Etihd Airways

Feb 16th, 2010, 03:34 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 22
Etihd Airways

On our last trip to Europe from Australia we used Etihad. The trip started of with a two hour wait at Sydney airport which resulted in us arriving in Abu Dhabi at exactly the time that our connecting flight to Frankfurt took off. Unfortunately they did not hold the plane for the little extra time it would have taken to transfer around 30 passengers that were affected and their luggage. We were transferred to a hotel in Dubai and the next day put on an afternoon flight to Frankfurt. This already made us nervous as we had a Lan Air flight to Madrid that evening from Frankfurt (13 hour gap with our original arrival time in which I had arranged to meet a friend in Frankfurt - luckily I could ring her from Dubai to cancel it)and it would mean that we did not have the required 2 hours prior to flight check in time available anymore. At the flight desk we made the staff aware of this and they took all our flight details and promised that the ground staff in Frankfurt would contact LAN air to make them aware of this.

Unfortunately as soon as we boarded the Etihad flight to Frankfurt there was an announcement that the plane was damaged during cargo loading and there would be a short delay as repairs were taken care off. Not fun sitting on the tarmac there in 38C heat. I was really worried about my connecting flight by now and the flight staff assured us that even if we missed the plane Etihad would take care of another flight and hotel in Frankfurt if necessary.

Nearly two hours later we finally took off and again arrived as our LAN air flight left Frankfurt. Ground staff met us as we disembarked and told us that in Hall 5 Etihad would take care of us.

As there was left baggage in Hall 5 we had to first wait quite a while before the area was declared safe and then we went to the Etiahd counter were someone flatly told us that it was bad luck as the connecting flight was not with Etihad. Wow that was just too much after all the time that it took us to get there. We asked to speak to someone else who first had the same answer for us telling us the plane was not that late in arriving and therefore it was our fault for booking a flight so soon after estimated arrival time. After explaining to her that we left 13 hours between flights and this should be enough time in anyones book she agreed to book us into a hotel for the night with dinner but as she could only find flights to Madrid for 1000 euros per person (German school holiays started the next day) she could not authorise the purchase for tickets and she advised us to have a shop around ourselves and then claim the money back from Etihad on our arrival back in Sydney. I ran around the airport and the best I could come up with was two tickets for 1350 euros together as we were short of choices I paid for these and the next morning wed could continue our journey (in the meantime I had missed meeting my niece in Madrid for dinner). Arriving in Madrid we found ot that our hotel had cancelled our booking and our room was taken by someone else (would this nightmare ever end) Luckily they helped us find somewhere else.

As I was now weary of airtravel and delays etc. I decided to email Lan Air and make sure our return flights to Frankfurt were still ok. No they were not ...apparently they cancel the whole ticket if yo do't turn up. I had several people (including spanish speaking) try to undo this but it was not possible. Luckily my tickets purchased in Frankfurt at the last minute were return tickets the only problem they were for a day later which would now cancel my rail ticket for the original day so they had to be re-purchased.

Having arrived back home we contacted Etihad immediately and were told that we should try and claim it of our travel insurance first. This claim was denied being technical difficulties .. so back to Etihad. Many emails later and terrific apologies from them we weren't getting anywhere. So I wrote a letter to the CEO who got his customer service manager to email me and offer us 20,000 Etihad airmails each. I did some research on their airmiles site and discovered that that amount of airmiles is totally useless for us especially since we live in would not get us anywhere and hardly make a dent in the price of a ticket to Abu Dhabi never mind europe.

To say that I am dissapointed would be an understatement. I have to say the service on board was very nice etc. But the service afterwards has been dismal. All in all it became a very expensve trip for us and the first days were stressful to say the least - to have them not even repay the flight tickets never mind all the other expense we incurred is bad serviceas far as we are concerned and we have never been treated like that by any airline. I have had plenty of delays in my time but they have never cost me anything but time and stress.

I gave them plenty of time to make amends and the only thing I have left to make myself feel better is to vent my anger and warn others via public travel sights
jacks12 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2010, 04:08 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,005
What a nightmare!

Thank you that you have told us your story. I have put Etihad on my personal black list of airlines.

For me, reliability is the major aspect of airline quality. Everything else - comfort, services, meals, colour of seats and, yes, price - is secondary.
Echnaton is offline  
Feb 18th, 2010, 04:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,003
Sounds to me like Etihad handled this about the same way as any other airline would handle it. Which is to say, tough luck if you have 2 separate tickets.
DonTopaz is online now  
Feb 28th, 2010, 08:28 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 22
Well rizzuto I have never had two seperate airline tickets until now. Only had to do it as Ethihad didn't fly directly to Madrid and I needed to have a week in Germany somewhere in between - what is one to do then? In my innocence I thought 13 hours would be enough time to cover all things that could go wrong with a flight. I think an airline has to take responsiblity when they obviously don't maintain there planes well enough as 2 flights in a row where delayed.
jacks12 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2010, 11:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,272
Nothing about your itinerary necessitates buying 2 separate tickets, even flying on multiple airlines.

As for taking responsibility, it certainly sounds to me like Ethiad fulfilled all the responsibility you contracted them to - and that was get you to Frankfurt. As rizzuto said it really sounds no different than how any other airline would have handled it, unfortunately for you in your innocence.

For future reference, this is where using a travel agent (person or online) and booking a multi-city itinerary would have really helped - they could have booked your entire trip on one ticket and your contract would then have been from SYD to MAD.
J62 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 01:47 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,005
J62 argues like a lawyer who works for an U.S. based airline.

If you had booked your ticket in Europe, you would be entitled for a compensation.

Besides, in the old times, there were such things like "service" or "goodwill". Still, some airlines are better in this respect and others are worse. I always book the better ones, even if I have to pay 10% more for a ticket. It is a good investment.

And if I read here frequently that travellers choose the airline just because of their inflight entertainment system, I always think to myself "it's their own fault, if things go wrong".

I admit I had done the mistake when I booked a transatlantic flight with United Airlines, just because their BC seats were slightly better than Lufthansa's. Never again.
Echnaton is offline  
Apr 6th, 2010, 10:47 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 22
Well I was saving money by not using Etihad all the way and wanted to have a week in between getting back from Spain and going back to Sydney that usually involves a more expensive ticket. I guess I paid the price anyway but I am still expecting the old fashioned customer service when you were offered something to eat or drink if your plane was delayed etc. that does not seem to be the case anymore.
jacks12 is offline  
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