Gill Charlton has been fighting for Telegraph readers for over 30 years, solving travel problems, getting refunds, correcting mistakes and suggesting solutions.
Here is this week’s question:
I am an 82-year-old widower and, having been so pleased with the previous five Leger holidays, I booked a trip to visit Bavaria in Southern Germany on one of the Luxuria buses. Joining me – and sharing a twin room – was a very old family friend I hadn’t seen in a while, so we had a lot to catch up on.
When I booked the tour last May, I requested a seat together in the middle of the carriage. This didn’t seem like a problem. But a month ago, I got an email saying we were allocated two single seats, one in front of the other behind the coach. Since Luxuria coaches have wide knee room, it will not be possible to chat on the road.
I phoned Leger’s customer service to resolve the issue and was told that their terms and conditions together do not guarantee seats – and that’s it. I am very disappointed with this result. Could you please learn the secret behind the success of those sitting together?
– david taylor
dear david taylor,
I felt that Leger should have done better than Mr. Taylor and he certainly shouldn’t have taken his complaint so lightly. On Luxuria buses, only the front two rows of seats can be reserved (for a fee) and are usually reserved for those with reduced mobility.
I contacted the company to ask them to explain the seating policy. I didn’t hear anything but Mr. Taylor got a call from the customer service representative and said that Mr. Taylor was sorry for the disappointment but couldn’t offer a solution.
Mr Taylor said he would reduce the trip to a cheaper Silver Service departure, but there was no room available. Instead, it was recommended to discuss with the driver about getting a double seat. However, as he himself stated, it is not fair to cause such a headache to a contracted driver. The final offer was two free single seats in the front (which usually costs £23), which he reluctantly accepted.
I wasn’t happy with that and felt that at least we should be told why he found himself in this situation and what Leger’s sitting-in-coach policy was.
Mr. Taylor got another call from a much more helpful agent named Ellie. He phoned all the other passengers and asked if they could exchange, and he found a table-seat for Mr. Taylor where he and his companion would at least face each other.
Then he had a brainwave and checked out another Luxuria departure to Bavaria that same day. There was a double vacancy and everything was settled.
To assist future travelers, I once again asked Leger’s management for clarification – but received no response.
Gill handles a different case each week – so please send your issues to him at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. Please provide your full name and, if your dispute is with a travel company, your address, phone number and, if applicable, your booking reference. Gill can’t answer every question, but is helpful in any way he can and all emails are welcome.