And what a week it has been. The Brussels bombing was awful news but we will talk about this elsewhere.
However, some things are European business as usual such as air traffic control in France going on strike around a holiday. AGAIN. For those new to Roads-2-Roam, this is all too familiar pattern and covered our prior posts ‘FRANCE STRIKES. AGAIN’ and before that ‘FRANCE : A LAND OF STRIKING BEAUTY. A LAND OF STRIKING WORKERS.’
Of course, this has the usual consequences of stranding thousands of passengers whose flights needs to pass through French airspace. The passengers of budget airlines, EasyJet and Rynair, are particularly put out by these event. They are also getting an eye opener in what limited support such airlines offer – you’ll get a rescheduled flight back but not necessarily when you need it. You are probably on the hook for your unexpected accommodation unless you want to sleep at the airport.
From the Daily Mirror:
Tessa Hargrove, 35, was left in limbo in Marrakech after she and her 67-year-old mum, Helen Stephenson, were told their flights were cancelled by text at 10.30pm on Sunday night.
Tessa said: “Ryanair needs to give us more information, a text on the night before when there’s no other information is not good enough, they said they would send us an email but that didn’t come until 2.11pm, four hours after we were meant to get on a flight.”
Tessa and her mum were forced to queue for hours to find out what was going on.
She said: “The Ryanair people at check in were just crossing you off so they could send you to a hotel and the other desk was about an hour and a half queue to find out your options.
“You can get a free flight back to the UK but the first one we were offered by the time we got to the front was one on Thursday to Luton or on Friday to Stansted where we were meant to be flying to. “My mum and I were dashing from queue to the next so we didn’t lose our places. There weren’t enough people for you to actually speak to. Someone else spent ages queuing on the phone to try and speak to them.”
Tessa needed to get back for her work with a company which sells scientific equipment to research labs so booked to fly back on Wednesday online with easyJet costing £500.
She is now worried she will not be able to get on the flight because staff at the easyJet desk in Marrakesh told her that flight was already fully booked on their systems.
According to Ryanair this is the 41st such strike since 2009. Robin Kiely, head of communications at Ryanair said “It’s grossly unfair that thousands of ordinary European consumers have their travel and holiday plans disrupted by the actions of a selfish few. We also encourage any affected customers to sign our online petition, Keep Europe’s Skies Open.”.
Ryanair has said it plans to present it to the EU Commission and the EU parliament once it has attracted 1m signatures.
“As a member of Airlines for Europe ( ), we are working with other airlines including Air France KLM, Finnair, International Airlines Group (IAG), Lufthansa Group, Norwegian and Ryanair, to call on governments and the EU to develop an action plan to minimise the impact of ATC strikes on passengers.”
Here is the link to their petition : keepeuropesskiesopen.com . I remain skeptical about Brussel’s willingness to act of it.
Our message to the French Air traffic controllers..
Those damned French Air traffic controllers: Feed them to the Lions. Again.
Some links for further information of A4E
Trajan was initially a bit perplexed on the story hitting the interweb about JetBlue and how a Flight attendent treated a mother whose 3 year old daughter needed to go potty while it was queued up on the Tarmac before taking off.
The story was that a Mom was refused permission to take her 3 year old daughter to the restroom and ordered to stay put in their seat. The tot ended up wetting herself and when mother stood up the clean it up, the FA called into the pilot who turned the plane around to return to the gate, announcing over the intercom that there was a “non-compliant” passenger on board and they were bringing her to security.
The good news is that she was not arrested and allowed to stay on the flight. It turned out that a fellow passenger was an off duty Pilot and stood up for the mother. The other piece of the information to put some context to the story is that the plane had already waited 30 minutes on the Tarmac and the airport was JFK, a busy airport.
We see both sides: