Flybe: Ash aims?Back to Forum
Anonymous29 Apr 2010
Interesting email from flybe this morning:
Flybe has become the first airline to offer Volcanic Ash Insurance (underwritten by travel insurance partner, Chartis). This innovative move allows customers the opportunity to book with renewed confidence as they will have cover should the UK Civil Aviation Authority or any relevant overseas equivalent close airspace and scupper holiday plans.
The option to purchase this Volcanic Ash policy is available with all online bookings made between 28th April and May 10th 2010 for travel up to and including 30th October 2010.
For more information please visit the Flybe website.
The interesting thing is that unlike other airlines, Flybe are thus far refusing to refund ‘booking’ and credit card fees on flights that were cancelled during the recent airspace closure.
Am I alone in thinking none-too-highly of that?
(The insurance is £6.99, btw).29 Apr 2010
This clearly another money making scheme from a low cost airline. Fly-be are not alone in not refunding fees or making an admin charge for flights cancelled. In the thread I created about the cancelled flight with BMIBaby, I have now had a credit note less £7.50.
I agree with you ContinentalClub, which is why I prefer to travel an extra half an hour to LGW and fly BA rather than Flybe.29 Apr 2010
I sent my email requesting refund almost 2 weeks ago and heard nothing from them, what about expenses incurred such as hotels ? are they refunding these as well29 Apr 2010
In fairness, they responded and refunded quite rapidly in my case, but six days after I contacted them to express my dissatisfaction at the ‘booking’ fee (which is in itself a rather dubious charge) and the credit card fee (all of which will have been refunded by their card acquirer) being withheld, I have heard nothing.
In my case, there is no claim for accommodation etc., merely a simple refund of a one-way flight which they were left with no option but to cancel during the airspace closure.29 Apr 2010
In my experience flybe devote far more energy to putting out silly press releases and flogging worthless extras than they do to answering legitimate claims from customers who have already paid. If claiming on the insurance is anything like getting a refund or even changing a reservation then forget it.29 Apr 2010
I’m not sure Flybe are even paying out the cost of the cancelled flights now 🙁
4 weeks after my canceled flight, I’m still waiting to get anything other than an automated email response from <a href="mailto:email@example.com“>firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m now trying the Air Transport Users Council for help and failing that it will be the County Court.
Maybe with an insurance policy you have some hope of getting your money back without recourse to the law (or posting messages on web site to warn other people!)14 May 2010
That does not surprise me at all. I hate (ok not hate but dislike) flybe with a passion. They have the audacity to call themselves a low-cost airline when most times their fares are more expensive than BA even without the inclusion of “extras”. I’ve just landed in Jersey on a flight from Edinburgh having had the pleasure of reading their dull as a wet sock inflight magazine and full majesty of the flybe good samaritan tosh when referencing extra services or new routes. Of course they will charge twice as much but somehow fly under the radar of bad press (apologies for the pun). No-frills maybe but low-cost it is not. BIG difference! Ok, rant over.15 May 2010
Whilst I agree with VK over the use of a word like “hate”, I also agree with Thomas-Brown’s general sentiments. Brussels Airlines are a similar case in point. I approach Flybe and Sabena (sorry, Brussels Airlines) with the same degree of “caution”, shall we say.
Unfortunately, at BHX we are stuck with Flybe monopolies on many routes, since BA’s withdrawal. I am also stuck with an SN monopoly on the BHX-BRU route, one I use regularly.
Both Flybe and SN have the raft of magic add-ons, that can double the prices of a ticket, as Thomas says. Although SN don’t charge for advance seat choice (there isn’t any) or for the first 20Kg of luggage, they do actually go one stage further with obfuscatory tricks. They don’t include fuel surcharges in their base price. A “cheapo” of £29 each way can then miraculously become £200 or more return by the time one reaches the “pay” button.
I flew Flybe a couple of weeks ago BHX-EDI and, apart from the pricing techniques, the actual flight was ok (no more and no less). I flew BA down the next day to LHR and, although I had to pay a tenner for advance seat selection, at least that option was available (on a cheapo one-way).
I flew in Business Class with BA to HEL last weekend. I booked on ba.com. What I found interesting was that I had to pay for advance seat selection on the outward leg (BA operated), but my preferred seat, 1A, was already in the system, free, on my return leg. The return leg was on Finnair metal and I’m a Finnair tier holder.
Is this the same for all BA-purchased flights – if it’s a code share and operated by the partner, one doesn’t pay for advanced seat selection on that leg?
If so, what happens when one buys BA paper, but both flights are operated by the partner? This happened to me last year (before seat selection charging was introduced) when I bought BA flights LHR-BCN, with both legs operated by Iberia, as it was much cheaper to buy Business Class tickets through BA than IB. despite the fact that they were exactly the same flights. Is advanced seat selection then free on both legs?
VK’s “Fly Maybe” quip reminds me of Blue 1, the SK subsidiary. Their code is KF. They are know by SK staff in Scandinavia as “Kanskje Fly” – “Might Fly.” How very true indeed, as I have found many times to my cost……..15 May 2010
Similar situation to myself Simon. The Channel Islands are also stuck with a near flybe monopoly. Whilst I appreciate 1) we’re lucky to have some of these services and 2) the deployment of “hate” was arguably overzealous (over utilisation of exagerated words annoys me too) it’s irritating that they exploit their monopolies through high prices and disinterest in responding to complaints. Similarly to Simon my flight was “ok”, the cabin crew being particularly pleasant indeed.15 May 2010
Hi Thomas. I forgot to mention that the Flybe staff was great, as are those (generally) on SN. It is, as you suggest, their monopolistic position, and the subsequent exploitation thereof, that I object to.
At BHX we have virtually no domestic competition to Flybe (the odd Eastern Airways flight). In terms of Europe, we have lost Iberia, CSA and a few others over the years, so we are falling increasingly into the LCA airlines’ clutches.
If my memory serves me right (and I’m sure others will correct me if not). Flybe originated in the 1980s as Birmingham Executive Airlines, which operated “Business Class Only” flights to a few European destinations. They then morphed into Birmingham European Airways for a number of years in the nineties (who were actually pretty good). They then became FlyBe in the last decade, taking over the BA operation at BHX when BA withdrew.
The airline I miss at BHX was a short-lived airline called Duo (which went bust, alas) which operated in the early 2000s, having taken over a number of non-profitable BA routes (such as Hanover) and introduced a few new ones (such as Helsinki). They were short-lived but very good. Perhaps their high service levels were not cost-effective (the fares were not cheap, though).
Ah well. Nostalgia’s not what it used to be. Nowadays it’s largely the Flybe monopoly. I remember the days of the BA and BD early morning and late evening Vickers Viscount connecting service between BHX and LHR…….15 May 2010
It is the same at SOU, its a Flybe “hub”. They portray themselves as Southampton’s low fare airline. A friend of mine paid near £900 for his family to go to Murcia, then found he could have gone to LGW travelled on a jet rather than a prop, pay for a hot meal and that was just under £600. SOU is 17 miles and LGW is 52.
I used to use SOU regularly when BA operated from there and I used to travel SOU-JER with Flybe until I found that it was cheaper to go BA from LGW. I have always found that generally the cabin crew are good, but the overall product is poor for the high price paid.15 May 2010