Monday 29 August 2011


Now you see it, now you don't! 

This building sat next to our house.  The "black bungalow", as it was always known,was quite "up together" in it's day, having originally been constructed as WWI Officers Quarters.  After the war it was transported to this site where it happily housed two families for 60 + years.  Davy and I bought it several years ago with the intention of pulling it down and re-building.  The best laid plans huh?! 

Last year I did finally obtained planning permission to build a 4 bedroom house on the plot, but, quite frankly, I can't be bothered with the hassle of doing that so I decided to sell it. Over the years it had slowly become derelict and a target for vandals, hence the decision to have it demolished.  Another tick on my "done" list.  

The funny thing is that it had become a bit of a local landmark and a friend visiting me at the weekend nearly drove on because this was the subliminal trigger for braking and turning!  Mad how be become programmed isn't it?

Actually, I have let things slide a bit of late and now I'm on a bit of a mission to get to grips with life again.  This morning I attempted, yet again, to clear out the garage  and was quite pleased with progress because I finally made a dent in it!  But tell me, where does all the rubbish come from? I have so much that it prompted me to get a bunch of stuff together for a car boot sale. 

But where do I start?  Maybe with the 2 "surplus to requirements" hair driers, 2 pairs of curling tongues and 4 pairs of hair straighteners that I seem to have acquired over the years.  Puzzling that, considering I don't, and never, ever, ever have, used curling tongues or straighteners!  What's that all about?  And I can't even blame anyone else because I actually remember buying each damn pair myself! 

Add to that the 20+ vases and multitudes of pillow cases, table clothes etc, etc, and you see I have developed quite a problem over the years.

But, hell, it's lunch time now and I may have another bash at getting my life sorted out after I've had my power nap.  But I still have 9 unopened DVD's to view, so I may leave it for another day.

Monday 22 August 2011


I got over excited yesterday when I googled easyjet and found that two of my blogs came up on the 1st page. I thought that all the hours wasted complaining to a sponge had not been in vane. I then found out that the reason I rank on the easyJet 1st page on my own computer is because I write bloody the blogs. Doohhhh!

The easyJet Customer Service "team" have been quiet for a few days. Have I stunned them into a respectful silence or are they totally bored with me? What will I do without them? They have been my reason for living. I know, I'll transfer my intellectual argument to Luton Airport, although I suspect they might already have the propaganda machine primed and waiting for my first email.

Putting easyJet to one side for a while, I had a brilliant weekend in London. I met up with my friend Sandy, granson Morgan and his partner Gwen for lunch at Kettners in Soho. A place I can highly recommend. In the evening Sandy and I went to the theatre to see The Million Dollar Quartet.  Fab-u-lous.

Friday 19 August 2011


EMAIL FROM GRAEME MacLEOD Head of Customer Operations

18th August 2011

Dear Mrs Cordner,

Thank you for your email. As you have raised a number of points I will answer them in the order in which you have raised them.

1) I am unable to tell how many passengers use the fast track facility in the airport, so it is impossible to confirm whether or not the 22 passengers that checked in after you decided to use this facility. The fast track facility is advertised throughout the airport and the escalators going up to the security area.

2) I stated that you were checked in between 06:22 and 06:24, this is the length of time the transaction took on the system, with the first passenger (A.Clist) being checked in first at 06:22 and the last passenger (O.Parkin) at 06:24.

3) Gate closure time. This reservation was made on 30th March 2011 at 12:33 by a Mrs G Holyoak. At that time Mrs Holyoak accepted our terms and conditions of carriage as published on the website which includes the text I have previously quoted to you. It is these terms and conditions that both parties were operating under for the flight you missed. The confirmation page you are referring to was issued to you at the airport after you had missed your flight. I accept that there is a difference in timings on this and will amend the airport one accordingly.

4) Reimbursement - I apologise for mis-understanding this point.

5) The security area has recently been refurbished and new equipment installed to speed up and enhance the facility. I confirmed that the airport do not have a policy of selecting customers with pushchairs to put them through specific screening lanes, which was your concern previously raised on your email of 26th July. With regards to the whether the customers who had an infant who checked in after you made use of the fast track facility, I am unable to identify this as per my point 1 above.

6) I am sorry but it would be inappropriate for me to discuss with you another customer that may or may not be in contact with us.

7) I can confirm that there were 18 fare paying passengers, this excludes infants, who were unable to make the flight that morning.

I wish to assure you that you have not been given "white wash" I have personally spent many hours going through records and discussing your case with the airport team to establish the facts. It is clear in, our opinion, that you missed your flight because you were not at the gate on time and the gate was closed to protect the other 135 passengers onboard the aircraft. I can also confirm that your feedback in relation to the agent assisting you has been taken onboard and addressed with the individual directly.

I am genuinely sorry that you and your party missed your flight and that you had a difficult and long journey to your destination, however it is our belief that we acted in an appropriate manner in order that the passengers that made it to the flight on time were not inconvenienced.

Yours Sincerely

Graeme MacLeod
Head of Customer Operations


Daer Mr MacLeod,

You have just lost several passengers and I guess many others that are reading this account in my blog.

Putting the “rules” to one side and I know that I’m repeating myself here, if we, along with the 18 other fare paying passengers + 2 infants, had been allowed to board that plane it would have taken less time than off loading our luggage and, I believe, the plane would not have been delayed. In this situation common sense should have prevailed.

While we stood there we could hear snippets of the lengthy, quietly spoken, telephone conversation between the gate agent and the dispatcher. Decisions were being made to dispatch the bus and leave us stranded. That was spiteful and this is why I wanted someone to listen to the call recording.

You said “your feedback in relation to the agent assisting you has been taken onboard and addressed with the individual directly”. I take it that you are referring to Amanda Nunan. I have already said she was cold, officious and completely unmoved at the sight of crying children. Let me give you an example of how unhelpful she was. When she took us to Gate 9 the lift wasn’t working. We had a double pushchair which is difficult to maneuver down stairs and I complained, hoping that she would offer assistance. She said she would call the engineer if we wanted but had no idea how long this would take and headed off down the stairs herself. In the meantime my grandson spotted another lift across the room that also led down to Gate 9 which she hadn’t told us about. In my opinion she is a militant “jobsworth” and a liability to any employer.

Now let me tell you something about that visit to Switzerland. My husband and I owned an apartment high in the Alps. Every summer the children would visit us but when my husband became ill we decided to sell it. Unfortunately he died two Christmases ago. This summer our grandchildren and great-grandchildren expressed a desire to revisit the place one more time because they had spent so many happy summers with him there. One party travelled by car and we elected to travel by easyJet. Big mistake! The children were absolutely traumatized by this experience and on top of that they had to wait over 9 hours at that horrendous airport to catch a plane to the wrong part of Switzerland, finally arriving at our destination exhausted after travelling from 4 in the morning to 10 that night.

I have travelled by easyJet many times and have always been extremely pleased. And I must say that even on that wretched morning, apart from the attitude of Amanda Nunan, the easyJet employees were all extremely courteous and kind. In fact staff at the Sales Desk were particularly sympathetic and helpful when you bear in mind that they were absolutely swamped, having to deal with the passengers both from our plane and the 9 denied boarding from the Dortmund flight.

To add insult to injury when I tried to point out some of the problems to your Customer Services the “blame” culture kicked in. Immediately, it was our fault. So pat yourselves on the back Customer Services, you passed the buck beautifully but in the long term lost passengers.

I did try to point out that perhaps your procedures and time scales needed looking at. For example how can you have a 40 minute cut off at check in and a 30 minute cut off at the gate when it takes more than 10 minutes to walk directly from check-in to gate never mind go through security too!

I would have felt so much better if someone had put their “intelligent” hat on and thought this through. In fact, if that had happened the bus would never have been dispatched without us in the first place thereby saving all the money wasted in your people, you and me writing 18 pages of blah, blah, blah.


Ann Cordner

Thursday 18 August 2011



17th August 2011

Dear Mrs Cordner,

Thank you for your email. I am sorry that you remain dissatisfied with my response. I wish to assure you that I do not have a vested interest in this and have looked at your case with an impartial set of eyes.

The facts I have given you have been obtained from our reservation system which on Monday I personally looked through every single passengers booking and the associated audit logs to confirm the times that I have provided you. I can assure you that the figures I have provided you with, including the 22 passengers checking in after you and successfully boarding the flight, are accurate.

You and your party were refused travel in accordance with our carrier regulations ( which states :-

"8 Check-in

Check-in at the Airport

Please note: Whether checking in on line or at the Airport, passengers who present themselves at the boarding gate later than 30 minutes prior to scheduled time of departure will not be accepted for travel, and will forfeit their seats.Conditions of Carriage Articles 7.1 and 7.3

Our airport team held the gate open as long as possible but for the sake of our other customers we do have to make a decision to close the gate in order that the aircraft can still depart in a timely manner and not inconvenience the other customers who did make it on time and the subsequent customers throughout the course of the day who will be inconvenienced by the aircraft running off-schedule.

I am sorry that this is not the outcome you are seeking, however I wish to advise that this is our final position in this matter and we will not be offering to reimburse your additional costs.

Yours Sincerely

Graeme MacLeod
Head of Customer Operations


Regarding the 22 passengers that checked in after us who you claim boarded the plane:

How many of them paid extra to fast track through security? In the general melee of transporting young children through the airport I missed displayed signage (if any) that this was an option. We were told that it would take approximately 15/20 minutes to clear security due to high passenger levels, but no mention was made of the fast track facility.

If, as you said, we had checked in at 06.22 and 6.24 (incidentally, why 6.22 AND 6.24?) the 15/20 minutes to clear security would have rung alarm bells and at that point I would have alerted the staff to our predicament. I didn’t because we looked at our watches and had, in our judgment, ample time, not knowing that we would then be subjected to a line change and a random liquid test!

Regarding the gate closure time (which, incidentally, is going over old ground again)

You have quoted your carrier regulations, “Whether checking in on line or at the Airport, passengers who present themselves at the boarding gate later than 30 minutes prior to scheduled time of departure will not be accepted for travel, and will forfeit their seats. Conditions of Carriage Articles 7.1 and 7.3” whereas I have already pointed out in my email to Mary Maguire that the terms and conditions printed on the reverse of the Letter of Confirmation printed off at the airport that morning state “Passengers who present themselves at the boarding gate later than 25 minutes before the scheduled time of departure will not be accepted for travel”. You can’t have it both ways.

Regarding re-imbursement (going over old ground again)

I have repeatedly stated that I am not asking for re-imbursement, see my emails to Jennifer Hogan and Mary Maguire. This proves to me that you didn’t pay attention to any of my previous correspondence.

Regarding the pushchair issue (going over old ground again)

You also said that the “airport management team” are not aware that the airport has a policy to move passengers with pushchairs to a different security line although your Customer Service Supervisor, Carrie-Louise Hughes had already said that we were moved to another lane because of a “refit in the security check area”. You also cite the fact that two families with infants checked in after us. Again, did they “fast track”? Was this the reason they reached the gate before us?

I know FOR A FACT that the other family who checked in alongside us were moved to another lane because of their pushchair. This family, Alexandra Wright, her two children, mother-in-law, sister, brother-in-law and their infant child also arrived at the gate in time but were denied access. She tells me that she has written three letters to easyJet and, as yet, received no replies.

Regarding the number of passengers denied access

You have totally disregarded my query about the number denied boarding that morning which both Ms Wright and I know was 19 and yet you say was 18.

Why am I getting the feeling that this is a complete white wash?

Wednesday 17 August 2011


EASTYJET’S LATEST COMMENTS (you may note a trace of frustration in my reply!)

Dear Mrs Cordner

Thank you for your email to Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive Officer. I have been asked to look into this and respond on Ms McCall's behalf.

I am sorry that you have had a difficult time with us and as Ms McCall states we work hard to make travel easier for all our customers and are disappointed when this doesn't happen.

With regards to the issues you encountered I would like to assure you that I have conducted a thorough review of the circumstances concerning your complaint. In summary I can see from our records that you and your party were checked in between 06:22 and 06:24 on the 19th July. This was ahead of the check-in closure time and a further 22 passengers checked in after this time and successfully boarded the flight to Geneva.

After reviewing the boarding logs on our system it is apparent that boarding did not complete until after 06:56 and in total 29 passengers were accepted between 06:50 when you state you were at the gate and 06:56. This includes two families with infants that checked in after you.

Whilst there were 18 people that did not make the flight that morning we do have strict gate closure policies that ensure that once the gate is closed and the offload of baggage is commenced that we do not accept any further passengers onboard. This so that we do not inconvenience all of the other passengers that did make it within the correct time scales by delaying the aircraft.

I understand that you assert you were delayed whilst going through security and that the security personnel moved you to a different queue because you had a push chair. I have discussed this point with our airport management team who are not aware that the airport have such a policy to do this and indeed I can see that two other passengers who had infants and checked in after yourself successfully made it to the gate on time. As my colleagues have previously advised the provision of security is a matter for the airport and complaints concerning this should be made directly to them.

With regards to the recording of telephone calls between staff members I can confirm that calls at Luton Airport are not recorded or retained, therefore it is not possible to obtain this information.

In summary whilst I am sorry that you missed your flight and had an arduous journey to your final destination, I can confirm we will not be offering to compensate you for the additional expense you incurred as we believe we acted in accordance with our terms and conditions of carriage.

I appreciate that this is not the answer you are looking for, however we try to be fair, transparent and consistent with all our customers and making an exception in your case would not be fair on other customers who may find themselves in a similar situation.

Yours Sincerely Graeme MacLeod Head of Customer Operations


Thank you for investigating this incident but unfortunately you seem to have left this issue more confusing than when you found it.

My first point is that one family of 4 adults, 2 children and 1 infant and a pushchair checked in simultaneously with us in the adjacent lane. They were also denied boarding, so your statement that “22 passengers checked in after this time and successfully boarded the flight to Geneva” was not accurate.

I can accept that maybe there were passengers who checked in after us, but when you are travelling with young children it is a slower process. Once through check-in we used the toilet and then went straight to security and from there straight to the gate. We did not stop to buy a newspaper, coffee or anything else.

Where do you take the stats from that “29 passengers were accepted between 06.50 when you state you were at the gate and 06.56”? Were these passengers already downstairs being loaded onto the bus? They certainly weren’t our side of the gate. This would bear out my suspicion that they were loading the bus downstairs while we stood upstairs.

You then go on to say that “18 people did not make the flight that morning”. Wrong, that should be 19 people including 2 infants. Unless you count that as 17 people, i.e. 17 seats because the 2 infants are not allocated seats and there was another person that I am not aware of who arrived at the gate after we had been escorted away.

Regarding security, because of the pushchair we were moved to another queue as was the other family mentioned above. Your own Customer Service Supervisor, Carrie-Louise Hughes writes “The situation you experienced at security was due to a refit in the security check area. It was for this reason you where asked to join a second security queue. I have been given confirmation from the airport that the lane you where moved to, lane 10, should not have taken any longer to process passengers than any other lane. They have measures in place to ensure passengers are processed as quickly as possible and the lane is monitored closely”. To which I would reply, how is it monitored closely? We weren’t even directed to lane 10 we were told to go to “a lane higher than 6”. I believe we went through lane 8!

I was annoyed that this had caused a further delay, but it had not resulted in us arriving at the gate late. This is why I did not raise this issue with the airport. Again I ask you, don’t you think that I would have gone this route if that was the case?

Please note: my replication of Ms Hughes email includes one of her 12 grammatical or spelling mistakes. It is not a typo on my part.

You say that telephone calls at Luton Airport are not recorded or retained. I don’t understand. How can anything be “retained” that that hasn’t been recorded in the first place?

I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that because of your vested interest this matter is not being impartially investigated.

I have now written to Watchdog.

I am a 71 year old widow who, along with my two grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren was denied boarding on this easyJet flight.

Attached is email correspondence between easyJet and myself which, due to conflicting statements and, quite frankly, what seem to be a cover up, I have concluded will never be investigated with any degree of impartiality.

I was tempted to complete an Air Passenger Rights EU Complaint form but feel that this would only add another level of bureaucratic complexity.

I would value your opinion on this.


Ann Cordner

Sunday 14 August 2011



Dear Mrs Cordner
I understand how frustrating this situation has been for you and your family. We strive to make travel easy and affordable and clearly your experience was not easy.
I have asked our Head of Customer, Graeme Macleod, to look into this as a matter of urgency and he will come back to you as soon as he can.

I want to assure you this will be taken very seriously. It is never our intention to give our passengers anything other than good customer service.

Carolyn McCall


Dear Ms McCall,

Thank you so much. Frustrating comes no-where near describing the devastation this event cause to both my family and the other 12 passengers denied boarding on that morning. One thing that I should have pointed out is that there are 11 grammatical and spelling mistakes in your Customer Service Supervisor’s letter. That’s not good is it?

Ann Cordner.

Saturday 13 August 2011


Name: Ann Cordner
Title: EasyJet Query
Date: 26/07/2011
Our Reference: 110726-001018
Booking Reference: EHPNQXZ

12th August 2011

Dear Mrs Cordner,

Thank you for your correspondence.

I would like to advise you that your case has been passed to me so we may achieve a resolution in this matter.

Firstly let me address each of the questions to which you feel you have not been given a satisfactory answer thus far. We do not have an ongoing problem at Luton airport in regards to passengers missing check in. The situation you experienced at security was due to a refit in the security check area. It was for this reason you where asked to join a second security queue. I have been given confirmation from the airport that the lane you where moved to, lane 10, should not have taken any longer to process passengers than any other lane. They have measures in place to ensure passengers are processed as quickly as possible and the lane is monitored closely.

As previously stated by my colleague, the information we have been provided with by the airport state that the boarding gate was not closed at 06:50. The last passenger who boarded did so at 06:56. Therefore the gate could not have been closed at 06:50 as you have stated.

I understand that you where travelling with an infant and small children and that this situation was inconvenient to say the least. I would kindly like to point out that the this was not overlooked by the airport staff. The reason they where unable to make an exception in your case was due to the fact that the passengers on your flight where bussed to the plane as it was too far to walk. When you arrived at the boarding gate the bus had already left. If the staff at the airport had allowed you to board the flight the bus would have had to return for you and the other passengers in your booking. This would have potentially caused a delay in you flight and may have had a knock on affect on other flights that day. easyJet strive to have as little disruption as possible for our passengers and for this reason we were unable to allow you to board the flight. We would not refuse passengers if it is not necessary.

With regards to the comment you have made about Amanda Nunan, I can only say that this issue has already been addressed by Mary and it is unfortunate you chose to disagree with the information provided.

In relation to your request for the details of the phone call I again must reiterate what was stated in previous emails. easyJet do no have access to any phone calls made at the airport and I am therefore unable to provide you with the requested information.

I would like to advise you that we have taken your complaint very seriously every step of the way. Our customers satisfaction is our number one priority.

Again I would like to advise you that if you would like to pursue this complaint further you should do so with the airport itself as the issues you have raised are out of the control of easyJet and should be addressed with the airport.

I am sorry I am unable to help you further. If you would like to contact the airport in relation to this complaint pleas contact them at:

London Luton Airport
Navigation House
Airport Way
Luton, Bedfordshire

Yours sincerely

Carrie-Louise Hughes
Customer Service Supervisor


We are just going around in circles with this one. In dispute is our gate arrival time with me saying we arrived a 06.50 which I admit I cannot prove and you saying, without proof of your statement, that the gate closed at 06.56. I can only say that when we were held up at the gate we instinctively looked at our watches and this is how I am sure of the time. Also, the information board in the corridor still had a “last call” status.

To say that you don’t have access to the call recording of the conversation between your gate agent and the dispatcher that was taking place as we stood at the gate is utter nonsense. YOU may not have access, but SOMEONE does. I repeat, it is my believe that this recording would shed light on what really happened at that gate that morning. It is interesting that I am pushing for this and you are resisting. I wonder why?

Your comment that the bus had been dispatched to avoid delaying the flight is utter nonsense. That bus had not been dispatched when we stood there listening to the gate agent talking to the dispatcher on the ‘phone.

Tell me this, apart from the dispute regarding our gate arrival time, didn’t the gate agent, dispatcher and flight crew wonder why 19 people including 2 infants and several children were “late” at the gate? Any fool can work out that the correct course of action would have been to hold the bus until the 19 passengers had managed to battle their way to the gate albeit that you say we were late and I say we were not.

Referring to your insistence that I take up my complaint with the airport, don’t you think that it would have been easier for me to blame them and claim reimbursement? The answer is simple. I have told the truth, there were problems at the airport that morning, but we arrived at the gate in time and so did 19 other people.

Regarding Amanda Nunan, I can only say that she was cold, officious and completely unmoved at the sight of crying children. She did not offer us any assistance whatsoever. And let’s not forget that the Amanda Nunan had also been involved in 9 people being denied boarding on the Dortmund flight that morning. Come on now, ask yourself the questions.

Yours sincerely,

Ann Cordner


Dear Ms McCall,

I am attaching correspondence regarding this incident which is self explanatory. I would value your comments before I refer this incident to Air Passenger Rights on EU Complaint Form,,, (my local MP).

Yours sincerely,

Friday 12 August 2011


There are two main issues at the moment. The riots in England and global banking. Two dangerous situations that must be bought under control.

First the riots. Last Saturday, 6th August, riots erupted in Tottenham following a peaceful protest relating to the police shooting of a young man a couple of days before. Police were slow to give information on this shooting and as a result local hatred toward them was ramped up, with social networks being used to bring in "protesters" from outside the area.

Now Tottenham is not new to rioting. On 6th October 1985 PC Keith Blakelock was killed in race riots centred around the Broadwater Estate. After the initial horror at this event we entered a period of Political Correctness and appeasement. In an effort to avoid similar tragedies the Broadwater Estate became a "no-go" area where any form of police presence was "discouraged". When will we ever learn.

Watching the news reports on Saturday night you could see this PC crap being acted out right before our very eyes. The police were timid, the rioters bold. Shops were burnt and looted while police stood and watched, giving out entirely the wrong message to youngsters pumped up with adrenalin, with no war to go to.

The following night social networks were again buzzing with new locations to target. Bingo. In the blink of an eye things had got out of control. If the police had been more forthright in explaining why the young man had been shot TWICE, once in the heart, this might have been avoided. And when it became too late for explanations and the riots ensued the police should have robustly protected the local population. It is my belief that had this happend things would not have deteriorated in the way they did.

So what now. The danger is that social deprivation, Government cuts or racism will be blamed. For God's sake let's learn lessons here. Many of the young people going through the magistrates courts are employed, some are high achieving students and they are not all black. This type of social stereotyping has held us back from treating the core of the matter which is, and always has been, allowing the lunatics to run the asylem.

This morning it is being reported that Bill Bratton is being invited over to advise. Bill Bratton is an ex-NYC Police Commissioner and the LAPD Chief credited with restoring law and order and drastically reducing crime in Los Angeles immediately after the riots of 1992 .

Recently I read a report in the LA Times that he is interested in heading up Scotland Yard having said "
From my perspective, I have been interested in looking at that position if it was open to people outside of Great Britain. I've had a long, almost 20-year affiliation with England, with the Met, and their role in democratic policing. I don’t know that there's a major police chief in America or Canada, or for that matter in the British Commonwealth, who, given the opportunity, would not consider it. I never want to go and just maintain something. I want to be able to fix something."
. Bring him on!

I can imagine that there will be huge political opposition and backlash to this but let's put our sensitivities to one side and restore this country's pride, whatever it takes, and if it takes buying in expertise from the USA, so be it.

My next rant is about the banks. We all know the history, but let me tell you what they are doing now. Today they are going to tell us all that they are meeting the lending criteria the Government imposed on them.

That's all bullshit. Let me tell you what they are actually doing. I pay my Credit Card in full each month and never go anywhere near the limit. Last month they increased my limit, enabling them to record this as "increased debt exposure".

They will also include in their figures the fact that our company in the "small to medium sized" group that they have been instructed to lend to has been offered, at our request, an increase in our Credit Card facility. What they will not tell the government is that we have secured a large contract which requires us to pay for hotel accommodation on behalf of our contracted client by the hotels preferred method - Credit Card!

We have, as any prudent business would, taken out insurance to cover this exposure but the bank wants us to give them additional security i.e. re-valuation of our office building which was valued a couple of years ago at a cost to us of approximately £1000 and additional personal guarantees from directors.

Luckily we weren't relying on this because there are more ways of skinning a rabbit and, if necessary, I will take up any temporary shortfall by using my own increased Credit Card facilities! So I can tell them, in the nicest possible way, to go screw themselves.

So you can see where I'm going with this one can't you? They gave me additional facilities that I didn't want, and offered the business additional facilities that, because of their ridiculous demands, knew we wouldn't take up. I can just see what they are going to report now. We are making personal and commercial loans to small/medium sized businesses but unfortunately they are not being taken up because everyone is worried about the current financial situation and does not wish to over expose themselves. Boom! boom!

Unfortunately, we are living in times of "smoke and mirrors". No-one trusts the authorities or the banks to tell the truth any more. Or, to quote Gorge Orwell, "during times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act"!

Wednesday 10 August 2011


Here's the latest from easyJet.

Dear Mrs Cordner,

Thank you for contacting us.

I would like to apologise for the delay in my response, I have contacted the airport again regarding your query.

I can confirm that the information provided regarding the time the last passenger boarding the flight is the details taken from the boarding gate check in system which showed that the last passenger to go through the gate did so at 06.56. I do understand that you have stated that you were at the gate before this but I need to advise you that if you were at the gate at the time you have stated, easyJet would not have refused you boarding on this flight.

I have made contact with the airport to find out a full version of the events on the 19th of July and they have advised me that the dispatcher that the gate agent spoke to regarding the passengers being late to the gate was not Amanda Nunan. However, Amanda Nunan did come to take you away from the gate due to another flight departure and to bring you through to the sales desk at the other side of the airport and give the passengers all options available to them due to this incident of missing their flight.

In regards to your query regarding the phone calls made at the departure gate to the dispatcher. Unfortunately, easyJet do not have access to listen to calls made in the airport and as previously advised I would suggest you contact Luton airport regarding this complaint so they can investigate this case for you.

As previous stated, I regret to inform you that we are unable to agree to your request for a refund of the rescue fee you had to pay due to missing this flight.

Whilst our position remains unchanged, I do not wish to detract from the obvious frustration and upset, you have detailed. It is always regretful when we are unable to find a mutually satisfactory conclusion. I hope that despite your present sentiments we may look forward to welcoming you onboard an easyJet flight in the future and I apologise, I cannot offer a more favourable response.

Yours sincerely

- Mary Maguire -
Escalations Team

And here's my reply

Once again, thank you for your reply.

I have stated this over and over so please, for one last time, watch my lips – I have not asked for my out of pocket expenses to be refunded, What I DO want is a full and frank admission of facts.

Having said that I have another shock for you, I still have unanswered questions. Such as:

1. If you know of the problems at that particular airport why don’t you close the check in 1 hour before the flight instead of “promptly 40 minutes before the flight” thereby giving your passengers time to get to the gate?

2. If the gate was closed as we approached why did the information board in the corridor give the flight status as “Last Calls”? This would indicate to me that the gate was still open.

3. At the risk of repeating myself, as we approached the gate at 06.50 your gate agent was involved in a ‘phone conversation about passenger numbers which continued for some time while we waited. It wasn’t until she came off the ‘phone that she announced the gate closure. We could see the plane but were denied access. Please indulge me, but I would dearly love to know the name of the person who took the decision to close the gate, off load our luggage and leave 19 people including 2 infants and several children stranded when it would have been more humane, probably simpler and certainly less time consuming to escort us to the nearby waiting plane?

4. Amanda Nunan came up the stairs from the dispatch area. Are you asking me to believe that it was just serendipity that she, a dispatcher, happened to be around the dispatch area that morning without having some involvement? But this is just smoke and mirrors, someone made that decision, if not her then one of her colleagues. There must have been a discussion. Why didn’t someone say, “hey wait a minute, there are small children involved here, aren’t we being a tad pedantic?”

And the claim that “Amanda Nunan did come to take you away from the gate due to another flight departure and to bring you through to the sales desk at the other side of the airport and give the passengers all options available to them due to this incident of missing their flight” is simply not true.

She took us to Gate 9, well away from passengers passing to other gates who were becoming very curious to know what was happening. At the deserted Gate 9 she simply left us to “await further information”. After approximately 30 minutes we were taken through to the sales desk by a young man who had simply been sent to escort us. He had no “further information” for us and we were given no guidance or instruction on what we should do next.

And, out of curiosity, did you make enquiries about exactly what time the next flight was due to board from our gate? Or are you just “buying the excuse”.

Finally, three things

1. I am not convinced that you have uncovered the truth.

2. You continue tell me to complain to the airport. We arrived at your gate on time and I believe that the call recording could be instrumental in proving this.

3. I am not happy with the explanation that you do not have access to this call recording. This is nonsense. Ask the airport to provide you with this information and then you can pass it on to me. Simple.

If your "investigation" proves to be unsatisfactory I will be sending details of this incident, including our email correspondence, to your MD, the European Passenger Complaints Unit, the Trading Standards Institute, my MP and Watchdog.


Ann Cordner

Sunday 7 August 2011


It's taken me a few days, but I'm beginning to feel like I'm back in control of things at last. By "things" I mean my paperwork, correspondence and commitments, but NOT, unfortunately, my life!

For the "out of control" moments I rely heavily on the Serenity Prayer.

God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

I have repeated this little prayer almost daily since I first heard it at an Al-anon meeting way back on 6th November 1974. It was a life saver then and, "just for today", it's even more of a life saver now. Unfortunately this philosophy can be misconstrued as stoicism but far from being stoic it's subtly positive. However, I am aware that it might sometimes appear that I'm weak, tough, callous or even just plain stupid, but anyone that knows or cares about me know this is simply not true.

There are rare occasions when someone will penetrate my defences and not be fooled by my apparent acceptance of the unacceptable. This happened a couple of days ago when I had a 'phone conversation with an old friend who has known me for 40 years. He heard something in my voice that worried him enough to 'phone back. He probed and managed to get me to talk. Like many others he wanted to help but I told him that I fear it would lead to more problems than I feel capable of dealing with right now.

But we don't want to dwell of that do we? It is good to be back with my family, friends and colleagues. Yesterday I took my two great-granddaughters out to lunch and then on to a show. We had such a great time. Money can't buy days like that and today I'm going out to lunch at The George in Stamford with my daughter Kimberley and her husband. I am so grateful and fortunate in the family, friends and colleagues I have.

Tuesday 2 August 2011


Let me first apologise for not catching up with my blog reading since I have been back home. It was very difficult when I was travelling because I was reliant on small windows of wifi access to make my posts, but now I have no excuses except to say that my feet haven't touched ground yet. I have so much paperwork to catch up on but I will get around to touching base with you all again within the next few days.

Now for the ongoing easyJet saga. This is the latest bunkum.

"Dear Mrs Cordner,

Thank you for contacting us.

I would like to apologise for the delay in my response and thank you for your patience. Your case has been escalated to me to investigate and obtain all information from the airport regarding this flight.

Firstly, I need to advise you that easyJet check in procedure is that the check in desks at the airport open 2 hours before the scheduled time of departure and closes 40 minutes prior to departure, also our boarding gate closes 30 minutes prior to departure. As stated on our carriers regulation any passenger that present themselves later than 30 minutes prior to scheduled time of departure will not be accepted for travel, and will forfeit their seats. I have enclosed the carrier regulations below:

I can confirm that I have contacted the airport in relation to your claim and they have advised me that the last passenger to board at the gate did so 06.56 therefore the times you have stated in your e-mail do not correspond with our flight report as a passenger has boarded this flight later than the 6.50 that you have stated. I can confirm that the agent at the gate did allow passengers to board after the 30 minute closing time and if you were at the desk at 6.50 you would not have been refused travel on this flight.

I can confirm that due to this flight being coached as soon as the last passenger boarded at the gate, the passengers were taken to the aircraft and the gate was closed. I have received confirmation that the agent at the desk called the dispatcher when you arrived who advised the gate agent that as the gate was closed we could not accept passengers that were late to the gate. I assure you that easyJet try not to refuse passengers for boarding however when the dispatcher informs the agents that no more can be accepted due to the gate being closed we have to follow these instructions.

I do understand that you did have a problem with the security at the airport this day and you were changed to a different queue for screening the push chair, however I need to advise you that you will need to directly contact the airport regarding this complaint as easyJet do not have control over the security, this a airport matter. I have enclosed the details below of Luton airport contact details.

London Luton Airport
Navigation House
Airport Way
Luton, Bedfordshire

In light of the information above, unfortunately I cannot agree to your claim for reimbursement of your additional expenses as this incident was not caused by easyJet and our staff at the airport followed the correct procedure when passengers missed the flight by providing you with the offer to pay the rescue fee to get on the next suitable flight.

I am sorry I cannot assist you further with this claim. I understand that this incident was a great inconvenience to you and your family and would like to apologise for the obvious frustration and upset that this has caused you. It is always regretful when we are unable to find a mutually satisfactory conclusion. I hope that despite your present sentiments we may look forward to welcoming you onboard an easyJet flight in the future and I apologise, I cannot offer a more favourable response.

Yours sincerely,

- Mary Maguire -
Escalations Team

Thank you for looking into this incident.

There were difficulties at the airport that morning, but my reason for setting out events in full was to illustrate that in spite of all these problems we were able to present ourselves at the gate before your cut off point which, according to OUR printed version of your Conditions of Contract are as follows “Passengers who present themselves at the boarding gate LATER than 25 minutes before the scheduled time of departure will not be accepted for travel”. In my book 06.50 is not later than 25 minutes.

We then go on to your point that you don’t believe we were at the gate at 06.50. Says who? Why am I not surprised that you have been advised that "the last passenger to board at the gate did so 06.56." If that was the case why didn't we see him? And who gave you that time? The gate agent, the dispatcher, the cabin steward, the bus driver? I can accept that maybe he was actally BOARDING the plane at that time, which would have meant that he was the last off the bus onto the plane, but I can assure you that he that wasn't at the gate.

We have two crucial timings here, one is the time that we presented at the gate and other is the actual time that the gate was closed which I believe was after that telephone conversation had taken place by which time we had already been standing at the gate for several minutes. I would urge you, in the interest of good customer relations, to listen to the content and timing of this conversation.

As I have already stated, I am MD of a service company and in the case of a complaint we listen to the call recording which is then emailed to our client. If it is our fault we will immediately hold our hands up. No-one is invincible and nothing speaks louder than the truth.

This has two benefits:-

1) our clients respect being told the truth, especially if we have admitted liability and

2) we are then able to address any staff retraining issue before other clients have been affected.

This is basic customer relation and, more important, customer RETENTION good practice and I recommend that you follow it.

And let’s not forget here that there were 19 of us, including 2 infants and several young children, refused boarding on our flight, 9 on the Dortmund flight and apocryphally at least 3 on another flight that morning. Something is wrong, especially when it appears that the same dispatcher was serving all three flights. I know that if I had a report of this happening I would, in no uncertain terms, want to know what went wrong that morning.

I sincerely hope that we are able to conclude this situation amicably because I’m 71 years old and, quite honestly, have better things to do with my limited time. However, I should say that I am also pretty determined to get to the bottom of this and won’t stop until I feel vindicated. You have cast into doubt both my integrity and intelligence and if we can’t find some resolution I will take this further.