Thanks But No Thanks, Liberty Helicopters

Sorry about the unintentional hiatus, you guys!!!!!!!!!!

Been crazy busy with work and personal life then tiba tiba my blogging mojo hilang gitu.....

But anyway, I am back and I actually wanted to blog about Day 4 of my NYC trip but my story pasal our sua suay kemuning pre-helicopter ride experience macam ~grew~ into its own monster story so I decided to break away from my Day 4 entry and publish it separately. Also, sorry if you like entries with bright colourful pictures because this one no have pictures, mostly just me being frustrated and angsty most of the time hahahahaha.

The story goes like this: About 2 weeks before our NYC holiday, Saliheen and I booked and paid for our helicopter ride slot with Liberty Helicopters via their website. We secured a morning slot (9.00am) and was due to fly on 9 May 2015, which was a Saturday. Of course, we later found out that this was not meant to be lah kan.

We should have seen the signs before we left for Downtown Manhattan Heliport tau!!!!!

9 May 2015

8.00am

The first sign was..... we woke up late wth. Bangun terkejut katak and we had to rush! rush! rush! out of our hotel room.

8.45am

Lepas dah rush out from our hotel room, we immediately sprinted towards the subway entrance!!! And what do we see when we arrived at the mouth of the entrance?????

A big fat 'No Entry' tape slung across the entrance.

WTH TENKZ. Takde lain hari ke ape ni?!?! I mean, we were already forewarned by friends that such subway closures do happen regularly in NYC but really??? On the very day that we were late????? Pfffffffffttt.

We didn't want to waste time checking for alternative subway lines since we were late for our appointment so we immediately hailed down a cab to go to the heliport. Kena bayar USD30 for a short 15-minute trip, beb. Lumayan, beb.

9.00am

After we arrived, we were told to go through security and fill up forms segala but once we reached to their registration counter, their employee dropped this baik punya killer on us:



"Oh, we're not flying now because it is too foggy so you will have to wait for another hour."


WTH APE SAK NI aku tengah kena punked ke ape ni, is this real life or is this Gotcha????? TENKZZZZZ EH!!!!! Takde makna nye mandi koboi and bayar USD30 kalau you're gonna tell us that!!!!!

We were a little frustrated (naturally) but we didn't tunjuk perasan or anything lah -  I mean what can they do kan, the weather was out of their control and it wasn't their fault we (thought we) were late and wasted USD30 on short cab ride. We're not unreasonable people and we know it wouldn't be fair to get angry at the service staff for something that they didn't do or couldn't control.

So on the advice of the staff to call them back in 1 hour, Saliheen and I went out and walked around the area dulu while waiting - nothing much to do because the heliport was near a central office district of sorts, which meant kat situ cuma ada offices and a few retail stores (most of which were closed since it was a weekend). 

10.00am

Called them one hour later and was told the fog belum clear and we can only come back after lunch YA OK TENKZ YEW VAIR MUCH EH. We were frustrated lah of course but we also bo pian lah right, tio bo?

We had other activities in our itinerary so we decided to get them out of the way first and then return to the heliport for our helicopter ride later in the afternoon. We checked their heliport operating hours on their website, saw that the last flight for Saturdays is 6.00pm and made a mental note to return to the heliport before that.

11.00am 

We went to Brooklyn and Coney Island for the rest of the day's planned activities (which I will blog about in Day 4)

3.30pm

Once we were done with the rest of the activities, we decided to make our way back to the heliport for our helicopter ride. I didn't want to risk it so 15 minutes before we arrived at the helicopter port, I called the contact number that was given to me by the counter staff  and asked the girl on the line "Are you guys still flying and can I come over now for my helicopter ride?" to which she said "Yes, we are still flying, yes, yes."

So okay lah woo hoo finally kita dapat naik helicopter kan! Exchange fist bumps and joget zapin segala!

3.45pm

Tapi itu semua takde makna nye because the minute we arrived at the helicopter port, we saw..... 



..... one of their employees tengah lock up the main entrance, beb. 

We told the employee that we were there for our helicopter ride but all she did was wave her hand dismissively and kept saying "No more, no more. Everyone has gone home. Helicopter has gone home. You should also go home, come back tomorrow." KEPALA HOTAK KAU BERJAMBUL LAH

I was flabbergasted sak. Their website says their last flight is at 6.00pm and it wasn't even 4.00pm yet! I also freaking called their office 15 minutes before to ask if I can go over for my helicopter ride goddamnit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And now this unhelpful employee is dismissing me and telling me no, no, no we are not flying anymore, the helicopters have gone home and I should go home too????? WHAT KIND OF RUBBISH IS THIS????? Change your operating time on your website and change the person who picks up your calls then!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She told us to call their office the next day to reschedule our helicopter ride. FINE.

10 May 2015

10.00am

Just before we left the hotel, Saliheen and I discussed our possible timings for our helicopter and we established that the best timings for us were either on this day between 1pm to 2pm or the next day between 1pm to 2pm as well.

I called their office's number to do the rescheduling and a male employee from their main office picked up my call. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi, my name is Farhana and I am calling to reschedule my helicopter appointment. 
Male Employee: Ok sure... can I have your reservation number?
Me: Reservation no. ******
Male Employee: Ok... You were supposed to fly yesterday?
Me: Yes, but they turned me away because of the weather... the fog.
Male Employee: Oh ok... Which date and time would you like to reschedule to?
Me: Do you have any available slot today?
Male Employee: Nope, we only have available slots for tomorrow.
Me: Okay... Do you have slots tomorrow in the afternoon?
Male Employee: I have an afternoon slot for 12.30pm.
Me: Anything else later than 12.30pm?
Male Employee: No, we only have a 12.30pm slot tomorrow. 
Me: Reaaaaally no way to squeeze me in between 1.00pm to 2.00pm? I am also ok with 2.30pm latest.
Male Employee: No. 12.30pm is the only available slot in the afternoon. 
Me: (after a desperate frantic consultation with Saliheen) Ok then we'll take the 12.30pm slot.
Male Employee: Okay, your new appointment is now confirmed.

After I put down the phone, Saliheen and I looked at each other in despair (hahaha) Macam mana ni! Takkan kita nak tweak itinerary lagi! I was sooooo tak puas hati (since their employees whom we've met have proven to be such unreliable jerks) that I decided to call again almost immediately - their service has been so inconsistent so far, no harm trying my luck, I thought. I got a different (female) employee for my second call, which went something like this:

Me: Hi, my name is Farhana and I am calling to reschedule my helicopter appointment. 
Female Employee:  Ok sure... can I have your reservation number?
Me: Reservation no. ******
Female Employee:  Ok... When would you like to fly, ma'am?
Me: My current appointment is tomorrow at 12.30pm, right?
Female Employee: Yes, that's correct.
Me: Ok, I still want to fly tomorrow but I want to change it to a later timing. Do you have any slots later than 12.30pm?
Female Employee: Ah ok, let me check the system for you... 
Me: Yes please, thank you.
Female Employee: Okay, let's see... We have 3 available slots - there's 1.15pm, 1.45pm and 4.00pm.
Me: Oh you do????? Great! Can you change my appointment to the 1.45pm slot?
Female Employee: Sure! I have confirmed your new appointment at 1.45pm tomorrow.



!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You have no idea how much I wanted to punch the employee who took my first phonecall!!!!! If I had called hours after that first phonecall then ok lah boleh kasi benefit of doubt, maybe other customers cancelled their appointments in between ke ape. But my second phonecall was seriously within a minute of my first phonecall ok!!!!! And takkan within a minute, tiba tiba got 3 available slots magically appear for the afternoon?!?!?! Don't know why he was so bloody dengki and insisted 12.30pm was the only choice I had. Ni pun lagi satu kepala hotak kau berjambul betul.

But whatever lah. Dah terjadi pun, and aku dah naik helicopter dorang pun. The helicopter ride was (fortunately) very different from the pre-flight service - the ride was so fun and so awesome and a beautiful memory that I will cherish forevzzzzz!!!!! I will blog more about that in a later entry.

But now that I know the pre-flight service at Liberty Helicopters is bloody rubbish, if I ever get to return to NYC and wish to experience a helicopter ride again, I'd most definitely:

(1) Choose another operator (maybe the NY On Air one that vlogger FunForLouis went on! You can stick your legs out of the helicopter so fun for what!!!!!)

(2) Fix my appointment only when I am in NYC to better anticipate the weather. In the event I must book it in advance, I'd probably choose afternoon slots instead of mornings to void the fog at the heliport.

(3) Call first before I arrive at the heliport to check on weather and availability (although this wouldn't matter with Liberty Helicopters because they don't seem to be very reliable with their phone replies. Sheesh.)

(4) Choose another operator.

(5) CHOOSE ANOTHER OPERATOR.

Haaaaaaa... maka berakhirlah my complains pasal service Liberty Helicopters yang tak berguna tu. Boring eh baca cerita pasal orang tengah tak happy??? I pun boring blogging pasal benda yang buat cekik darah. I promise lepas ni my NYC blog entries dah tak angsty because the rest of the other days lagi fun! And tak cekik darah sangat.

4 comments

  1. Ah yay finally!!! dah lama I tunggu lolol. wah sorry to hear about your experience :( soooooo irritating!!! and smart of you to call again to try your luck though, I don't think I would have thought of that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually I wouldn't think of calling for the second time too! But the company's staff proved to be unreliable and untrustworthy, and it made me doubt them enough to double check their claims :/

      Delete
  2. hahahah irritating kan. nasib you called again!

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.