A Tipperary couple were heading off on their honeymoon for the second time in two days yesterday evening, after their Aer Lingus flight was cancelled at the last minute on Wednesday.
Data Analyst Tom Brophy (35) married his wife Niamh last summer and the couple were “very excited” to set off on their long-awaited honeymoon in Germany this week.
However, in the early hours of Wednesday morning the couple received a text message from the airline to say their flight was cancelled due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19.
Mr Brophy said he “doesn’t blame” Aer Lingus for cancelling the flight, but he was disappointed with how the airline dealt with their concerns afterwards.
“With all of the Covid circumstances, we postponed the honeymoon until this year. The plan was to fly out of Dublin to Munich for three nights and then to travel around southern Germany for a few weeks,” he said.
“The flight was supposed to be at 4.30pm. We went to sleep the night before with no inkling that there was any problem and then we woke up to a message from Aer Lingus saying the flight was cancelled and there was a phone number given to call.
“We rang the number and we were on hold for about an hour and a half, and finally got through to a customer service rep, whose only offers were to reschedule for a week later, which isn’t great for a two-week holiday where you have multiple hotels booked and travel organised, and other than that she said we could get a refund for the initial price we paid for the tickets. Which generally wouldn’t cover rebooking a last-minute flight.”
While waiting to get through on the customer service line, Mr Brophy sent Aer Lingus a direct message on Twitter. Following his discussion with the Aer Lingus customer service representative he tagged the airline in a public tweet detailing his experience.
He wrote: “Hi Aer Lingus some assistance would be much appreciated. Got a message in the middle of the night cancelling our flight today for our honeymoon. 1.5 hours on hold, service rep totally unhelpful once we got through, and she then hung up on us when asked her name.
“This is ridiculously bad service. No attempt to help whatsoever after cancelling the flight the same day!”
Mr Brophy said a short time after he posted the tweet, Aer Lingus responded to his direct message saying he could request a full refund.
“The actual cancellation of the flight, while it’s frustrating, isn’t something that they can be blamed for really. If people are sick or there’s an outbreak of Covid that’s out of their control, it’s just the poor handling of it afterwards that’s extremely frustrating,” he said.
The best way to get “back on schedule” was a 5.30pm flight to Dusseldorf yesterday.
“We’re not going to spend too much time chasing them (Aer Lingus) probably until we come back to see what kind of compensation we can get. As it is, we’re starting our holiday a day late,” he added.
“But look, it’s only a day of a delay, we’re back on track. We’re going to relax and enjoy our holiday.”
The Brophys’ flight on Wednesday was one of 12 which Aer Lingus was forced to cancel, as well as a further six yesterday.
In a statement to the Irish Independent, the airline said the cancellations have been caused by a “spike in Covid cases”.
“Just over 1pc of Aer Lingus flights have been impacted by cancellations this month,” it added.