Here is the text of an email I sent to Vueling regarding our recent horror-show of a flight on Oct. 1th from Rome to Barcelona:
"I have been trying to get your attention since we returned from a trip to Rome and had our flight (6111) cancelled on October 18th. I filed two complaints, and your only response to date has been send me a 20 euro credit. I explained in my previous postings to your complaint system that we had 130,20 euros in expenses. Apparently you have chosen to ignore my request, which is your right, but of course is a foolish business practice.... although perhaps it is just indicative of your company's attitude towards your customers.... that they are expendable, that you can treat them as if they were animals to be herded around like cattle, and then discard them wholesale because they had the temerity to ask you to actually treat them as humans.
I assume that this email will be discarded like all the other ones that somehow make it through your filters to your "customer service" department. But no bother, I will wait another 4 weeks and then I will file a complaint through ENAC, which thank goodness exists to make customer's complaints heard and responded to.
We arrived at the Rome airport at 12:00 on Friday, Oct. 18th for a flight scheduled to leave at 14:20. We immediately saw that the flight was cancelled. We had not received ANYTHING from Vueling to notify us.
Strike one.... you hadn't bothered to let customers know that their flight had been cancelled, even though every other airline in the Western world will do everything that they can to let the customers know about cancellations via text, phone, and email. We waited in line for an hour, only to be told that the next flight that you could put us on was on Sunday, the 20th in the evening. When we asked why you couldn't rebook us on other airlines, your agent very curtly replied, "We don't do that here at Vueling. You will just have to walk around the airport and see what you can arrange yourself".
Strike 2... every other airline AUTOMATICALLY says "We would be happy to try to get you to your destination". No, No, No, not Vueling. Then the agent offered to get us to Barcelona the next day by flying to Paris and then to Barcelona, arriving finally at 9:30 PM in Barcelona. Not a very appealing solution, but at least it was better than waiting in a hotel on the outskirts of Rome for 2 days. By that point, my wife, who had been getting very fatigued by standing so long, asked the agent if they perhaps could provide a chair. She indignantly said, "Sorry, you will just have to sit on the floor!".
Strike 3.... I had already told this agent that my wife was very fatigued, but she just ignored the request. Finally in desperation, I said that we would refuse to move away from the counter until they could provide a chair.... we waited for a while, and then finally on of the agents found an extra chair and brought it out. By this time (it was about 2:30 PM), both of us were tired and hungry... but when I asked the person that appeared to be managing transportation to the hotel when he expected the bus to come, his reply was , "We have no idea what hotel you are going to, and we have no idea when the bus will come... you will just have to wait". Then this guy disappeared without even getting our names.
Strike 4.... the best customer service is giving customers accurate information in a timely manner, not giving them a non-answer in an attempt to pacify them. At that point, my wife was sitting down, and I went upstairs to the restaurant to get some lunch. Then I came back downstairs and sat down with the other cattle on the floor. Thank goodness I got lunch, becuase the bus finally arrived at 5:15, and it took almost an hour to get to the hotel. We had dinner at 9PM because that was when the hotel had it available. Our flight the next day was due to leave at 12:30PM, but when I asked the front desk what time would Vueling have transportation available, they told me to get a wakeup call at 3 AM, because the only bus that Vueling would provide was leaving at 3:40 AM.
Strike 5.... how could your company believe that this was a "reasonable" accommodation (per ENAC's terminology) ??? I said that this was totally unreasonable, and even though the hotel staff agreed, they told me that this was what Vueling was going to provide. I decided to take a taxi the following morning after having breakfast in the hotel. We arrived at the airport without problem at 9:30, after which time everything went fairly smoothly (with the exception of an EXTREMELY rude gate again in Rome). We had to wait 7 1/2 hours in Paris, but at least we could sit down and have something to eat.
Here are the expenses:
Lunch in Rome airport 31,00 euros
Taxi from hotel to airport 40,00 euros
Meals in Paris airport 59,20 euros
Need I say anything else?