Holidaymaker ends up in wrong country

A holidaymaker who booked a three-week trip said today that she ended up 1,300 miles away from her chosen destination after her travel agent mixed up her flights.







Samantha Lazzaris booked a trip of a lifetime to Costa Rica, in Central America, but ended up in the US territory of Puerto Rico instead.



Miss Lazzaris, 33, from Bristol, did not realise she was in Puerto Rico until she landed on the island last month and boarded a taxi, and the driver told her she was in the wrong country.



The holistic therapist told the Bristol Evening Post: "I asked the taxi driver to take me to this hotel I'd pre-booked, he looked in amazement, speechless, then laughed and said, 'This is not Costa Rica. It's Puerto Rico'.



"I didn't believe him. I was in shock. I looked around the airport, saw posters of Puerto Rico everywhere, and thought: What am I going to do? Where is Puerto Rico? Where am I?"



Miss Lazzaris had to fork out £800 on three extra flights - losing four days of her holiday - to get to her intended destination.



It transpired travel agent Thomas Cook had used the booking code for San Juan, capital of Puerto Rico, instead of San Jose, capital of Costa Rica, when Ms Lazzaris bought the £500 return ticket last November.



The airport codes are similar, with just one letter between them - SJO for San Jose and SJU for the airport in San Juan.



Miss Lazzaris added: "I am wanting to share my experience with the general public to alert them of the potential appalling treatment they would receive from Thomas Cook. I have never been treated so appallingly in my entire travel life."



A Thomas Cook spokesman said it would fully investigate the complaint as soon as possible.

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