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Sunday, September 02, 2018

Complaint: Austrian Airlines

Dear Sir/Madam

A month or so ago, I travelled with yourselves to Vienna.  In Austria.  Though you probably know that Vienna is in Austria.

The flight on the way there was efficient and friendly - abominable cupcake, but hey, free food.

Vienna is a great city, as I am sure that you already know.  We had a great time there, but were ready to come back on the Monday, expecting to get home with enough time to do some tasks ready for work the next day.

Alas.  We were at the airport in good time, security checks were efficient and we made it with enough time for a beer in the bar.

We then walked for quite a long time all the way down to the gate.  Not long after, they announced a delay of one hour.

Not ideal, but I'm kinda used to being delayed on transport, living in London.  Plus there was a decent bar...albeit rather a long walk away.

So we had another drink and then made our way all the way back to the gate.  A bit of standing around then we starting boiling...I mean boarding.

Which meant rather a long time stuck in a glass tunnel, being heated to excessive levels, before then boarding a rammed coach to go to the aeroplane.

Or at least we thought it was going to the aeroplane.  It just sat there, we remained hot and uncomfortable (though not physically boiling any longer).

Nobody knew what was happening.

Eventually we were all told to get off the bus, walk back through the greenhouse, and wait.

No information was forthcoming at first, but we were told that we couldn't board the plane as the catering facilities were not ready.

Yep, you read that correctly - we had to suffer in both the greenhouse and the coach going nowhere because there were no stale muffins on the plane.  Who cares?  Why can you not load passengers and muffins at the same time?

So we hung around, no idea what was happening.  No information, no new ETA.

Eventually, the boarding process started, but my impression of Austria as an efficient, well-run country was shattered.  Miraculously, I suspect the delay was just short of the 3 hours at which point you would be due to compensate us by EU law - though I'd be interested to find out from you exactly how long it was delayed for.

I was considering visiting Vienna again next year, hell I was even vaguely wondering about the possibility of moving there to work if Brexit ends up a complete disaster rather than just a partial disaster.  However, the 2-3 hour delay I suffered because of Austrian's buffoonery has probably put me off from a repeat trip.

Not only that, I then returned to severe delays (shock horror) on the tube network in London, and was subsequently even later home than expected.

It was a much later night than I expected.

A shame to finish a wonderful trip with such an inadequately organised airline.

Regards
James

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Dear Mr Winfield, 

Thank you for your email dated 22 July 2018. We appreciate your patience while waiting for our response. 

We regret that you were affected by a flight delay on your journey from Vienna to London on 11 June 2018. Any change to your anticipated schedule can be stressful and your frustration under these circumstances is understandable. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this caused and for the unsatisfactory experience. 

Based on our records, flight OS 455 was delayed due to unforeseen technical problem. While we understand your request to be compensated, kindly be informed that your arrival delay was less than 3 hours at your final destination. Therefore, as per EC Regulation 261/2004 we ask for your understanding that we are unable to comply with your request. 

Even though we cannot comply with your present request, we would be happy if you continued to place your trust in Austria. 

Yours sincerely,   

Aldiny Obusa
AUSTRIAN AIRLINES

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We were less than 30 minutes away from compensation.  Doh.