On my travels I found myself in a fine hotel in Central Milan. I came in about Midnight the previous night from London (courtesy the atrocious service of Easy-Jet*).
At 6.15AM I was up for my morning meeting - via a fast-train to Bologna. My shirt was clean courtesy the expensive London laundry. I just wanted an ironing board to press out the wrinkles.
There was not one in the room - so I rang reception. I asked them to bring one up. They said "impossible" which I found peculiar. An ironing board is a pretty standard service in a 4 star business hotel.
Then they explained that they could not get one before 7.30 (which was just before my train left). I said this was a bad fail for a business hotel.
Then they said something that was so stereotypical Italian it left me breathless. They told me it would be against the law to bring an ironing board to my room before 7.30 am.
I told this to my Bologna business contact and he scoffed. Of course somewhere in the 10 million lines of Italian code there is - of course - something that talks about ironing boards. Dysfunctional government (at least by the standards of OECD countries) is an iconic feature of Italy - but this was not government as a problem - it was government as an excuse.
At least Easy-Jet don't blame the government for their bad - even rude - service.
*If anyone knows why European discount carriers are so horrible but Southwest (surely a similar model) is so pleasant (at least in a relative sense) let me know. In the USA I will fly Southwest in preference to any other airline. In Europe I am learning to avoid the discount airlines.
A post script is warranted: Part of my dislike of Easy-Jet had to do with a ridiculous overcharge of GBP12. Trivial really. However when I complained at the counter the discussion had the tone of "I can see you are right but our computer won't let me refund the money so sorry". Silly stuff that indicated process over service. And I had 90 minutes at an airport and was frazzled. Not a good combination. I did not raise my voice - just walked away frustrated.
In frustration I wrote a (nasty) letter to them. I do not think they linked me to this blog - but they refunded the 12 pounds. I think that marks them as several steps better than Ryan Air. I have not quite forgiven but I think I am prepared to give them another go.
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