An Awful Flight Delay!
After a lovely 2 weeks in Kefalonia we got to the airport at 1700 plenty of time for our return flight back to Newcastle at 2000. If any of you have been to Kefalonia before you will know that the departure lounge (and airport) is very small (I am setting the scene here).
At 2000 when the flight should be departing, we were told that there was a delay, to leave at 2100. Lots of groans as the lounge was fairly full but you just knuckle down and get on with it don’t you! 2100 came and went, no word from the airport. 2200 a couple of Thomas Cook airline staff arrived to tell people there was a problem with the aircraft and they were trying to fix it. I have to admit the time line from me is now hazy as we had been sitting since 1700, lounge was packed, lots of flights taking off, no where to sit for some people, children crying etc etc. At about 2300 we were told there was only one engineer on the island who could fix the plane but he did not have the correct qualifications, so they were trying to get them for him! Just before midnight, we were then advised by a Thomas Cook rep, flight is not going and we had to collect our baggage, and would be transported to a hotel over night and fly the next day!
Just before they told us this news, they then decided to give us vouchers for something to eat and drink, technically this should have been provided at 3 hours delay. So, we now have a massive queue of people trying to get water, crisps, sweets and a few sarnies from a shop which was understaffed (poor things). In this time, we had to then walk out of departures, go to the luggage area and pick up our cases! We then stood for over 2 hours, whilst Thomas Cook were allocating where we we going for the night(?) Now, I know that this must have been a massive problem for Thomas Cook but why oh why did they take us out to the terminal and let us wait for 2 hours whilst it seemed they had no idea where people were going as they were still on the phone to suppliers!
Now it is after 0200 on Monday morning. People now sitting on buses, waiting to go. Myself and Keith left along with a family group of 9. They did not have a hotel for all 9 when they were promised one (the party included a little child) and for us? Oh, they forgot about us as we were classed as a “flight only.” As we had not booked with Thomas Cook holidays but another tour operator, they put us to the back of the queue and then seemed to forget about us! About 15 mins later we were allocated to a coach (people were still waiting on it) and set off to a hotel “somewhere.” We get to the first hotel a family got off. Hotel in darkness. Bus driver is knocking on the door, ringing the bell – no one there! 10 minutes later someone turned up and we then drove off to our hotel.
Eventually we get to our hotel, same thing, no one there! However, a nice man did eventually come and we then crashed out in the room (which was NOT very nice at all) at 0400! Next day we were up and sat in reception from 0900 till 1200 waiting for the nod to tell us Thomas Cook were collecting us. Nothing till 1230. In this time I did call Thomas Cook, they told me “why should they call us if they have nothing to tell us!” OMG!!!!!
I may be boring you all now but we eventually got back to the airport and flew from Kefalonia at 1500 (i think) and got home at 1830. A whole day wasted and of course we both missed work.
Moral of my story is – I would never fly with Thomas Cook again. Ok, we all know problems occur one way or another. However, staff should keep you upto date with any news. Does not matter if they tell you there is nothing happening, at least you know! You should be given refreshments from the airline after 3 hours! And lastly if you are going to transfer people to a hotel, make sure you know which ones, have transport ready, and lastly, please Thomas Cook sort your staff out, they are a joke!
Till next time x