✅ Trip Verified
| Lisbon to Horta. It is infamous for being unreliable due to having an ancient fleet and the temperamental weather in the Azores. My own experience with the airline is reasonable once on board, but very negative on the way there. Initially, I had booked a Business Class ticket because these are flexible and the website promises "free" changes and refunds, and because of the luggage allowance and comfort. When I asked to change the ticket to a different flight on the same day, staff asked for an "admin fee". I pointed out that the website promised this was free, but they ignored this and insisted. I showed them screenshots, showed them the terms and conditions of the ticket, but they would not budge. Ultimately, I cancelled the ticket (which also cost an admin fee despite being promised this was free) because this airline is dishonest, and doesn't deserve the extra revenue. So I booked an economy ticket. When, I realised that the luggage allowance wasn't going to suffice, I checked the website to see if I could pre-pay for extra luggage. There was no such option, but some quick maths revealed that it was cheaper to buy a ticket than to pay for the 23kg of luggage allowance each ticket includes. So, after again looking through the terms and conditions and not finding anything which precludes passengers from buying more than one ticket, that's what I did. (Incidentally, I did the exact same thing for the British Airways flight taking me to Lisbon). After checking in online and choosing two adjacent seats for myself, I turned up at the airport to drop off the luggage. Things did not go well. Staff told me they were cancelling my second ticket. Not only that, but they told me "this is a no refund fare" so they cancelled it without refunding, then charged me the full amount for the extra luggage. I repeatedly asked them to show me which terms and conditions I had broken (none), and which policies they were following (also none), but to no avail. They would not even answer the questions. I pointed out that British Airways had accepted the same solution without a problem the day before, but they just shrugged. It was like talking to - and asking questions of - a brick wall. As I was the only customer there, it wasn't even as if they had a queue of people to worry about - they just would not try to resolve the situation. If you look at the Azores Airlines website, you'll see that their rules and terms are rudimentary. They look as if they were copied from a template document, without being updated by anyone. When faced with any scenario they aren't used to, staff will try to make the problem go away, without any regard for passengers' rights, or legal contracts. They also will not respond to your written complaints (I complained over a month ago) or the Online Dispute Resolution Service their site links to. Unfortunately, when booking a flight with Azores Airlines, you take the risk that the airline takes your money and doesn't hold up its end of the deal. The flight itself was uneventful. On-board staff were ok, and a ham and cheese sandwich was served. There was no vegetarian option (even though I ticked a box during booking), but for a 2.5 hour flight, it's not the end of the world.