Holiday firm saves the day for South Shields family

Lisa and Paul Carr, with children Grace and Max, and Donna Raji, senior manager at Dawson & Sanderson.
Lisa and Paul Carr, with children Grace and Max, and Donna Raji, senior manager at Dawson & Sanderson.

A South Tyneside family-of-five avoided holiday pain despite a passport bungle which left them missing their plane for a dream trip to Spain.

Lisa and Paul Carr faced being grounded when told new passports for youngest daughter Grace, 10, and son Max, seven, would not arrive until after take-off time.

But they were left on a high when their holiday firm found them a later flight – and even paid for a taxi to drive them over 100 miles to the airport.

Today, the couple, of Ede Avenue, at Horsley Hill, South Shields, revealed how travel agent Dawson & Sanderson saved their £3,000 trip to Torremolinos.

Lisa said: “I contacted the company the night before to say the passports had not arrived and that we were ready to cancel.

“But they did brilliantly and really went out of their way and we ended up having a fantastic holiday.”

The break was booked in January and the family – including daughter Jessica, 13 – were set to fly from Newcastle International Airport.

But just a week before departure they found themselves in a race against time when they spotted the passports needed renewing.

With days to go they realised the new documents would not arrive until hours after they were due to fly.

Instead, staff at Newcastle-based Dawson & Sanderson rallied around and booked them onto a teatime flight from Leeds/Bradford Airport.

The company also dug deep to pay for the two-hour taxi trip.

Donna Raji, senior manager at Dawson & Sanderson, said: “Service beyond expectation is our motto and this was definitely an occasion where we had to step up the plate and think quickly.

“When I heard what had happened I could not ignore it. There’s no way I could see this family lose their holiday. I contacted the airport and airline and there was nothing that could be done.

“They were going to cancel everything and said it was their own fault, but I was determined to get them sorted, so had a look to see if there were any alternative flights.

“I found one from Leeds Bradford at 4.15pm the same day, so booked them onto that and arranged a taxi.

“They caught the flight by the skin of their teeth but happily were in their holiday accommodation by the end of the day.”

Donna and her team’s quick thinking has been praised by travel firm bosses, who launched a campaign this year to encourage staff to always put customer service first.

The incentive has seen staff who go the extra mile rewarded with prizes including free cleaning for a month at their homes and even expensive Jimmy Choo shoes.