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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Buses, trains and a boat but no plane


What started as a fun family holiday to France ended up as a long trek across France and Britain. Like millions of others in Europe and elsewhere I fell victim to the cloud of volcanic ash. I was due to travel home on Monday. Two buses, three trains and a boat later I arrived home. To make matters worse our three year old son Emmet caught a bug and was sick. Nobody is to blame and the decision to halt flights on safety grounds was the correct one. What I am disappointed in is the poor customer care service offered by Aer Lingus.

As our holiday progressed it was clear that our flight was going to be cancelled. On Sunday morning I received a text from Aer Lingus confirming this and advising us not to travel to the Airport. There was no offer of accommodation. No mention of a hotline or special contact number. It was impossible to get through on the official line. You had to paddle your own canoe.

I called to the Eurostar train office. This is the high speed train from Paris to London. The first available spaces were on Wednesday evening. We then had to plot the remainder of our course home. This involved a train from London to Cardiff, Cardiff to Fishguard and the ferry to Rosslare. The journey was not that bad. Some of it was fun. There were people in far worse situations then we were. What is annoying is the lack of support from Aer Lingus. I hope all of those who were stranded in far away places got better support then we did. I also hope I will be reimbursed for expenses incurred and ease the pressure on my flexible friend, the credit card.

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