As part of my 33 Before 33 I said that I wanted to visit 12 new places in the UK, however, that started on my birthday, so my visit to the beautiful Langar Hall a few days before doesn’t count unfortunately! However, it was a brilliant weekend and regardless of it being absolutely no help to my target, we had a lot of fun!
As we’re now marching our way firmly – and speedily – through December, my thoughts have started turning to 2017 and all the things I want to achieve. 2016 has been a funny old year and seems to have flown by so quickly, I almost feel like our ratio of adventure to sofa-sitting has been a little on the low side, but I want 2017 to be a year of fun and frolics.
Quite a lot of the things I would like to do are off-limits due to my dodgy knees – things such as wanting to walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall, or doing the Three Peaks; both things that were on my wishlist for 2016 but have had to be scrapped as my wonky legs hurt even just commuting to work, so there’s no way I’d be able to do any steep climbs or cross-country rambling!
It’s all been a little quiet over here on A Penny For Them recently as my day job has been frantically busy and my personal life has been non-stop too. Every time I think I’ll find an hour or so to sit down and write something for this little space on the interweb, something else comes along that is more needy of my attention and off I go, away from the laptop and away from any opportunity to blog.
I miss it.
You may remember that last year I had a bit of a scary experience when flying with British Airways in which they knowingly risked my health and life whilst I was flying with them (read about it here).
That post garnered quite a lot of interest and I was contacted by numerous other people who had experienced the same – or similar – things, so I thought I should provide you all with an update now my conversation with BA had come to a close.
Following the incident in question, I made a formal complaint to British Airways. I tweeted asking them how long it took roughly to get a response and they responded
“We can’t give an exact timescale but our Customer Relations team work in date order so they’ll be in touch soon.”
So, I waited.
A month after making the complaint I decided to tweet again, as I thought acknowledgement of my complaint, if not a full and formal response, would be reasonable to expect after 30-days.
Having switched over to direct message, I received the following reply from them:
“Thanks for your details, Penny. We’re sorry for the delay in responding. We’ve moved your complaint to our area and reviewed it. We’re concerned about the issues you’ve highlighted. Our staff are highly trained and we’re really proud of the service we offer. However the way our crew dealt with your situation is not acceptable. We’ve sent a report to the manager of the staff member you’ve mentioned who will handle this internally. We understand your complaint is about changes to our policies. We’ve fed your comments back to our Customer Experience team who meet regularly to review any areas where we need to improve. We’re very grateful for your feedback and we certainly value your insight. Thanks again for getting in touch and letting us know what happened. Drop us a Tweet if we can help you with anything else.”
I thanked them for their response and asked if I would be receiving a formal reply from BA as I had written to their complaints department. I said how frightening the experience was and expressed my concern that I didn’t want anyone else to have to go through the same thing – or worse – in the future. BA responded stating that there would be no further contact from them on this matter and their tweet was the only reply I would get, although they could “certainly put it into an email… but the information and response will stay the same”
In all honesty, I’m not sure how I feel about the end point of this situation. They agree what happened was unacceptable and say that my comments have been taken on board and would essentially be added to a list of things they could improve on in the future. These are positives for sure, but I still sort of feel like I was brushed off, being told something just to make me go away and stop making noise about what happened.
I appreciate big changes and reviews to systems can’t be made overnight and the incident I was involved in would not be enough to make a large conglomerate like this alter their procedures, but I’m not convinced anything will alter.
My personal fight with British Airways came to an end with their final tweet to me and, along with it, my relationship with them altogether. The response from them was not such that it reassured me I would safe to fly with them in the future.
Do I feel like the issue was resolved? No. Do I feel like they have taken my comments on board? No. Will I ever fly with them again? No.
The end of this story feels like it is still open slightly, the threads of it unable to be fully tied, but, I have enough common sense to know this is as far as I will get with it.
Thank you to everyone who supported me following my last blog post. I did receive some trolling (shout out to the man who thought I was trying to get myself a private plane – yes, really) but for the most part people were understanding, bewildered and behind me 100%.
We haven’t booked ourselves a holiday for this year yet, but, when we do next take to the skies, I know we’ll be doing so with a company who makes us feel safe.
Taking a break with friends is one of the best ways to spend quality time with them. There are plenty of short and long holidays available that could be ideal for your group of like-minded pals. If you’re looking for ways to have fun, or you just want to relax and enjoy a drink with your friends, a holiday can be the perfect time to do it.
If you and your friends are into a particular hobby or interest, then why not tie that into your holiday choice? Take in a music festival, or visit the birthplace of your favourite rock star. Perhaps you have tickets for a big sports event and can use a weekend to explore the stadium city? You can get as creative as you like by picking places relevant to your interests to visit as part of an excursion package.
If you all like a bit of action and adventure, why not book a holiday to experience activities you’ve never done before? Norway activity holidays give you the opportunity to take on snow treks and try out some adrenaline fuelled snowmobiles. You might even take on Husky sledding? And who doesn’t want a chance to see the Aurora Borealis and its stunning light show?
For all you girls who love to be pampered and spoilt, a spa weekend is definitely the choice for you. Relax and have your worries massaged away. Enjoy the bubbles of a jacuzzi, or the cleansing of a steam. With all you girls together, you can make the most of a health spa. Or enjoy the luxurious surroundings and specialist treatments to make you tingle. And wandering around in your robe all weekend at a spa has to be the best pyjama party ever.
A city break gives you all a chance to make the most of the top restaurants, top bars and top nightclubs. Expect to be up until dawn breaks on another day. There are also some fabulous theatres and even the odd movie premiere for you to attend if you get the timing right. During the day, wander the city to find culture and art in the museums and galleries. You might even be able to glam it like a VIP if you hire a limousine too.
Camping in the countryside can be a great way to bond with the girls and your families. You can sit around the campfire and sing songs with a guitar. You can hike and take in some of the best landscapes and scenery in the country. Why not have a day horseriding along the trails? Or hire some bikes and see what the cycle routes have to offer? The best bit about being in the country is all the great country pubs you can stop at! A perfect holiday on a budget.
Heading away with your friends is a great way to get away from it all. Even if you have a family, it can be nice to have a little getaway with your friends for a weekend. Make the most of 2016 and book a great holiday with your pals.
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