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I WISH to comment on the manner in which Aer Lingus left passengers stranded at Cork airport last Thursday.
Friends had visited us the week before and were scheduled to depart that evening to Berlin.
At first the Aer Lingus flight was delayed because a tyre was defective which, in turn, led to the slot being lost. To make matters worse, there seemed to have been an air traffic control problem which led to the flight being abandoned about five hours after the scheduled departure time. German-speaking passengers had no opportunity of finding out what was going on and were left sitting in the hot plane for three hours. Passengers had to stay in the airport overnight and were only offered refreshments. Aer Lingus blamed the incident on air traffic control while the real cause was the delay caused by the defective tyre and knock-on effects. Planes continued to take off from Cork during the course of the Berlin flight debacle. But the misery of how to get back to Berlin was only beginning for our friends.
Finally, next morning they were offered a flight to Amsterdam, which wasn’t exactly a stone’s throw from their destination.
The extra cost of train and other transport to Berlin came to €300, a long-standing medical appointment there was lost and a beautiful trip to Cork ended with a very sour taste thanks to Aer Lingus’s lack of a reasonable service and insensitivity to the negative impact on German visitors to Ireland.
Inevitably, this bad experience will be communicated to many Germans — the kind of publicity the country and the airline could do without.
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