This space was reserved for an article about the delights – or otherwise – of the Scilly Isles, but I have decided not to write anything until their Tourism Department have the good manners to reply to a simple media inquiry.
At the time of writing, it is three months since I asked one simple question; but they have simply ignored the inquiry, even though I have repeated it several times…
The question is:
What are the refund arrangements if you book for a fortnight’s parking at your departure airport – but then have to drive and park elsewhere to catch the ferry when flights are cancelled?
I paid for long-term parking at Exeter Airport but had to drive to catch the boat from Land’s End when all flights were cancelled. I also had to find and book overnight accommodation at Land’s End.
And this is not a one-off experience. I am told that about a QUARTER of all flights to and from the islands are cancelled.
My initial inquiry was shuttled from the car park operator, to the airline, the airport, the ferry operator – and finally the Scillies tourist office, who you would expect to be at pains to create a good media image for this cluster of islands off the end of Cornwall.
But no, not a peep. Not even an acknowledgement. I wasn’t even asking for a refund – just information for readers and potential visitors.
What I did manage to find out, however, was quite alarming – and I have not managed to get an official response regarding this either.
It is obviously considerably more expensive to fly than go by ferry, but up until 2013 you did not even get a refund on your fare difference if you were forced to downgrade from flying to a surface crossing.
How did they get away with that for so long?
Apparently the Ts & Cs simply stated that your fare was between the mainland and the islands – regardless of the means of transport!
So the airline could potentially make more profit by not flying?
Ridiculous, or what?
And now everyone appears to be burying their heads in the sand over another issue that needs addressing for about 25% of their visitors.
Come on Scillies. Don’t be silly.