LAST week you may remember I wrote about the extraordinary treatment my estranged wife Pauline, while en route to Mallorca, received at the easyJet boarding gate of Belfast International Airport.
The following day I called easyJet for an explanation. After reaching a couple of ‘robots’- one of which informed me that my call was being recorded – I finally managed to connect with another human being. After confirming that I too was recording the conversation (a statement which immediately brought a distinct change of tone!) I commenced to put forward my concerns. ‘Why’, I began, ‘was Pauline Graham asked to pay £80 to board her designated aircraft, because the name on her passport differed slightly to the one on her boarding card’?
‘This is company policy,’ was the somewhat terse reply. ‘It is a charge administered for a change of name on the boarding card.’ Frankly this explanation conjured up a whole host of queries I could have put forward. Ie how did they issue a receipt if the payment was in cash? How did the company, at that point, actually manage to change the boarding card name? Did this mean that were I a fugitive, or a terrorist, I could become another person between the boarding gate and the aircraft simply by parting with £80? etc etc.
However, since this was ‘company policy,’ I decided not to enter these particular realms of exploration and moved on to my next, and to my mind, far more important inquiry. ‘Why,’ I continued, did a member of staff, in full view and hearing of the other passengers, virtually accuse a passenger of tampering with her own passport?
I explained that when Pauline pointed out that the Embassy had printed her birth certificate name (which did in fact comply with the boarding card) on the ‘remarks page’ the somewhat officious staff member had loudly declared that the name had ‘in no way’ been put there by the Embassy and the line of print was in fact ‘crooked.’ At this revelation there was a long pause from the company representative.
When she finally spoke again, her somewhat superior attitude of earlier had subdued considerably. ‘I need to consult with my superior on that,’ she announced tentatively. After a few minutes she was back. ‘If this indeed was the case,’ she said apologetically, ‘our staff member was completely out of order and we will be investigating your complaint thoroughly. Meanwhile we are refunding your £80 immediately and apologise for any inconvenience caused.’
I thanked her, but added that I required a full letter of apology and also some assurance that the staff member in question would be reprimanded for her actions. I was assured that if I put it all in writing, they would indeed comply with my wishes. So well done easyJet. At least they owned up to their responsibilities.
It didn’t however explain the fact that I later discovered a further £40 had surreptitiously been removed from the account of the person who booked the ticket and equally mysteriously, refunded shortly after my altercation. Funny that! Back to the normal ‘rants’ next week folks. ‘Whatever ya do – don’t panic’!
Keep the faith
Love Leapy [email protected]