Ash aftermath – Finnair and Vodafone charge exorbitant rates when trying to rebook flights

I’m sure that other people caught up in the air traffic chaos must be finding out now just how much their ‘phone bills have been charged when trying to rebook their flights!

I’m appalled to discover that it has cost me more than £600 in ‘phone charges – as a direct result of Finnair’s policies.  To rebook or try to rearrange flights, Finnair gave a number that people in Finland had to call – +358 600 140 140 .  What they did not say was that users were going to be charged even when their automatic statement that the lines were too busy and so could not even be answered was playing (in multiple languages)!  Yes, the Finnair site did say that there was a small charge per “answered call” – but not even getting in the queue to have a  human answer does not seem to me to count as an “answer”.  So, every time I placed a call and I could not even get into the queue, it cost me £5.50 – even for 6 seconds!  Then, when one passed that hurdle, and actually got into the queue to be answered, they kept charging.  Every time I waited to be able to book a flight home, the call was being charged. And they were so busy, that callers had to wait a very long time. Eventually, waiting for 39 minutes before being answered, and then having a 6 minute and 6 second call cost me £246.53.  At least I did get a flight home….

This is absolutely outrageous.  Vodafone, my ‘phone provider refuse to do anything about it, and likewise Finnair.  Let’s hope my insurers are feeling sympathetic. Under such unusual conditions, Finnair should have provided a freephone number, or at the very least have informed people that they were being charged even when waiting to receive a human answer.  But what else were passengers expected to do?  People who wanted to get rebooked onto another flight had to call that number.  This is unquestionably profiteering at the expense of stranded customers!  Guess I will therefore change my ‘phone supplier and never fly Finnair again.  What have other people been charged by their ‘phone providers and airlines?


Now I am really angry – I wrote to Finnair about this, and this is the e-mail reply I have just received “We have had a lot of customer contacts in recent days, so we regret any delay in responding to your feedback. We will reply to you as soon as possible.The estimated answering time is 2-3 months. All the contacts will be handled in order of arrival. Thank you for your patience”.

Am definitely never flying Finnair again if I can possibly help it!!!!



Filed under Ethics

3 responses to “Ash aftermath – Finnair and Vodafone charge exorbitant rates when trying to rebook flights

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Ash aftermath – Finnair and Vodafone charge exorbitant rates when trying to rebook flights « Tim Unwin’s Blog --

  2. vanessa

    Hi Tim,

    You might find this article from today at the nytimes interesting. Apparently european laws require carriers to cover costs like hotels and phone calls. Also, there’s a company called EUclaim that does all the paperwork for you and takes a 27% of your benefits: in case the carrier phone lines happen to be “always busy” or take 3 months to answer you back.

  3. Sileide France Turan Salvador

    Hello, Prof. Tim!

    I am happy because you came back to your normal life and is safety. But, I hope that you could find more resonsability from Finnair and not just the savage captalism. I will have the defense of my Master Program on May, 25th (my birthday- it will be a nice memory).
    My Best Wishes

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