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World Airport Transfer - Buyer Beware

Toronto, Canada
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256 posts
241 reviews
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World Airport Transfer - Buyer Beware

This was posted in the Rome forum under the topic World Airport Transfers are shocking. Someone has pointed out that it is the wrong forum so I am reposting here.

We booked an airport transfer through City Discovery.com for Barcelona airport to our hotel and this was eventually transferred to World-Airport-Transfer.com. Firstly I realize it was silly to even book this as it was so easy to find a taxi big enough to handle our luggage, which was my concern. It appeared to me that most of them were large enough.

We received a confirmation and a voucher and when we arrived in Barcelona the driver was there. He appeared to be a taxi driver and spoke no English and so we couldn't confirm anything with him about the return transfer. No time had ever been established for pickup at our Barcelona Hotel.

We began trying to contact World Transfer.com repeatedly by email two days prior to our departure for a confirmation of an 8:45 am pickup on the day we were leaving. They would not reply.

We also tried to contact the local Barcelona numbers for Splash Travel, both the regular and 24 hour emergency number and there was no answer.

We finally called the world transfer office number in the UK twice. The second time the person answering the phone assured us that someone would return our call at our hotel in a short time frame. We waited about 2 hours and then gave up. There was never any call received from them at the hotel and no email.

We left the hotel at 8:45 am and with no surprise whatsoever noted that there was no transfer driver there. We took a cab. When we arrived home there was an email confirming the transfer in our in-box. It was sent late the night before we left but we had not received this when we left the hotel. Of course the company told us the driver had shown up at 8:45 am and we were not there. If we had received a confirmation from them that the driver would arrive at that time we probably would have waited another half hour or so but because they refused to answer our email or our phone call, we assumed they were not coming. I would think seriously before booking any product through this company.

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48 replies to this topic
Wokingham, United...
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1. Re: World Airport Transfer - Buyer Beware

I have just had a similar bad experience with World Airport Transfers and Splash travel at Barcelona airport. Their web site is very misleading and suggests a shared minibus transfer i.e. you would assume 10-12 seats, so I was aware we may drop off at a couple of other destinations before getting to mine (the port) or maybe lucky and be first stop as the port is the same side of Barcelona as the airport. WRONG......was a 52 seat coach! After we waited for all the people the show up from various flights (~45 minutes) we then went to the coach and as we were at the back of the queue there was no room for our luggage. The transfer then took over 1 hour after stooping at least 10 times (I lost count) en-route. For this delightful service I was charged 33.90 Euro for 3 people. A taxi coming back was less then 30 Euro and took less than 30 minutes. I booked the transfer as had read taxi drivers in Barcelona rip you off and can't speak English. In my experience this was not true, were very good value for money (ask for a receipt if in doubt) and spoke good enough English to get you where you want to go. USE A LOCAL TAXI.

Barcelona, Spain
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Catalonia
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10,275 posts
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2. Re: World Airport Transfer - Buyer Beware

Yep, I never understood the need for these 'transfer services' in a city like Barcelona which has several good options to go to/from the airport.

@GraemeS... of course many taxi drivers do speak 'good' English, boy, it's their mothertongue :))) I imagine you understand why I mean, eh?

England
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3 posts
29 reviews
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3. Re: World Airport Transfer - Buyer Beware

We had exactly the same experience at Barcelona airport. Waited 1 hour 30 minutes for minibus. Local agents offered no information. They did not contact us to arrange a departure time, as indicated on their documentation. Have had no response from the company. Save yourself time and money and use public transport or a taxi. Their services ended up costing us a fortune as the cost was pre-paid AND we had to pay for a taxi.

United Kingdom
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7,130 posts
58 reviews
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4. Re: World Airport Transfer - Buyer Beware

IM in agreement with enric,dont see why transfer firms are needed from airport to city etc,we've allways either got a taxi or public transport if staying in a hotel,if staying at our long standing friends then either him or his wife picks us up.

Hong Kong
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9 posts
6 reviews
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5. Re: World Airport Transfer - Buyer Beware

I had a very bad experience with World Airport Transfer and Splash Travel. I booked a car transfer as we had a lot of luggage and was not staying in a touristy area so was afraid we wouldn't be able to get a cab.

The voucher from World Airport Transfer said the local agent Splash Travel will contact me at least 24 hours before my departure date to confirm pick up time. Splash Travel never contacted me to and I had to call them on the day of departure at 9am to confirm and find out the pick up time. I was told that pick up time will be 1pm (3 hours before my flight).

Before the specified pick up time of 1pm, we went down to the street level to wait. By 1:10pm, I called the emergency number provided below and was told by the person who answered that the driver may be running 5-10 mins late but should arrive shortly, and that she will call the driver. I told her I will wait for another 5-10 mins and will call again if the driver doesn't arrive by then. At 1:20pm the driver still did not arrive so I called the emergency number below again, the same female staff answered the call and said that the driver is on the way and is late due to traffic in Barcelona. 9 June was a public holiday in Barcelona so there were very little traffic and in the 5 days I was in Barcelona I hardly noticed any traffic jams. I expressed my request to cancel the booking and that I will take a cab, but she told me I cannot get a refund since I am not canceling more than 24 hours ahead. This is even if their driver has failed to show up at the agreed time. She told me to wait longer and so I waited until 1:30pm when I could no longer wait as time was running late. Once i got on the cab, I called the emergency hotline again and the guy who picked up was apologetic and acknowledged my request for cancellation, he also advised me I have to claim through World Airport Transfer.

After i returned home, i reached out to World Airport Transfer who took a couple of days to respond with a standard reply that i cannot get refund for cancellation. I have since wrote back twice but did not get ANY RESPONSE.

i have used "Paris Shuttle" for airport transfer in Paris previously and had good experience so I was not weary of using similar service in Barcelona. Big mistake!

Brisbane, Australia
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10 posts
23 reviews
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6. Re: World Airport Transfer - Buyer Beware

I wish I had read this before my trip. I just came back from Barcelona and had similar issue with this company.

booked with them on my trip to Barcelona. I had a delay so I called their office in Barcelona (3 times!!) to organize a new timing which they confirmed. I arriveD in Barcelona at 7:38(as scheduled), I had to pick up my luggage and then take the bus to go all the way to the other terminal(another hassle as their pick up place a different terminal than the international arrival one) which took me 20 minutes. I got there at 8:12. No sign of the driver. Called their office on the emergency number 4 times, no one picked up. waited there till 8:45 p.m. and when I was sure they wouldn't show up, I had to take a taxi which cost me an arm and a leg as I had not planned other options.

I contacted them by email asking for a refund as after all my calls (which cost me more than the lousy $15) and follow up, i had been stood up. after 10 days they sent me an email saying that they're sorry to inform me that their office says they did show up at the appointed time and if I prefer to take a taxi and re-schedule it is my problem!!!!!!!! so no refund!

so if you think this is a great deal, think twice. Too good to be true. It is just a big RIP-OFF!

There has to be a law to stop such shams.

Brisbane, Australia
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10 posts
23 reviews
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7. Re: World Airport Transfer - Buyer Beware

Just to note that I booked them under "City Discover Shuttle" which seems to be sister company or whatever. But apparently they are the same thieves.

Brisbane
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8 posts
5 reviews
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8. Re: World Airport Transfer - Buyer Beware

If only the above complaints had been written before I had booked with this disgraceful company!!

Our flight from Rome to Barcelona was approx 30 mins late arriving and by the time we transferred around to Terminal 2 it was approx 4.50pm and there was no sign of our transport. We waited some 10 mins and enquired from an info counter if we were at the right spot. We then asked them to ring Splash for us, but neither number answered. It was past office hours at the first number and the 24hr number never answered, even after repeated calls over the next hour of waiting.

Eventually a driver turned up, who had our name hand written in at the top of his manifest as he must have known of the late arrival of our plane and that we had missed the last transfer. He was very apologetic and willingly wrote down his name but said that he already had a full load and there was no way he could take us and that it would be at least another hour before transport would be available to take us. We explained that we had an appointment at 6.45pm in Barcelona and as it was now nearly 6.00 couldn't he possibly take us as we had now been waiting for 70 minutes. He said the only thing we could now do was take a taxi, keep the receipt and claim the cost back. So this is what we did, thinking how straight forward it would be.

We thought it even more straight forward when we saw the Splash Travel Group office in Consell de Cent Barcelona and explained all of the above to them. They said that we could only claim back through World Airport Transfers but as Splash were given all the information it looked to be very clear to us

When we arrived home I emailed WAT, enclosed the taxi receipt with the card of the Splash Manager plus the drivers name. Received an acknowledgment from WAT with an apology and saying they would refer it to Splash for confirmation, then I waited and waited. After around four weeks I asked them why I had heard nothing- their reply was they had nothing from Splash!! After another three weeks and another email still nothing from them.

My suggestion is to avoid World Airport Transfers like the plague. For a miserable 30 Euros taxi fare, together with all the other complaints above, they are doing untold damage to their reputation(??)

Barcelona, Spain
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405 posts
15 reviews
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9. Re: World Airport Transfer - Buyer Beware

I still don't see the point of booking a transfer when you can just take a taxi. is waaaaay easier. You couldn't call yourself? you made the info counter ( I guess the tourist information office) call for you? And do you think it was the driver's fault? He only drives people, and honestly, I don't think they are gonna refund you the money

Toronto, Canada
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256 posts
241 reviews
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10. Re: World Airport Transfer - Buyer Beware

I personally am getting a little tired of people questioning why someone would book this service. The service is offered and if it was legitimate they should do what they said they would. My son has just left for London and he booked a similar service but definitely not with this company. He didn't know if he could easily find a cab big enough to handle their luggage.

I know when we were in Paris years ago we had to book two cabs for the airport due to the size of the cars. Sometimes after a long international flight it is nice to have someone waiting to take you where you need to go.

This company stays in business and their service is unbelievably bad. It is good that people are being warned.

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