Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Flying part I

My mum is flying to the Isle of Man tomorrow with airline Manx2, so being the seasoned traveller that I am, today I did her online check-in.

Now, my understanding of on-line check-in is that it is supposed to speed up the boarding process and stop you from having to join one of those awful queues at the airport and stand in line for half a day.

So I go through the whole process for checking in and print her boarding pass, which she reads and then asks 'why does it say if I have a suitcase I am not allowed to check-in online?'

Well, I think, that's a bloody good question, and sure enough, there it is in black and white on her boarding pass. What an absolute stupid place to divulge that rather important little bit of information; they couldn't have done it on one of the webpages relating to online check-in, to stop you checking in online if you had a suitcase? Oh no.

So I tell her it's alright and just to turn up and leave her bag at the drop and she'll be fine, but this is my mother ... so I end up calling the Isle of Man no less to find out if her boarding pass is valid, what she should do with her bag, how much earlier that will require her to be at the airport (I wouldn't say she's panicing, but I'm thinking of taking her tonight with a sleeping bag and some sandwiches) and will she be allowed on the plane.

And it turns out that her boarding pass is valid, she has checked in online, but ...

She has to go an hour early tomorrow, queue at the desk with her valid boarding pass, leave her suitcase at the desk and have her valid boarding pass stamped. Now, I ask you, WHAT is the point in having online check-in when you have to go through all the processes anyway?

Is it possible we have a company here who are trying to out-do, in a totally opposite way, the efficiencies of Ryanair?

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