutely no weather issues at departure or arrival airport.

Not sure if the reg exemptions apply to knock on effects or widespread chaos as a result of localised storm geographically not related to departure or arrival airport of flight in question


That seems to be the crux of the matter. Perhaps you could ask expert travel writer Simon Calder via facebook or twitter for his opinion of your entitlement(s). Madeye-Smiley
ski holidays     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@smithski, your flight (East Midlands to Salzburg) was delayed because the plane was late in from Chambery, right? If so, I think you may still be entitled to compensation - airlines can only use the "extraordinary circumstances" defence if they directly affect the flight. Definitely worth checking with someone more knowledgeable than me!
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I think mgrolf may well be right, sounds like TUI are trying to pull a fast one! I think you should take up my suggestion of contacting Simon Calder. He often helps in these sorts of situations as (apart from being a helpful chap) he gets a travel story out of it he can write about! Toofy Grin
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
18k spent with Crystal in 2017 (this ill-fated trip plus a group trip) - doesn't buy you loyalty though.
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@Alastair Pink, yes I think you are right, I will get in touch with the travel guru, but not before I enjoy my birthday tomorrow Happy
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@mgrolf, I'm hopeful you might have a point and I'll follow it up - at least it gives some hope of some resolution. Thanks
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
We were due to do Edinburgh to Chambery on Sat 30th Dec in the afternoon for the same week of holiday. The plane was chartered by Crystal from BA and was sitting on the tarmac in Edinburgh, but at the point of departure time we were suddenly informed the flight was cancelled, collect your bags from the carousel and go home for the night.
The reason as I understand it was that Crystal, in negotiation with Chambery, realised that pumping another six flights into Chambery that day when all was chaos was simply going to make things a whole lot worse, and we probably wouldn't get to Tignes that night anyway. So six UK flights to Chambery (from various airports) were cancelled that afternoon.
We were bussed to a hotel 20 minutes away (quiet traffic) which was pleasant and comfortable (got a swim and sauna in before dinner), given vouchers for a restricted menu but filling and nice 3-course dinner (without wine, fair enough), and told to be ready for 6 am collection on Sunday 31st - for 8.30 am flight.
All went smoothly except the flight didn't actually take off until 10.15 am, and it was a bit galling to be leaving the transfer bus at Val Claret as the last sunlight of Hogmanay was disappearing, but, and this is the key thing...

We have been promised a refund for the lost day skiing, hire, pass and accommodation - because the decision not to fly was operational, not caused by airport closure. I think it was probably a good call (although I might have survived a sleepless night for a days great skiing on the 31st, not sure that Mrs and family would have), and this sounds like a responsible way of handling things. We are told to expect refund into the payment account within 28 days. We shall see!

Two years ago we had a last minute change of hotel due to hotel not being ready, and they compensated us in the resort quite well. I'm hopeful.

This was a direct Crystal charter, but I would expect your TUI flight to be a Crystal (internal?) charter? Certainly I would think they are liable.
ski holidays     
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
As others have said keep going back at Crystal years ago a threat to take them to small claims court and a formal ABTA complaint made them come up with a low offer of a voucher, having thrown this back at them and re-iterated they had one more chance before ABTA and small claims (copied in to their Company secretary) they came back with a better voucher offer, which we rejected as we had paid in hard earned cash not in their vouchers, a cheque arrived within 5 days!
Never used them again.

So keep going!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Check out my thread from 2007 when I had success against Easyjet. Cost them a lot of money for a group of 24 that did!

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=556478
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@vinnyhull,

ask him to send proof of bad weather!

Chambery to East Midlands is flight BY7635 (or TOM7635)
BY7635
Sat, 30. Dec Landed
BY7635 TOM9EG
TUIfly X3 / TUI
G-FDZB Boeing B737-800
Chambery (CMF)
to East Midlands (EMA)
955km (593mi.)
Scheduled:
13:15 (12:15 UTC)
14:00 (14:00 UTC)
Duration: 1h 45m
Actual:
19:19 (18:19 UTC)
Departed 364 min delayed
19:56 (19:56 UTC)
Landed 356 min delayed <------ as you suspected 6 hour delay!


Sazlburg had arrivals every hour on the 30th
https://www.airportia.com/austria/salzburg-airport/arrivals/20171230/0600/2359
So no bad weather there as proven.

Your original departure from what I can see should have been at 15.30
& as you can see, This is sandwiched between 2x RyanAir flights that took off ok (though a bit later than scheduled)
https://www.airportia.com/united-kingdom/east-midlands-airport/departures/20171230/0000/2359
So no bad weather there.....

Your tail for the flight on the 31st was g-fdzw & was repositioned from birmingham on the afternoon of the 31st!
31-Dec-2017 Unknown Dublin Int'l (DUB / EIDW) Birmingham Int'l (BHX / EGBB) 10:11PM GMT 10:54PM GMT 0:43
31-Dec-2017 Unknown Lyon (LYS / LFLL) Dublin Int'l (DUB / EIDW) 08:38PM CET 09:29PM GMT 1:51
31-Dec-2017 Unknown Birmingham Int'l (BHX / EGBB) East Midlands (EMA / EGNX) 02:01PM GMT 02:19PM GMT 0:17
30-Dec-2017 Unknown Birmingham Int'l (BHX / EGBB) Gran Canaria Int'l (LPA / GCLP) 01:45PM GMT 05:54PM WET 4:08

You can see the repositioning of the plane to EMA & then it turning up in Lyon some 7 hours later!


The tail from Chambrey delayed flight G-FDZB movements was :-
31-Dec-2017 Malaga (AGP / LEMG) Manchester (MAN / EGCC) 08:10PM CET 09:39PM GMT 2:28
31-Dec-2017 Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield (DSA / EGCN) Malaga (AGP / LEMG) 02:42PM GMT 06:27PM CET 2:44
31-Dec-2017 Malaga (AGP / LEMG) Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield (DSA / EGCN) 11:24AM CET 12:51PM GMT 2:26
31-Dec-2017 East Midlands (EMA / EGNX) Malaga (AGP / LEMG) 06:15AM GMT 10:03AM CET 2:48
30-Dec-2017 East Midlands (EMA / EGNX) Lyon (LYS / LFLL) 09:12AM GMT 12:26PM CET 2:13
As you can see the plane left EMA on the 30th & 31st with no return journey!

This is the info ive managed to piece together, I have no idea of the actual flight times, departure, arrival, etc. - Now, go ask them about this bad weather.......
ski holidays     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Mr.Egg, that's genius and a starter for 10. Good stuff !
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Crystal left us in Finland for 9 hours because our plane was diverted to chambrey because they apparently needed it more than us. We requested a refund and the arrogant @@@@@@ told us to get stuffed. We instructed a no win no fee solitictor (Blue something) and got back 800, plus costs of 400 to the solicitor. Dont mess around. Just appoint one of these solicitors.
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@smithski, I too am trying to claim compo under EU rule 261/2004 (see https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/flight-delays ) after a 13 hr flight delay out of Bristol to Verona on 6th Jan.
I sent my epistle off to Tui today, having rang Crystal Customer Services as I was told to by our v good rep in resort. (He was the only positive about Crystal and showed them up on the communication front.) Crystal didn't want to know, even though I, like you want compensation for an afternoon/evening missed in resort and the first mornings skiing missed due to playing catch up with ski gear, lockers, reps and such.
We too had to find out stuff for ourselves as we had missed welcome meeting and spent about 24 hrs getting up to speed once we got there.
Our delay was down, we were told, to a 'technical fault' with our aircraft so I fail to see how they cannot pay out.

Having seen your thread and the 'Grrhhh' Crystal thread, along with my own experience so far, I cannot see that I will book with them again.

When I have a spare hour I will detail the fun and games we had. Just cannot face doing it at the mo.

I will so be posting negative stuff on their website at some point.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Must have used Crystal around 20 times over past 8 years and never had cause to complain. May not be perfect, but really not so bad.

Did once miss a day stuck in BHX due to weather, but Crystal handled it ok. Didnt even consider making any claims - its just something that happens.

But couple of months later when renewing annual insurance broker asked me if Id had any claims and I mentioned the (unclaimed for) delay and they insisted I should claim there and then.

In the end insurance paid out 50 per hour for the delay - capped at 500 but that was still 150 more than Id paid for whole trip.

Next time dont scrimp on the insurance 😁
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
bambionskiis wrote:
Crystal left us in Finland for 9 hours because our plane was diverted to chambrey because they apparently needed it more than us. We requested a refund and the arrogant @@@@@@ told us to get stuffed. We instructed a no win no fee solitictor (Blue something) and got back 800, plus costs of 400 to the solicitor. Dont mess around. Just appoint one of these solicitors.


This may depend on the reason for the diversion though. If yours was diverted for "operational reasons" which it sounds like, then compensation would eventually come. However the OP here was delayed by aircraft movements which were caused by extreme weather.

Not saying it isn't worth pursuing, but this may be what stop Crystal having to pay out in this case. Per Kerb's post, if you have decent travel insurance then you should be taken care of every time in this situation. Personally use Amex and have made a couple of small claims in the past related to delays. Immediate payout with no quibble.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
smithski wrote:
@Alastair Pink, see post above @19:31 - absolutely no weather issues at departure or arrival airport.

Not sure if the reg exemptions apply to knock on effects or widespread chaos as a result of localised storm geographically not related to departure or arrival airport of flight in question


The airlines are obliged to pay the compensation unless there have been 'extraordinary circumstances'. Weather is accepted as such. I'm not aware of any decisions based upon your facts, but if the plane is flying a schedule and any leg of that schedule is affected by weather, causing it to not make your leg, I expect the exemption would apply.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
[quote="froomie"]
bambionskiis wrote:

This may depend on the reason for the diversion though. If yours was diverted for "operational reasons" which it sounds like, then compensation would eventually come. However the OP here was delayed by aircraft movements which were caused by extreme weather.
.


Customer is entitled to compensation under this. It is TUI responsibility to have enough planes to fly their chartered routes.
TUI could have wet leased a plane from a number of airports for example.
Operation reasons cancelled the flight. Not the weather. The weather affected TUI operation. It was their business decision to try & fit in all these sectors. Not the customers.

Airlines will try anything not to pay out. Its a % game. if 200 people are on a flight, then they hope some will not claim, some will accept their cowdoo, while maybe only 10% or so actually take it all the way to issuing court proceedings.

Here is someone winning compensation for a weather realated knock on affect
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/Air-passenger-compensated-for-weather-delay/

Issues that don't qualify as "extraordinary" include "technical issues which arise as a result of the air carriers failure to maintain its aircraft" and "poor operational planning by the air carrier".

& from a legal website
https://www.bottonline.co.uk/flight-delay-compensation/claim-guides/flight-compensation-bad-weather
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@smithski, I had a similiar experience with Easyjet many moons ago, they also tried the "bad weather" and "out of our control" card, fortunately I had similiar info to that provided by @Mr.Egg.

In the end I took them through the small claims procedure, it took a long time. Every single time they had a deadline they did "just enough" to keep the process going, inc various letters from lawyers, which I batted straight back.

In the end, and very close to the actual court appearance date I got offered a settlement which covered my costs due to the delay (which is all I was after).

So if you get no where, I'd go down the small claims. It's online (note seems to mention a new quicker method as well) https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

PS: Hi and Happy Birthday Very Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@smithski, have a look here https://www.flightradar24.com/20.67,16.11/3

You will need to pay to get the data that far back but use the data/history tab to search various ways. The secret to what you want to know is the tail number of the actual aircraft which will then show you log of everywhere that aircraft has been and every detail of route and timings etc.
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kerb wrote:
Must have used Crystal around 20 times over past 8 years and never had cause to complain. May not be perfect, but really not so bad. ... Next time dont scrimp on the insurance 😁

With respect, that's not really the point. The challenge for these "tour operators" is to deal in a civilized and legal manner with their customers when things do not go right.

It's how they deal with problems which matters.

The idea of having to insure to cover costs which are legally the liability of the travel company seems perverse to me.

I like Section 77/ Chargeback, because it forces them to come after you. Otherwise the "small claims court" has never failed me. As per a previous post, they always go "to the steps of the court" and then settle at that point. Insuring against their business practices is not my path.

--
Perhaps when the populists "take back control" they can stiffen up the EU law on this. I've had quite a few delays which neatly come in just under the EU limit. It appears that when things go wrong [scheduled] airlines adjust their inventory to minimize EU related compensation. At least that means you get 2.5 hours sitting in a lounge rather than these larger numbers, but even so it seems cynical. Perhaps a sliding compensation scale would be better. I shall not hold my breath.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Am I out of date or being naive but if you book a package holiday through a TO aren't they responsible for any issues? ie why should you have to deal with airline.

Btw I haven't used a TO at all for 7 years, even longer for skiing.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Mr.Egg, airport.com only has data for last 8 days, how do you get the older data? thanks
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
robboj wrote:
@smithski, have a look here https://www.flightradar24.com/20.67,16.11/3

You will need to pay to get the data that far back but use the data/history tab to search various ways. The secret to what you want to know is the tail number of the actual aircraft which will then show you log of everywhere that aircraft has been and every detail of route and timings etc.


7 day free trial with 180 history might be the answer, or $1 US per month
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Mrs Val D wrote:
smithski wrote:
@Alastair Pink, see post above @19:31 - absolutely no weather issues at departure or arrival airport.

Not sure if the reg exemptions apply to knock on effects or widespread chaos as a result of localised storm geographically not related to departure or arrival airport of flight in question


The airlines are obliged to pay the compensation unless there have been 'extraordinary circumstances'. Weather is accepted as such. I'm not aware of any decisions based upon your facts, but if the plane is flying a schedule and any leg of that schedule is affected by weather, causing it to not make your leg, I expect the exemption would apply.


I know a few people have made this point already, but just to reiterate:
Delays caused by a plane not being in position due to bad weather are not excepted, only bad weather effecting the actual sector to be flown is covered under the exception.
I have successfully claimed for a delay caused by a plane not being in position due to weather at an airport not directly involved in my travel. It did take about 3 years, but this was back when the airlines were all consistently trying to dodge their obligations under the rules.
In other words I disagree with the quote above.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Thu 18-01-18 11:04; edited 1 time in total
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Well, contrary to the OP, it was two bad experiences with Crystal that finally turned us to self-organising our family ski holiday. We had very good service from Neilsen when my son was injured in Italy, so I wouldn't want to tar all TOs with the same brush. But what we came to realise is that Crystal are really at the bottom end of being just a bookings intermediary and seem to (a) pay their Reps poorly and (b) train their Reps less than the other TOs. So basically, yes, they're fine if all goes well - you're benefiting from their scale in terms of travel, transfers and accommodation. But if anything goes wrong then you're on your own (bar an inexperienced and underpaid Rep) and certainly it'll be an uphill task to get any compensation, however warranted.

I've made the same criticism when people have complained about TO transfer chaos on Snowmaggedon days and been told 'What do you expect? This isn't the Voyages Jules Verne market?'. But I don't buy that: the implication is that some of your money is going towards a highly experienced Rep and a well-oiled system to handle any transfer and flight issues. All you're getting are cheaper flights and transfers - the rest you could do as well or as cheaply yourself, with a bit of effort.

Things will go wrong whether you self-organise or go TO. And there are limits to what any TO can do when problems arise. But I think that Crystal are the least able of all the TOs to handle any problems that come up, however good value they may otherwise be.
ski holidays     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Just go DIY everyone. They will get the message when they go out of business. Never used a tour operator since easyjet came into being snowHead (other airlines are available).
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
smithski wrote:
@Mr.Egg, airport.com only has data for last 8 days, how do you get the older data? thanks


Which data do you need?
You can send me a personal message if you want.
There is a variety of ways + I have access to some historic data that goes further back than 8 days, due to having to pay for access in a fight v enter air where 22 of us suffered a 4+ hour delay... so was financially worth it!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@smithski,

With Airporta you need to edit the URL to change the date & go back further than 8 days YearMonthDay

[website address][country][airport][arrival or departure][DATE][time start][time finish]
[www.airportia.com][austria][salzburg-airport][arrivals][20171230][0600][2359]
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
kitenski wrote:
In the end I took them through the small claims procedure, it took a long time.


midgetbiker wrote:
I have successfully claimed for a delay caused by a plane not being in position due to weather at an airport not directly involved in my travel. It did take about 3 years,


Well done both of you but I, like, I suspect, the majority of customers who have problems, do the usual complaints procedure then decide that life is too short and move on. (Can't remember whether it was Crystal, Inghams or Neilson but they lied through their teeth!)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Mr.Egg, Mr.Egg, for being able to dig up all that ^ info and post it on here, you absolutely win Snowheads today.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Check your home insurance policy to see if you have legal expenses insurance - you can claim for flight delay under the contract disputes section. I had a similar issue where an Etihad flight was delayed due to the incoming plane being held up due to bad weather. They tried to argue exceptional circumstances but it was deemed to be operational as they should have had more planes. You might have to push the legal expenses insurer a bit but it should definitely be covered. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions, I worked as a senior underwriter for a legal expenses insurer for a number of years.

Takes all the hassle out of the process, they pay all the court fees and do all the paperwork.
ski holidays     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Step 2: Claim rejected or put on hold by the airline? Take it further with the regulator or new adjudicators

Passengers should claim compensation
Just because your case has been rejected or put on hold by the airline, it doesn't mean that's the end of the line for your complaint. If you think you have a legitimate claim, you can take your case either to the relevant regulator or one of several new adjudicators many airlines have signed up with.

Escalating your complaint is normally free, but watch out one of the new adjudicators now charges a 25 fee if your appeal's unsuccessful.

If you flew to or from the UK and your airline's with an adjudicator, you MUST use it

The CAA, the UK's airline regulator, has been approving various Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) schemes to take on cases. If your airline has signed up to one it has to tell you when it rejects your claim if the ADR scheme covers the flight you flew on you MUST go to it if you want to appeal. The advantage of going to an ADR scheme is its decision is generally binding on the airline.

Here's a round-up of the different ADR schemes which have so far been approved by the CAA, and the airlines they cover:

AviationADR (formerly The Retail Ombudsman) Air Astana, Air Canada (and Air Canada Rouge) Air China, Air France/KLM, Air India, Air Mauritius, Asiana Airlines, CityJet, Delta, Egypt Air, Flybe, Garuda Indonesia, Norwegian, Ryanair, Skywork Airlines AG, Small Planet Airlines, South African Airways, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Wizz Air. You can submit your complaint here there's no fee if your claim's unsuccessful.

CEDR British Airways, Easyjet, Thomas Cook and Thomson. You can submit your complaint here. If your claim's unsuccessful you'll have to pay a 25 fee, but if you're awarded any compensation this fee will be waived.

Czech Trade Inspection Authority Czech Airlines and Smart Wings/Travel Services. You can submit your complaint here. There's no fee if your claim's unsuccessful, but this scheme's decisions are not legally binding on the airline.

Latvian Consumer Rights Protection Centre Air Baltic. You can submit your complaint here.

Sp Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Germania, Germanwings, Lufthansa, Scandanavia Airline SAS and Swiss. You can submit your complaint here there's no fee if your claim's unsuccessful. This scheme's decisions are not legally binding on the airline, but it says 90% of businesses follow its rulings.

From Martin Lewis's website.
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maggi wrote:
kitenski wrote:
In the end I took them through the small claims procedure, it took a long time.


midgetbiker wrote:
I have successfully claimed for a delay caused by a plane not being in position due to weather at an airport not directly involved in my travel. It did take about 3 years,


Well done both of you but I, like, I suspect, the majority of customers who have problems, do the usual complaints procedure then decide that life is too short and move on.


Aye, but we're both from Yorkshire.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
midgetbiker wrote:
maggi wrote:
kitenski wrote:
In the end I took them through the small claims procedure, it took a long time.


midgetbiker wrote:
I have successfully claimed for a delay caused by a plane not being in position due to weather at an airport not directly involved in my travel. It did take about 3 years,


Well done both of you but I, like, I suspect, the majority of customers who have problems, do the usual complaints procedure then decide that life is too short and move on.


Aye, but we're both from Yorkshire.


Make that three of us Very Happy
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Erm, make that four Laughing .
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
This thread is Snowheads at its best.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
smithski wrote:
@OuchMyKnee, it was debit card IIRC, irks me to pay the c/card fee for holidays/flights etc.


If a VISA or Mastercard debit card you can still claim your money back via the chargeback process. You didn't get what you paid for. Contact your bank.
ski holidays     
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I will never use Crystal ever again. The chalet staff returned drunk every night. The food was just thrown together. Breakfast and dinner was served by alternating stoned and hung over staff. The rep was useless and we were made to feel a nuisance. We were getting in the way of their season. Never again.

Chalet Glacier, Lavachet, Tignes.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Well credit where credit's due. Took a while but in the end Crystal did their bit and acknowledged their failing by making an acceptable settlement. TUI paid out on the EU flight regulation quite early on, then some time later Crystal offered additional compensation (after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and raising a case with ABTA), initially in the form of vouchers but having declined those they then settled with a cheque. Thanks to those of you who responded with help and advice and I hope that others have had a similar satisfactory outcome.
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