Upon our recent visit to Bologna, we had an interesting airline experience that I’d like to share here. In addition to being an interesting read, it might help you learn a thing or two about your rights in relation to airlines.
This might also be a good time to shamelessly promote my post about Saving on Air Travel. I highly recommend it if you love to travel and save money (who doesn’t?).
On with the story…
To catch our return flight home from Bologna, we showed up at the airport more than 3 hours in advance. At the airport, we were notified that our flight had been canceled for “technical reasons”. Furthermore, we discovered that there were no other return flights from Bologna that day. Fortunately, our airline (Vueling) stepped up and organized alternative transportation. After a long wait, they put us on very comfortable buses to Venice, from where we were put on an alternate flight to our final destination. All said and done, we reached home 6+ hours later that we should have, and much much more tired.
From the point we were informed about the cancellation till we got home, we kept all our receipts, hanging on to the slight hope that we might be compensated. Having heard all kinds of horror stories about how hard it is to get any compensation from airlines, we almost didn’t try.
A quick call to Vueling, and surprisingly the matter was taken care of (Shock & disbelief!!). There was no argument, no demand for a physical boarding pass, no demand for receipts, no nothing. They simply confirmed the compensation we were legally entitled to and paid it out.
Here, I have to commend Vueling. For whatever “technical reason” they cancelled our flight. That sucked, but shit happens. However, instead of leaving passengers hanging and in confusion, they took responsibility for their mistake and fixed it by organizing and paying for a viable alternative for their passengers. They even went the extra mile by ensuring that passengers got the compensation they were legally entitled to, without making it unnecessarily difficult. Kudos Vueling! The others should learn from you.