I've been away visiting the hidey hole in Barga, which has a beautiful new set of hand crafted windows installed, and to Florence. After coming down with a virus for the first couple of days of the holiday (aching knees and thighs - which is a strange one) I was able to spend the rest of the time recuperating in the sunshine, hidden from prying eyes by sticking to my favourite park bench in the old town. Not much had changed (which is one of the reasons I go) and I was able to catch up on reading and take a little time out from writing.
Florence was fun; though this time I found the place not as enchanting as past visits. Having done all the museums and seen most of the sights, we kept to wandering the streets and watching the tourists and locals alike, partaking of food and resting. I still like the place but it doesn't feel as dynamic as Edinburgh. It's as if the place has been preserved in aspic, handsome but dead - a city haunted by the living.
All the rest and recuperation from the holiday was however undone by the company RyanAir. I've often heard of those poor passengers left out in the cold by this company with no recourse to any customer service when things go wrong (as they will some times, through no fault of any one person) to which the boss Mr. O'Leary puts down to the fact they are a cheap carrier.
Our plane was cancelled five minutes before boarding was due to begin. Along with the passengers from three other planes we were left in departures with no clue as to why this had happened and no staff to tell us what to do. The crowd then had to push their way back to the main part of the airport, past some very confused security staff to three small windows (only two of which were manned) where we then queued to be seen by a member of RyanAir staff. To get to the front of this queue took us four hours. We were then given the choice of making our way to another airport in the hope of getting a flight, or waiting for two days in the hope of there being room on the next available flight. Not really satisfactory in any way when one of the queuing people mentioned that he had already been waiting two days for this flight. In the end we were able to get on a flight to a different UK airport late that evening where we had to stay overnight and then rent a car to drive back to Scotland. To add insult to injury it seems that the Ryan insurance we took out is worth absolutely nothing.
It seems that RyanAir have no desire to provide any kind of customer service, treating their customers with a complete disregard or any kind of respect, and I'm sorry Mr. O'Leary but it does not matter what I've paid for my ticket, if I've paid for a return I expect a return. As it is I can't wait for the start up of this website.
Read this week:
Untold Stories by Alan Bennett