Wednesday, June 23, 2010

EASY rant

Dear all, I am finally back from my 16-day Eastern and central Europe trip! I know I haven't updated on my previous Dublin trip but there is so much to talk about especially now that I have the additional long trip to tell you. But before I launch into a very long post about that there was something interesting that we came across on the last day of our trip. I probably can make this quite long-winded, so perhaps you would like to boil some water and sit back with a nice cup of coffee while you read the rest of this post.

And as many stories would say, once upon a time...

Once upon a time five girl friends were returning home from a long backpacking trip. Being the frugal students that they were, they decided to book a flight with a low-cost airline, thinking that it would be much EASIER on their wallets. True to its name, it was indeed EASY on the wallets but the JET service was less easy on them. They arrived at Geneva airport only to realise that their flight at 7.30am was delayed to four hours later, to 11.30am. Fine enough, so they waited patiently at the airport while enjoying their breakfast redeemed with the 10-franc voucher provided. At 11.30am, they boarded the plane, fine and dandy.

But after 30 minutes, they realised something was wrong. The plane was not moving! Then the pilot announced that a passenger had checked in a piece of luggage but the person was not on board the plane. So the stranded piece of luggage had to be searched and retrieved from the aircraft hold. Fair enough, who knows if it may contain explosives then suddenly KABOOM! and all passengers on board would become fine particles floating in the air. But the delay on this flight made the five friends a little worried as their next connecting flight was at 1.50pm. Not really enough time but perhaps they could still make it if they ran all the way to their next flight.

Not good. When they got to the security checkpoint it was already 1.35pm. Actually the first person of the group made it to there at that time as all were separated at that point. The first person of the group ran all the way, barely made it on board the connecting flight, also one that was EASY to JET around with. But the second person reached the gate it was 1.40pm. The staff at the gate told her straight out: "You missed the flight." with a stern stare. (The plane was still on the ground at this point.) Needless to say, the third, fourth, and fifth person also did not get on the flight. The third person tried to explain to the stern-looking staff that they were late because of the delay in the first EASY flight, but to no avail. He would not listen and repeatedly told them, in a cold and unhelpful manner, to go the the sales desk outside. So there.

Then, the remaining four friends went to the EASY-to-find sales desk (actually it was the exact opposite) with the help of some helpful and other not-so-helpful staff. They were informed that to get on the next flight, they had to pay a 'rescue fee' of 43 pounds. They tried explaining that they missed the flight because of a delay in the previous flight of the same company and it was certainly not their fault that they did not get on the plane. No chance. Angry and disappointed, they were prepared to hand over the 43 pounds to get back home, when another staff member from the EASY plane company, heard their story and said that it was alright to provide them with free replacement flights back home. Yay! so in the end they put away the 43 pounds and happily got on the next flight back home, 8 hours later.

Okay, so this is the very long-winded story which happened to us, and can probably be summed up in a few words: because of the delay in our flight from Geneva to London, we missed the connecting flight from London to Glasgow. It wasn't our fault but the service and attitude of the people we met were awful. Several times we were told that we had to be at the departure gate 30 minutes before time but it was impossible! Previous problems with the same company (delays, cancelled flights) and this really bad experience made us really disheartened and vowed never to fly with the company ever again.

Anyways that is the end of my grandmother's story. Sorry to have made you sit through it all, but hey, what needed to be said had to be said! I hope I will be able to write about my travels in the next few days but no promises, as I will be heading to the isle of skye on friday for three days, and I'm sharing my current internet connection with friends. Fingers crossed.