Travel agent ruins family holiday to Ibiza by booking hotel 200 miles away

A giant online travel agent has apologised after it sold a holiday to the island of Ibiza – but with a hotel on the Costa Brava on the Spanish mainland, over 200 miles away across the Mediterranean.

In May, Dominic Forster booked a package holiday for himself, his partner and eight-year-old son, through Travel Republic. They were confirmed to travel in August and stay at the Duquesa Playa Hotel.

But 10 weeks before departure, the online travel agent told the family: “Due to an internal system error on our website it has come to light that the booking you made for Duquesa Playa Hotel was in fact made at the Papi Hotel in Costa Brava.

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“Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

The firm offered a discount of £60 “if you wish to keep the booking as confirmed at the Papi Hotel in Costa Brava” or a refund of the accommodation element of the holiday – but not the flights.

Mr Forster, from Tyne and Wear, then contacted The Independent, saying: “This was for a family member’s 60th birthday party and we have family and friends staying here too.

“This resort was somewhere we had always wanted to stay and was a perfect location for my family to enjoy.

“I am aware that it’s OK to offer alternative accommodation in the same resort. But I am gobsmacked that they can only offer us a holiday in a totally different resort on the Costa Brava.”

After The Independent intervened, Travel Republic contacted Mr Forster and resolved the issue.

A spokesperson for Travel Republic said, “We noticed a technical issue on the Duquesa Playa Hotel, whereby the hotel was mapped incorrectly. This is a unique case and we quickly contacted Mr Foster to apologise and discuss options available to him including cancelling the accommodation with a full refund, and arranging alternative accommodation.

“We are sincerely sorry for stress and disappointment caused to Mr Forster, and are currently speaking with him to ensure a suitable solution and to provide compensation by way of apology.”

In 2017 another online travel agent, Lastminute.com, sold packages with flights to the Greek island of Kefalonia, but with accommodation located 400 miles away on an island close to the Turkish mainland. 

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