I arrived at the centre at the start of this month, having paid nearly €2000 for the privilege of learning to fly a paramotor over a 10 day course . They are nice and friendly up to and including paying for their tuition in full 4 weeks before arrival. The self catering accommodation (owned by FlySpain) is mediocre, I also paid an extra £150 to have a room to myself.
Next morning the other two students and myself were collected from our accommodation and driven to their training centre, a terrace house in the village. After a few minutes of chit chat and having signed a form confirming details of next of kin/contact we were presented with a form that said if a student caused any accidental damage to any of their equipment then having given on the form their credit card details they would be charged for it to be replaced/repaired. This in my view could run into thousands of euros/pounds and was totally unjustified. I knew nothing about it and was not informed about it prior to arrival or more importantly prior to booking. The 21 year old chief instructor’s attitude changed when I said I knew nothing about this and was unwilling to basically give someone a “blank cheque”. He said that if I was unwilling to sign then I could not fly. He then said if I was renting a car then I would expect to pay for damage caused - my point is when hiring a car one has insurance to cover that and to look at something similar regarding the car he mentioned if one was learning to drive a car then the instructor would not say “you need to sign this form with your credit card details on it so any damage we can charge you’!!!!!!!!!
So having been told I would not be allowed to fly if I did not sign the form I decided to leave and walk back to my accommodation. Once there I packed my bags and car and departed. I would say I departed the accommodation 30 minutes from arriving at their centre - so no hanging about.
As I was driving my phone goes on silent mode automatically so I do not see or hear any messages or phone calls. Approximately 3 hours after leaving their accommodation I stopped for a rest and “call of nature”. I noticed that I had a missed call and a message from Rob saying that as I felt I "had not had enough prior warning about responsibilities” (I had NONE in my view) he was willing to waver me having to sign the form. I had already driven hundreds of kilometres and was told prior to my departure if I missed the first session I would not be able to continue if I eventually decided to sign the form - this did not happen so I continued on my journey home. I do feel that the vast majority of their customers/students do not have the opportunity that I had of leaving as they will not have their own transport and will have a flight booked for 10 days later so they are stuck and have to sign the form - lucky I live in Spain and was not forced into signing the form.
I then did not have any contact from them for the next 6 days when I get an email to say I can rebook another date and I would not have to sign the breakage form. I had driven over 5 hours from their centre to my home and felt that as they failed to make any contact for 6 days the trust and relationship had broken down completely I was not willing to take up their offer and asked for a refund. This was totally declined. I also contacted the regulatory body BHPA who I had to join prior to being allowed on the course - bottom line from them was it nothing to do with them, so that was another £100 + down the drain.
So I am now going to pursue other avenues available to me in Spain to get most (I was not asking for all of it) of my money back as I feel I was not given the full information within their terms and conditions of contract.
Bottom line for me and a warning to others is I was not informed about this “open chequebook” form PRIOR to booking and feel it is totally unfair. Having had no email contact from FlySpain for 6 days after my departure shows their lack of commercialism or customer service.
FlySpain is rated 1.0 based on
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