Aer Lingus

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:

Original booking:
2/1/08: Dublin Glasgow: 159 x2
2/1/08: Glasgow Dublin: 159 x2

Planned change:
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.

What about using the flights to fund a trip to the away leg in Barcelona? Would that not make more sense at this stage?

If we can get cheaper flights to Barca without using Aer Lingus it would seem stupid enough just to change them to these dearer Aer Lingus flights just for the sake of it, would it not?

Eh not sure on the maths of this but surely if the cheaper flights to Barcelona are dearer than the Aer Lingus flights to the home leg then it makes sense to use the refund against the away leg flights.

As long as the cheaper flights to the away leg are dearer than the

Ignoring name changes etc which will be the same in all circumstances:

Refund allowed: max 320

AL Home flights: 112
AL Away flights: 400 (notional)
Cheaper away flights: 200 (notional)

Use the transfer to home flights = total cost: 0 home and 200 away = 200
Use the transfer to away flights = total cost 112 home and 80 away = 192 (but no change on away flights)

Really depends on how much the away leg flights are but it might be worth using them. I’ll see if I can price them now. You planning on going to Barcelona?

Just priced those cheaper away flights now. Dublin_Frankfurt_Barcelona and return is 188 Euro each.

Yeah, planning on going to Barcelona alright.

I’m having a look now too. The whole aim is to limit what we lose. This will take a lot of working out I think.

I have to change them by 8pm tonight so get looking at it.

I’d replace the words “Aer Lingus” in that passage with the word “Airline”. Be it Ryanair, British Midland, Aer Arann or whatever airline you travel by, they all have the same terms and conditions and if you don’t read over them you could be in for a substantial money loss in the event of you having to cancel or change flight times/destinations.

Unfortunately Aer Lingus have the right to treat you like that as you signed into a contract with them agreeing to droconian conditions when you bought the ticket. It’s not a proper way to treat the customer though. I’d safely say that Ryanair are quite possiably the worst airline in terms of customer care and I try my best not to fly with them if possible. At least Aer Lingus have comfortable planes that don’t have advertisements on every table tray and in every announcement and at least you can recline an Aer Lingus seat and relax. Aer Lingus also try their best to look after their customers in the case of flight delays and cancellations, Ryanair don’t!

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to avoid as best I can flying to Britain. I’ve found a new love of the seas, turn up on the day in the port and get a “open” return train/sail ticket to anywhere in the UK for under 86 with no booking in advance nonsence to get a cheap fare, the fare always stays the same, be it a busy Friday evening or a quiet Tuesday morning!

Yes it takes longer, but it’s not the getting there it’s more about the journey in itself. Having a proper meal on the sea and walking around the boat to the ships pub for a few pints while getting stuck into a good book or listening to an MP3, arriving into Holyhead nice and relaxed and a quick walk to the village offey for a bit of cannage for the train, being able to get up to go to the toilet on the train to release the cannage instead of waiting for the plane to taxi and take off. And then arriving into the centre of the city instead of having to pay for a taxi from the airport, yep the good aul sea and tracks is the way to go!!

Well the flights to Barcelona are 188 including taxes and charges. If the Aer Lingus flights are significantly dearer then I think you just switch to the home leg after all.

Aer Lingus return flights to Barca are €410 including taxes so that’s significantly dearer than the €188 cheaper option. In that case I may as well change to the home leg I think.

I finally spoke to a nice lady after dealing with two absolute idiots earlier on who were more or less the equivalent of Jugs in his place of employment in terms of work ethic and knowledge.

Anyway, she basically copped on straight away what the issue was and mentioned Phil O’Donnell herself and how sad it was. She told me things were complicated by the fact that our initial flights were so expensive and that changing to any similar type of flight at a later date would probably leave a shortfall.

I asked about changing to those flights for the Barcelona game in February and she was able to break down all the costs for me so that I could clearly see it wouldn’t be wise to do so. After being misinformed earlier she told me that a change of name charge is €70 and the change of flight is €35 per flight.

As a result, I’d have been paying another €210 to change to these flights and this is as costly as it would be to buy them separately now. After going through a few other options with the helpful lady I decided the best course of action would be to cancel the flights completely, which would mean getting back our taxes and a nominal cancellation refund.

She was able to tell me that I’d booked insurance when paying for the flight and that there was a possibility of getting the rest of our money back under the ‘unforeseen events’ clause.

I’ve not given up this fight because I’ve got Wexford blood and Wexford blood won’t let me down.

Fight the honest fight Bandage. Dont pay an extra cent to that shower.

After saying all that about the seas I’ve just booked a flight to London Heathrow with Aer Lingus for €27 single on a “Friday” evening in February. I’m a fooking hypocrite ;-(!!

Congrats on getting your point across via the medium of newsprint.

Which one Benjamin?

It’s in this Evenings Herald letter page, home to a rant of mine around this time last year on how Independent Newspaper reporters can’t read train timetables properly.

Shag the airlines, I’d go with Ben’s original suggestion.

Do a boozy Eurolines job via Belfast/Stranraer. Just don’t do it like SoulDressing did in the middle of a loyalist feud and a mass exodus of East Belfast’s finest to Scotland.

Hardly surprising that theres no special understanding in the circumstances all the same, how often are airlines used due to people travelling to funerals in the event of family deaths etc,

Ben’s complaint about Ryanair is nonsense. You know what to expect, a bit of advertising and hawking of scratchcards is a worthy price to pay for the sort of prices they can do for what is a short journey to somewhere in Europe. I’ve never had any hassle with Ryanair, Aer Lingus on the other hand have been known to leave my luggage behind. People who refuse to travel Ryanair with a prefrence for Aer Lingus to the same airport are mugs of the highest order.

Don’t like Ryanair whatsoever. I’m happy enough to pay the extra few bobs for a more comfortable flight with Aer Lingus The majority of airports Ryanair fly into “are” miles away from the city. Putting the word “London” infront of Stansted or Luton is a fooking joke!

Had a look in the herald just now. Top rant Bandage.

Someone scan it and post it up here. Shan doesnt seem to want to for some reason

Block out my name if you do. Herald isn’t available online so there’s no way of copying and pasting it. I didn’t buy it because the rant is more or less a replica of my first post on this thread. Shan / Ben, did they publish the full thing or just parts of it?