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Old 11th Aug 2016, 15:58
  #623 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Manchester
Posts: 1,106
When the rules make no sense, how about applying common sense?

Afew days ago I was contacted by FlyBe with news that there had been a change to my MAN-LUX-MAN daytrip arranged for a date in September. Upon checking this, I noted that my morning departure had been cancelled and my outbound sector had changed to evening. The homeward flight remained unchanged. Unfortunately, the cumulative effect of this was that my visit to Luxembourg would last around 25 minutes ... not quite what I had in mind (and probably impossible to do in practice).

Courtesy of online forums, I learned than MAN-LUX now operates once daily for the month of September before rising to the originally planned twice daily in October. So that's an easy call ... they can switch my booking to one of the October dates when they offer day returns again. Simple right? They keep the money paid, I keep the day-trip to Luxembourg. Everyone's a winner.

Not so fast. I awaited the promised contact from FlyBe ... eleven days on this had still not come. So I contacted them. I confirmed that I would be happy to switch my booking to one of the new dates when a day return would again be possible. I had a selection of suitable dates when this would work fine.

No, this can't be done. Our rules don't allow it. Why not? It is the blatantly obvious solution for all parties? You keep the business, I get my day-trip!

The lady explained that FlyBe only permits changes within seven days of the original travel date. But all those dates had been reduced to a single daily flight as well ... so it would be impossible to switch my day-trip to one of those? Twice daily flights now become available from early October. No, I couldn't be rebooked onto one of those! They're more than seven days later. Had I fallen into one of those "computer says no" sketches from Little Britain?

The lady then said that I could be rebooked to a date in October if I paid more! Now just hang on ... this is FlyBe's change, not mine. I willingly pay more if I can't make a flight which they're still running, not if they cancel a flight which I'm still available to travel on. No way! The lady then re-iterated that she could not book me onto a new date when FlyBe could honour the day-trip, so I asked her to arrange for a senior manager to contact me. She then asked me to hold for a couple of minutes. Upon returning to the phone, she advised that a senior manager had given her permission to switch my booking to a day return in October. About 30 seconds later this was done. Ideal outcome all round. A win for common sense.

But here is my question to FlyBe management. Why are you forcing your customers to jump through hoops and quoting illogical rules when it is you, not the customer, who cancelled the flight! Those seven day rules are there to protect revenues when booking-changes are customer-driven. Why are they being quoted at customers who are being messed about involuntarily for the convenience of FlyBe? How many customers have been sent packing with a refund when they may agree to being rebooked to a new date after the flight is re-instated? You're kicking good business out the door and unnecessarily letting down potential customers. And on a new route, some of those customers will be new to FlyBe. What impression do you want to give them? Would you like them to consider trusting you with their future business?

Do you think those MAN-LUX flights will be flying completely full in the first couple of months? Well I don't ... so I suggest that you let the customers you're messing about re-book if they're willing to do so. And don't quote rules at them like you're doing them some massive favour by rebooking them when you cancelled their flight in the first place! They've kept their side of the deal.

Some common-sense please. Not too much to ask, surely?
Shed-on-a-Pole is offline