I thought I'd share what I think is quite a brilliant video made by my friend Andy Tyler following his trip was disrupted thanks to the Volcanic ash cloud...
With so many airlines getting it in the neck both in the print media and through social media for their poor handling of customer relations during the disaster - it's refreshing to see how far a little spot of customer TLC in a crisis can go...
I hope Ryan Air are watching....
A personal explanation from Andy....
"Two Qantas flights, QF31 and QF9, took off from Sydney and Perth respectively, on Thursday April 15th, both with London as their destination.
They both reached their stopover point of Singapore, only to be told upon arrival that the second leg of both flights would not be leaving on time due to some ash in the sky thanks to a volcano erupting in Iceland. It was delayed for 12 hours, and most of the passengers opted to sleep at the airport gate rather than move to a hotel just in case anything changed and the flights could depart sooner than expected.
Nothing changed - in fact, the ash cloud only worsened, and nobody knew when it would be safe to fly to Europe. About 14 hours after the flight had been due to leave, despite over 3,500 people being stuck at Singapore airport and numerous conferences in town filling up hotel capacity, the Qantas staff announced they had found hotel rooms for the passengers who were still waiting at the gate.
We all expected that to mean low budget, bare bones accomodation, since Qantas were offering to pay for it. We all assumed it would only be one night. How wrong we were on both counts.
Qantas paid for us to stay at the Orchard Hotel (millenniumhotels.com.sg/orchardhotelsingapore/), a luxurious hotel in the heart of Singapore, with all our meals included, as well as a 5 minute international phone call each.
The next morning came, and with no good news on the ash cloud front, we were told Qantas were paying for us to stay another night.
The same happened the following day, except we were told we couldn't stay there on the night of the 19th because the hotel was full. We all thought our luck had run out and we would be taken back to the airport.
How wrong we were, yet again. Qantas put us in luxury coaches and transferred us across the border into Malaysia, where we were booked into the Pulai Springs Resort (pulaisprings.com/v_flash/index.html), a resort hotel with two golf courses, a driving range, several swimming pools, gym, spa, tennis court, squash court - the list goes on. Most was included but some we had to splash out for; not too much of a burden considering the situation!
We were there for two nights, before flights resumed on Wednesday night and once again we were transferred by coach back to Singapore airport, where we checked in and departed for our final destination, London.
There was an almighty round of applause on touching down at Heathrow.
This video is our cheeky little way of saying thank you to Qantas for being so awesome and looking after us during our unexpected six day holiday in South East Asia.