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

1 comment:

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

You clearly aren't going to win this one. What an absolute mess of beaurocracy and cock ups and covering of corporate backsides.

You're absolutely right - it would have taken far longer to off-load the baggage than let you through, it's just the usual 'follow the 30 page manual' thinking that made you miss that plane. Customer service? Don't make me laugh.

We travelled on a redirected flight to Canada one time and were met off one plane and personally escorted through Calgary airport by a Canadian airline official to our connecting flight, which had been held for us. THAT'S customer service!