Tuesday, 2 August 2011

EASYJET BUNKUM

Let me first apologise for not catching up with my blog reading since I have been back home. It was very difficult when I was travelling because I was reliant on small windows of wifi access to make my posts, but now I have no excuses except to say that my feet haven't touched ground yet. I have so much paperwork to catch up on but I will get around to touching base with you all again within the next few days.

Now for the ongoing easyJet saga. This is the latest bunkum.

"Dear Mrs Cordner,

Thank you for contacting us.

I would like to apologise for the delay in my response and thank you for your patience. Your case has been escalated to me to investigate and obtain all information from the airport regarding this flight.

Firstly, I need to advise you that easyJet check in procedure is that the check in desks at the airport open 2 hours before the scheduled time of departure and closes 40 minutes prior to departure, also our boarding gate closes 30 minutes prior to departure. As stated on our carriers regulation any passenger that present themselves later than 30 minutes prior to scheduled time of departure will not be accepted for travel, and will forfeit their seats. I have enclosed the carrier regulations below:

http://www.easyjet.com/EN/Book/regulations.html#checkin

I can confirm that I have contacted the airport in relation to your claim and they have advised me that the last passenger to board at the gate did so 06.56 therefore the times you have stated in your e-mail do not correspond with our flight report as a passenger has boarded this flight later than the 6.50 that you have stated. I can confirm that the agent at the gate did allow passengers to board after the 30 minute closing time and if you were at the desk at 6.50 you would not have been refused travel on this flight.

I can confirm that due to this flight being coached as soon as the last passenger boarded at the gate, the passengers were taken to the aircraft and the gate was closed. I have received confirmation that the agent at the desk called the dispatcher when you arrived who advised the gate agent that as the gate was closed we could not accept passengers that were late to the gate. I assure you that easyJet try not to refuse passengers for boarding however when the dispatcher informs the agents that no more can be accepted due to the gate being closed we have to follow these instructions.

I do understand that you did have a problem with the security at the airport this day and you were changed to a different queue for screening the push chair, however I need to advise you that you will need to directly contact the airport regarding this complaint as easyJet do not have control over the security, this a airport matter. I have enclosed the details below of Luton airport contact details.

London Luton Airport
Navigation House
Airport Way
Luton, Bedfordshire
LU2 9LY

In light of the information above, unfortunately I cannot agree to your claim for reimbursement of your additional expenses as this incident was not caused by easyJet and our staff at the airport followed the correct procedure when passengers missed the flight by providing you with the offer to pay the rescue fee to get on the next suitable flight.

I am sorry I cannot assist you further with this claim. I understand that this incident was a great inconvenience to you and your family and would like to apologise for the obvious frustration and upset that this has caused you. It is always regretful when we are unable to find a mutually satisfactory conclusion. I hope that despite your present sentiments we may look forward to welcoming you onboard an easyJet flight in the future and I apologise, I cannot offer a more favourable response.

Yours sincerely,

- Mary Maguire -
Escalations Team


Thank you for looking into this incident.

There were difficulties at the airport that morning, but my reason for setting out events in full was to illustrate that in spite of all these problems we were able to present ourselves at the gate before your cut off point which, according to OUR printed version of your Conditions of Contract are as follows “Passengers who present themselves at the boarding gate LATER than 25 minutes before the scheduled time of departure will not be accepted for travel”. In my book 06.50 is not later than 25 minutes.

We then go on to your point that you don’t believe we were at the gate at 06.50. Says who? Why am I not surprised that you have been advised that "the last passenger to board at the gate did so 06.56." If that was the case why didn't we see him? And who gave you that time? The gate agent, the dispatcher, the cabin steward, the bus driver? I can accept that maybe he was actally BOARDING the plane at that time, which would have meant that he was the last off the bus onto the plane, but I can assure you that he that wasn't at the gate.

We have two crucial timings here, one is the time that we presented at the gate and other is the actual time that the gate was closed which I believe was after that telephone conversation had taken place by which time we had already been standing at the gate for several minutes. I would urge you, in the interest of good customer relations, to listen to the content and timing of this conversation.

As I have already stated, I am MD of a service company and in the case of a complaint we listen to the call recording which is then emailed to our client. If it is our fault we will immediately hold our hands up. No-one is invincible and nothing speaks louder than the truth.

This has two benefits:-

1) our clients respect being told the truth, especially if we have admitted liability and

2) we are then able to address any staff retraining issue before other clients have been affected.

This is basic customer relation and, more important, customer RETENTION good practice and I recommend that you follow it.

And let’s not forget here that there were 19 of us, including 2 infants and several young children, refused boarding on our flight, 9 on the Dortmund flight and apocryphally at least 3 on another flight that morning. Something is wrong, especially when it appears that the same dispatcher was serving all three flights. I know that if I had a report of this happening I would, in no uncertain terms, want to know what went wrong that morning.

I sincerely hope that we are able to conclude this situation amicably because I’m 71 years old and, quite honestly, have better things to do with my limited time. However, I should say that I am also pretty determined to get to the bottom of this and won’t stop until I feel vindicated. You have cast into doubt both my integrity and intelligence and if we can’t find some resolution I will take this further.

5 comments:

DogLover said...

Cor! That's telling 'em!

"No-one is invincible and nothing speaks louder than the truth." What a fabulous line!

You ought to be the boss of a global service company. Oh, you are, aren't you.

But you're 70, not 71, aren't you?

Retiredandcrazy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Retiredandcrazy said...

I had my birthday on the QM2. They presented me with a very nice birthday cake to the accompaniment of singing waiters. How cool is that?

Alcoholic Daze (ADDY) said...

Blimey, I'd be quaking in my shoes, if I were Eastjet. Glad you are back safe and sound from your world trip.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Thanks Addy, but I think that easyJet are going to attempt to brush me aside. I'll give it my best shot though!