Jane Bradley: Thomson holidays – for better or much worse?

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SPARE a thought for the writers of last week’s Helpdesk letter – who are setting off on their less-than-ideal honeymoon this weekend.

The pair, who had booked their dream Mexican trip months in advance, were told by travel agent Thomson that the holiday had been overbooked and they had been bumped – just two weeks before their wedding. To add insult to injury, they had already been told that the luxury Dreamliner plane they had booked on was off, due to technical difficulties - compensated for by a paltry £20 reduction in their bill.

Far from begging forgiveness, Thomson merely offered to book them into a different hotel in a different resort to the one they had chosen, with a 
less-than-heartfelt apology.

According to Thomson’s recent TV ads, “holidays just got better”. Really? This couple are this weekend jetting off on a holiday in the wrong hotel, in the wrong location and travelling on the wrong plane. It sounds to me like their holiday actually just got a whole lot worse.

• My e-mail experiment of last week – an attempt to return to the more personal communication methods of the pre-Facebook days – was a major success. My reply to a ten-year-old group e-mail from my best university friends, unearthed from the depths of my Hotmail account, sparked a flurry of lengthy missives pinging back and forth among the group and the seven of us are now in contact every day.

Why we haven’t communicated properly since joining Facebook six years ago has morphed into a heartfelt investigation into what we are all doing with our lives, what we actually do on a daily basis in the real world – and perhaps most tellingly, what our university-selves would have thought of our now-selves – it’s all got very Freudian.

In the ten years since we graduated, we counted six weddings, four children and six different career paths. But, despite all of these major life events, our relationship as a group was reduced to not much more than a Facebook “like” once in a while. Now it’s a big, fat 
real-life LOVE – and we’re all very glad it is.