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#964966 by roadrunner
29 May 2022, 15:37
Ground Staff
Food & Drink
Cabin Crew
The process of taking and uploading CoVid lateral flow test was annoying but we used VeriFly and it was very easy to check in. Noted others having to wait in queue to be seen.
Up to Clubhouse (SO good to climb those stairs after 3 years!) and welcomed in. A lot has changed both in layout (SO many more seats and few amenities) but it is still a lovely place to while away a couple of hours pre-flight. Champagne at the bar, a lovely meal (deli: smoked salmon, roll mop, ham, greens, olives,- ordered cheese plate, gyoza, hibiscus seltzer, rose fizz and Rioja) had a wander to the Sky Lounge and checked departure gate.
Two hour delay? Annoying, as our Boston arrival would be even later (10:30 pm) and we had a bus to catch, car to retrieve and hour and a half drive home. Nothing to do about it so back to bar, read the paper, spent some sun time in Sky lounge watching mechanics work on a VS 330-300 (ours?), and watched the news on the big screen tv area.
Tannoy-- 4 hour delay, incoming plane hit by lightening gone tech, waiting for NY flight to turnaround for us. CH staff advised we have another drink. Given we would now be very fortunate to make it in time for last Logan Express to car park, and would be driving in the early hours on the Mass Pike, we did. I for one, was disappointed that this clear day would be a night flight requiring sleep rather than an enjoyable flight.

The Ny departing flight was also delayed but not THAT delayed. The CH emptied for a while and we began to think about another walk down to the terminal just to leg stretch, but by 8:30 pm a new crowd arrived, CH staff were again ensuring all needs were met and we waited for The Call-- which finally came at 9:15 and we were the last ones boarding. Despite the fact that we had been cooling our heels for HOURS in the CH, we were held at the gate to be informed that our A seats up front were taken by sleeping crew and we had been reassigned to K near the bar pretty much our last choice but things happen, so get on with it. Given the hour, the bar went unused so all good.

We settled in, were given a very practical amenity kit and had a pleasant and thoughtful crew member attend to champagne (light years better than the PE stuff). We left the gate at 9:30 but had a good wait to take off-- my guess is the quick gate leave was to ensure we made it to arrival under 4 hours to avoid VS delay costs. Wheels up closer to 10, night sky, me twisting around to see out of that impossible 330-300 window, we were finally off.

We had pre-ordered our meals and the menu did not include his (lamb curry) so he was surprised and pleased to find it had been loaded. My salmon starter and fig and goat cheese tart were excellent as was the rhubarb crumble. I had a glass of the same excellent Sauvignon Blanc I'd had in the CH (Gabi Gabi- totally recommend), watched a sad movie (The Last Bus) and accepted crew offer to make up my bed. I'm sure they were eager to have us all zonk out and I think we all did. It was again a very light load, I'm sure some of our fellow travelers bailed at the delay. I had forgotten how uncomfortable those dated beds are and I'm small. The duvet was too thin to cushion it much and there was a good bit of turbulence but sleep came.

The brown curtained off A seats purportedly housing the extra crew was very still. I suppose this also serves as a morgue in the event? Back in the VS 747 days we once had to land in St John's to offload and I remember coming down the steps to somberly look out the window with a crew member as a very quiet ambulance received the body of the nervously excited elderly woman going home for the first time in 50 years, who had checked in behind me at Logan. I hoped it was actually a sleeping crew behind those curtains.

I was having a good sleep despite the turbulence but was awoken by the quite unwelcome loud conversation between two crew in the bar. I can never understand why some crew don't realize that when everyone is asleep and they are having a raucous chat, people will wake up? Giving up on sleep, I twisted around to watch Canada appear light by light until everyone was woken, seats regained, duvets put up, and hopeful for some tea. The gentleman next to me asked about breakfast and was told that it was too late but snacks would have been burgers?

The Captain announced that our flight time had reduced the 4 hour delay to 3 hours and 51 minutes. We sleepily disembarked, were seen by a cranky over hours security staff at immigration as we were the last International flight in, retrieved our bags from the empty hall and raced out to catch the bus. Having missed the next to last, we waited on an empty platform an hour plus for the 1:15 AM bus we were assured would arrive. It, eventually did. Delayed.

Car retrieved, jet lagged drive home, dawn was on the horizon by the time we had our bags in the house, opened windows and headed for a brief sleep before the day arrived. Overall an interesting experience.

Anyone know if the prior plane's being hit by lightening and creating a knock on delay is covered by EU law? Not sure we would claim it unless we hear nothing from VS but would like to know?

We got tier points for using reward miles. Given unlikely to ever get back to gold, not sure the value. Our boarding passes were marked NO FF Miles which is a big change from the days when crew were not informed which of us was flying which class UC ticket?
#964972 by cooperman
30 May 2022, 18:52
roadrunner wrote:
Anyone know if the prior plane's being hit by lightening and creating a knock on delay is covered by EU law? Not sure we would claim it unless we hear nothing from VS but would like to know?

I had the same lightening strike excuse a few weeks ago on return from JNB. I tried to claim on EU261 but was rejected.
#964981 by roadrunner
31 May 2022, 15:37
Thanks cooperman-- I am curious as a friend told me that EU court has in fact accepted knock on delays caused by lightening as these events are a known risk and not an extraordinary event? He sent me this

I realize it is a single and dated case but am curious to know if anyone is aware of others. Here in the US we are often given vouchers for serious delays caused by tech (and that might mean a lot more than 4 hours) as the legal credentials is, "We say we will get you there. We don't say when." Having spent far too much of my life waiting for the plane to arrive, I appreciate that the EU has tightened up on that. Events of "god" are not considered delay issues and that includes lightening, snow, thunder, ice, fog, crew shortage and a myriad assortment of ills imaginary or real. Booking an early direct flight when the plane is already at the airport, is the only real remedy. It has pretty much become the way things work, with last minute cancellations par for the course, "Here's your fare refunded you booked ages ago at a good price, good luck getting a seat trying to get home."

I totally understand VS working efficiently and well to deal with an unexpectedly delayed flight as well as the expertise of their crew and mechanics to handle lightening strikes (have been on several VS planes been struck) but wonder if anyone has experience with VS making any effort to compensate pax or acknowledge delay given these precarious times when many of us post pandemic are choosing which airline to fly? There was no effort made this time, to query pax whether we would like seats on codeshare or partner flights, of which there were a number of choices. I do not know whether PE or EC pax were given meal vouchers etc.

We were asked to complete a "how was your flight" survey but mine, at least, came back undeliverable.

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