Friday, August 1, 2014

Why I'm Not Flying Air Transat Again

I admit, my second year in London, which featured trips to Madrid and Dublin, a return home for Christmas, and a visit to Warner Brothers' Harry Potter Studios, was beyond sparse on the blog updates.

I came back home to Canada in July, flying into Ottawa where my mom picked me up. I was NOT a fan of the return flight - I flew with Air Transat. Remember Mr Hip? On his account, when I fly, I need to request the seats with more leg room and usually the airlines go out of their way to accommodate this. Air Transat not so much. Let me explain...

On July 4, 2014 I booked my flight from London Gatwick to Dorval Pierre Elliot Trudeau for July 15, 2014 and immediately after booking called to arrange my seat. I explained to the attendant I spoke to about Mr Hip and how it was imperative that I have extra legroom for the almost eight hour flight. (FYI: If my hip spends too long in one position (like, say, sitting) it has a tendency to lock and standing up or walking becomes not only painful but difficult later on. I was given seat 14A as a result and, unlike with any of the other airlines, actually had to pay the extra fees.

On July 14, 2014 - the day before my flight - I followed the email instructions for online booking and found that my seat had changed to 19G. When I called to learn what had happened, the attendant I spoke with couldn't find any reason for the change and the best he could do was change it to a two-seater window seat instead (26K).

During my flight, Mr Hip predictably locked, keeping me in my seat for most of the flight and complicating disembarking on landing. What is more, adding insult to injury, I learned from a friend sitting nearer the front that the person who had ended up with my original seat of 14A switched to be nearer her children.

When I emailed Air Transat, they responded to let me know 14A, as an emergency exit, had to be given to someone physically fit, hence the initial change. They also made sure I understood the blame lay with that first attendant I'd spoken with. They then went ahead with refunding the extra I'd paid, sending it back to the account I'd paid through. Which was not good because, hey, I'd closed that bank account what with coming home and all. I called the airline, got the run around as they transferred me to one department after another, and was finally told to email again. So I emailed.

Two days later the bank called to tell me my closing bank account had funds in it and asking me what to do. Grrrrr.

Air Transat? So not cool. Last - LAST - time I ever fly with them.