4th January 2011 at 14:59 #590748
Anonymous4th January 2011 at 14:59 #590749
I was somewhat premature in posting my worst experience of 2010 prior to the year end, and prior to a trip with LOT.
My son and I flew LHR-WAW with LOT, in Y, last Wednesday, 29 December. Check-in was excellent (using the First/*Alliance Gold Area in T1), as was the *Alliance Lounge (my first visit to this one as I user LHR rarely).
On board, the leg room was very poor and the cabin interior of the 737 was very tired. Meal service was limited to one pre-packed sandwich – not good for a 2 hour-plus flight for those who’d not had the pleasure of the Lounge beforehand.
My main concerns arose after landing. We stopped on the taxiway whilst waiting for a gate allocation, and a number of passengers stood up, opened the lockers and started putting their coats on. It was several minutes before the Chef de Cabine told them to sit down. She was ignored by several, and I then had the bizarre sight of the plane taxiing with passengers standing and several overhead bins still open. It was potentially a very dangerous situation, given the size of some of the bags in the bins.
Then things got worse. One of our two suitcases didn’t appear and there was no lost luggage service in the Arrivals Hall. We went through customs, where our driver, Piotr (from the superb Le Meridien Bristol) met us. He took us to the LOT luggage office located in an obscure corner of the (non-LOT) Terminal 1. It was closed, and a notice gave a mobile phone number to call. Piotr tried to call the number for a about 30 minutes, but no answer.
We then went to the check-in area. The staff at the ticket desk were singularly unhelpful, and directed us to the Check-in Supervisor, a growly old woman in true former-Eastern Bloc mode. Her attitude was, rankly, disgusting. She refused to help. The conversation went:
“Surely you must…..”
“I MUST nothing!”
“If you please let me finish. I was going to say that you must surely know a central LOT number we can call?”
“Have you problem with Check-in? No? Then please go away or I call security.”
Piotr was equally disgusted with her. I found every member of LOT staff I met that night to be totally unhelpful and, indeed, obstructive. As I had my young son with me, I tried to be as civil as possible, although it became increasingly difficult so to do!
To cut a long story short, Piotr finally found someone to come to the luggage office (after well over 90 minutes since we’d landed) and we filed an irregularity report. We were then almost at the hotel when I got a call on my mobile saying they’d found my bag. I agreed to collect it the following morning before our onward flight to Vilnius.
The flights to and from VNO were better, but we had further fun on the return.
Because of a glitch with iPhone alarms, we missed yesterday’s early morning flight WAW-LHR (we had stayed a further night there on the way back). As it was non-flexible, I had to buy new tickets (I was travelling just with my 11 year old son). The “cheapest” routing (800 EUR for both of us, one-way) was WAW-BRU (LOT) then onto BHX on SN, Economy with LOT and Economy Flex with SN.
We arrived last night at 22.00 at BHX only to discover that the same suitcase that went missing on the way out has gone missing yet again. As I sit here and write mid-afternoon, there’s still no sign of it and I have a distraught youngster who thinks he’s lost his cuddly animals that he grew up with that are in the case.
I wonder what the chances are of the same airline losing the same bag twice, within a week.
Have a great 2011 everyone, and I hope your year has got off to a better start than mine. Thankfully, I’m not intending travelling anywhere now until early next month!!
Regards and safe travelling, Simon
PS Does anyone think I have a chance of claiming any costs back through my insurance due to the iPhone problems, which were well-documented (except in Poland!)?4th January 2011 at 17:13 #590750
Your question about the insurance position regarding the iPhone glitch. It will depend on whether you travel policy has or you are able to argue a consequential loss. Whether this is against Apple or the supplier of your iPhone will depend on the wording of your insurance policy and whether the underwriters will accept a claim based on a consequential loss as well as the wording of the purchase agreement of the iPhone.
It is reasonable to assume that the alarm clock should have pinged at the desired time, but the well documented glitch, which has been reported, especially in the states, assumes that there was a design or software fault, recognised by Apple through an update.
If I used an iPhone and had a similar problem, you can bet your bottom dollar that I would be on to my travel insurers.
I would be interested to hear the answer.4th January 2011 at 17:17 #590751
Thanks, Martyn, it gives me some hope!
I’ll wait until I find out whether my bloody bag gets here before contacting my insurers, in case I have to make two claims…..
Cheers, Simon4th January 2011 at 18:24 #590752
hope you had some success in locating your missing baggage.
The attitude of the LOT supervisor is appalling. Do these people not realise that it is customers who keep them in jobs, and there are always choices for disgruntled customers??
I have posed the question here before: do customer service reps read forums and seek to resolve issues? On Tripadvisor, I have seen hotel managers post replies including their contact details, asking the aggrieved customer to customer to make contact so as to resolve the issues. Surely this is a pro-active way to resolve disputes?
I must confess that whenever I see such a posting (on tripadvisor) I tend to favour that hotel over competitors. I doubt I am not alone in so doing. Airline customer service managers might consider taking this on board (sorry, pun not intended).
Another point is that Star Alliance (and indeed other alliances) need to consider whether having individual airlines who bring the grouping into disrepute are worth having in that alliance.
After all, Simon (like many others) earned his Gold Status from spending quite a bit of money. If elite status is to mean anything, ALL airlines in the alliances need to sing off the same hymn sheet.
Hope you enjoyed the SA lounge in LHR, Simon. I find it an oasis in the desert known as Heathrow!
Pat.4th January 2011 at 19:18 #590753
Yes, the SA Lounge at LHRwas excellent, thanks.
The LOT SA Lounge at WAW was friendly and quiet, but the limited food service consisted of over-chilled and limp cheese and biscuits (the biscuits mixed in with the cheese within the chiller, by the way, so they were soggy), along with cold cuts of a dubious vintage.
Some senior management do read this and other Forums. Indeed, I made some positive and negative comments about Croatia Airlines a while back. Their Cabin Services Manager is a poster on here (I won’t give his name) and he contacted me personally by email for further details of the negative, so he could take action. They also sent my son a model plane. That said, Croatia Airlines are excellent for a small carrier; LOT are not. That is the difference.
I totally agree that in many ways, an Alliance is only going to be as strong as its weakest link(s). The attitude of a very small number of LOT staff has left a very bad taste in my mouth and whilst I won’t categorically state that I’ll never fly them again, I will certainly try to avoid it if possible.
I also don’t think it matters whether I am an elite status passenger or not; all pax are CUSTOMERS in a competitive market, irrespective of status. The numpties who behave as if they are still working for a State-controlled transport provider (and continue the old lack-of-customer-care policies) are incredibly short-sighted if they cannot see that.
Simon4th January 2011 at 19:22 #590754
Good to hear some management read this forum and contact pax.
Hope your son’s cuddly animals are recovered; I know how much children value these.
Let us know how it goes.
Pat4th January 2011 at 19:24 #590755
Thanks for your kind wishes. Having pulled a few strings with people I know at BHX to bypass the ground handler’s permanently engaged phone line, the bag has been located and is due to be delivered tomorrow. At least my son is smiling again!
Simon4th January 2011 at 19:26 #590756
Great news Simon.
Glad everything worked out in the end.
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