Sunday, April 18, 2010

BBC have your say

Here is the update I've just posted to the BBC website. I originally got the BBC's attention on Thursday via Twitter. They contacted me and asked if I would appear live on the 6 o'clock news. They never called back and I never did. I seem to have dropped off their radar now - obviously my story isn't newsworthy enough!
Aw well, ho hum.

Anyway, here's my mail to them on their Have Your Say page. If they post it, great, if not, it's here for posterity:

I'm still stranded in Vienna.

I would have some sympathy for the airlines in situations like this as it really is out of their control - but the way they handle it is shocking!

Standing in line for an hour yesterday (Saturday) at the airport I got told that the earliest seat that I might get would be Monday, with a confirmed seat on Tuesday. But what do the airline do? They give me a hotel for ONE night!! Not the two minimum they said I needed. I asked what I was supposed to do on Sunday - they said come back to the airport, stand in line again and we'll reissue a new hotel.

Considering it costs the airline 60 Euro or more to pay my taxi back and forth, plus the fact that they KNOW I will not have a seat on Sunday; that is just a ridiculous and foolish thing to do.
Not only does it add to my frustration by making me taxi around the city and stand in line for an hour again - but they are KNOWINGLY AND INTENTIONALLY LOSING 60 Euro by doing this!!

I'm a frequent flyer and I know that when things go to plan, airlines are great. But throw a spanner in the works and they flail about like beached whales. Customer service is just shocking and it would be so easy to create a positive customer experience and minimize the loss to themselves. But no, they add inconvenience to the passengers and add to their own losses.

So they lose any right to my sympathy.

For my own part, I have arranged ground and sea transport back to Belfast. It's a 56 hour trip starting Monday morning. Even if the planes do start running again, I'll still only be one day later back home going with my alternative plans, than I would if the flight flew.

The worst thing about this has been not knowing. At least now I have a confirmed option.

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