Nick Baggs, from Bristol, was looking forward to flying to Thailand to visit his girlfriend and children at the end of November. His plans took a drastic turn after the retailer lost his “Fit to Fly” PCR test, meaning he was unable to take his flight.
He said: “Because of the lockdown, I was not able to see my girlfriend and kids since January last year as they’re in Thailand.
“So for this to happen, it feels like a rug has been pulled out from underneath us. It really hurt.
“This trip was about spending time with my family but I had to tell them over the phone that I’m not going to be there.
“They were so upset and so angry at Boots. They made me make my kids cry.”
A spokesman for the retailer said: “At Boots we offer a range of Fit to Fly COVID-19 tests and the vast majority of them are processed normally within our recommended time frames.
“Unfortunately, in the case of Nicholas Baggs, his test went missing in transit to the laboratory – a very rare occurrence.
“We offer our wholehearted apology to Mr Baggs for the disruption this has caused to his travel plans and have offered a full refund for the price of his test.”
“There was no way I could have got my PCR test, but I thought the only way was to ring them up and see if they had my results ready.”
It was just 90 minutes before check-in closed that Mr Baggs was told by a Boots staff member that his test had been lost in transit.
He pleaded with Boots that he had not seen his children for almost two years and wanted desperately to be with his family over Christmas, but he was told the best the company could do was offer a full refund of £79 for the cost of the kit.
Mr Baggs said: “I was absolutely fuming. I tried to ring up to look for a complaints department to speak to someone who could help and give me a bit of empathy about the situation.
“When I had spoken to a member of staff, they said to me that they would pass on my message and get someone to call back.
“Usually, they said it takes them 72 hours for a response but also that it might take longer if they’re busy.
“That’s when I decided to not ring them anymore because it was a waste of time.”
Mr Baggs is hoping to rebook his flight, but fears it could be difficult.
He told BristolLive that he has now completely changed his view of Boots and wants compensation from the retail giant.
Mr Baggs said: “I thought Boots was meant to be this big name [which] would never do anything like this and that’s why I went to them, but they were awful. They’re horrible.
“That’s why I’m doubling my efforts to fix things because they don’t seem to care every time I’ve spoken to them.
“Before you travel to Thailand, you need to have a Thai pass so you can enter the country and you must have a lot of things put in place before you can get the pass such as booking for a hotel.
“So the knock-on effect of what Boots did is huge and I definitely feel after all the losses my family and I had suffered from, there is definitely compensation that I’m entitled to.”
Additional reporting by Assiah Hamed.