Here I am writing this from an undisclosed location in the Land of the Rising Sun but it nearly didn't happen at all.
Planned to spend the whole of the school half term visiting my daughter here. Long way to go I know for a bare six days but what the hell, she's returning in September so last chance.
Booked flight, Southampton to Tokyo via Paris with Air France. Depart Sat 26 May early morning, arrive Tokyo early Sunday. Travel north some 600km on Shinkansen (bullet train), arriving afternoon of Sunday - easy, done it before.
Arrived at airport 5:30am, flight cancelled and stood in queue for nearly three hours to be told (one passenger at a time) the plane didn't arrive the night before due to bad weather, [gallic_shrug] "nothing we can do until tomorrow evening, monsieur"[/gallic_shrug]. So we go home in taxi having lost 36 hours. Following evening we set out again, get on flight and have to do an additional night in hotel at Narita Airport because the arrival time meant we missed the last Shinkansen for the day. Result another 12 hours lost plus a GBP100 or so hotel bill. So we arrive at our final destination midday Tuesday, leaving three whole days and a couple of bits.
P155ed off doesn't begin to describe it.
Surely it was not beyond the wit of Air France to examine the bookings and derermine who had transfers to meet and prioritise the rebooking. After all they knew about the problem the night before. They could even have contacted us through the booking company.
Failing that, we could have been told about all this right at the beginning and made our own arrangements to get to Paris on a Flybe plane that took off (with unused space) only 30 mins after our sceduled Air France flight. If AF wouldn't pay, we could have. Alternatively we could have been booked onto a flight from Heathrow the same day - they wouldn't do that either or get us onto any plane as business class (even at our cost - although I'm not sure we'd have taken the offer).
No compensation can be paid as weather has been cited as the cause. May be able to recover something through insurance though.
It's just before midnight on Fri 1 June here. Travelling to Tokyo tomorrow around midday for round two, the return leg. Hope AF get it together this time. Wish us luck. [email protected]
AF food BTW.