I purchased return flights for myself and my husband from Manchester to the Isle of Man. Prior to travelling Flybe cancelled my return flight and emailed me an alternative earlier flight which was not suitable. I declined this option and was told via email I would be contacted by phone. A few days went by and I had heard nothing, other than another email offering the same unacceptable timed flight I had already declined. Unsurprisingly I declined it again and waited for my call which never materialised. I called Flybe myself from Australia where I live and spoke with a nice lady who offered me an alternative flight later on the same day which I accepted. Great I thought!
As it happened, it wasn’t a simple booking alteration. I later found out that the lady at Flybe had split our booking from one into two separate bookings, and the original booking had not been deleted from my husbands name. 2nd phone call to Flybe to see what was going on. I was informed that on altered flights Flybe often don’t allow online check in to check that passengers show up. This meant that we could not check in online and had to arrive at the airport much earlier than we would with hand luggage only.
Arrive at the airport for more systems errors...more than 20 minute wait for this to be resolved after a discussion with the airport supervisor. Eventually we are one step closer to our flight! I asked at the check in desk if there would be any issue with our return flight to which I was assured there would not be.
The flight itself was ok, it left on time and was adequately comfortable.
Given we were attending the Isle of Man for the TT races and the weather was terrible with multiple race cancellations we decided to change our flight to a couple of days later and tried to call up on a Saturday. Initially contacted the UK Flybe service centre, which had a recorded message with Monday to Friday opening hours but offered 2 alternative numbers for people who already had a booking to contact outside of these hours: one uk based and one from outside the uk. I contacted both numbers and received the same Monday to Friday message. As a last ditch attempt I called the Republic of Ireland service number and got through!
Call number 3 and I am informed that my booking had only one person on it. After a number of periods on hold and I am told my booking had been split into two separate bookings. After they eventually found my husbands booking I am asked if I am sure that he actually travelled as he was placed as a no show at Manchester airport and therefore the return flight cancelled. With my husband sat right next to me and my frustration building I informed him that yes my husband did make the flight. I was also told that as I had already ‘requested’ and ‘chosen’ an amendment to my flight which was free of charge any further changes would be charged. I politely suggested that at no point had I chosen for my original flight to be cancelled and that accepting an alternative flight when you have accommodation and tickets booked for a holiday and the airline has cancelled your return flight is more necessity than choice. At no point was I offered my new flight amendments free of charge despite the multiple systems and staff errors that were not my fault and out of pocket expenses in an attempt to rectify this and make my travel experience easier. Given the original Flybe staff member had split my booking it meant that I had to endure two payments on my overseas Australian debit card and therefore likely two overseas charges, again out of pocket.
After 56 minutes on the phone, the last of 3 phone calls and I eventually have 2 acceptable return flights booked, albeit on 2 separate bookings. Unfortunately I can’t get the time or money back I have wasted on trying to access acceptable customer service from an airline I can safely say I would never fly with again! Zero stars if possible
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