A Tipperary couple who were due to fly out on their honeymoon earlier this week have described their utter frustration at being told their Aer Lingus flight was cancelled at the last minute.
Tom Brophy, from Nenagh, and his wife Niamh got married last year but had put off going on honeymoon until things had settled down with Covid.
“Thankfully things have calmed down there,” he said. “But not too much as we saw now.”
They were due to fly to Munich on Wednesday to kick start a two-week holiday in the region.
“It was going to be our first holiday since 2019. We were really looking forward to it. Booked it months ago, and got the time off work. We were all geared up for it, had all the prep done. And then we woke up [on Wednesday] and it was cancelled.”
They were just two of the hundreds of passengers plunged into limbo from the cancelled Aer Lingus flights over recent days.
The airline has said it has been forced to cancel multiple flights due to a surge in Covid-19 cases among its staff.
Mr Brophy said the notice informing them the flight had been cancelled offered them the chance of a refund or a rebooking, and also listed a number they could call.
“We were an hour and a half waiting to get through,” he said. “[The customer service agent] had obviously had a stressful morning. I’m sure people were taking out an awful lot of frustration. It’s not an easy job at the best of times.”
However, this customer service experience was far from helpful. Mr Brophy said they were offered a replacement flight for next week.
“When you’ve organised multiple hotel bookings, travel and time off work, going a week later on a two-week holiday just doesn’t work,” he said, adding the customer service agent was rude and unhelpful, eventually hanging up the phone before any solution had been found.
Mr Brophy had sent Aer Lingus a message on Twitter and had received no response while being on hold. However, after he tweeted publicly about his situation, he received a message back which he described as a “very frustrating” way of trying to sort it out.
The couple then looked at alternative arrangements and were due to fly on Thursday afternoon to Dusseldorf, and then via train to Munich to get their honeymoon back on track.
“It is what is,” he added. “Ah sure, we’re just happy to be getting away.”
While these honeymooners managed to get away eventually, hundreds more passengers were affected on Thursday, with yet more Aer Lingus cancellations.
Flights from Dublin to London Heathrow, Gatwick, Paris, Hamburg and Berlin were all affected.
In a statement, Aer Lingus again reiterated its apology to customers affected and said its teams were working to re-accommodate impact passengers as efficiently as possible.
It also confirmed two further Heathrow flights were cancelled for Friday, as were flights to Munich, Dusseldorf and Bordeaux.