/ Travel & Leisure

Shakespeare in another language? Thanks for telling me

When a promotional email from Lastminute.com landed in my inbox advertising a 24hr theatre ticket sale, I just couldn’t resist. Little did I know that the play would not be in English…

With international guests coming to visit me, I thought I’d snap up some discounted tickets to an iconic London theatre. I purchased the tickets and received my booking confirmation email – nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary.

Yet, after finally making it to our seats on a cold and wet Saturday evening, we soon discovered that the play was not being performed in English!

The language of a performance seems like quite a crucial bit of information. I double checked my confirmation email but it made no mention of this fact. We left the play early, as did a few others who also mentioned that they too believed they had never been informed of the language difference.

Where’s theatre ticket refund?

I called Lastminute.com on Monday morning – it told me that I had to email as the company didn’t deal with complaints over the phone. I emailed. The reply told me that the theatre wouldn’t refund my tickets, and since Lastminute.com was only a third-party agent it apparently wasn’t responsible either. Obviously, as a Which? employee, I wasn’t going to stand for this.

My complaint was with Lastminute.com and I felt that it had misled me. Have you ever been stumped by a company apparently using the excuse of a ‘third-party agent’ to avoid taking responsibility?

Unfortunately for me, the crucial piece of evidence – the original promotional email – was missing. I had deleted the email after completing the booking, but I still had a link to the promotional page on Lastminute.com. However, since the deal was a 24-hour promotion, the webpage contained temporary cookies that had been deactivated.

Despite repeated requests, Lastminute.com told me it could not provide me with the original promotional email, nor the webpage that had talked about the deal.

The burden of proof is on you

Six weeks and countless emails later, Lastminute.com continues to insist that the promotional email stated that the performance wasn’t in English. I say it didn’t, they say it did. I’m left with no other choice except to take the matter to the Small Claims Court or let it go.

It doesn’t seem fair that the entire burden of responsibility is placed on the consumer. It’s not practical to take screen grabs of every site and link that I purchase tickets through. Have you ever suffered any issues with buying through intermediary sites like Lastminute.com? Was their customer service up to scratch?


Recently I booked my tickets .the amount which was shown on website was different from the amount was charged its was almost 12000 extra charged than the amount given on website. Moreover no answer of email not attending calls. Such a worse experience of mine with lastminute.com

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Lastminute Took Payment For Refused Booking

We attempted to make a booking for a hotel via Lastminute.com It was for 15 days in March. The cost was £2,500+

Both Lastminute and Tripadvisor said that there was availability for our dates.

The payment had to be made at the time of booking, which we did via VISA. The payment went through OK. The bank completely failed to communicate to ascertain whether the payment was genuine.

We then received from Lastminute a ‘Sorry we couldn’t process your booking – please wait’ email.

Some hours later we received an email stating that the booking had in fact been refused, and that all payments would be returned in a few days. No reason was given. Huh – an interest free loan for a couple of days.
I then checked my Lastminute account and greyed out were the booking details, with a cryptic message “Unable to confirm your booking.” There was no mention of a refund of monies paid.

A few days later I checked my bank account. The payment had been made to Lastminute in full, but two days after the cancellation.

Clearly Lastminute had allowed that payment to proceed even though they knew that the booking had been refused. That is outright fraud.

I then checked the booking details on my Lastminute account, and the time taken for a repayment was now stated as being up to 10 days or longer. That’s an interest free loan on £2,500 for 10 days on a booking known to be refused.

That is outright fraud.

Of course there is no way to contact Lastminute except by an expensive premium rate phone call.

I have booked flight for my mother, sister and her two kids from India to UK in February 2020 for arrival of April 2020. due to Corona virus pandemic flight been cancelled and international journeys been postpone. I have bad feeling about this before booking so I have bought £332 travel insurance from lastminute.com. total of 4 tickets with insurance cost me £2674. I have keep calling lastminute from last week of March 2020 until 8th April – date of flying – and answered by rude European accent that, MY FLIGHT STATUS SHOWING CONFIRMED AND NOT SHOWING CANCELLED !!!!!!!!! on their system, so I have only option to wait OR they can cancelled my booking if I WANT TO and my refund will not be in full (This is not even my fault) . after date of flying – 8th April, i have contacted last minute again, they says yes, my flight wasn’t depart and therefore they might consider my refund.
I have asked them, because flight cancelled, and it is not my fault, can I get my Insurance of £332 back – as I never use it,- ? they says NO, because the date of flying is passed!!!(THIS DOES’T MAKE ANY SENSE AS MY INSURENCE COVERD FOR ROUND TRIP). However, I have received and email in May 2020 after several phone calls and rude customer service, that I can choose option of refund. which will be get refund of £2479 which will be £200 less than I have paid, OR £2974 as a credit voucher, which I have to use within 6 months.
Obviously in my mind I have choose very cleaver option of voucher of £2974. the confirm email been received within hours and stated that I will receive voucher within 15 days to 2 weeks.
Since than – this is August 2020 – never hear anything from them. tried to call many times but voice message ask for my booking number and telling me that, i have choose full refund and i will be getting it. failed to talk with any human.

Robert West says:
27 August 2020

Booked a flight and hotel with lastminute.com which they were unable to deliver. They agreed to a refund in June but we have not heard anything since. They do not respond via phone merely referring me back to their website.
The response of travel agents to this crisis has been appalling. I am amazed that situations like this are not making more news.

Rob Walker says:
6 October 2020

On 10th July 2020 I was notified that my flight to/from Washington DC had been cancelled. That flight cost me £910 booking on Austrian Airlines PNR:DHKYXQ. Austrian have confirmed that they are not holding this money and now I need the money to book another holiday. I called Lastminute in August and they said the refund was ‘being processed’. I still have not received it by 6th October. How long does it take before ‘delay’ becomes theft?

Maisie Chatfield says:
15 November 2020

I have had this exact issue. My flight to Barcelona was also cancelled in July. It is now 15th November and still no refund after being told it would take “up to 2 months”. Spike to them today and they said the exact same thing – “the refund is in progress but I can’t give you a date!!”

Jacob Murphy says:
19 November 2020

My flights also cancelled with Austrian Airways. Exact same response from Lastminute re refund: your request is being processed. No agent can help me, they just tell me to email customer care. Customer care tells me it is in process and to await further communicatoin. It has made me very nervous to book through agents again – rather pay more and book directly with the airline. Hopefully I get it back eventually.

Suhrud Pathakji says:
3 December 2020

Hi I’m looking for help. My fight was cancelled some 9 months ago and an airline refund option was offered 6 months ago, but to date around £1,200 has not been returned to me. They wont repond mails What can I do?

David Buxton says:
3 December 2020

Received an email from Lastminute.con a few days before flying London to Madrid saying time of flight changed by a few minutes. No other changes to the flight. Arrived at the airport today to be told by BA that the money for the flight had been refunded to Lastminute after the tickets had been ‘exchanged’. Phoned their customer services line twice and Lastminute.con insisted that the flight was confirmed and they had not been refunded the money. This made no difference to the airline, who would not let us board the flight. Lastminute’s only advice, for me to sort out another return flight and keep the receipts then contact customer services. In this situation the contract is between Lastminute.con and me, the customer, not the airline. Faced with the travel agent, Lastminute.con refusing to accept responsibility, I had to book two lots of return flights with little prospect of a refund from Lastminute at this stage (taking into account the experiences of the people above). From my enquires it appears that it was not a simple time change but the airline changed as well from BA to Iberia. This changed the flight number and so it appears Lastminute.con did not update their booking system correctly and therefore gave me the wrong confirmation information about a flight that no longer existed. A very basic mistake made by Lastminute that has proved to be very costly to us and we missed our grandson our grandson’s birthday.

Robert Walker says:
15 January 2021

Note that if you have bought a flight with Lastminute and are still waiting for a refund many months later the standard Visa chargeback may not work due to a technicality that Lastminute are just ‘a booking agent’ and your money was taken by another organisation – BRAVONEXT. However, the bank can then invoke ‘Section 75’ to retrieve your payment if you prove to them the payment and cancellation notice for the flight (ie the paid-for service was not delivered). this also avoids any ‘service charges’ those gangsters might try to extract from you.