Hey guys, I’m gonna bring you something different from the norm. More of a travel story. An untold tale from my Majorca adventure.
It’s something I wanted to keep separate from my Majorca review as I wanted the tone of the post to be more constructive and positive. Plus what transpired was so deep that it’s enough to be a post of its own.
Usually with my posts I don’t come across as negative. Travelling has become a strong passion of mine over the last year and I want my posts to convey that passion and knowledge accumulated from my trips to readers. If there’s any lows on a trip abroad I try and read it from a comparative, objective perspective.
But now I feel it’s justified to go into a bit of a rant about it because people seriously need to know and I can inagine some other travellers can relate to the struggles I endured.
To get to Majorca I needed to catch a connecting flight with Flybe from London Southend airport to Cologne then catch an early afternoon flight with Ryanair to my destination.
Minus an enlightening conversation with a girl sitting next to me on the Flybe flight to Cologne. The ever-extending, toxic journey was virtually a disaster.
At the time of my original departure, I and the other passengers barely knew which gate we were meant to be at to board the plane. At that point it was clear things were not going according to plan. No Flybe staff was at the desk to clear us. No one communicated about our flight being delayed or anything. No information on the board. Nothing. Radio silence. Just the wait. The only reason I knew my flight was delayed because I had to ask the airport staff what was going on. We then, by airport staff have the path cleared for us to board – well partially – as then we were stopped by a barrier. Whilst clearing the barrier after a wait the Flybe staff then ask us “where you flying to?” Then I said to one of the passengers that this is something they should be aware of.
This all meant the flight to Cologne ended up being delayed by 30-45 mins.
To add to the mess, the flight to Cologne was actually with Stobart Air NOT flybe. It was as if Thanos from Avengers Infinity War with the power of all the Infinity Stones wiped the flight out of existence in some of the staff’s eyes.
By the time finally getting through passport and border control in Cologne I had missed the cut off time for boarding my plane, meaning I had missed my flight altogether.
I endlessly pleaded with the airport staff to but there was no chance of that. Deep down without such control I knew before I asked it was a straight “no” from them. But what shocked me was how little sympathy the staff had for me as I was pacing myself furiously and frustratingly, almost ready to kick and punch my luggage. Inside I was actually kicking and screaming. All the staff did in response was tell me to go to the Ryanair Customer Service desk.
Obviously it didn’t get better cos it was time for Ryanair to compound my misery. I went to the Ryanair Customer Service desk demanding to speak to someone at the desk. After the long stares from the staff behind the desk: “You have to wait” says a lady. No manners or signs of politeness. Way too much awkward eye contact.
I explained the whole situation I had been through to the lady and she booked me onto a new flight – which wasn’t till another 5 HOURS and had to pay €100. All I could do was just freeze and bury my head in my hands, whilst the lady basically and uncaringly told me to move out of the way of the other customers she wants to serve and come back when I had made up my mind.
I had briefly considered getting a flight back to London and cancelling the whole trip.
My anger, my annoyance was fully directed to Stobbart Air on the phone and in writing when trying to put down a compensation claim. I’m still waiting on receiving anything from them as I type this.
The reality of the situation that point was this: I’m alone. In a foreign country. Miles miles away from home. No family or friends to turn to. Not solo travelling, but solo struggling.
I opted to pay the €100 needed to book me on the later flight that wasn’t till 7pm in the evening. I had briefly considered getting a flight back to London and cancelling the whole trip. Just briefly but with me looking forward to Majorca for so long, all the effort and time spent getting money and plans together for a vacation I stronly considered as a birthday treat to myself. How could I rob myself of that.
So I’m spending all afternoon in the airport munching on McDonalds, watching Django Unchained on Netflix and trying to check-in to my new flight. Guess what? The details aren’t recognised on the Ryanair system. So I’m marching back to the lady at the desk explaining everything and she’s being as flaky as a snowflake. She actually told me that the flight number was the BOOKING REFERENCE number. She never asked for my email address when booking my flight either. She kept telling me to do the same thing – that wasn’t working before. Incompetency. She gave me the actual booking reference number and the system still wasn’t recognising my details. Till she actually revealed to me that the travel agent I booked with often have made-up email addresses they assign to travellers to check in people for their flights – and then she checked me in myself to save me further pain. Why she didn’t do/know all of this beforehand I don’t know? Pure incompetence and bogus.
Wish I can say the joke of an experience ended there but it didnt. I was told in barking fashion by a Ryanair staff helping us board, with their voice raised mind you, to queue in the non-priority queue when I accidentally queued with the priority ticket holders. Yes I made a mistake but I’m sure it shouldn’t warrant someone to raise their voice. I Had never endured such hostile customer service in my . All I could do was join the other queue and just get on with the focus of getting on the plane and reaching my destination.
And the icing on the cake? The takeoff was delayed for a further half an hour. I didn’t reach Palma Mallorca airport till…. 10:15pm. At night! To put into perspective my original arrival was meant to be 4:30 in the afternoon.
All in all, the treatment from Ryanair and Flybe Customer Service team was comical. Borderline disgusting if anything. Actually Flybe’s customer service was non-existent I change my mind on that.
My takeaways from that experience? Flybe are never getting another penny from me again. They are CANCELLED I say. I’ll bluntly never fly with Flybe ever again. Ryanair It’s somewhat normal so I’m not entirely astonished in hindsight. I’m just glad I made it to Majorca in safe hands as at one point I didn’t think I would make it to be honest.
To go fully Travel Connoisseur mode on the service altogether I’d rate it – MINUS (-) 10/10.
Anyway that is all guys, sorry my first travel story was one of pessimism and if it came across as me just constantly complaining. It’s the start of a new series of posts I’m hoping to roll out and I promise to bring more positive ones in the future
Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures