Everyone knows flying in the Corona crisis is different. But because Ryanair’s customer service is not working, many passengers do not know what to do with the cabin luggage they booked.
It’s great to fly on the airlines, especially in one of the biggest crises Europe and the world have faced in 75 years. A mean virus just wants to make things difficult and dangerous. Now that flights are back on the agenda, issues arise.
Pretty Good and Really Bad
Ryanair is a great airline. They revolutionized flying, meaning they are the low cost airline pioneers. They are the original, all other low fare airlines are copies. And they are one of the largest airlines in Europe by now. Great.
But there is something they are not, namely the masters of customer service. Theirs is bad these days. It is actually so bad it should be renamed. The term ‘customer service’ should be replaced by a four-letter word that starts with an ‘s’.
This week, as the number of flights is increasing again, Ryanair passengers ask one question over and over in forums for expatriates on a blue and white social media website: “What about my two pieces of cabin luggage?”
Ryanair sells its popular two-pieces-of-cabin-luggage deal a lot. It upgrades passengers to ‘Priority’, which means they will wait longer on the bus to the aircraft. They can also bring one small bag that fits under the seat in front of them and one little suitcase. That one has to be squeezed into the overhead compartment. Awesome.
Pillars of ‘Customer Service’
The problem: Schönefeld Airport in Berlin does not let anyone have more than one piece of hand luggage. So, what about a compromise? Does one and a half pieces of luggage sound fair? Well, passengers do not know what is going on in this regard because the airline does not tell them.
Chatting with a bot on their website, one of the two pillars of their ‘customer service’, is useless. The robot does not understand the question or anything at all. It just says it recommends booking that baggage option before it sells out.
A Hundred Minutes of Patience
Calling Ryanair’s ‘customer service’ hotline does not help either. On July 9th at 6 p.m., at least one caller, the author of these lines, gave up after waiting on the phone, in the waiting line with bad ‘music’, for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Yes, the renaming is urgent.
The airport’s customer service is the exact opposite. A lady answers the phone immediately. But she just confirms the one-cabin-bag policy and does not know what exactly Ryanair is doing. That is what she has in common with the airline’s passengers.
Speeding It Up
Of course another important question has to be answered: Why in the hell doesn’t Schönefeld Airport allow two hand luggage pieces? This decision was taken in order to speed things up at security. There are so many Corona rules airports and passengers have to adhere to. Simplifying them and speeding up processes is what this is about.
So, what do Ryanair customers do at Schönefeld Airport if they booked that two-piece-cabin-luggage option? They go to the airport, where they will find out that they are forced to check-in the larger item. It is free of charge. Well, the phone call that did not lead anywhere was not.
By the way: The airport looks a little strange these days. Hardly anyone is there until two hours before the flight. The guy at the only open terminal door likes his job a little too much. But he will make exceptions. Generally, passengers have to wait outside until the check-in staff is done smoking in the yard and ready to rumble.
The airport staffer at the check-in counter is a nice guy. It may not be his fault, but he gives passengers false information, according to which all passengers have to go into quarantine at the destination. No, they don’t. The quarantine he is talking about was scrapped on June 15th.
By the way: The publication you are reading, The Berlin Spectator, was established in January of 2019. We have worked a whole lot, as you can see. But there has hardly been any income.
As of May 7th, 2020, we made an average of 74 Euro per month since starting the project, which is far from enough.
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