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Clearsky Holidays

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I should like to warn other readers of what can only be called a scam.

I received an email from Groupon, from whom I have made several purchases in the past, offering a 2 night European city break for two people for £99 pp. The advert listed destinations
• Spain (Cities: Barcelona, Madrid, Costa Brava, Valencia, Seville)
• France (City: Bordeaux)
• Italy (Cities: Milan, Rome, Pisa, Venice, Florence)
• Germany (City: Berlin)
• Netherlands (City: Amsterdam)
• Czech Republic (City: Prague)
• Belgium (City: Brussels)
• Latvia (City: Riga)
• Poland (City: Krakow, Warsaw)
• Hungary (City: Budapest)
• Portugal: (City: Lisbon)

When I attempted to redeem my Groupon voucher with Clearsky holidays, I was informed that the only holiday available was two nights in Dublin with a return flight departing at 6.00am and accommodation in a hotel in Tallaght. This would involve checking out before 4.00am and an expensive taxi journey. I was then told if I wanted to "turn my one and a half night" break into a two night break, an alternative return flight (leaving at 22.00) was available for an additional cost of £64. I was pressurised into accepting this on the basis that the flights would not be available for long and I agreed.
Subsequently research revealed that the alternative flight was available on Ryanair's website at exactly the same cost as the earlier flight.
Further research revealed that the accommodation was advertised by the Plaza hotel at €36 per night and the return flights at less than £40 for 2.
I then contacted Clearsky holidays and refused to pay the additional £64 . It was pointed out that I had agreed to the additional charge and failure to pay this would lead to the cancellation of the holiday and the loss of my money.
I contacted Groupon and explained the situation and received a promise that this would be escalated and I would receive a response within ten days. After 14 days, having received no response, I contacted Groupon again and was told that as I had "redeemed" their voucher I should contact Clearsky which I have already done on a number of occasions.
I was prepared to pay the £99pp for the break as advertised but not the additional charges and I am now £198 out of pocket. Further research has revealed more than a hundred similar complaints about Clearsky Holidays on Tripadvisor, many of which detail far higher additional charges, yet Groupon continues to advertise similar holidays by them.

I hope this helps other readers to avoid making the same mistake I have.

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