Entries tagged with “Ryanair”.

The Sweet Service Award goes to RyanAir, for its exceptional service (unexpected after a previous flight with this airline years ago), for the flight from Santiago de Compostela to Madrid, from the check-in, where the staff member spoke to me in German, allowed me to have my walking sticks in the hold without extra charge, turned a blind eye to my overweight suitcase, and the same staff member spoke to me in German again when she checked my boarding pass. The seating in the plane had ample leg room, and the service was impeccable. 

The Sour Service Award goes to Iberia, for cancelling the flight from Madrid to Nice, while we were sitting in the plane already, after we were told that the flight would be delayed for 90 minutes, and then that we would depart in 15 minutes. Only two Iberia staff handled the plane-load of passengers, and their reissuing of new tickets to new destinations, Iberia refusing to book any destinations in France. We were given a hotel voucher for NH Hotels too, with a dinner and a breakfast buffet and two beverages too. I had to be routed to Turin the following day, with a 90 minute departure delay due to striking air traffic controllers in Marseilles, and take a four and a half hour train ride to Ventimiglia, to get to my end destination of Apricale, a full day journey.  I was not compensated for the train trip cost! 

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at chrisvonulmenstein [at] gmail.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog.

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The City of Cape Town and the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association have failed to reach agreement on the Tweede Nuwejaar parade,according to a report in the Cape Argus,  the City having appointed an event organiser for the event.  The minstrel association is planning to take the City to court!

*   Team GoodBetterBraai, consisting of Braai Master Jacques Bester and Braai Buddy Nadia Botha, has won Ultimate Braai Master Season 2, beating 14 other teams. (received via media release from the Cooked in Africa production company)

*   The Baltimore Sun recommends Fairview’s Goats do Roam 2012 red blend as a wine to honour the legacy of the late Nelson Mandela, costing $9.

*   British holiday-makers are not choosing international destinations for the festive season this year – they are staying closer to home, travelling mainly within Europe, and using lower cost airlines.

*   Ryanair was named as the UK’s worst short-haul airline, while Guernsey’s Aurigny Airline was voted best.   The best long- (more…)

What was a disaster for many thousands of air passengers around the world, created an unexpected boom or bust for the tourism industry, as well as for exporters and importers around the world. Stranded passengers were named “Volcation” tourists, a new and unique tourist category!

Not only did the world’s now most famous volcano create havoc with airline schedules around the world, and those in Europe in particular, but it also prevented dignitaries from attending the Polish Presidential couple’s funeral, and the birthday celebration of Queen Margrethe of Denmark. Actor John Cleese was so desperate to get home from Norway that he rented a taxi from Brussels (having got there by train) at €3 800 to get back to London.

In South Africa the fresh fish industry (hake exporters in the main) lost R1 million and the fresh flower market (mainly proteas, fynbos and chrysanthemums) lost R2,5 million in sales, reports the Cape Argus. Many local authors and book publishers could not get to the London Book Fair, at which they had been booked, which fell into the volcano no-fly period.

Cape Town Tourism was the only tourism authority, as far as we are aware, that appealed to its members to charge reasonable rates to the “grudge” tourists that were stuck in Cape Town. For many, however, it was one of the nicest places in the world for them to have been “stuck” in. Many accommodation establishments gained from the “Volcation” tourists, in that these had to stay in Cape Town for up to 10 days, being disadvantaged by the airlines in having to wait for cancellations to be able to fly back on their booked airline. Those passengers that had booked tickets for just after the opening of the skies were allocated first priority to use their tickets for already-booked flights. Few incoming passengers cancelled due to the volcano, and some arrived later than their original booked date, but were generously accommodated by establishments in this regard. This was a boon to the hospitality industry, given that the last ten days of April had originally looked very quiet in terms of bookings.

Airlines suffered heavy losses, as their insurance cover was uncertain, given that this was an “Act of God”. Their liability towards their passengers was also uncertain, for the same reason. SAA suffered a loss of revenue of R 14 million per day. Ryanair publicly refused to compensate its passengers, other than for the value of the ticket cost, given its low fares. Virgin appears to be compensating its passengers for the accommodation costs.

We are grateful to the Shepley family, Lucy and Graham Cannell, and to Jean and Andrew Lovett for having booked at our Whale Cottages in Camps Bay and Hermanus for their “Volcation”.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com