April 23rd, 2013, 11:06 AM
Couples UK - Booking via Kenwood Travel
Apologies for this VERY long post - meant to post it several weeks ago but just never seemed to get around to it... posting now but with a further update on why we book through the Couples preferred Agent in the UK, Kenwood Travel...
Although we were 'home' at CSS the week after Sandy visited, the Xmas break sent our minds back there and, having learned of some special offers from BA for flights (unfortunately into Kingston rather than Mobay but hey, we'll see another bit of the island!), we took the plunge and booked again. It's my 50th this year and we always thought of doing something 'special' - turns out we found that 'special' 3 years ago and have been back to CSS each year since.
We booked through the Couples UK TA (Kenwood Travel - thanks Lai!) for a CTI/CSS split stay, and managed to tap into the BA offers which got us Club World seats for less than Premium Economy - so we were all set. The Countdown was on. 307 days to go...
We then got a routine email outlining some specials which could save a few more hard earned £s. Whilst I know from previous viewing of the Couples.com website and this venerable message board that Couples has a Best Deal Guarantee, there's no mention of it on the Couplesresorts.co.uk site for those of us that have to endure 10+ hours in a metal tube! I therefore dropped a quick message on here asking if our booking could be amended to reflect the new promo.
Within hours Randymon had intervened (hadn't even made its way onto the MB), passed my message to Couples UK and I had an email from Gemma seeking phone details so that we could talk. Before I could get back to them, to their credit, Couples UK must have spoken to Kenwood and managed to gain contact details for me as my mobile sprung into life! To cut a long story short, Gemma had sorted things out - we should be getting the benefit of the offer and a resort credit that I can use for something special for my birthday! It's this sort of service (combined of course with the wonderful CSS and SSB) which has enticed us back to Couples again and again.
This will be our fourth trip, and ALL contact I have had with Couples UK (and Kenwood) has been pleasant, fruitful and effective. I would therefore just like to say a thank you to all who work tirelessly to make us UK visitors welcome and remind everyone that the Couples UK team (01582 79 44 20) are there to help with any concerns or issues you may have. Seems fantastic customer service is not limited to Jamaica or the US, it's there throughout the Couples organisation - doh, I should have guessed really...
(And before anyone asks/comments, no I don't work for Couples and I don't work for Kenwood - indeed I don't even work in the travel industry!).
Another reason why I chose to book through Kenwood was to be able to talk to a PERSON (remember them...) rather than impersonal emails. After booking everything, BA decided to change their flight days and moved everything back by a day. One call to Kenwood (who were not aware of the change at that point) had it all sorted - we just go and return a day later!
A Further update...
Having thought that everything was sorted and we could relax, we just picked up our daughter from University to find out that they are one of the few who do not have their graduation ceremonies in the summer/autumn...you guessed it, the ceremony will be held in York Minster right in the middle of the period we were due to be away. Serious dilemma - do we move dates and risk losing the flight offers and booking benefits, or do we miss our daughters University graduation ! (My suggestion to SKYPE it so we could watch from the beach did not seem to be welcomed for some strange reason...!)
Another call to Lai at Kenwood (sorry Lai (and Gemma too)), was needed. I explained the problem to Lai and she got the BA contracts dragged out to check what could be done. For a small admin charge we were able to move our dates to slightly later with one small problem, we would have to change the duration; dilemma no 2 - shorten the break or stay longer...guess which we chose, as we were already there, it would be rude not to lengthen our stay at CSS for an extra £400!
Lai stayed late on her last day before going on holiday (hope she had a great time) to get everything sorted. She changed and emailed me to confirm all the flight details, emailed Gemma at Couples to sort the accommodation and promised to get the paperwork sorted when she returned. Now, it's THAT sort of service which has underlined that the personal approach by a travel AGENT rather than website is worth its weight in gold.
We really do cross fingers that this is the last issue we have with the booking but rest safe in the knowledge that if something else unexpected comes up we will have the skill and efficiency of Lai and Gemma to sort it out!
211 days to go...
Sue and Peter C