An agent, who threatened to name and shame a hotel that refused to honour a Super Break booking at its original price, has thanked Abta for intervening and helping settle the dispute.
Graeme Brett, director of Westoe Travel, was left furious when the hotel chain – which he revealed on Monday (12 August) to have been Hilton – refused to honour a £435 booking his agency made through Super Break and instead tried to charge £985, more than double the pre-agreed rate.
However, Brett told TTG that when he threatened to post the name of the company on popular travel agents Facebook group Travel Gossip last week, the hotel relented and agreed to rebook Westoe’s clients at £435.
On Monday (12 August), after a number of agents raised similar grievances with Brett, he told TTG he had since received a call from Abta confirming the association had spoken to Hilton’s senior management team and that all Hilton hotels would now honour Super Break prices for rebooking.
A Hilton spokesperson told TTG it was the company’s policy to honour bookings at their pre-agreed rate and stressed the company would investigate any exceptions to this.
“Hilton is honouring all bookings made via Super Break, which will be charged at the pre-agreed rate,” they said. “Any guests wishing to rebook a cancelled reservation will also be charged at the pre-agreed rate.”
An Abta spokesperson added: “We regularly work closely with willing partners to accommodate good outcomes for consumers where possible, and in this case we were delighted by Hilton’s response to create a fair result for the customer.”
Brett told TTG that while only one Westoe Travel booking had been affected, it had left a sour taste in his mouth. “I’d still be very wary about booking with them,” he said.
“It should not have needed Abta to intervene. We could have chosen to rebook our clients elsewhere but we tried to keep the business with Hilton.”
Super Break collapsed on 1 August after parent Malvern Group failed to find a buyer for the 49% of the business owned by Cox & Kings (India).
Cox & Kings (India) was suspended by Iata in late June and subsequently opted to withdraw funding for Malvern, resulting in the collapse of Super Break and LateRooms.com.
KPMG has been appointed administrator. The two brands employed more than 250 people across bases in Manchester and York.