Thursday, August 20, 2009

Just don't book it: Thomas Cook's shit!

Bella and I had a relaxing time in Cyprus—even though the young lady has focused on some of the nastier bits, i.e. the cunting Border Agency thugs who make me ashamed to enter this country—apart from one significant bit...

We flew with Thomas Cook Airlines. Seriously, don't do this.

Our flight from Gatwick—which was supposed to leave at 16.10—was delayed till 17.30. Then 18.30. Then... Well, we eventually took off three hours late, arriving in Larnaca at past two in the morning, local time (Cyprus is two hours ahead).

No real reason was given. The check-in lady muttered something about a plane taking off too late, so an aircraft switch having to be made; it was a pity that this conflicted with the crew's excuse—which was that a crippled plane had been hangar-bound for some time. Alas, we were not told which one of these sources was the lying shitbag.

Never mind.

Incredibly, at the end of the holiday, our 23.40 flight out of Larnaca was also delayed. By three hours. No explanation was given: none. We were not even informed at check-in: it was not until we got through security that we saw the sign—which merely informed us that the flight was Delayed 02.20.

For fuck's sake! Delayed by two hours and twenty minutes? Fucking hell. It can't be...?

It wasn't. Nope: it was delayed until 2.20 in the morning. And the rest. This time, according to the captain, one plane was "in the hangar", plus another plane had been damaged by a bird-strike over Ibiza.

THOMAS CROOK: A BUNCH OF CUNTS DEMONSTRATING HOW NOT TO MANAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS

Now, your humble Devil is generally an understanding sort of chap; I appreciate that these things happen and—whilst I would rather the twats had at least one spare plane standing by—I understand that it is peak season and the routes are tight.

But what absolutely pissed me right off was the fact that no one bothered to communicate with us. At all.

On the flight out, there was no information to be had—bar the continuously rising delay notices. But at least they gave us one free drink on the way over.

On the way back, there was no information at all. No Thomas Crook staff were available to talk to. There was barely even an apology. And most certainly no free booze made any appearance near me. And I would have known—believe me, I have a kind of sixth sense for free booze.

THOMAS CROOK: COMMUNICATION IS SO EASY!

Now, I feel that Thomas Crook's service was fucking abysmal but, as I said above, these things happen. What was not acceptable was the total lack of any communication.

For fuck's sake—it doesn't take much effort to make an announcement, or to warn people at check-in, or to have a member of staff beyond security. You could even tell the airport staff—but Thomas Crook hadn't even done that.

Instead, Bella and I ended our holiday on a sour note, feeling pissed off and knackered. We finally got back to the flat at quarter to eight in the morning and—instead of having a couple of hours to relax—I had to change and dive out of the door to go to work pretty immediately. And was still an hour late.

All of the above, by the way, leaves out the claustrophobic seating—I felt, quite literally, trapped—and the constant attempts to sell us shit that we neither needed nor desired. It also ignores the fact that, to facilitate the first two hours of trying to sell to us, they kept the cabin lights on—thus rendering sleep impossible for me (right now, I have been costantly awake for about 45 hours).

THOMAS CROOK: THE CONCLUSION IS...

Thomas Cook are a bunch of arrogant, incompetent cunts who cannot be arsed to spend a few minutes communicating with their customers. As such, you should never fly with the fuckers. Ever.

Bella did take the time to fill out their Customer Survey and elaborated on this theme thusly...
In short, I would eat my own eyeballs before I flew with Thomas Cook again.

You have been warned...

20 comments:

wonderfulforhisage said...

My mother used to say "You get what you pay for". QED.

manc_ill_kid said...

It would be a fine twitter service to have something similar to http://twitter.com/tubeupdates and http://twitter.com/jubileeline to every single commercial flight, by airline and each flight number. All it would take is a couple of scripts and someone would be another dotcom success story.

charles said...

Anyone who's flown a lot know that it happens with all airlines, Thomas Cook is the same as all the rest. Personally, I always found BA to be the worst for customer service. They all suck in general.

Stu said...

That's pretty bad, DK, and it does truly suck when the airlines cock up - but I'm afraid your bad experience can't match up to Michael Totten's Alitalia flight from Beirut to Chicago.

They got stuck in Rome for several days, refused to provide hotel accommodation, nearly caused a riot in the airport, and indeed it's highly possible that the poor lady who had put her cat in checked luggage never saw the animal alive again.

State sponsored airlines and trade unions for you, eh.

Anonymous said...

You obviously don't fly much. This is pretty much par for the course on any shuttle with any airline from Edinburgh to London these days.


Gzoinker.

Mac the Knife said...

"(right now, I have been costantly awake for about 45 hours)."

*Admiringly* Really? I'd never have guessed...

Rob said...

The only worse flight-related crap worse than being told of a delay when in the departure lounge is being told of the delay when you are actually on the plane. We were told thre was a two hour delay once we were actually sat down and belted-up.

This was a shitty one-hour charter flight with seats about an inch wide. We were in the plane for five hours in total, with fucking kids kicking the back of the seat and screaming for much of it.

Richard said...

I read the link to Bella's blog - she called you "nice".

Fine man I'm sure you are, but nice? You should sue - damage to professional reputation.

Roger Thornhill said...

I suppose if they tell you too soon you will all wander off and get rat-arsed in the bar and be very hard to herd back onto the plane come the time it actually can leave.

Maybe the 2h 20 delay is just TC catching up 40mins from the 3hr delay you experienced when you departed!!!

To me it shows a lack of contingency planning.

Charter Flights.

Vicola said...

I flew Thomas Cook to and from my honeymoon and came to the conclusion that it's either a karmic punishment for those whi sinned in a former existence or Satan's idea of a funny joke. Either way I have sworn never to fly in the school holidays again unless I can afford to fly BA Business class.

Miss Snuffleupagus said...

Congratulations DK! How lovely. My very best wishes to both you and Bella.

Anonymous said...

I flew on National airlines in South Africe once fom Durban to Joberg.
The drinks were free and we got a really tasty ham roll.
Short haul or what.
Britain is grab it, grab it, grab it, grab, grab, grab, grab, snatch, take take take take.
So waht do you expect from "product", like that

mitch said...

Im currently in cyprus and flew out with T Cook from East Midlandss, we took off 10mins early and got here 20 mins early...go figure.

Last year Air Malta 3hr delay gettin here 8 back and our plane broke so "Air Slovakia" flew us home on a plane so old it should be in a museum.

You pays your money and takes your choice.

Chalcedon said...

Since 1995 I have booked my hotels and flights online for business and holiday travel. Did that in June this year. Booked a week at the rock hotel in Gibraltar and a suitable flight with monarch from Luton. Why pay bastard middle men, travel agents, when you can do it yourself?

But I will never ever think of Thomas Cook after your story.

Anonymous said...

Fucking retard. All airlines are equally shit. If you actually travelled a lot, rather than being a typical Brit abroad, heading to fucking pikeyville Larnaca for your mass tourism holiday, then you would understand that.

Anonymous said...

Well if you will use a German cut price firm.......

Vicola said...

Actually 'anonymous', all airlines are not equally shit. I paid an impressively low fare to travel to Helsinki with Finnair. The plane had loads of leg room, both toilets worked, the in flight meal was not only included in the price but also free, we were automatically sat together instead of being encouraged to pay a tenner each to guarantee seats next to each other and the plane interior was spotless. If the devil travelled a lot instead of being a 'typical Brit abroad' then he would run the risk of becoming one of these sanctimonious twats who think they're better than everyone else just because they spend their holidays kipping in flea-ridden youth hostels in obscure places and they once got dystentary.

archduke said...

thomas cook - the same arsewipes that fired a load of Dublin staff without warning...

google news search here

treating loyal staff like shit says a lot about that company.

neilreddin said...

Worst flight we ever had was an Airtours (aka Thomas Crook) charter to Florida. Never again.

Next time to the US (LA) was with Air New Zealand. Very good. Honeymoon to Singapore and Oz with Qantas - ditto.

Seems our antipodean friends know a thing or two about running airlines (even if the Aussies can't figure out cricket any more!)

tired traveller said...

just read this and thought wow is that it,i was due to leave larnaca at 17.00 on sunday evening,nice be home bed then bank holiday monday how relaxing.that was the plan the reality was flight delayed 13 and half hours,19.30 put on coach and sent to nicosia 50 mins away for dinner and 4 hours in bed hilton hotel very nice.3.30 am reps put us on coach 6.00am flight to go,get there 6.25 we actually leave,had to wait for a part to be sent from manchester not really a vital part the pilot said.thomas cook will face a nice bill for the hilton and coaches and cant really fault them apart from initial 2 hours when we were told nothing.wonder how long my complaint will take to solve.