Here at Halsbury Travel, we have a reputation for excellent customer care. This was proven once again, when French air traffic controllers’ decided to strike on 8th and 9th April 2015, leaving thousands of air passengers across Europe grounded, including one of our school groups.
The group from Loreto College had been on a school language trip to Madrid and were due to return home on Wednesday 8th April at 21.20. Easyjet announced the cancellation of the group’s flight less than 24 hours in advance. Understandably, the group’s leader was very concerned about the development and called us on the emergency numbers that we provide all groups with. We assured the group leader that we would be in contact with the airline at the earliest possible opportunity, which would be at 8.00am the following day, Wednesday 8th April.
Our Managing Director, Keith Sharkey, explains:
“We had contacted the clients’ insurers to make sure that they were covered and within 1 hour 30 minutes of airline offices being opened we had sourced the best alternative flights at the best prices to get all 26 members of the party back to the UK, with a total delay of around just 18 hours. We had looked into hiring coaches, taking scheduled bus seats from Madrid to London and every other option we could think of. Luckily, our swift action meant that we were able to secure 26 seats together for the next day.”We made arrangements for the group to stay one extra night in their hotel, organised airport transfers for them in Madrid and made sure that their insurance (which we had included in their package) would cover them for this. Of course, when we relayed this information to the group leader, he was very relieved.
This is not the first time that we have stepped in to assist school groups who have been left stranded due to external forces. In 2010, we arranged alternative transport for a number of groups left stranded by the volcanic ash cloud that grounded flights across Europe and, in 2013, helped a school group whose original tour operator let them down.
Here at Halsbury, our founder and many members of senior staff are former teachers, giving us a unique understanding of the pressures on teachers to provide a great school trip. It also means that we understand how stressful it is when things go wrong. That's why we work so hard to find a solution as quickly as possible. When you choose to travel with Halsbury, you are choosing a leading school tour operator with a proven commitment to customer care.