Woman's two-day budget airline nightmare

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by JohnK, May 30, 2006.

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  1. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    Another happy customer. :shock:

     

  2. straitman

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    Apr 27, 2003
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    This almost makes JQ sound/appear to be reasonable option :!: :oops::oops:
     
  3. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Utter rubbish. If she'd been flying a full service carrier she still would have taken 2 days due to the fog. The airline can hardly be blamed for persistent bad weather.
     
  4. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    I think you'll find that the emphasis is on how they were treated because of the delay.

    I am not sure of any airline's policy but I would have thought that if they cannot get you to your destination, including fog, then they should provide adequate accommodation and food until such time they can take you to your destination.

    If you want to risk flying LCC then don't expect too much!
     
  5. NM

    NM
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    The treatment detailed in the article seems quite reasonable to me. The airline seemed to be doing all they could to get the passengers to their intended destination.
    According to the article, this passenger was provided overnight accommodation. Just see what happens even on a so-called full-service airline in the LOTFAP when the weather turns bad. Its everyone for themselves - no accommodation, food, compensation etc.

    Sure this passenger was unlucky and the experience was very unfortunate. But would this passenger have preferred the captain to continue trying to land in the fog? Or would they prefer the captain did not abort the landing?

    Unlucky? Yes.
    Inconvenienced? Absolutely.
    Mistreated? No.
     
  6. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Thanks NM - you said it better than I did.
     
  7. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    FWIW I know folk who have had to drive from Wellington to Auckland after trying unsuccessfully for several days to fly when Wellington has been fogbound for days. It is unfortunate and hope it never happens, but it can affect anyone.
     
  8. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    She was not the only passenger inconvenienced. And yes they were a little unlucky with the fog. They should have been given the option to disembark at the unscheduled refuelling stop.

    As is the case most times there is more than one side to every story. In this situation I have decided to side with the evil passengers who I feel were not looked after adequately by the angelic airline.

    As for how passengers are treated today in the land of the LOTFAP by airlines does not concern me. I will try to limit my visits there to as short as possible if at all. Many years ago TWA flight from ATH-JFK caused me to miss a connection from LGA-CVG on Delta. TWA paid for a hotel that night, sending me in a limousine and picked me again in the morning with limousine for first flight out to CVG on Delta. Luggage was also ruined on ATH-JFK flight and was promptly replaced in CVG. Now if things have changed today then it is a real shame and the LOTFAP airlines do not deserve ANY of my business.
     
  9. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    What if allowing pax to do so would put the crew over hours and forcing everyone to stop the night there? It may not be as simple as it seems.

    I'm not saying pax evil (unlucky yes) and airline angelic. But not all the facts are given in the story and there are probably good reasons for decisions made. Eg lack of hot food on the plane - well it doesn't carry any and the pax knew that when they bought the ticket (for less than it would have cost on BA).
     
  10. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    I know it is never simple. But it is also not good to fly passengers back and forth, abort landings and expect people to be happy about it. As a passenger what would you have done in this situation?

    True that the media does not always tell the full story and yes I agree with you when flying LCC do not expect too much.
     
  11. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Would you rather they'd crashed in the fog?
     
  12. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    Absolutely not.

    I simply asked what you would have done in this situation. Would you have tried to find a different way to get there, e.g car, bus, boat? If part of a RTW would you have cancelled and ensured that you can make next segment?
     
  13. cabbage74

    cabbage74 Intern

    Mar 28, 2005
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    Not quite the same, but remember QF108 from Feb this year.

    Anyway I'm going to add my few points...
    Always prefer aborted landings over taking the chance. Landing at CCS was aborted (we were about 2nd in line so pleanty of time), few minutes later Capt. said "Last minute instructions to go round from ATC...." Later I spoke to some Canadians whose plane also went around but they were much closer to landing (according to them waiting for wheels to touch down at any second.) Apparently took some time before their Capt. got on the PA and said "Traffic on Runway" (There was heavy rain and poor vis that day, but still...)

    Also on weather playing havoc on airlines theme. I saw a doco years ago about Aeroflot. Lets just say, don't count on On Time Departures in Siberia. These guys drove to Airport, sorry closed. For the next 2 weeks called to check if airport was open...finally on the day it opened they went to drive there, sorry road closed.

    To me it sounds like BMIBaby knew that there was only ever a chance of good weather. They tried and continued to try. I seem to think they did good. They always could have just said nope, and saved their fuel $$.

    Mal.
     
  14. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    bmibaby couldn't have been part of a RTW, only as a separate ticket. And yes if I had onward travel I would have assessed the chances of getting to Jersey after the first day and come up with a mutually agreeable solution, most likely foregoing the side trip.
     
  15. NM

    NM
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    What would I have done? Well, I would have asked the airline to complete their contract and get me to my destination as soon as possible (safely). I would have called a local hotel and checked in for the night, asking that the airline contact me when the flight was scheduled to go again. If I was hungry, I would have bought some food, just as I would have done at my destination at the same time.

    As for allowing the passengers to get off at the temp refuelling spot, the article did say that BMIbaby did not have ground handling support there. So how would they get the passenger's bags off the aircraft and onto a baggage belt? Which gate would they use? Which ground staff would assist and then process passengers back through security or even the boarding gate and back onto the aircraft? I fully understand why the passengers were not allowed off the aircraft in this situation.
     
  16. straitman

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    Kiwi Flyer & NM,

    A few details that maybe will clarify (or confuse) the story some more. From what I’ve read the airfield at Jersey was not closed just the pilot elected not to land. This leads to asking why he didn’t wish to land.

    This will be from a variety of factors which vary from:

    1.Airfield equipment and category to which the airfield is rated.
    2.Landing systems available for use at the airfield.
    3.Aircraft equipment and category to which the aircraft is rated.
    4.Pilot rating on a particular instrument approach.
    5.Pilot currency on a particular instrument approach.
    6.Fuel reserves carried

    Without knowing or looking up the systems at Jersey or knowing their availability on the day in question, without knowing the aircraft type, it’s rating and the pilots ratings, currency and without knowing the actual and forecast weather on the days in question, it is impossible to be definitive.

    Suffice to say however that the equipment levels on LCC is frequently not as modern and/or not as sophisticated as the main line carriers and this often leads to situations where the aircraft with less of any or some of the above won’t be able to land when others are able to do so. ie their landing or visibility minimas are higher.

    Translated, what does this mean?

    Possible BUT not necessarily correct!

    This would depend on points 3 – 6 above, however on a ‘conventional’ carrier they’d have a better opportunity to complete the trip on time. Remember the article stated that some aircraft were landing.

    Absolutely.

    Just a few thoughts:!:
     
  17. NM

    NM
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    G'day Bill. I accept your points on the reasons why a captain may elect not to land. They are all very valid. And that this flight being operated by a LCC may have influenced that decision/situation.

    But either way, having purchased a ticket on an airline I expect the captain to make the right decision based on my (and his) personal safety. So if he decides not to land at a particular airport, then I respect that decision. After all, he is the professional pilot and the person in the best position to make that decision at the time. I expect an airline captain is not going to make that decision lightly and will understand the implications involved.

    I would always prefer an airline captain to be err on side of safety rather than schedule. In fact, I think this situation shows that the airline involved (BMIbaby) may not apply undue pressure to its captain to maintain the schedule at all costs, and that is a good thing in my opinion.

    Yes, when choosing to fly with a LCC, we may get a cheap fare but we must also accept the risks. I do not include safety as a risk and always expect any commercial airline to operate with safety as a primary objective. But I do include delays and schedule disruptions and any associated costs (accommodation, meals, calls etc) to be at my risk. As such, when travelling for business I would only accept such risks (i.e. fly with a LCC) if there was no viable full-service alternative. But when travelling on my own budget for leisure purposes, I may well be willing to accept that risk as a trade-off for the lower fare.

    By the way, WW (BMIbaby) operate 737-300 aircraft on the MME (Durham Tees Valley) to JER (Jersey) route. So its not like this flight was operated by a puddle jumper. But this does not tell us anything about the aircraft systems capability and currency, not about the captains certifications and currency.
     
  18. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Good points. The article doesn't mention when other a/c landed, if it was around the same time or not. I, and I'm sure most other frequent flyers, have had days where conditions are very marginal with some flights landing and others not. Weather is not a constant and neither are assessments of the conditions.
     
  19. bigjobs

    bigjobs Active Member

    Jun 4, 2005
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    Absolutely spot on ... it's time the passengers woke up to themselves. i reckon i would have just looked to get there by other means (hire car etc)
     
  20. ozstamps

    ozstamps Member

    Aug 30, 2003
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    Compensation can occur even with weather delays. Even in little old oz. :)

    Below is what I negotiated for a friend's delay SYD-MEL for hours due to weather here a couple weekends ago. I gave her Brett Godfrey and 2 other senior emails knowing SOMEONE would then actually read it!

    I suggested she ask for 25k virgin points and knew they'd respond with SOME offer to counter that. This counter offer indeed was far better for her as no taxes and fees and rip-offs this way!

    Dear xxxxx,

    Thank you for your e-mail.

    Firstly, please allow me to pass on my sincere apologies personally and on behalf of Virgin Blue for the very frustrating and disappointing experience recently encountered when travelling with us.

    The events that took place on the 23rd and 24th June, whilst out of the airline's control due to extreme weather conditions, were a nightmare of which I appreciate. Whilst I am aware that this is not your issue I do feel the need to clarify the picture, as we had more than 60 cancellations over two days.

    We very much appreciated that a great deal of our guests were understanding of the issues at hand and were aware that we could not control the weather and their disruption was inevitable. However, I do agree that once the delays and cancellations occur it is how our guests are communicated to and accommodated to new flights that is of paramount importance. Therefore, I do apologise for the apparent lack of service that you have described in your below e-mail.

    xxxxxx, I understand the importance of having your checked in baggage upon your arrival , especially due to the event that you were attending that evening and once more I apologise for the inconvenience this caused. However, it must of been a great relief that you did actually receive your bag, even though it was the following day, due to the contents held within.

    I would like to clarify that Virgin Blue do not offer compensation in any form as a result of a weather delay. Also in accordance with our Terms and Conditions of Carriage the extent of our liability when a bag is missing permanently is a total of $1,600, you are welcome to view these terms on our website and they are also attached to the travel plan received at the time of booking.

    As a gesture of goodwill I have placed your flights, totaling $288 on reservation number xxxxx into a credit for future use, the credit will expire on 7th June 2007 and is completely transferable.

    In closing, I understand that you have requested to have 25,000 points placed on your velocity account, however this will not be forthcoming. I very much hope that you will utilise the above credit as we would like the opportunity to welcome you back onboard in the future.

    Kind regards
    xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Guest Relations Team Leader
    Virgin Blue Airlines
     
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