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#939930 by honey lamb
28 Nov 2017, 23:14
It is a truth universally acknowledged by V-Flyers that honey lamb booking flights sends the travel gods into a frenzy as they plot and plan what disasters should befall her as she jaunts around the globe. :lol: As a result, once she posts details of future flights, those V-Flyers well acquainted with her past miseries rub their hands in glee as they wait for the latest disaster. Of late, however, the travel gods have decided that enough is enough (or else have found another victim) as recent trip reports (and there are a few outstanding) have been somewhat tame. Hah! It was a ploy to lull me into a full sense of security as they have recently racked up the stakes once more! :evil:

Disaster #1

My lovely little airport of Cork has for many years tried in vain to establish a route to the USA so that the good denizens of the south of Ireland would no longer be forced to travel to Shannon, Dublin or London in order to get there. Year after year they tried only to fall at the final hurdle which was generally the Department of Transportation in the USA refusing to grant a licence. Mind you, it was usually some charter company bidding which always had an element of risk. Last year Norwegian was the airline to throw its cap into the ring but while negotiations were still at a delicate stage, WOW air from Iceland threw a bit of a spanner in the works by announcing in October that they would start a route to Reykjavik with onward flights to the US. The DOT couldn’t complain about that as the flights were connecting with established flights from KEF to the US and so it seemed that from May, Corkonians were able to fly from their home airport albeit with a connecting flight but with several US destinations. As a sweetener some very attractive fares were offered and I chose to avail of them. I wasn’t going to go to the US - after all, I had other and better options but I had wanted to go to Iceland. I wanted to see the Northern Lights and on advice from those in the know, in October 2016 I booked flights for September 2017 in a week of a new moon to get maximum effect. The fare was delightfully cheap. It would cost me more to fly to London or take the train to Dublin (well if I had to pay for a train fare. Free travel rocks!). For the next few months I did little else about this trip apart from telling anyone and everyone about it and in any case I was jaunting around the southern hemisphere.

In August it occurred to me that I should be making some bookings so one Sunday evening I grabbed my laptop with that in mind. Hah! Just as I opened it, an email plopped into my Inbox. It was from WOW advising me that my outbound flight was cancelled and offering me the option of either re-booking or a refund. :eek: I searched the site but nearly every date I selected, the flights were marked as “Sold out” - including my cancelled flight! I surmised that these flights had actually been cancelled and wondered how long would it be before they pulled the route. (The answer is three weeks later!) Aer John suggested I try Dublin but the price of the outbound fare was over €100 dearer. Nothing loth, I used the rebook option on the email to ask if they would honour my original fare and sat back to await their reply. The website said there would be a reply within 72 hours but that deadline passed without a word from them. :cry: A call to their Dublin number had me redirected to Iceland and no English speaking option! By this stage I really didn’t want to travel with them but because I had used the rebook option, the refund option was unavailable. Time to get social media involved! A quick message to their Facebook page elicited a quick response and in no time at all the flight was cancelled as was the inbound. After all it was of no use to me at this stage. Equally quickly, the price of the outbound flight was refunded but alas, not the inbound as that was still operating and each leg had been non-refundable. :roll:

Disaster #2

Aer John had been complaining that I was not making full use of my travel allowances - mainly because I had done three long-haul trips on other airlines during the year. However, to satisfy him I looked at various options before deciding on flying from Dublin to Zurich in mid-October. Flights were stand-by but the hotel was booked and I was good to go. However two things happened to thwart that. First of all Ireland qualified for the play-offs in the World Cup. I was due to fly out on the Monday and the draw was on the Tuesday in Zurich. The seat availability went from 18 to -2. :shock: Mother Nature also decided to step in and send Hurricane Ophelia in our direction! It was due to make landfall in Ireland and the brunt of it was going to be the south-west coast of Ireland where I live - go any further south and you get your feet wet! On the Sunday dire warnings were issued on radio and television. Status Red warnings were issued right, left and centre and I was left with a dilemma! Should I cancel or not? :-? The decision was twofold - if I didn’t go, I needed to get food in as rations were low especially with regard to fresh foods; if I did go and I had food in, would it go off or if I got to Dublin, would I find the flight was cancelled? In addition, the hotel in Zurich had a free cancellation policy up to 6pm CET on the Sunday. I swithered and swayed between the decision to go or to stay. The parish priest made a decision not to open the church and to cancel morning Mass and asked me to broadcast it on social media etc., but still I remained uncertain. The deadline for the hotel was rapidly advancing but when one of the pubs from across the road announced that it was not opening - well if they had decided that, then it must be bad and so I cancelled with 20 minutes to go!! :eek: It was a good decision. Bus and rail transport was cancelled although some early morning trains did operate but were cancelled mid-morning. I could have found myself stranded in Dublin. Although the evening flight to Zurich was showing on the DUB website as operational, about an hour before departure, it too was cancelled!

As an aside, I did eventually get to Zurich some 4 weeks later with the same scenario of seat availability going to -1. I had to be last person to board and proof positive about no-shows, I was able to get a seat. :grin:

Normal service has been resumed!
#940170 by ColOrd
Today, 11:45
Oh dear the perils of standby travel, I have a few cabin crew friends who are always suggesting jaunts here, there and everywhere and the thought of being stranded down route with little support always gives me the heebee jeebys

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