I cant believe what a complete pack of wankers this crowd are.
ClarkeyCat and I had booked return flights to Glasgow to attend the derby tomorrow between Celtic and Rangers. The flights were particularly expensive given the time of year it is - 159 to Scotland and a similar amount back - and, with taxes thrown in too, wed spent approximately 360 each.
The game was rightly cancelled on Monday lunchtime after the absolutely tragic death of Phil ODonnell and, as a result, I rang up Aer Lingus to cancel the flights as the sole purpose of our planned trip was to attend the game.
Obviously due to the late nature of the postponement I didnt expect a full refund but given the exceptional and tragic circumstances of what transpired, I thought the least theyd offer would be to allow us to transfer the value of our flights onto an alternative future flight, or flights, up to the amount wed paid - akin to a retail store offering a customer a credit note.
However, Aer Lingus have advised me that their strict policy is to allow customers to change one flight only up to 2 hours before the scheduled take-off time of their original booking, and that we also have to pay a 30 surcharge to do so.
Thats complicated by the fact that I only have one other planned trip at the moment, and thats to the Celtic-Barcelona game in Glasgow in February. However, theres a significant disparity between the flight prices in February and the flights weve already paid for tomorrow (were obviously paying a premium for tomorrows flights due to it being New Year) and initially my expectation, as stated above, was that Aer Lingus would offer us flights up to the full amount weve already spent.
Meanwhile, ClarkeyCat is unable to attend this game as hes shortly going on a round-the-world trip and has his flights booked in advance for this. Therefore, I also wanted to change the flights in his name to that of Rocko, as the administrator shall be attending the Barcelona game, only to be told that wed have to pay an additional 30 change of name charge too.
Unfortunately, Aer Lingus have subsequently confirmed that if we change our booking to the Barcelona game in February then wed lose the difference between the cost of our initial booking and this substitution one. The figures are as follows:
2/1/08: Dublin Glasgow: 159 x2
2/1/08: Glasgow Dublin: 159 x2
20/2/08: Dublin Edinburgh: 26 x2
21/2/08: Glasgow Dublin: 86 x2
The difference is approximately 412 and thats before the two additional 30 charges for change of flight and change of name. In essence it means that well lose nearly 500 between the two of us.
I actually thought that given the incredibly exceptional circumstances that brought about the postponement of the match that Aer Lingus might have accommodated customers who use their company all year round travelling over and back to Celtic games and show them some degree of goodwill and understanding.
I dont want to appear crass here as losing this money is completely insignificant compared to the tragedy that befell Phil ODonnell and the loss his family have suffered.
However, the principle of faor play is at stake here and one particular customer representative even had the temerity to tell me that as I booked the flights on December 12 that Id left it far too late to cancel them, and this was after Id already explained to her that the man had only passed away on Saturday evening, with the decision to postpone the match only following early on Monday afternoon.
Im disgusted by Aer Lingus attitude in this instance, especially their petty insistence that we pay various surcharges, given our repeat custom to them and the fact that the only reason were seeking compensation is because of tragic events completely outside our control.
Shame on them the absolute fooking pricks.
Im taking this to the media and you’ll hear me on Liveline.