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16 December 2013 @ 05:17 pm
Aer Lingus: Fail  

My parents had Adventures in Airlines flying to America in October, and have been trying to resolve it since returning home. This is a repost of my Mom’s latest update on the situation:

I’ve been trying for a couple months to get a response from Aer Lingus regarding our trip to America in mid-October. Today I received a “donotreply” from them in which they cheerfully acknowledged that their agent screwed up, but essentially said, “Too bad.” My reaction is to write to the only source available to me, which is Facebook. So I sent the Aer Lingus page this missive:

Dear Facebook Aer Lingus:

I received a “donotreply” response from Aer Lingus moments ago, based on my reference number 242733. It seems Aer Lingus claims no responsibility for its agent’s error on our flight reservations in October. The issue was and is that when we arrived in good time for a flight from Dublin to Heathrow we were offered an earlier flight to Heathrow by an Aer Lingus agent. Innocent us, we accepted it.

However, the agent failed to remove our names from the manifest for the later flight on which we were originally booked. That resulted in our connecting flights – all of them, going and coming – being cancelled as we appeared as “no shows” on the originally scheduled flight. We were held in Heathrow while United Airlines tracked down the root of the issue. They put us on the flight from London to Dulles, but only after they determined that Aer Lingus erred. United’s agent, and her supervisor, said that it had happened several times and only with Aer Lingus flights.

When we arrived at Dulles, we were told our flight to Burlington VT was gone, and the United agent rescheduled us on a flight from Dulles to Newark and a flight to Burlington the next morning. As a room at the hotel that’s physically at Newark airport went for $324 per night, we, a couple of pensioners, spent the night in Newark terminal.

We had precisely the same kinds of issues trying to return home to Ireland. We weren’t on the manifest. We couldn’t print boarding passes. Once again United went to considerable lengths to arrange new passage so we could get home to Dublin.

Disregarding inconvenience, we are out the cost of a hotel room which we’d booked and paid for in Burlington but instead spent the night in Newark airport. The room in Burlington lay empty waiting for us. We are also out the cost of one day’s car rental in Burlington, and had to pay for a number of meals while we were languishing between flights.

Unless this problem is resolved, and I do not view “too bad, buster” as a resolution, we will be certain to tell everyone we know of Aer Lingus’ efforts to keep its customers happy. Or not.

Honestly, this is *not* something the airlines should be unable to resolve and reimburse, particularly since they’ve admitted they’re at fault.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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The Bellinghmanbellinghman on December 16th, 2013 05:05 pm (UTC)
My goodness, this is bad. I've never flown Aer Lingus, but if this is their customer service (and it appears from your account it isn't an isolated instance), then perhaps it would have been better if Ryanair had taken them over.
Geek of Weird Shit: fireygows on December 16th, 2013 05:47 pm (UTC)
Well. I guess we know which airline *not* to take next spring.
saare_snowqueensaare_snowqueen on December 16th, 2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
Keep complaining in public forums. Make a big enough stink and they must reply.

Have never flown Aer Lingus, now doubt that I ever will. Even Ryan Air couldn't be worse.
martianmooncrabmartianmooncrab on December 16th, 2013 07:03 pm (UTC)
at some point, you might realize that Aer Lingus just doesnt care.
ramurphy on December 16th, 2013 07:32 pm (UTC)
Aer Lingus' email to me says that their agent changed our flight from the noon to the earlier flight as a "gesture of our goodwill." They go on to say that "As your booking was made on your behalf by a travel agent, the airline has no facility to make changes to the reservation as it is "owned" by the agent" which is kind of fascinating given that they changed the freaking reservation from noon to nine a.m.
They go on to tell me they'll deal with the travel agent but not with me. "We cannot accept liability for the additional costs claimed by you in this instance, and can offer no explanation for the issues described by you, however we strongly recommend that you contact your travel agent regarding the difficulties you experienced on this occasion. We will certainly liaise with them as required."
And I have done so. So far Aer Lingus is telling the customer service guy for the travel agency that they can't find the information. Cute.

A large duckburger_eater on December 16th, 2013 08:47 pm (UTC)
Have you taken this to Twitter? Using the company username and posting a detailed complaint is a good way to put pressure on them.
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on December 16th, 2013 08:59 pm (UTC)
I second the "take it to Twitter" suggestion. I did that when I had a long frustrating issue with a company, and it was magically dealt with within 15 minutes.

Your poor parents!