Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Why Olympic Airways are Total Rubbish

The following correspondence is probably self -evident to explain the title:


Subject: Re: Your flight has been re-scheduled

Date: 11 September 2008 17:40:12 BDT

To: telsales@olympic-airways.gr

September 2008 David Weeks London UK

Dear Whoever you are at Olympic Airlines ~ no name given,

My name is David Weeks but you only seem to think of me as 'Dear Passenger',

I am deeply disappointed in your totally inconsiderate behaviour.
I book a flight on your airline because I have no choice ~ you have a monopoly control of flights in and out of Kalymnos.
In good faith I book a connecting flight from Athens back to London allowing enough time to make the change at Athens.
You now inform me that for 'Operational reasons' which in fact means absolutely nothing apart from, because you feel like it and you can, because you have no opposition. nor competition to consider, change the time of the flight so that it arrives in Athens after my London flight has departed.

You say:

We apologize for any inconvenience, this may have caused you and thank you for your understanding.

Your apology is meaningless, the inconvenience and extra expense you have no idea about, and no, I do not understand, because you do not explain.

When I ring your office in London (£1.43) I am told without any hint of an apology that you have the 'right' to change booked flights, everyone has the right to change booked flights and there is nothing I can do about it. Further that you have no responsibility, whatsoever, for the considerable inconvenience and expense (an overnight stay at the airport £128.34, and £171.20 to change the onward flight) that you now cause this passenger. It is a "tough luck for you" attitude that simply makes me want to vomit.

Having changed my Athens to London flight I phoned you, Friday 25 Jul at 11:01, to double check that the flight was still booked for the original date. After 33 minutes (00:33:40) having been held in a queue, then told I was next in line to be answered I got taken back to the back of the queue. All this on a premium rate number (08712000500). How pathetic that you cannot attract passengers and resort to charging premium rate numbers to deal with enquiries.
The fact that you didn't deal with the enquiry but charged me £7.14 in return for nothing, speaks for itself!

Your complete inefficiencies have cost me £308.11. You may be quite sure that I will never travel anywhere using your airline, ever again.

What compensation are you going to offer me?

Despite the new time you sent me, the flight, in fact landed late at Kalymnos and then took off late too.

Olympic Airlines does not, in truth, have a good reputation ~ I wonder why? You now have another dissatisfied ambassador who will not hesitate to tell all his friends and acquaintances of the totally shabby treatment that he has received at your hands and that travellers should rather go by boat than suffer the ineptitude in both service and customer relations that you presume to offer. In telling everyone I meet about the fantastically low quality of your outfit I have discovered a whole range of other horror stories relating to Olympic Airlines. The sooner you cease trading the better it will be for the planet, and for all travellers.

One very disgusted ex-customer,

David Weeks.

On 25 Jun 2008, at 03:51PM telsales@olympic-airways.gr
Re-scheduled Flight
Booking Reference: RXKU8H

Dear Passenger,

There is a schedule change on your flight(s) booked with Olympic Airlines due to operational reasons.

Your flight OA13 on 08SEP originally scheduled to depart from Kalymnos Island to Athens at 07:15, has been now changed to flight OA15 08SEP, departing from Kalymnos Island at 16:35 and arriving in Athens at 17:35.

We confirm your flight details, as follows:

Your Flight
FromToDepartureArrivalFlightTravel Category

Kalymnos IslandAthens08SEP 16:3508SEP 17:35OA15ECONOMY

We apologize for any inconvenience, this may have caused you and thank you for your understanding.

Should you have any further questions, you are welcome to call your local Olympic office.

Have a nice flight,
Olympic Airlines

Over a Month later I receive a reply:
Dear Mr Weeks,

Thank-you for your email letter dated 11th September 2008, which I receivd today from our Athens Head Office.

Naturally it is always our intention and desires to operate each of our flights in accordance with published schedules, and we are concerned when circumstances beyond our control prevent us from doing so.

The airline industry and its operations are notoriously affected by multiple uncontrollable factors and for this reason timings are not guaranteed and the airline cannot be held liable/responsible for connections or separate contracts, with independent travel insurance being the only possible avenue for restitution.

There is no compensatory factor applicable to such circumstances under EU regulation EC261 / 2004 as more than 14 days notice was given.

We ask you to accept our repeated apology for the inconvenience encountered.

Yours sincerely,

Tony D Little

Customer Services & Administration Superintendent

So now we know why the mess happened; why we get no compensation; why the customer service is non existent and why I shall never ever fly with this rubbish outfit, ever again.


Anonymous said...

The amounts you say you were charged for a 33minute call seem excessive. Were you ring from a mobile. 0871 is not technically a premium rae number but is made ridiculously expensive by the mobile networks. They double (normally treble in reality the real cost to dial these numbers. There is no reason for them to do so it is pure profiteering. There has been a lot of press about the companies using 0871 etc being wrong but the reality is the mobile networks are the ones ripping everybody off as the regulator has not regined them in on the blatant rip off. Maybe because the government charged the mobile networks ridiculous sums for the 3g licences and therefore letting them get away with these excessive charges as a kind of payback perhaps I'm being cynical! although it is true I believe that when the EU wanted the mobile networks to reduce the roaming charges while you were abroad, our lovely goverment came down on the side of the networks rather than us consumers!

David Weeks said...

To 'anonymous'. Please give me your name and I'll publish ~ otherwise see the next blog about 0870 numbers.
I still find Olympic Airways beyond the pail!

Anonymous said...

Olympic airlines and Tony Little are useless. I bought a ticket on behalf of a relative and made a mistake with the name. I was told by the Greek reservations staff to buy another ticket and then I could phone back and get a refund. When I phoned back guess what - they would only refund the taxes. I then contacted customer services in the UK but Tony Little wouldn't go against OA Greece's decision. I have now got the CAA to investigate.

Maria S. said...

Olympic Airways had given us a hard time initially, too. Two out of our six flights from Frankfurt -Chania/Crete - Frankfurt were cancelled and we had a hard time to rebook our flights, queue in long lines for a new hotel accommodation, etc.

When we returned I sent a report to the German branch office in Frankfurt and it was dealt with in a very professional way. I got a response very quickly and we also got partially reimbursed a week later.
More about this here:

But the time in between (it took two days trying to reach someone at the Crete airport) stays unforgettable as well as the big amount they reimbursed...

David Weeks said...

They have gone into overnight liquidation and may be re-launched under entirely new management. See here: