A LETTER TO AEGEAN
Dear Sir, Madam,
I issued my one-way ticket ATH-LCA on Aegean A390 at an insanely high price (EUR 243.85 / Lite) for a 90 minute flight. I even booked a seat (17F), resulting in a EUR 4 seat seat charge.
I then asked to use a Gold Card coupon for a business class upgrade. This was approved subject to waiting list availability. Fair enough.
When I arrived at the airport on Thursday, I was told that I had been upgraded and placed on Standby, but that no-one knew whether I would fly or not. The entire process took 10 minutes to resolve at check in because no-one could inform the checkin agent what was going on.
When I went to the gate, I was told I could fly. But I was placed in 36B.
This entire process makes little sense.
1. You are demanding outrageous prices for short haul routes. Although I fully understand how yield management and last-minute bookings work, you must surely be aware that if you misuse the trust given to you by your passengers, we will seek alternatives. Your pricing policy alone is causing me to re-think how much I will use Aegean for in the future.
2. When you took over the Cyprus Airways slots, you stopped direct flights from Larnaca to Paris, Brussels, Munich and other important destinations. Everything is now routed through Athens. This does wonders for your load factor, but it drives up prices to/from Cyprus and it adds to meaningless travel time for passengers departing from Cyprus.
3. If I have paid for a seat, it would make sense from the IT viewpoint to leave the upgrade pending, keeping me in the seat I have booked. It makes no sense to put me on Standby WHEN I HAVE PAID FOR THE TICKET, increasing the risk that I will not make the flight at all.
In recent months, I have seen one-way prices from Larnaca on Aegean jump to unrealistic amounts. The last time I visited Paris, for example, Aegean was quoting a one-way economy class ticket LCA - ATH - CDG at EUR 735. I chose to fly with Ryanair at EUR 75, all costs included.
If your customer service cannot match your prices, and if there are now lower-cost competitors like SkyExpress offering a very competitive alternative, then your strategy will only work for a short while. In the medium term, formerly loyal customers like myself will defect to Ryanair, Wizz, SkyExpress, TUS, Cyprus Air and many others.
I sincerely hope you will hear my message. The perception of thousands of customers like myself is that Aegean is acting like an arrogant monopolist. Where before we were Aegean evangelists, now we actively search for alternatives.
It's really a pity. I have spent tens of thousands of Euros on Aegean tickets for myself, my family and my business. I've been a gold member for a very long time. I book directly -- as you can tell from my customer records. I remember the bad old days of Olympic Airlines and Hellenikon.
All this is meaningless if this kind of senseless price gouging and routing everything via Athens takes place. I can fully understand how this is to your benefit. I do not at all understand how it is to mine.
I will publish any answer Aegean sends me.