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Old Jul 4th 2008, 6:33 am   #1
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Thumbs down Etihad Airways - Customer Service at its worst

Just like to share our experience of Etihad with everyone over the last few weeks.

A few weeks ago we had the nightmare situation of trying to get back to the UK to see my sick brother who had gone onto life support. We organised urgent flights with Karen at Escape travel who was brilliant in sorting out quick flights within just a few hours. The flights were from Brisbane to Birmingham with various stopovers.

Sadly on the way back to the UK my brother died and the next week or so was taken up with organising his funeral and supporting the rest of the family as we were obviously very upset.

As part of the original flight booking we had a hotel stopover (at Abu Dhabi) included in the flight back. Whilst in the UK the offer was withdrawn with no alternative accommodation available. Karen the travel agent highlighted this and forwarded on the official withdrawal note form Etihad and we then started the process of trying to get Etihad to honour our accommodation and try to arrange something for us in the circumstances. After chasing Etihad several times and outlining what we had been through with the death of my brother they still did not offer any accommodation or even access to the airline lounge at Abu Dhabi – shocking considering we had 27 hours before the next connecting flight. I was promised on two occasions that they would call me back and that our case would be escalated to regional managers but to date we have still had no response.

With a few days left before we were due to return to Australia, Karen our travel agent arranged accommodation and has assured us that taxi costs to/from the airport to the hotel will be covered by them.

I think in our circumstances Etihad could of least offered us access to the airport lounge, if not alternative accommodation. I outlined to them over the phone that I would rather be spending time with my family than arguing over a hotel we had paid for and they had then withdrawn.

Customer service at its worst....

Rich.
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Old Jul 4th 2008, 7:13 am   #2
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Default Re: Etihad Airways - Customer Service at its worst

Sorry to hear your problems.

When my father died about 10 weeks ago, we tried to get QANTAS to offer the special fares that they claim to do in the circumstances, but they would not move even $1 from their absolute top price fare.
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Old Jul 4th 2008, 7:33 am   #3
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Default Re: Etihad Airways - Customer Service at its worst

Sorry to hear about your brother. It must have been extremely traumatic for you and your family without having to contend with this too.

My sister flew via Ethiad and they did the same to her. They changed flights, changed overnight conditions and all at short notice. She was led to believe this was a one off but it makes you wonder. She didn't have the trauma that you had to contend with yet it was stressful enough with all the changes at short notice. She was also tired due to the long journey and overnight accommodation being cancelled.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I shall let my sis know that maybe next time she chooses a different airline.

Sorry to hear about your brother and I hope time is a good healer.
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Old Jul 4th 2008, 7:42 am   #4
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Default Re: Etihad Airways - Customer Service at its worst

Quote:
Originally Posted by PegLeg View Post
Just like to share our experience of Etihad with everyone over the last few weeks.

A few weeks ago we had the nightmare situation of trying to get back to the UK to see my sick brother who had gone onto life support. We organised urgent flights with Karen at Escape travel who was brilliant in sorting out quick flights within just a few hours. The flights were from Brisbane to Birmingham with various stopovers.

Sadly on the way back to the UK my brother died and the next week or so was taken up with organising his funeral and supporting the rest of the family as we were obviously very upset.

As part of the original flight booking we had a hotel stopover (at Abu Dhabi) included in the flight back. Whilst in the UK the offer was withdrawn with no alternative accommodation available. Karen the travel agent highlighted this and forwarded on the official withdrawal note form Etihad and we then started the process of trying to get Etihad to honour our accommodation and try to arrange something for us in the circumstances. After chasing Etihad several times and outlining what we had been through with the death of my brother they still did not offer any accommodation or even access to the airline lounge at Abu Dhabi – shocking considering we had 27 hours before the next connecting flight. I was promised on two occasions that they would call me back and that our case would be escalated to regional managers but to date we have still had no response.

With a few days left before we were due to return to Australia, Karen our travel agent arranged accommodation and has assured us that taxi costs to/from the airport to the hotel will be covered by them.

I think in our circumstances Etihad could of least offered us access to the airport lounge, if not alternative accommodation. I outlined to them over the phone that I would rather be spending time with my family than arguing over a hotel we had paid for and they had then withdrawn.

Customer service at its worst....

Rich.
i am sure there is a law, whereas if a stopover is over a 24 hour period the airline HAS to provide accommodation. leave it with me, i will check it tomorrow for you.
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Old Jul 4th 2008, 9:52 pm   #5
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Default Re: Etihad Airways - Customer Service at its worst

Thanks for the replies.

Just thought we'd raise our experience of them so anyone else who may be thinking of traveling with them can be informed.

If they have done something illegal then I'd certainly be interested - maybe best to PM me any details in that case.

R.
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Old Jul 5th 2008, 8:50 am   #6
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Default Re: Etihad Airways - Customer Service at its worst

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Originally Posted by Sleeping Beauty View Post
i am sure there is a law, whereas if a stopover is over a 24 hour period the airline HAS to provide accommodation. leave it with me, i will check it tomorrow for you.
Not when I came over, but then, I did choose to fly 27 hours after arriving.
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Old Jul 5th 2008, 4:17 pm   #7
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Default Re: Etihad Airways - Customer Service at its worst

I'm really sorry for your news and your experience.
Funnily enough there was a thread on here a few days ago that quoted the "Which" magazine top 10 long haul airlines and Etihad was up there !!! Perhaps you should let Which know how wrong they got it !!!
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Old Jul 5th 2008, 8:24 pm   #8
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Default Re: Etihad Airways - Customer Service at its worst

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I'm really sorry for your news and your experience.
Funnily enough there was a thread on here a few days ago that quoted the "Which" magazine top 10 long haul airlines and Etihad was up there !!! Perhaps you should let Which know how wrong they got it !!!
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Which magazine is a UK publication and the survey would be on UK flyers on the whole which is why BMI feature there. So they don't take into account any Australian flyers views or regional differences.

Most online review sites and airline comparisons place Etihad amongst the worst for customer service, ground and logistics issues. But most of the business and routes they operate are not UK based.
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