Hodgson hit by four-day wait after passport theft

Harry Kemble

A travel agent who was forced to wait four days in Spain for an emergency passport says her experience shows the importance of booking through travel professionals. Denise Hodgson, of Travel the

World2, slammed the emergency passport application process as “ridiculous” aſter she was leſt stranded following the theſt of a bag containing her passport and purse at Seville airport. Hodgson, who was travelling

home from the Advantage Conference on May 20, was told to obtain an emergency passport from the British consulate in Malaga – a three-hour drive from Seville – without any money or identification. Successful applicants must

wait a minimum of two days for an emergency passport, but Hodgson’s application was delayed as she was unable to provide an onward travel ticket – because she had no money to pay for a new flight. Now back in the UK, Hodgson

has hit out at the British consulate in Malaga. She said: “A four-day wait for an emergency passport is ridiculous. For clients and travellers, this experience highlights the importance

A four-day wait for a passport is ridiculous. This shows the value of using an agent with the back-up you may need

of using a travel agent and operator with the back-up and advice you may need in an unexpected situation.” She also urged holidaymakers to

“be aware of the pitfalls” of not having a travel professional helping you from the UK.

Hotelplan buys tailor-made ski

firm Flexiski from Travelopia Inghams parent Hotelplan UK has bought Flexiski from Travelopia for an undisclosed sum. Flexiski, which operates tailor-made ski holidays, works with five chalets and more than 175 hotels across 48 resorts in France, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Canada and Japan. Flexiski will relocate from Surbiton, Surrey, to Hotelplan’s offices in Godalming, Surrey.

6 30 MAY 2019

Denise Hodgson

“Travel agents can get money off

you when you are back in the UK,” she added. “You cannot book a hotel without a passport or credit card.” Hodgson was lent cash by travel

industry friends including Typically Holidays’ Tony Byrne, Carol Kirkham of Kirkham Travel and Paula Lacey of Te Advantage Travel Partnership to support her in Spain. Hodgson said: “If I had not had

those contacts, I would have had to go to a homeless hostel. If you are a woman on your own, it is even worse. “Te answers from the British consulate were not good enough.”

Amadeus seals distribution

agreement with Amadeus has signed a distribution deal with to integrate the accommodation giant’s content into the Amadeus Travel Platform. The GDS operator said the deal would boost accommodation options by 30%.’s content will be made available “through multiple points of sale”, it said.

Parsons leaves role as cruise

director at Barrhead Travel Catriona Parsons has left her position as cruise business development director at Barrhead Travel. In a statement, the independent agency chain thanked Parsons for her work and said an internal restructure would be announced shortly. Parsons worked for Barrhead for nearly 14 years.

Operators oppose Botswana’s lifting of hunting ban

Operators have pledged to review their selling of holidays to Botswana if customers shun the destination for liſting the ban on elephant hunting. Te government’s decision to

liſt the ban, which had been in place for five years, was due to elephants causing problem for local farmers trying to protect crops. Online travel agent Luxtripper has

taken Botswana, which has the world’s largest elephant population, off sale as a result. Other suppliers said they would

monitor the situation. David Holland, director of luxury Africa specialist Knighton Reeve, said he was “disappointed” by the decision. “We are there to shoot with the

camera and nothing else,” he said, adding that Botswana had a “strong record” on animal welfare. He said Knighton Reeve would continue to sell Botswana, but might change its view if demand fell. Safari specialist Somak is also still

selling Botswana, but said it would put the destination on stop-sell if hunting became commonplace.


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