February 10, 2009

Woman: Travel agent missed by 1,300 miles

A British woman said her vacation to Costa Rica involved a detour 1,300 miles from her destination when her travel agent mistakenly sent her to Puerto Rico.

Samantha Lazzaris, 33, said she thought she was in San Jose, Costa Rica, when her plane landed but soon discovered that the Thomas Cook travel agency had gotten the airport codes for her tickets confused and she had ended up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, The Daily Mail reported Tuesday.

I looked around the airport, saw posters of Puerto Rico everywhere, and thought: 'What am I going to do? Where is Puerto Rico? Where am I?' Lazzaris said. It turned from what should have been a trouble-free luxury trip into a distressing nightmare, as I was left to find my own way to Costa Rica.

Lazzaris told the newspaper she contacted Thomas Cook about reimbursing her for the $1,100 she spent traveling from Puerto Rico to Costa Rica but was told by employees that she had signed the terms and conditions of the legally binding contract for the itinerary and therefore was accepting them.

A Thomas Cook spokesman said the agency is investigating the incident.

Although there is an onus on passengers to check their flight and ticket details carefully, we will be fully investigating this complaint and discussing it with Ms. Lazzaris as soon as possible, he said to The Daily Mail.