Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Posts tagged “airline complaints

More cutbacks at the airlines…Lufthansa squeezes more people in

Thought for the day…” A dame that knows the ropes isn’t  likely to get tied up”   (Mae West)

” I generally avoid temptation, unless I can’t resist it”.  (Mae West).

Back on one of my favourite topics…airlines.    I have now seen the seatmaps for the new Airbus A320 NEOs that Lufthansa will be introducing.  Not only are they squeezing in even more seats (12 more seats as compared to the A320s that they currently operate), but passengers in economy class will end up with LESS leg room than on Ryanair (the new Ryanair 737s will give 76cm of space whereas Lufthansa will be offering only 71cm).   Not only that, but those passengers sitting in the rear of the aircraft will be looking at a blank wall, as the rear area (previously the toilet area) does not have windows.  But wait, there is more….the 2 rear toilets that are left are also being reduced in size (said to be the equivalent of a Greyhound bus toilet for size) and the galley is being reduced in size to a small corner unit.   So more passengers but less food options, more passengers but smaller toilets, more passengers and less leg room.    Is this progress?    And Ryanair, once seen as the king of cutbacks and no-frills, is actually going to offer passengers MORE space than Lufthansa.

So that begs the question…why pay extra to fly with Lufthansa??  If you are going to pay more but get LESS legroom, and if Lufthansa are now charging you to choose your seat in advance, then why bother to fly with them??  Do you remember those adverts showing Airbus aircraft with SPACIOUS interiors?    Forget that now…economy class on Lufthansa is going to be a squeeze…just 71cm.    You pay your money and you take your choice, as they say.

Early morning sunshine in the small town of Picton, South Island New Zealand for the photo today…quiet before the arrival of the ferry from the North Island.

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and another photo from the archives…thinking time in Cuba…..

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The trend is spreading……more extras from the airlines…

Thought for the day…” Common sense ain’t common”

” If you do not fight for what you want, then do not cry for what you lost”

I have had many good flights with Lufthansa.   Sometimes they have problems, but they are usually very good at trying to sort alternatives out.   Same thing with Swiss Airlines (now also part of the Lufthansa group).    So I had been loyal to them for a long time, and generally very happy with the service and fares.  But it appears that they have now gone the same way as airlines in the USA and also the European budget airlines.   Sad to see that they are now charging for seat reservations (up to 25 euros each flight for long haul for a basic seat).   Not only that, but Swiss airlines are now offering a bag-only fare (to Geneva), ie. if you want to travel with a check-in bag then you must pay more.    And Austrian Airlines are offering Economy passengers the chance to enjoy a better meal on payment of an extra 15 euros.  And KLM (part of Air France), who I refuse to fly with on the grounds of previous bad flights and bad customer service, add in extra charges for paying by credit cards, and also an extra fee of 25 euros if you book by telephone, as well as an extra 15 euros if you check in a bag.   And if you want an economy ‘Comfort’ seat, (are the other seats called discomfort seats on KLM?) with UP TO 10 cm more space, then KLM give you the chance to pay between 5 and 160 euros EXTRA for the UP TO 10cm extra.   And the final straw…..Wizzair airline is also charging for carry-on baggage.

So the quality airlines are copying the budget airlines, and the lines between them become less clear.     But the trend does not stop with airlines.   Swebuss, the Swedish long-distance bus company is offering passengers who pay extra the chance to board the bus first.  Viking Line, the Finnish ferry company that operates around the Baltic is giving passengers even more chances to pay extra…..extra charge to reserve a window seat in the restaurant, extra charge for late check in with a car, extra charge for priority disembarkation with a car etc.

People used to mock Ryanair because although the basic fare was cheap, everything else was extra.    That was the standing joke.  Now it seems, that bus companies, ferry companies and even quality airlines are all going the same way.  You pays your money and you takes your choice, as they say….

Today’s photo comes from Interlaken, near the centre of Switzerland.  A paraglider frames the 4158m Jungfrau mountain in the Bernese Oberland in  Switzerland.  If you are feeling energetic, then you can enter for the annual Jungfrau Marathon, which is run uphill.  One nice touch is that they have Swiss chocolate at the refreshment points during the race.    No doubt that the runners will need a lot of chocolate to run the 42 km uphill.

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and another photo from the archives…capturing the moment in Korea…

wordpress-Korean-women

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Airline complaint – Emirates – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day..” Deposit happiness into your day, instead of withdrawing sadness”.

We are now in the 21st century (at least according to the Julian calendar) and we are surrounded by technology.   Yet, despite all the technology, life is sometimes very trying.  I made a mistake and purchased an air ticket with Emirates Airlines.  I know now that it was a mistake, as I have experienced their customer ‘service’.   Customer service are not words that I would use to describe the treatment that I received, because the people that I have dealt with clearly do not know the meaning of the words.

The conditions of my ticket stated that I was allowed to change the dates of travel.  That is one reason that I bought that ticket, as the dates were very likely to change.   First problem was that online if you tried to change your booking, you first had to cancel your current booking, not a wise thing to do until you are sure that there is another flight available.     So the next step was to contact the online chat section to ask for help.    There I was met by the most unhelpful staff ever.   The first assistant (‘Mary’) refused to discuss or do anything with the booking, and kept saying that I should telephone in.  Not only that, but she ended the conversation without warning as well.   Tried again, but the next assistant was equally unhelpful.  So what is the point of having ‘online chat’ if the people there are not actually going to do anything???

So reluctantly, I telephone in.  Not just once or twice, but many times during the day, each time trying to get someone at EMIRATES airline to change my ticket.   Usual story, nobody would do it, and I was passed from department to department.   The end result was that a large part of the morning and afternoon were wasted on long (and for that read very long) telephone calls.   Useless customer ‘service’ department.     And to make matters worse, different people gave me different excuses.   They just did not want to change the DATE of travel as I asked for.  And remember, the ticket conditions said that I could change the date of travel.

So the next stage was to try email.   21st century, so of course, emails will make matters easy.  WRONG.    Emirates do not publish their email addresses, and when you ask their staff, they will tell you that Emirates does not have email addresses for Customer Service.    And when you try and send emails to the addresses that you have already had messages from, they STUPIDLY send you a message back saying that the email address is no longer valid.   It is just their way of telling you to get lost.    If you want to pay for a ticket, then of course, no problems there, and they are delighted to make it all very easy online, but when you want to email them, then that is a different story.  Any airline that hides its email addresses is a bad airline.   An honest, open airline will not make it difficult for customers to contact it.

So having wasted a LOT of time on calls, online chats and trying to email, I am stuck with travel date that I do not want.    What is the end result of this?    Emirates have now guaranteed that I will NEVER make another booking with them.  I know that there are decent, open and honest companies out there, and Emirates has proved that their customer ‘service’ is appalling.    So Emirates have lost out in the long run.   I have asked them for a full refund so that I can go and book with a quality airline (such as Qatar) but I guess that I will never hear from Emirates again.  They have got my money already, and that is probably the end of story.  But for me, it was the end of bookings with Emirates.

On the subject of customer service, I will quote some good words written by Mike Michalowicz.  What he writes is very true, and the staff at Emirates should read these.  Thanks to  Mike Michalowicz  for these words –

“The Four Phrases of Amazing Customer Service……..Want your customers to spread the word about your hotel or Restaurant? …….Start by surprising them with the best customer service they’ve ever gotten:

1. “I don’t know, but this is what I’m going to do.” You’re not always going to have the answer to every question at your fingertips, and your customers will understand that. What they expect in exchange, though, is honesty and follow-up. The key here is to make a clear commitment like, “I’ll call you by 5 p.m. with the answer,” and then keep that commitment.

2. “I am very sorry.”  When you or your company make a mistake, the customer wants to hear you accept responsibility and apologize. Too many customer service reps have been trained not to accept responsibility, in some cases because they fear the legal record of having admitted failure.

3. “Yes.” “Yes” is what your customer wants to hear, and your goal should be to say that word whenever possible, especially if you’re working through a problem. Customers want progress.

4. “Is there anything else I can do for you?” Here’s your perfect wrap-up. Not only does this question give your customers the opportunity to bring up additional concerns, but it also lets them feel as if they’re in control. They can ask for additional information or can thank you for your spectacular service. Giving your customers the opportunity to raise additional concerns lets them know you value them enough to spend time ensuring they’re satisfied. Even if the customer called with a problem, if your customer service team can work through a resolution and end on a positive note, you can earn and keep those customers for life.
Source: Mike Michalowicz”

And today’s photo comes from the Korean capital of Seoul.   Nothing to do with airlines, but a nice photo!

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New, looking old – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Better to be a star rather than a spark.  Sparks are for the moment, stars are for the future”.

“Talent is the key to success, but you have to find the door”.

Update on the story about the refund from Air France.    I cancelled an air ticket with AF, and understood that the actual ticket was not refundable, as the conditions stated, but asked Air France to refund the taxes.  Things like departure taxes had not been incurred, as I had not travelled, so I expected a refund of these.  After many many emails to Air France, and to some very unhelpful customer ‘service’ departments, then finally I got a refund, minus a 20 euro ‘administration fee’.  Still very unhappy with Air France because I had to write so many emails to them, but at least I have got most of the taxes back.   So the moral of this story is that even if the airline says no in the beginning, then keep on at them as they ARE supposed to refund the taxes.

A new photo made to look old for today’s picture.  The shot comes from the museum at Ballarat in Australia, and started off as a colour photo, then was converted to black & white and finally was given the sepia touch to make it look old.    It was just a matter of waiting for the tourists to disappear out of the scene then an easy job to capture this scene, which could be from the 1800s but is actually quite recent.

LOW-RES-Ballarat


Finals to land – Not the Quality Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Doing things right is not as important as doing the right things.”

” The past is to improve yourself, and the future is to prove yourself”.

Another photo to prove that you do not need an expensive camera to get a good photo.    Many modern ‘compact’ cameras offer great zooms (the new ones go up to an extreme 60X zoom!) , but even a 20X zoom will get you a photo like this.    Good light and also a high shutter speed will give great results.   Even though the aircraft was moving at around 260 km/h at this point, the high shutter speed of 1/2000th has given a good, sharp photo.  Once again, the Panasonic Lumix camera has done well !!

The Portuguese government is trying to sell TAP Airline, as part of its attempts to raise much needed funds.   It has already sold the airports operations to a French company, but a recent bid by a Brazilian company for the airline fell through.   The airline has huge debts and also a reputation for poor service.

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Desperation in El Salvador – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” A good idea without action is as pointless as a spear without a tip”.

”  The hardest part of getting to the top is getting through the people at the bottom”.

How stupid is this.   I am still trying to get a full refund from Air France (not a good airline), and after sending yet another email to them, I received the following reply-

“Thank you for your Email alerting us to the problem you have been having with your refund .For further investigation , I would like to advise you to contact our Customer Care Department directly.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused, but there is no direct Email addresse to contact the Customer Relations Department .”

How stupid is it that Air France claim that their Customer Care (and there is a misnomer if ever there was one) do not have an email address.  They even answered my email to say that they do not have an email address!   And how are people supposed to contact them?   What a way to run a business.    So if anyone from Air France is reading this, then get your act together.

With a population of around 6 million, El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America.  It has frequent earthquakes as it is on the Pacific Ring of Fire, , and also has around 20 volcanoes, with two of them active recently.  A large part of its foreign earnings come from residents who work abroad, maninly in the USA.  Sadly, it has one of the highest murder rates in the world, with drugs and gangs being prevalent.  Spanish is the main language, and the US dollar is used as currency.    A popular national dish is the pupusa, which is a corn tortilla, usually hand made and often filled with cheese or beans.    Fried plantain is a popular breakfast item, as is deep fried cassava root.    The capital, San Salvador, has around 2 million people, and lies in a volcanic valley.

The photo here comes from the town of Naza, El Salvador, the look is either desperation, sadness or hopelessness.

Wordpress-Naza-woman-2-final

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Simple but powerful, shapes and colour – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell

Thought for the day….” Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with”.

”  Love is like a war, easy to start, hard to end”.

Stupid companies.    There are a lot around, run by stupid people.   I am hoping that they go out of business fast, but sadly they are still around, bugging me.   Air France is one example.    Try finding an email address on their website.    Of course, they freely give out numbers to ring on an expensive telephone line, but very conviently hide their email addresses.   They are quick enough to take your money, but when you want to get a refund, then the walls go up and they just do not want to know.   A good company will not cover up its email address, as email is the normal way of communication in the 21st century, except for Air France of course.  Until I get my refund from them, then Air France/KLM/Transavia will not see anymore of my money.

Simple and powerful for the photo today, and a photo of a well-know petrol station sign in perfect weather and with perfect light.   Simple, but it works.    Did you know that the colour red can make you feel hungry, whilst the colour green has the opposite effect?   The colour blue is said to convey trust and reliability.   Blue is also the favourite colour of most people   Chromatophobia is the fear of colours, whereas leukophobia is fear of the colour white.

Wordpress-sign

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Hats off – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…..” Pay attention, it is free !”    ” There is more than one door into wonder”.

“If anger is your most frequently used outlet, then try unplugging it for a while”.

Air France/KLM deserve to go out of business.   I am still arguing with their so called ‘customer service’ for a refund of taxes on an unused ticket.    Their ‘customer service’ staff clearly have no interest in trying to resolve matters, and seem intent on just annoying even more passengers.   I am not surprised that Air France/KLM group is making big cutbacks.  At one time, KLM used to be a good airline (probably Air France too), but not anymore.    Far too few staff working in their check-ins/ground staff, and also old, tired aircraft and crews that also seem to have lost interest.    Even if their fares may appear cheaper, life is too short to have unpleasant flights, unpleasant staff, and a customer service section that appears to be ANTI customers.   Had Air France/KLM processed (or even agreed to the refund) in a reasonable time, then possibly more bookings would have been made with them.    But their ‘customer service’ has just been so bad over the last flights that they are now no longer an option.   The good thing is that some of the Eastern/Middle Eastern Airlines (for example, Qatar Airways) are FAR superior to Air France/KLM.    The unhelpful replies from their ‘customer service’ have done it now.   No more flights with Air France/KLM.  Not just one flight that has led to this decision, but a series of poor flights and poor experiences with them.   I could write a long story about some of the incidents, over many flights.   Life is too short to endure the poor treatment by Air France/KLM.  I hope that they are soon bankrupt.  They deserve to be.

And for the photo today…..some hats on a market stall.   But can you guess from which country?

LOW-RES-hats-Croatia

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