Finnair fail to inform fare details

Background of the events that unfolded today are that I am travelling to Vienna, Austria, with my bicycle.  I decided to opt for Finnair since they had a direct route to Vienna and the price for the fare was reasonable. Since I wanted to bring my bicycle on the plane I knew I first had to check with them (I have on previous trips travelled with bicycle without hassles).

First I checked their web page and yes, you can bring bicycles. To be sure I called their service center and they confirmed that I can bring my bicycle as long as I a couple of weeks before actual departure confirmed that I was bringing my bicycle.

So far so good.

finnair2

Today I wanted to call Finnair to confirm my flight with them and that I was bringing my bicycle.  I tried for 1 hour to reach the service center and no answer. Then I tried to email them, no answer. Finally I brought my questions to their Facebook page and within minutes their representative answered. Below is our conversation:

13:16
Me:
Hi,
My reservation number is xxxxx
We are leaving on the 8th July from Stockholm to Vienna.
The bicycles will be packed in 2 boxes.
I have travelled with bicycles before.

13:25
Finnair:
Hi,
Unfortunately this is not Finnair operated flight and according to agreement with Niki airline, bike transportation is not possible when flight has been booked as Finnair marketed flight.
Best regards, Finnair

13:32
Me:
But I booked with Finnair. Do you really mean that we cannot bring our bikes on this flight?

13:38
Me:
Also I called to check with Finnair prior to this booking.
Please double check this. If we cannot bring our bicycles then our trip is ruined!

13:58
Finnair
Hi, this flight is marketed Finnair but operated by Niki airlines and yes unfortunately when booked like this bikes can not be confirmed and transportation isn´t ok.
Brgds Finnair

14:11
Me:
when you say “booked like this”:
You are referring to my booking when I first read on your homepage about bikes, then called your service center (that answered) and they said no problem, only that I should call again after I booked so that they have info about it. Which I have now been trying to do without getting through (still), only to be told by you that I cannot bring bikes on this flight, since you are not actually the ones flying this flight and I should have somehow known this, and somehow should have worked out myself that the information on your homepage is false and that the person in your service center did not know what they are talking about.
You mean like that?

I have now spent 35 minutes talking to Niki Air a.k.a. Air Berlin that have accommodated my request to bring bicycles on the plane. I will have to pay 120 Euro (I knew I had to pay something). The service-guy at Niki was helpful and tried his best to calm me and to make sure that I will get on this flight with my bicycle.  Jan you are my new hero!

Some lessons for Finnair are in order:
1. Do not write stuff on your homepage that is not true.
2. Do not instruct your staff to say stuff that is not true.
3. Do not push responsibility to the customer for fares you have sold in your name.
4. When you have sold a fare in your name that turned out to be wrong or have some errors then at least try to help.

Finnair is a reputable company that should know better. To market fares without direct control of the details in the fare is a bad move. A quick win can also lead to a greater loss – they have now lost my trust.

From north to south

On April 12, 2013, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) reached its final orbit, 705 kilometers (438 miles) above Earth. One week later, the satellite’s natural-color imager scanned a swath of land 185-kilometers wide and 9,000 kilometers long (120 by 6,000 miles)—an unusual, unbroken distance considering 70 percent of Earth is covered with water. That flight path—depicted on the globe below—afforded them the chance to assemble 56 still images into a seamless, flyover view of what LDCM saw on April 19, 2013. Stretching from northern Russia to South Africa, the full mosaic from the Operational Land Imager can be viewed in this video.

Friendliest countries to visit

The friendliest people in the world, according to a new report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

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Girls greeting tourists in Iceland

The top ten nations in order of their friendliness to visitors from elsewhere are: Iceland, New Zealand, Morocco, Macedonia, Austria, Senegal, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ireland and Burkina Faso.

The bottom ten, meanwhile, were Mongolia, Bulgaria, Slovak Republic, Pakistan, Iran, Latvia, Kuwait, Russian Federation, Venezuela and Bolivia.

Read more here.

Hash Bash strikes again

Hash Bash is an annual event held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the first Saturday of April at high noon on the University of Michigan Diag. A collection of speeches, live music, street vending and occasional ‘civil disobedience’ are centered on the goal of reforming federal, state, and local marijuana laws.

Read more here.

World pillow fight in London

A pillow-wielding mob descended on Trafalgar Square today for feathery fisticuffs in front of London’s most iconic monuments.

Similar scenes were repeated all over the world as part of annual World Pillow Fight Day.

Sleep for free in Helsinki

A hotel in Finland is appealing for a ‘professional sleeper’ to test its 35 rooms for 35 days.

Hotel Finn, in the heart of Helsinki, is seeking a “dynamic person to write a quality blog” about their daily experiences at the basic hotel, which has no bar or restaurant.

Requirements not only include fluent Finnish and English, but Russian is deemed a plus, too.

hotelfinn

Book a shuttle with GO

To make a reservation, iPhone users simply access the app and enter their flight, arrival and/or destination information. The app will automatically access the user’s previously entered personal information, and allow them to easily make a reservation to and from any of the more than 50 airports served by GO Airport Shuttle in the US, Canada and Europe.

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Denmark opens new aquarium

Copenhagen’s newest attraction, Den Bla Planet opened its doors to the public on 22nd March. The spectacular seashell-shaped building is Northern Europe’s largest aquarium, and also functions as a unique meetings venue.

Swedish hamburger chain open restaurant in Dubai

Swedish hamburger restaurant Max is going to give MacDonalds a run in Dubai.

maxburgerdubai

Max is not only Sweden’s favourite hamburger restaurant chain, it is also the first. Back in 1968 the founders of Max, Curt Bergfors and Britta Andersson, opened their first restaurant in Gällivare, high up in the northern part of Sweden.
Their hamburgers became so popular that within two years they opened more restaurants. Soon thereafter Max was established in several other cities in Norrland (the northern part of Sweden). The rest is history.

MAX CEO comments the opening of three restaurants in Dubai:

– We have long looked to establish ourselves in the Middle East, now we have a partner who is stationed in Dubai, so it seemed natural. We were about to open there several years ago, but the financial crisis intervened. In Dubai there is a great interest in fast food, a young curious population and a rapidly growing market. Competition is fierce, if we succeed there we can succeed anywhere.

Here is a link that has tasted the local MAX burger.

Naked and alone on desert island

So, I think that Ed Stafford is the luckiest guy on earth. Firstly he is an explorer, secondly he is backed by the Discovery channel and thirdly he found a way to get famous while trekking the Amazon and staying on a deserted island, all naked and alone.  Below is the take from Discovery Channel and a link to the episode.

Ed Stafford is undertaking an extreme survival challenge. He’ll be washed up naked and alone on a desert island, south east of Fiji, with only his brain, bare hands, and a camera to keep him alive. He’ll take no food, water, clothes, knife or tools, so from the moment he arrives he is on an extraordinary race to stay alive. As man can only last three days without water and three weeks without food, Ed will attempt to survive on the island physically and mentally, for 60 days.

nakedisland

Ed will have to use what the uninhabited island has to offer, and his common sense, to find food, water, clothes, shelter and anything else which will keep him alive while he is marooned. Surrounded by beautiful tropical reefs Ed will also have to find a way to fish for food, while making sure he doesn’t meet any of the deadly sharks which inhabit the seas around the island. Will he also be able cope with the sweltering 30 °C temperatures, with no shelter or sun cream and then the freezing temperatures at night with no cover?

Check out the Discovery episodes here.

Charter tourists delay security

Passengers of charter flights are responsible for the majority of extra costs arising from delays in airport security checks, according to scientific research conducted by airport security consulting company, Kirschenbaum Consulting.

The findings are based on a one-year in-depth study held at a regional European airport. The results indicate that while only 10-15% of scheduled passengers carried prohibited items, 33-50% of charter passengers did so.

swedishtourists

Moreover, while only 10% of regular flyers were re-examined by security employees, 33% of charter passengers needed another check. The research, which included both an ethnographic and time-motion study, also showed that, while charter passengers accounted for less than 50%of overall traffic, they were responsible for an additional 35% of the overall security costs.

Read the article here.

Free flights to India with AirAsia

AirAsia, the region’s biggest budget carrier, is considering offering some seats for free when it starts flying in India, a company official has revealed.

airasia_quietzone

The operator plans to give away vacant seats for nothing at airports, expanding similar promotional offers at home in Malaysia, the person said, asking not to be named citing rules. Passengers will have to pay taxes and other fees, the person said. AirAsia, which is awaiting a license after winning the Indian government’s approval this month to form a joint venture, is targeting to start operations by end-2013.

Dreamliner left stranded

As Boeing works to regain permission for its 787 Dreamliner to resume flights, the company faces what could be a costly new challenge: a temporary ban on some of the long-distance, trans-ocean journeys that the jet was intended to fly.

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Aviation experts and government officials say the Federal Aviation Administration may shorten the permitted flying time of the 787 on certain routes when it approves a revamped battery system. The plane was grounded worldwide two months ago after lithium-ion batteries overheated on two separate aircraft.