More than once on this page I’ve written about our Dundee flight to Stansted.
Usually, like most Dundonians, I’m cheerleading the service all the way – apart from the time I looked to buy a return flight and could have made it to New York (possibly business class) and back for less.
Recently, fares seem to have been more reasonable and it’s a great addition to our city.
We could do with more flights to different destinations (recent talk of multiple flights a day to City is exciting) but at least we have one, giving access to London on which we can rely.
But good journalism paints a balanced picture and I feel I have to share a worrying experience last week.
As I arrived at Dundee Airport at 6am for the 6.50am flight, I was told there was no aircraft in Dundee. Instead, taxis would take passengers to Edinburgh Airport for a flight which would take off at 8.30am.
Bang went my morning plans in London. Thankfully I’d still make a 2.30pm meeting. The man beside me wasn’t so lucky – his 11am meeting (the sole reason for his visit) would probably have to be cancelled.
If you’ve ever tried getting over the Queensferry Bridge at rush hour, with traffic crawling toward the capital, you’ll know that a relaxing experience it is not.
But the 10 passengers made the flight and off we went. The captain announced the reason for the delay was that the night before, the plane took off from Stansted late – so late that it couldn’t enter Dundee Airport which closes at 10pm and so it diverted to Edinburgh. You’ve guessed it – passengers on that flight would have had to get a taxi back to Dundee.
Once landed, and on a bus to take us to the doors of Stansted, talk with fellow passengers was enlightening.
One man had taken the last Stansted to Dundee flight a few days before and again, it had diverted to Edinburgh. He had eventually got home after midnight after the airline paid for taxis for passengers. It’s a scenario that is happening increasingly, he said.
Given Dundee taxi firms charge about £120 for an Edinburgh trip – and several would have to be booked for each Edinburgh-grounded flight – I can’t imagine Loganair are breaking even, especially when staff pay and fuel costs are added on.
Another three passengers had similar stories. Everyone agreed they want to support the service and Dundee – but that they might have no choice than to fly from Edinburgh in future. For if you can’t rely on the one flight we have to be at the right airport, what really is the point?
Despite having passengers’ email details, Loganair never seem to let them know in advance they’ll face a trek to Edinburgh – which would at least give the option of getting a refund and rebooking a more convenient option.
Dundee only has one flight path. There is absolutely an appetite for it and more than enough custom to make it a thriving addition to Loganair’s business.
But I sense a worrying turn resulting in very disgruntled passengers. They best turn things around to the brilliant service we know they are capable of providing or we’ll have no choice but to jump ship – or aircraft – to one that’s actually there.