Mum and Ben are going to France next Easter to see Robert and co. Our school holidays match for a change. Being a bit borassic Mum offered to lend us the money for Ben's flight ticket. Got a clue where this is going yet?
So Mum comes round and we proceed to book a ........ cheap flight! 45 mins later the air is very blue. No, Mum isn't surprised at my extensive vocabulary, sadly she has heard it all before!
We start with dates. Gatwick tells you 'press here'. What they don't tell you, until you have gone through half a dozen screens is that their schedule past Sept for that particular journey isn't online yet.
Okay, we'll try Southampton. £25.00 each going out, £13.00 each coming back. Now, I know I got a U for my Maths O Level (yes, I'm THAT old that I was around when O Levels were in) but even I can work out that's £76.00. *whispers* Jeff, is that right? So how come it comes to £210.00!!! Yep, "airport charges and taxes" If you ask me that's a carte blanche to add whatever the company fancies. It's not like it's broken down or anything.
But okay, that's still only £105.00 each for return flights over Easter so we proceed .........
Do we want to choose our seats. Well, yes, so that's another £6 per person per trip.
Insurance? No thanks, got own own. Are you sure? Er, well that's why I said no cos I meant yes really! Did you? NO!
Luggage? £11.00 per hold baggage per trip. So £44.00 quid? I think not and agree Mum and Ben can share!
Car Hire? No, go away!!!
And we get to the end £ 256.00 Again, it's a good price, so we proceed .......
Check the small print. Yep, I'm anal like that, anyone hear about the huge company that played April Fool this year on their small print and nearly everybody agreed to sign their eternal soul over! So, any amendments will cost £30.00 per person per trip - seriously! It will cost more to amend than the original tickets!
Still, we carry on and hope nothing goes wrong.
Start putting in Mum's card details. Do you know that even Debit Cards - Debit, not Credit - get charged! Minimum of £4.50 per person per journey! So £18.00 charges! Now by now I am really getting p***ed off. I know that companies get charged for processing all cards, but I also know it is nothing like £18.00. Then I notice that there are no charges for Electron - poor mans card LOL which is what I have. So cancel booking and go back and start again ......
Put in card details ........ New screen pops up and says card type and details don't match, do I want to continue and pay charges? No of course I bloody well don't want to, so close screen.
Five seconds later e-mail pings into my inbox saying money taken and booking made! WTF? How can that be? According to the computer the details didn't match and I closed the screen. Seems like they were going to get that £18.00 one way or another!
So....... still with me?! .......... Find a phone number - £1.00 a minute - and ring. To get through to an answerphone that tells me the offices are shut (oops! typo there was sh*t, maybe I should have left it! lol) and to ring back during office hours. Well that's all well and good, but this was 11.30 on a Thursday morning, so WTF office hours do those jammy people work!
Found another number. Took my booking reference. Explained the problem. And oh yes, there is a problem with their system recognising Electron cards. Two points here - It's Flybe not some Mickey Mouse company (ok, maybe.....) and it was smart enough to take my money.
Upshot is I have to email company and ask for a refund, which I will get once they clarify that my card really is an Electron!
And breath ...........
So, halfway through this fiasco I am reminded of a You Tube clip that is just perfect for this experience ...... click on the link and enjoy :)
CHEAP FLIGHTS by FASCINATING AIDA