Blog DOB: 27 Oct, 2012
Name: kong gong
"A Christmas happy you will have.....ruff ruff"
I found this poor Yoda through google images, and decided to give him a home here for Christmas.....
My christmass experience with Ryanair commenced on Friday 22nd December 2006. Arrive at Duiblin aerport for flight to Stanstead with onward connection to Dinard France.Given previous experiences with Ryanair (and the fact of their insistance that if you fly from Dublin to France via England with them it really is two separate journeys!!!!) I allowed 3.5 hours between flights to make sure that I would not miss my connection.
Flight in Dublin delayed..... absolutely no information forwared by Ryanair in relation to delay. Nobody present at Ryanair desk so we all just sit around and wait and watch the departure time move forward and forward. Eventually board the plane and I'm thinking excellent I sill have 1.40 minutes so I can make checkin at Stanstead. Doors closed should be leaving in a few minutes ..... wait whats that we are opening the doors again. I wonder why. People start asking questions of in flight staff who plead their usual ignorance. Eventually after some 10-15mins have passed the Pilot comes over the intercom to say that they have more luggage than they have passengers??? I ask myself how can this happen. When a person checks in (irrespective of the airline) they are given the opportunity to check in luggage at which point it is tagged through the system which produces the little sticker that is attached to the bag!!!! Quite simple I would have thought. So now we all have to get off the plane to identify our luggage which has already commenced being offloaded. Start at the back single file only bla bla bla!!!
After about 15 mins of this the identification of luggage is stopped. People on runway are invited to get back on the plane. What now i'm thinking? When we are all back on the plane the in fight service girl (whose first language was not english and was incredilby difficult to understand) calls out a particular name. At this point a passenger answering to this name stands up and comes forward. There is some heated exchange. The passenger leaves the plane. What we witnessed here was a plane which had more passengers than its manifesto would have shown. This particular person had managed to board a plane for which she did not have the correct boarding card??? I ask you how can this happen. Surely in this age of increased terrorism threats ensuring you have on your plane only those who should be there is crucial. The boading card states your name, your flight details and your departure gate (but ignore that cos Ryanair change dearture gates every few minutes). So lets see the difficult job that staff have to do. Check identifictaion and satisfy yourself that the picture looks somewhat like the person in front of you and the name matches and then check the flight number on the pass. How incredibly difficult.
So finally we are on our way,no announcement , no apology no nothing from the staff. But wait our pilot again. We have now missed our take off slot (based on the incompetance of the people working for the company ... i felt like adding) so we waited another 20-30mins to eventually take off. I eventually arrive in Stanstead.
I run as fast as I can to luggage claim to get my luggage I now have forty minutes before my next flight but I'm sure I can make it. 15 mins later I am still waiting for luggage to arrive. I evetually get it and run to the other end of the airport to check in for next flight to Dinard? I'm sorry Mam check in closed 10mins ago????
I was not allowed check in. Meanwhile I am watching (along with the thousands of other discontented Ryanair passengers as multiple flights are cancelled out of Stanstead by ryanair). Beside my flight appears "delayed". I'm thinking my flight is delayed due to fog so surely i should be able to board it. I tried talking to several different "Personnel" from Ryanair" and the message was the same.... NO NO NO NO.
Bear in mind its Xmass. There were no flights out of Stanstead until 28th so in the interest of Good Customer Service one would have though they could have made an exception!!!! After all the other passengers were just sitting in the boarding area waiting to board????
So here I am stuck in England on the 22nd December with no way out until 28th??
Ryanair just keep sending a girl through the crowd saying all flights booked out until 28th December. Also if we have cancelled your flight and you are looking for accomodation on a different flight or a refund please apply online??? I ask you this had to be the biggest insult to everyone. Your standing in an airport and you are asked to apply online???? To me this stunk of Ryanair's attitude and basically said tough shit for cancelling your flight but your on your own now and sort yoruself out.
To cut a long story short with the help of some friends I manged to stay in london for the night and book a Euro Star (first class 260sterling) one way ticket to Paris for the 23rd. I dealt with the most professional and helpful people in Euro Star and the police in Liverpool station where it departs. They helped salvage a potentially disaster of a journey. Arrvie in Paris 23rd and after 3 different trains and a two hour car journey i arrive at my destination at 1.50am on 24th December..... even meet santa clause on the way!!!
All the passengers on the Eurostar in my section (Carriage 8) had been ditched by Ryan Air and were endeavouring to make to home to their families for Xmass, some opting to go to paris and fly from there to their destination. The conversation and comments and experiences noted by these people would have made very interesting hearing for Michael to Leary.
And the moral of the story. .........
We all know if we pay peanuts we get monkeys. This applies to the Ryanair airline and those associated with it. However what I cannot accept is the idea that to treat people with respect is a difficulty or somewhat of an inconvenience. I'm sure Mr O'Leary expects the people who fly with his company to treat his staff with respect and therefore Mr O'Leary I expect the same from you and your staff when I fly with you which by the way I will never do again. I would much rather spend that little bit more, have a pleasurable experience and actually arrive at my destination on time!!!!
To all those passengers I met on this journey I hope you all eventually made it home for Xmass and thanks for the good spirit shown. And finally i hope Ryanair honoured your return flight!!!!!!!! Thats another story for another day!!!!!
Happy new year
Before I begin I would like to wish all of you a Happy Christmas, now on with the reallyannoyings##t.
Santa has hopefully arrived, and you together with your children tiptoe down the stairs at 7am, I will repeat that , 7am, to ensure that he has arrived and left, but more importantly has left the toys that they asked for and not the "bag of coal" that Mammy and Daddy kept saying that they would get if they did'nt stop mis-behaving over the last long dark 8 weeks.
We turn the handle on the door, my little girl is so worried/excited that she grabs my hand and squeez'es harder than I can ever remember, my little boy, a warrior 364 days a year is reduced to a hapless little boy with a qivering lip,but with eyes that tell's you that if it is a "bag of coal" war will ensue.We proceed into the lounge where the fact that there are 2 half eaten mince pies, a missing carrot,and a half glass, of by now sour milk, are next to the fireplace means that Santa did visit. A sense of calm decends over the room. "Daddy switch on the big light" is the cry, I oblige and there it is, an Aladdin's Cave of all they asked, and a little bit more.My little boy has to go the bathroom to release a "pressure pee", while my little girl inventorises everything just to be sure.
Its time to open the boxes and reveal the Toys.There is a lot of ripping and pulling and then it starts "Daddy can you open this?", "Daddy, you will have to help me with this", "Daddy the batteries for this are different to the batteries on the box".By now I need to get a cup of coffee, so I tell my children to put the toys that they need help with to one side,and open the ones that are easy, and as soon as I have made myself a cup of coffee I will return and will help everyone. I went and made myself a cup of coffee and returned to find everything still in the box and my two children sitting on the couch, watching cartoons eating a "curly wirrley",as the only thing that they could open and use was the "Selection Box".
So I begin, I open a toy, and being older and wiser, I explain to my children that we must read the instructions carefully to ensure that we assemble everything correctly. I fish out the instructions and begin to read,
Here is a rough guide to what I encountered,
1 "Remove the parts and Instruction Sheet from the box". So I must open the box to read the instruction's to tell me to open the box.
2 "Ensure that all of the following items are contained, 15 of X, 10 of Y, etc,etc.Fine but why to the diagrams not agree with the actual's.
3 "Should any of the items mentioned in point 2 above please call 0044(whatever) and a customer service agent will help you to assemble this product". On Christmas day, I should have but did'nt bother.
You know where this is going, one toy did'nt even have English instructions so I muddled through in French, I was going to call my brother in law in France but I thought he probably has English instruction's for something else and we'll be one the phone forever.
This is a plan to drive us all mad, and resign us in a heap of frustration whilst they sit back and count the money.
To further illustrate my point my wife is at present downstairs with a 24 page instruction manual for a toy sewing machine, thats a full 13 hrs later a real sewing machine would'nt take this long to get going.
Another thing the instructions says " You should keep this instruction sheet as it is an important document" so when the banks reopen I will go into the branch and ask them to put this pile of instructions with my deeds and investments in its vault.
Christmas is evolving into a pagan consumer festival to better appeal to a multi-cultural society and amid growing fears of litigation. The trend was highlighted in 2002 when the British Red Cross first implemented a policy to not display Christmas decorations in any of their 430 UK Charity Shops. The pace of change has been accelerating since. This year a report by the employment law firm Peninsula reveals that three out of four UK employers now ban festive decorations so as not to offend people of other faiths or because they fear litigation on the grounds of discrimination.
Health and Safety rules are also being blamed for the clampdown on yuletide tinsel with a spokesperson at Tower Hamlets local council defending their decision by maintaining "There's a concern people might hurt themselves trying to attach hanging decorations from the ceiling." The Royal Bank of Scotland has asked its staff to book an engineer if they want to hang cards on a string. Other employers are claiming the baubles and tinsel simply look unprofessional.
The Royal Mail seasonal stamps now exclude religious imagery and the majority of corporate cards you now receive are unlikely to contain the word Christmas or scenes of the nativity. Instead the cards are likely to wish you "Seasons Greetings" and feature winter scenes or a festive penguin. If the trend we see this year which has included refuse collectors in Kingston-upon-Hull being banned from wearing Santa hats, Wokingham District Council taking out an injunction against millionaire Vic Moszczynski for decorating the outside of his home, a college in Rotherham looking to replace traditional turkey lunch with halal chicken prepared according to Muslim beliefs, then I think we can predict that Christmas will have been replaced within twenty years by a pagan consumer festival and it's origins completely forgotten.
What is Christmas about anyway?
The Lions Club put a sleigh together each year and drive it up every street with ringing bells, knocking on every door to raise money. The collectors are dressed as Santa Claus or elves, who, according to the flyer, are meant to "bring a little Christmas cheer".
Grrrrr, I don't know about you, but I see this as a very "passive aggressive" method of raising funds. It doesn't rely on any spirit of giving, you're being subtlety bullied into empting your pockets, harassed at your own door. You open it to a Santa Claus singing a Christmas carol, are you really going to tell him to shut it and say no?
The "caveboy" can now return home with a little box from H.Samuel, the Jewellers, under the illusion it will help him speak like a Prince. This seasons H.Samuel TV advert depicts a succession of boys, to stereotype, unable to express how they feel. The solution is simple. Go down to your local H.Samuel, buy some hardware ("jewellery" in other words), bring it back to the cave and plonk it on to the table.
The strap line is very much in the same mood as "say it with flowers" so don't be at all surprised if it doesn't actually "help you say it better this Christmas". You know, its just designed to sell jewellery, it doesn't have magical powers......
Its that time of year again that many of us will go to the loft or garage and pull out the Christmas Decorations to adorn our houses for the festive season. The sense of expectation is high in the house, children and indeed adults are smiling in the knowledege that despite their behaviour over the last 12 months Santa Claus is going to come again this year.Dressing the house is one of those traditional jobs that involves everyone and it is enjoyed for the most part.
With such a wonderful scene set, why is it that the fairy lights never work when taken out of storage?. I spent 3.5 hours yesterday pulling and tweaking every bulb in the 350 set of fairy lights to find the bulb(s) that for some unknown reason decided not to work this year eventhough when they were taken down last year they all worked. What mysterious bug invades the unplugged fairy lights while they spend the year in storage?. If they can manufacture bulbs that will self distruct while dormant, why can't they manufacture bulbs that will work for more than one year?
The answer I suspect is to do with us as we expect to spend hours looking for, finding and replacing bulbs, its tradition. It maybe tradition but its also a pain in the arse and very frustrating.
Now that I am on a roll, why do some shops and some television channels insist on spelling Christmas, Xmas. It has to be the only religious holiday that gets abbreviated, would it be too much to add 5 letters when refering to it?
I must go now there are three ghosts waiting for me downstairs and we are going to have a pint before lunch.
The Telegraph today reported HMRC staff would have to use their annual leave to attend their Christmas lunch. I had actually heard the story yesterday on local radio and had been wondering since how a lunch could last so long that you would have to take annual leave to enjoy it.
Perhaps its an indication that HMRC are working in a different time continuum. Those waiting months for VAT registration numbers might be quick to agree. It's a time zone where everything takes longer or slows down. A process that should take a few weeks, like VAT registration, stretches out to eternity, and a lunch that should take a couple of hours needs a holiday.
Interestingly, the Telegraph article also quotes an HMRC spokeperson as saying "it is vital that we continue to provide a good level of service to taxpayers and claimants."
I had to read the sentence twice, did it really say continue?