I have booked a flight from Southampton to Bergerac next Saturday, 4 June, and would like to know what #Flybe has to say about the #Frenchstrikes and the likelihood of flights being cancelled.
Here are my steps:
1.First I googled “Flybe strikes” and the following came up as the first entry (this was on 29 May):
“Flybe’s services to France, along with those operated by other airlines, will be disrupted for the next three days due to industrial strike action by employees of the Air Traffic Control (ATC) services in France.
For the latest updates please click on the link below.”
That was encouraging, until I noticed that the message was dated 11 June 2013.
- The next Google entry was up-to-date and took me to their Facebook page, where they direct enquirers to the following for further information:
- I duly went there and was invited to enter departure and arrival airports or flight number and a date. I did this (still on 29 May) asking about the flight on 4 June, and got this response:
“The date 04/06/2016 is too late. Please provide a date that is on or before 31/05/2016.”
Apart from that there was a warning of possible disruption at Hannover airport on 29 May.
- I then tried the company’s own website, which was more detailed than its Facebook and Twitter pages:
“We have been advised that Hannover Airport will be closed from 0900 to 1600 local time on Sunday 29th May. As a result, passengers who are due to arrive and depart on Flybe’s late afternoon/early evening Manchester and Birmingham flights might…”
- I tried another page on the website and got a lot of advertisements, followed by:
“Use a keyword or phrase to find the answer to your question”.
- I tried “Bergerac flight French strike” and was told about the possibility of strike disruption on 26 May, three days earlier, as if it were still in the future.
Even more oddly, the announcement of expected disruption on 26 May was updated on 28 May!
- On 30 May (today) I tried again, and found that 26 and 29 May were still referred to as if they lay in the future. At that point I decided to leave it for now!
Of course Flybe cannot foresee how the French strikes will develop, but they might at least pay more attention to their website. The Times of 28 May was more informative about the strikes.
Could the company not make some effort to show worried passengers that it “cares”? It could easily, for example, ask for telephone numbers and E mail addresses, so that they could tell us if flights are to be cancelled; it could establish a special telephone line which passengers could ring, perhaps for a recorded message, to hear the latest news; and why not remind us that if a flight is cancelled the airline has to refund the fare?
One can see why the Sunday Times of yesterday carried a “SELL” recommendation for Flybe’s shares.
Follow me on Twitter: @ChristoHill3