are not travel trolley and travel bag the same company, both a subsidiary of southall travel
sorry to hear the bad news
For the first time ever, planned our December holiday far in advance and it was also the more complicated, as Wife and son were going for a month and myself and daughter just shy of 2 weeks, so booked in June with 2 separate agents, all 4 of us going out on the same flights with Qatar, but returning on different dates.
A couple of days before we were due to fly son (19 months) was a bit poorly and so had an early night and the morning after I had gone into town to sort out my International Driving Permit and get some nice shiny £50 notes from the bank. When I got back, son was very ill and had developed a rash, so straight down the local walk in center for a couple of hours, where he was seen by a nurse. She suspected chicken pox and tonsillitis, but as was strange for both to appear at once, she called in a doctor for a second opinion, where it was mentioned it could be hand foot and mouth disease or chicken pox and tonsillitis, they said we should take him up to A&E and prepared a letter for us to take, the letter had under "Diagnosis", "tonsillitis with ? streptococcal rash discussed with dr majeeb to sent to children's A&E for review". We then drove to A&E and after showing them the letter they told us to wait to be called, I asked if could have a copy of the letter in case it was going to be needed for insurance as we were supposed to be flying the next day, we were told that the letter would be given back to us afterwards, but luckily I asked if I could take a photo of the 2 pages just in case. We were left in the main area for about an hour before a triage nurse was seen. We were then moved to an isolation area, with a doctor eventually visiting and doing some checks, but with much vagueness and said he would request the registrar for a further check. They would not provide a letter to say if it was safe for him to fly or not, it would be unsafe for contact with pregnant women or people with immunity system problems eg being treated for cancer etc, but we should contact the airline to see if he could fly or not with chicken pox as different airlines have different policies, they got some penicillin for the tonsils, just in case it was tonsillitis and there was another spray medicine that we would have to get from outside pharmacy and pay for it as they did not have it in their pharmacy and their prescriptions only covered the hospital pharmacy. The original letter from the walk-in centre was not returned and one nurse even suggested not saying anything and travel anyway. So after about 6 hours of medical care we left with a lot of uncertainties and a bit of a dilemma.
That night I got a lot of information courtesy of Google and called Qatar at 9am the next morning, our flight day. They confirmed (quite rightly) they would not accept passengers with chicken pox and would note our two separate bookings were cancelled, but could be transferred within a year if needs be with a necessary surplus to be paid, but we should contact the travel agents to advise further. I contacted the first travel agents, Travel Trolley at 9.49am and instead of cancelling the flights, as there would only be £93 refunded, they tried to convince me to rebook the wife and son 1 month long flights for a date in February for 2 weeks which would be available for a rebooking fee of only £405, but had to be done immediately, as I was getting fobbed off from cancelling I said that I couldn't rebook immediately as I had to think over their advice and I was cut off.
Instead of phoning the 2nd Travel Agent, Travel Bag, I then contacted my Insurance company, Nationwide, with the policy being part of my Flex Plus account, to find out what my options were, they said I would need to call on Monday after 9am for what I needed as it was the weekend. So I took a break to care for the poorly one and regain my senses.
So Monday arrives and as son has worsened and I am also feeling the worst for wear I book a GPs appointment to get confirmation of unfit to fly for son and have myself checked. GP informs that it is chicken pox, but they don't do a letter for insurers, the insurers contact them and they then reply to the insurers. So we head off to get some Calamine lotion, which due to lots of chicken pox pharmacy won't have until afternoon delivery, we head back home.
I phone the insurance again and they say what required is cover letter on exactly what happened and what claiming, booking invoices, cancellation invoice, they will email form to me for GP to complete as the doctors would do me a letter today. I should then get my money back apart from £50 excess per adult.
As I am going to go back to pharmacy again for Calamine lotion in the afternoon, I print and complete my details on the insurance form and anticipated taking this, more complicated than it should be form, to the doctors on the way to the pharmacy. The doctors receptionist then inform me that as the Insurance company have asked me to get the doctor to complete the form I would have to pay £40 to £100 for the doctor to do it and it would take up to 2 weeks! I take it back and think that I hope the photo that I took of the walk in center to A&E letter will hopefully be sufficient and save extra fees, or ask the Insurance company to contact the GP, where they will then be liable for the fee. The visit to the pharmacy then proved equally as annoying because the delivery had not included any calamine lotion. A subsequent visit to another pharmacy then had the lotion in hand, the price they were charging must have been why it was still in stock.
So today I contacted Travel Trolley by phone again, and they said I would have to email cancellation request to them and they would then provide all that was necessary, but was I sure I wanted to cancel as I would only get back £93 and it would take 4 to 6 weeks.
So I draft up a cancellation request and I contact both travel agents with an email with just the booking reference information being different, Travel Bag responded almost immediately and provided me with cancellation invoice, original invoice and a very nice response to assist with the insurance claim. They have indicated that it will be 3 to 4 weeks before I get the small refund from them as the tax part needs to come back from the Airline. The credit card fee will not be refundable etc.
Travel Trolley eventually replied asking me to confirm that I wanted to cancel, which is what I had included in the Subject line and the body of the email. I emailed back to confirm, yes I do want to cancel and to also provide the information that I had requested in the earlier email, I have still not received a reply.
So tomorrow, I hope I have received a reply from Travel Trolley and will then proceed with collating the information together and then send on to the insurance company with confirmation that the walk-in letter photo being sufficient for their needs.
All in all, a bit of a nightmare at the moment and can't believe how quickly and frustratingly this holiday seems to be going.
Hopefully everything will get sorted and especially with the little one, but makes me realise that you only find out how good insurance is when you have to claim on it. No doubt they will be double check on everything and so a shame that they can't take the relevant details and then contact the airlines/travel agents/doctors in the first place to get what they require, especially as they will have the experience of all that they require and in the format they require it.
are not travel trolley and travel bag the same company, both a subsidiary of southall travel
sorry to hear the bad news
Travel Trolley is owned by Southall but I think Travelbag is a completely seperate entity. Last I heard Travelbag was owned by Ebookers.
Travel trolley and Fly Sharpe are online versions of the original Southall Travel Agency (online as well obviously)
I have only ever made one claim in well over 100 trips to Thailand but there was an exhaustive list of requirements to satisfy the insurers. They paid out no problem but took couple months
Sorry to hear your woes, and I hope the wee one has made a recovery.
May I ask, how much were the hospital fees? I hear all the time GPs and A&E's over complicating matters saying we need to run all these unnecessary tests for simple issues. clearly the meter is ticking.
Also, we have the Flex Plus insurance so would be very interested to hear how this continued in the event we ever need to claim.
HappyCar, little one made a full recovery and was better after about a week, crazily daughter who carried on back to school and had already had chicken pox went down with Hand Foot and Mouth Disease, which I too went on to catch, so having avoided these for all my years, I went down with 2 viruses in 2 weeks! As it's in the UK and we all have British Citizenship, all the treatment has been free, but car parking costs have been about a tenner and if I eventually do need Doctors Report we have been told £40 to £100 fee will be needed.
I still have to provide son's birth certificate to prove we are parents and Doctors diagnosis to prove illness to Travel Trolley, as they have requested this so that they can seek reimbursement costs from Qatar Air and provide me with cancellation invoice, I am hoping on getting this done tomorrow.
Once I have reply back from them I will then progress back with Nationwide for the insurance, but the illness and this delay further irritates me, but process looks like it's still going to be many weeks. On a further visit to the GPs by myself (on a Hand Foot and Mouth Disease complication) I asked the GP if I could have a print out of son and my information with them (medical record), he printed out about 4 pages each for us, so I am hoping this information will be accepted by Travel Trolley and Nationwide without the need of further cost, GP provided these prints whilst I was in the room with him and for free. Must say that having read the notes they are not what I was expecting and reminded me more of the notes that IT Helpdesk would record when they were time pressured into completing records, rather than recorded properly by a health professional.
As example on 4/12 at the GPs my son and I was seen by the same GP, one after the other, my sons Problem Record says Chickenpox, mine say C/O: a rash.
Looking at the examination section and son's mentions T36.3, RR24, HR110 Well child, running around the room. Vesicular rash, predominantly on legs, some lesions on face, torso and arms, some lesions have crusted over. One ulcer hard palate. Comments: Advised avoid contact with pregnant women and immunosuppressed people until all lessions crusted over Advised managed symtpoms with PRN Paracetemol, Piriton, calamine lotion. Advised should resolve over about 10 days. Review as required.
My Examination says: About 10 spots in total, 1-2mm in diameter on arms, legs and chest wall. Comment: Advised could be chickenpox given recent contact, but doesn't look characteristic. Advised manage with emollient, antihistamine as needed. Review 2 to 4 weeks if rash persisting.
When we were at the GPs my son was cuddled up to mum and was far from well and definitely not running around the room, he hated having the stick in the mouth and cried his eyes out, how he could be described as well child running around the room really amazed me. I had far more than 10 spots and he just briefly glanced at them from his seat as I raised my t-shirt and trouser leg to show him the spots on my chest, stomach and 1 leg/shin before him saying that I too had chicken pox. Luckily I don't have to provide evidence of my case. Wife subsequently took a picture of my back with the spots, but wish I had asked for swab tests to be done of both viral infections in case evidence is later to be needed. Even worse with the Hand Foot and Mouth Disease which I hope no one has the misfortune of catching, that one made holding anything or putting any weight/contact on the feet quite excruciating! At least not as itchy as the chickenpox though.
I remember the sweats most with chicken pox.
The clock on the wall reads a quarter past midnight
Thanks Ian. Sounds like it’s been quite an episode of varying angles.
Almost drawn to a close now, Travel Trolley eventually provided Cancellation invoice on 24th April and Refund of £93 Tax went back on my card (From Southall Travel) on 27th April. I uploaded the Cancellation Invoice to Insurers on the 24th, but didn't hear anything back. Chasing again they have now confirmed that Claim is proceeding through authorisation ~5 working days and refund of £1072 will be coming back via BACs ~3 more days. So we should have all our money back apart from £24 Credit Card Fees and £100 Policy Excess (2 x £50). So almost 6 months and lots of chasing needed, but looks like got there in the end. The only part that was hassle free was dealing with TravelBag.