Yesterday we were looking to book some flights to Dublin for my Dad's birthday later in the year. There are only two carriers flying direct between Munich and Dublin; Aer Lingus and Lufthansa. Unortunately Lufthansa seem to only fly on some days of the week, and we were looking for something more precise than their schedules. Aer Lingus fly twice a day, and at first glance appear to be cheaper.
I have to say I find the experience of booking with them to be very irritating. The first thing is that you appear only to be booking for one person, even if you have multiple passengers selected at the front page. I went back a couple of times to check if that was an error on my part before proceeding, but it obviously was some quirk they thought would make the process more transparent. ie: price per customer rather than total price. I can almost see how it would make sense, if they hadn't completely fucked it all up later in the process.
The next is that their session time isn't set to be too long, so one has to go fairly quickly through the pages in order to not have the transaction time-out and avoid restarting from scratch. I only had to do this once, but the simple fact that I actually had to go back and restart my transaction again from scratch irritated me no end. By the time I had figured out which dates we were going to fly, how long we were going to go for, and what times of the day we could fly, the process had to be restarted. Now, I don't know about you, but I rarely know in advance that I want to fly at 19:00 on a Friday. I typically know the days I want to fly, but there are so many variables when I book flights in advance that I can change my mind significantly.Aer Lingus's web site doesn't want that. It wants you to know before you load it exactly when you're booking for, and you have no more than a few minutes per page to process those pages. Also note that there is a LOT of small print to be read.
I have to pay (preferably in advance) for my luggage to go on the hold. I discovered that only after I had gone sufficiently far into the process that it was just too much hassle to quit, and I had no backup plan anyway as they fly the most regularly on our route. It is a fairly large amount too - €18 per bag for a return flight.
After entering my credit card details and getting the transaction processed, I was presented with a further page telling me that I had to pay for seats. What.The.Fuck. Seriously... think about that for a minute. Why would they go to the hassle (and expense for them) of running two transactions against my credit card for the same flight? Never mind the fact that I had just paid €400 for flights, now I have to pay for my seats too? What if I had said "no"? Surely there's a cause for someone suing them for bait and switch sales practices?
So, my words of advice to you are these. Aer Lingus has gone completely mad. They used to be an airline I liked to fly with, and would chose over others if I had the chance, but no longer. Enough is enough. Next time we get to say a warm and fuzzy "Fuck you, Aer Lingus". Next time we're flying Lufthansa (if it actually is Lufthansa and not an Aer Lingus codeshare).