I’m sad

No Flights to Cuba or Dominican Republic from Gatwick?!

Can someone please explain why Thomas Cook are only flying to Cuba and Dominican Republic from Manchester? What about all of us 'Southerners' who want to fly to either of these destinations next year? Surely Thomas Cook isn't in a financial position where it isn't bothered about losing all the custom from the South East/South of England? Looks like I will have to either change our destination and go with First Choice (Not flying to Cuba as Thomas Cook have the monopoly!) or Virgin, who are going to Cuba but are obviously not as competitive with their price...... So much for a giving me a £75 voucher to use by next June!
1 person has
this question
+1
Reply
  • Hi

    They are flying from Gatwick to Holguin.

    I've but got to be honest, it makes a change for an airline to drop a Southern airport. It's usually us Northerners that have to travel to Gatwick :(

    I would imagine it's a carefully thought out business decision, just as Thomsons would have been when they decided to pull out of Cuba for Summer 2014.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Holguin is not as nice as Varadero Jane, which is where we want to go.... I am told the only reason Thomsons have pulled out of Cuba is because they can't compete with Thomas Cook, not only on price but because they have the monoploy on all the best hotels ;)

    It was only a month or so ago that I was given a quote for flying out of Gatwick to Varadero, the latest brochure for next year also says they are going from Gatwick? When I questioned this I was told the brochure was printed before they took Gatwick off?

    I can't believe they are dropping Gatwick or that they can afford to lose all those bookings.....
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I've not been to Varadero, only Guardalavaca and Cayo Coco.

    Thomsons were more than capable of competing with Thomas Cook, as many people prefer their longhaul product, especially with the arrival of the Dreamliner. They had some great hotels, including arguably the best on the island, but Thomsons are trying to get hotels, not just in Cuba, to be exclusive to them in the UK. The vast majority of the hotels in their Faraway Shores brochure for next summer are exclusive. Those that aren't they have either dropped or moved to Sovereign (at Sovereign prices lol). If they couldn't get enough hotels to agree there would be no point flying there any longer.

    Thanks to the Dreamliner they have taken new longhaul destinations on, which they are no doubt hoping will be more profitable.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Maybe I need to change destination and look at Thomsons.... :D

    Still miffed that I had a quote for the best hotel in Varadero (According to Tripadvisor) from Thomas Cook only for them to change their mind and tell me I have to fly from Manchester... I live in East Anglia! The price has now gone up since I was quoted by some £250.... Their website has been just awful the last few months.

    Also If I do go with another tour operator I will not be able to use the £75 Voucher from Thomas Cook as it runs out next June :(
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Claire (Official Rep) July 09, 2013 13:46
    Hello Mandy,

    Thomas Cook Airlines are no longer flying from Gatwick to Varadero. This can be for a variety of reasons but the airline constantly monitor and review routes.

    Please accept our apologies for any disappointment this may cause.

    Kind Regards
    Claire
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m frustrated
    Myself and 8 friends booked a holiday to Cuba Cayo coco in March 13 to go next April 14. 5 of us booked in store 4 booked online as we don't all live local to one another. Last Thursday the group that booked instore received a phone call to say the flight has been cancelled out of Gatwick we will have to fly from Manchester and pay the price of the holiday that it's worth now!!!!! Plus the extra cost to travel to Manchester. We went into the store and was lucky enough to have a very good agent who managed to keep the holiday at the original price but we have to make our way to Manchester (more time and money) however the group that have booked online have still not received any information and when you ring the online phone number (which is not cheap and on hold forever) their being told they have no knowledge of the flight being cancelled it's still going from Gatwick (Erm no it's not I know that and I'm not a Thomas Cook employee)theirs nothing they can do until it comes up on their system!!! So Thanks very much Thomas Cook we now don't know if half our party will make the holiday and if they do it will probably cost them more :( I will never ever book with Thomas Cook again and will erge other people not too either....a very unhappy customer
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I know it is not your decision personally Clare but an apology isn't going to help me with my holiday of flying out of Gatwick to Varadero or Dominican Republic with Thomas Cook.

    I know how you feel Helen! We were not willing to travel all the way to Manchester, not only because of the cost but can you imagine how tiring it will be after a 10 hr flight home to have to drive down the M6 (Always a nightmare!!) then the M42 and finally the A14 for 3-4 hours or more if there are the usual daily accidents!

    I am gob-smacked that Thomas Cook are only flying to Holguin from Gatwick when their brochure clearly says it is flying to Varadero as well! And as for the Dominican Republic.... Not flying there from Gatwick either!!

    Are Thomas Cook doing that well that they can really afford to lose all of it's South East/Southern customers who wish to visit these places?!

    We are lucky we hadn't paid any money so I am now in the process of waiting for Virgin and Tompsons to call me back as they both go to Varadero and the Dominican from.... GATWICK ;)

    I am so disappointed with it all and will not be booking with Thomas Cook again no matter how 'competitive' their prices are.... I hope your friends get sorted out.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Hi
    Thomsons don't fly from Gatwick to Varadero this winter, only Manchester (and only up to the end of Nov I think). They've pulled out of Cuba completely for Summer 2014.

    Virgin don't fly to Varadero, only Havana, and they don't fly to the Dominican Republic either.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I know all that already Jane thank you :) Flying into Havana with Virgin is not a problem for us and I know if we choose to fly to the Dominican Republic it will be with Thomsons.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m fed up....
    Absolutely crazy - I travelled to Cayo Coco with Thomas Cook in 2012 a party of 12 we are looking to go back in 2014 and can't believe that there are no Gatwick Flights.. unbelievable - our flight was packed out so can't be because the don't get bums on seats... would be appreciated if TC put out a statement why they are not offering this service... not happy bunnies...
    • view 3 more comments
    • I went to book 24th April and asked if they could guarantee flight will not change.read somewhere that 10 people had booked to go ,some from travel agent others on line.travel agent had a letter changing flights to Manchester on line have heard nothing. They could not guarantee no change so would not book.
    • Roslyn, not sure what date in April the group of 10 had booked, I can only say what I have had confirmed to me. We did book yesterday in our local shop and I had to go back in today for something else and the manager of that shop said that in light of what I told them yesterday they had an online chat themselves with the program team who confirmed that those April dates from Gatwick are available to Cayo Coco. I don't think you will find any travel company will ever give a concrete guarantee that ANY holiday or flight may not change. We have had holidays changed ourselves with Thomson, so if that happens you just decide to either accept the changes offered, cancel or book an alternative holiday. I was able to select our seats today for both the outbound and inbound flights so have a slightly warmer feeling about the holiday not being changed, but as I said there is NEVER a guarantee. The frustrating thing for me is being told different things by different Thomas Cook employees, that coupled with postings on this forum don't inspire confidence.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Just because one flight one week was full doesnt mean its a viable route...its probably the same reason that Orlando has been dropped from gatwick....



    Stan
    • view 4 more comments
    • Thats why I agreed with Jane... I am one of those "some people"

      I too live a good 3 - 4 hour drive away from Manchester Airport (and thats if I put my foot down!)... to fly from Gatwick it would be a 6 - 7 hour drive.

      It just seems from most of the posts here that the people that fly from Gatwick feel they are being badly done to.....If we go by your/their way of thinking, we, us up north, have been badly done to for years!
    • Stan this is not a north south east or west issue for me, obviously most people don't live right next to the airport where holidays they would like to take fly from, so most people will have a varying degree of travel to and from the UK airport. It's only human nature for people wherever they are from to be disgruntled if they have booked holidays then had them changed or cancelled and had to incur extra cost to either keep the changed holiday or book an alternative, but we all have choices. My main issue was being told different things by different Thomas Cook employees so I didn't know what to believe, and personally for myself flying out and into Manchester including long haul would not be an issue but as probably most people do I have a partner to consider.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Thanks for the confirmation does that mean they are not flying to Mexico from Gatwick either ?
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Hi
    Thomas Cook Airlines will still be flying from Gatwick to Cancun
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • No, it says on that reply that there is one long haul aircraft based at Gatwick for Cuba, presumable Holguin as Jane advised and Mexico.

    Stan
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • 2
    Mandy, I am from Manchester and even though we have these flights + mexico we do not have the choice like you guys. we always have to travel down to London, this includes Birmingham, Scotland, Newcastle.

    you are lucky.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Just been informed my flights to Cuba from Manchester in April has been cancelled! Not happy! Completely messed up our holiday plans. I always use Thomas Cook but now I will ask for a full refund and look elsewhere
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Paul (Official Rep) October 05, 2013 08:11
    Hi Charlotte

    I do apologise for your dissapointment. For most of the destinations we feature, we can offer a choice of flights from different airports , and often different days of the week. To ensure we can offer you the best choice of flights at the most popular times of the year, we may put additional flights at the most popular times of the year or remove routes when customer demand is low.

    Kind Regards
    Paul
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m Damn angry
    Fantastic Thomas Cook, has not left out to dissapoint me all over AGAIN! Wanted to plan my wedding in Varadero next year and now they just cancelled their Route! No wonder there are aweful reviews all over the NET. I am still processing a claim from my last trip where Thomas Cook left the plane open in a Storm and therefore we could not take off and were left on the airport wondering without any notice for 7 hours. WELL DONE THOMAS COOK!
    • view 2 more comments
    • Looking for a long haul holiday in 2014 at a reasonable price is a nightmare.. Thomas Cook cancelling their Gatwick options just plays directly into Thomson's hands - they now have the market in the south - sadly for us this means they will also raise the prices as they have no competition...
    • Terry Hughes
      This is a reply to Jane who said she doesn't understand why I think there are no return flights to Gatwick from Cayo Coco on the 1st of May.
      1. There is no indication on theThomas Cook website that a flight is going out to Cayo Coco on the 1st of May so I questioned it with an online chat rep.
      2. The chat rep said that the holidays from Gatwick to Cayo Coco on 17 April and 24 April are not available and will be removed from the website.
      So the bottom line is that A Thomas Cook rep TOL me that there is not a return flight to Gatwick for those holidays. I notice that my comment that I posted on this community forum seems to have been removed, I don't understand why as I was not saying anything out of order.
      Here is the transcript of that online chat:
      13:41:35 [Silvia] Hi, my name is Silvia and I will be assisting you today.
      13:44:25 [Silvia] Hello Terry. Thank you for choosing to chat with us today.
      13:44:32 [Silvia] How may I assist please?
      13:44:47 [Terry Hughes] Am looking to book a 14 night holiday to Cayo Coco Cuba April xx xxxx flying from Gatwick, your web site shows these holidays and dates available but postings on the internet from customers state that they booked to this resort next April flying from Gatwick but have now been told Gatwick flights have been cancelled and they can only fly from Manchester, is this correct ?
      13:47:18 [Silvia] The flights from Gatwick are not available at the moment. We could only offer Manchester. Would that be fine with you please
      13:49:25 [Terry Hughes] Definitely not, we live on the south coast and my wife is not a good traveller anyway so any increase in our travel time is out of the question. Your web site shows holidays to that resort available from Gatwick on 17 April and 24 April 2014
      13:50:18 [Silvia] I understand. However the flight s are not available Terry and all Gatwick flights would be redirected to Manchester. Our team will remove them as soon as possible.
      13:50:30 [Silvia] Do you have any other questions please?
      13:52:52 [Terry Hughes] Thank you for your help, I can only add that Thomas Cook will be losing a lot of customers very disappointing !
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • At least they're still flying to Cuba for Summer 2014, which is more than can be said of Thomsons.
    Routes get cancelled and new ones introduced, which in the main is good for holidaymakers, and is the way things should be. Obviously they can't please everyone. You can still fly to Varadero from Manchester.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m sad
    What all the Thomas cook replies fail to realise its the disappointment of not being able to return to cayo coco unless we travel to Manchester, as there are no other companies that offer this. Also I feel sorry for hotels like sol cayo coco who are going to be hit hard by this decision.
    • You can go to Cayo Coco from Gatwick flying out 17 April or 24 April 2014 as those holidays are still available (at the moment). As it stands a lot of destinations are only going to be avaliable flying out of Manchester, Cayo Coco, Varadero, Dominican Republic, Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua and probably others I haven't looked at. As a posting from Jane says TC have a tie in with Flybe so for some destinations it seems the idea is that you can fly from/to your regional airport to Manchester with a single check in. Looks like TC are hoping customers will take up this option so they wont lose too many customers, save money by not operating some routes out of Gatwick and make money from the Flybe/TC tie in. In other words it could be a win win for TC, unless of course they do lose lots of customers.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • And what all the travellers that leave from Gatwick are failing to realise is that this decision will not have been taken lightly and with no intention of delibarately dissapointing people.

    You can still go to Cayo Coco, from Manchester...so whilst you feel it may be putting you out a little, if you really love this place and look forward to going every year, you can actually still get there!

    So, that in mind, as Thomas Cook still fly there, your only complaint is that you cant be bothered to drive/travel 4 hours to Manchester, which is entirely your perogative and says a lot about how much you're really going to miss it!
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • The only thing I was told in our local TC shop is that they are Manchester based and are focusing their operations out of there. Personally I can only think that it's a financial based decision, so maybe they are looking to reduce their operating costs and maybe it's cheaper to operate out of Manchester than Gatwick, who knows ? As far as I know the holidays/flights to Cayo Coco 17 and 24 April 2014 are still on, I hope so because I was given these assurances and have booked, also they still show on their web site and in fact have recently been updated because the price has gone up. What holiday did you book that has been cancelled/changed ? I do find it a little irritating that some postings on this forum seem to turn it into a south v north issue and that if you want the holiday badly enough you will do whatever is necessary, unfortunately every ones circumstances are not the same and some people will have medical conditions that make extra travelling impossible.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • It just seems that people from the south expect all routes to operate from Gatwick, and can't understand how a route out of there can't possibly be viable, or simply why they can't have all the routes they want. Maybe it's just that northerners have had to accept for years that some destinations are just not possible for them given the extra travelling, for medical or other reasons. For others, it's meant a trek South to get on a flight for their preferred destination.

    The move to base longhaul in Manchester is tied in with the Thomas Cook/Flybe deal, which will benefit passengers from many regional airports.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • "Personally I can only think that it's a financial based decision, so maybe they are looking to reduce their operating costs and maybe it's cheaper to operate out of Manchester than Gatwick, who knows?"

    Its exactly that....The very same reason that was posted in the response on Sept 17th!

    On to your other remarks.....

    No one is turning it into a North/South issue, its simply ridiculous to even suggest so.

    However, the point remains that many people every year travel to an airport that might not be their "local" one if they really want to get somewhere.

    I travel with a disabled member of family with severe medical problems myself, everytime, and cant see any difference in them sitting in a car/bus for 4 hours if they can travel on a flight for 11 hours!...the only person it is a problem for is me, the carer.

    And as I say, I travel with a disabled 70 year old everytime we fly so can comment on such a subject.

    Thank you.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I don't think it's a case of expecting, it's more a disappointment when something you previously had has been taken away, and as you say for some who can't do the extra travelling some holidays will no longer be able to be considered. For me personally the extra travelling is not an problem but for my wife it is, so certain holidays for us will no longer be on the menu. If the decision as you say is tied with a Flybe deal then I can understand the reasoning behind it, but it doesn't help us because while the outbound trip would not be a problem it's the long haul over night flight from the Caribbean coupled with the extra time it would take to get home from Manchester that is. We could fly Manchester to Southampton but I looked at some of the flight times for some of the return flights and it would mean waiting several hours at Manchester for the Southampton flight, having just spent around 12/14 hours travelling over night with no sleep, unfortunately my wife would not be physically able to cope with that. So I then thought okay we will stay in a hotel in Manchester for a night on the day we return, but the problem with that is that the return flights arrive fairly early in the morning and I rang a couple of hotels to check on check in times only to be told by one that you can't check in until 3 pm and another 2 pm, so again it's not really viable for us. I can't sleep on a plane so there is no way I would drive home from Manchester on the morning of arrival in the UK, I don't do it from Gatwick so there is no way I would do it from Manchester, yes I know a lot of people do get in their car and drive having had little or no sleep but I wont. I don't expect anything, it's just a disappointment that we wont be able to take holidays that we previously could, and it will probably be the same for some others and I would be very surprised if Thomas Cook don't lose some customers, but I am sure that is something that they have factored into their decision process. By the way I am NOT a Southerner, I just happen to live in the south.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • "it's more a disappointment when something you previously had has been taken away"

    I fully appreciate this, I had the same problem many years ago when Thomas Cook stopped going to Halkidiki all together and Thomson discontinued the flights from Newcastle....these things happen.

    We had to travel to Manchester or Leeds Bradford in order to get to one of our favourite places....so we fully appreciate the dissapointment.

    Again, as you have raised the subject for a second time, we have nothing whatsoever against souterners or people that happen to live in the south!
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m thankful
    If Thomas Cook do have some tie in deal with Flybe maybe Flybe will be able to schedule UK regional flights from Manchester that link up with Thomas Cook overnight long haul flights arriving in Manchester. If there is any Thomas Cook rep monitoring this forum perhaps they could pass on this suggestion. I would have thought it could be financially beneficial to both Thomas Cook and Flybe. It would certainly make those holidays that are only available from Manchester more viable for us.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Hi
    They will be offering connecting flights, with single check in, from regional airports for some Manchester long haul destinations on some days of the week. Florida, Las Vegas, Cancun, Antigua Barbados, St Lucia Barbados and Goa. I haven't seen Cuba mentioned though.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Thanks for that info Jane, perhaps in the fullness of time connecting flights from other destinations may be offered. I couldn't see Antigua hols on TC website but Barbados and St Lucia are possibles, we loved the holidays we have previously had on those Islands, but in recent years it seems to have mainly been Virgin offering those holidays and their prices have rocketed.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited