Gaura Travel Solutions - Customer Service and Misleading information costing us to pay for additional ticketFeb 09, 2022
agaf-of Melbourne, AU
This is in regards to the Reservation. We made a booking for my mother and father one way to fly from Mumbai to Melbourne using Gaura Travels for 8 Feb 2022 and we completely put our trust on them as with the current travel changes and conditions being a travel agent we trusted, they will be aware of all the documents required while travelling .
We were only advised by the agents only verbally that we needed to google ATD form and the website would come up . Usually travel agents email the links for any additional travel documents that need to be carried while travelling especially more so due to COVID travel conditions the rules keep updating. We didn’t get any such link. We did as per what was advised by the agent and googled the ATD form and filled it on behalf of our parents. Not once but I double checked with their customer care team even a day before my parent’s departure date on 8 February asking if ATD is the only form they had to bring along with a valid visa and a full vaccine certificate. They were affirmative and said that those were the only documents they needed.
On the day of travel they flew from Mumbai to Dubai without any issues but were denied entry at Dubai airport saying they didn’t have a travel exemption issued by the border force which is required to be provided and also a state exemption that needs to be submitted online and needs to be presented when they land in Melbourne. We were absolutely unaware of these additional documents. So we called Gaura Travel customer service for help on this emergency situation and their customer service was appalling. I was told my call was being escalated and I should get a call soon. Then they vanished from the surface of the earth no assistance and no call back or anything and my parents were left in lurch and were stranded at the Dubai airport and as a result they had to miss their flight. Our parents were in Dubai at 3.00 am local time and were without any assistance or direction, hungry, tired and absolutely under tremendous mental and physical stress which is a real shame on Gaura Travel to put senior citizens through this misery
On our own accord we figured out what documents were missing and got them together. In the mean while we also had to book them a hotel as the next flight was only the next day at 3.00 am Dubai time which costed us a ridiculous $500 for one night. That’s not all the saga continues. The airline ground staff also said they cannot honour the old ticket to board next days flight and we will have to purchase a new ticket !
Again, I called Gaura Travel for assistance but in vein they had no clue of the additional documents and I asked if they could book my parents as a compensation, on the next flight as they had to miss their flight for no fault of ours. Their customer service based in Colombo had no idea and kept saying I have to ask the Indian team, same company but operating differently. I asked if I could speak to the supervisor but the agent denied and said he was busy and did not put me through. In between all this drama my mother’s sugar level was dropping low as she is diabetic and had not eaten for hours together and she just didn’t have any energy to pull through.
We had no choice rather to borrow money and book them another ticket as we couldn’t leave them stranded at the airport and the ticket costed us an additional $4,50 . So, for no fault of ours and trusting a so called travel agency who cannot even provide basic information to their travellers on the required travel documents we ended up spending big money. In these difficult times this is the last thing I needed. This experience has really crippled our financial position and we are demanding an explanation to such a poor service . We need a refund for all the out of pocket expenses and an additional compensation for this mental stress me and my family have had to go through in the last two days for no fault of ours. This is absolutely unacceptable and Gaura Travels should educate their customer service teams about how things work here in Australia although they are based in India and Sri Lanka.
Looking forward to an amicable closure or I am happy to share My Worse Experience Ever and I will be very vocal with this on the social media.