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Old Dec 28, 2010, 11:48 AM
InSearchOfQuality InSearchOfQuality is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 4
Default OS352 Austrian Airlines - Waiting forever

This is the real story of suffering of two families who tried to fly from Brussels to Dubai via Austrian Airlines on 19 December 2010. The two families consisted of 5 adults and 2 young boys who intended to go on vacation by taking a cruise ship in Dubai. Here is what happened on 19 and 20 December 2010:
We planned to take the OS352 flight of Austrian Airlines (AA) from Brussels to Vienna and from Vienna OS839 of AA to Dubai. OS352 departure was scheduled as 10:10. There was snow in Brussels, but apart from a few minor delays the airport functioned normally. We waited for embarkation. Then there was an announcement saying OS352 will be delayed by 25 minutes. We waited and waited. Finally towards 12:00 we embarked and at 12:05 the plane took off. Our connection flight to Dubai the OS839 of Austrian Airlines was scheduled to depart at 13:00 from Vienna. In Brussels and also inside the plane we repeatedly told the AA personnel about our situation. The response was "Do not worry AA will do whatever is necessary". So we arrived in Vienna and were faced by a total chaos. In the plane we were told to go to the Service Desk. So we did. In front of the Austrian Airlines Service Desk a crowd of more than 200 passengers and behind the counter only 3 people. Obviously the Dubai plane was gone. What happened to our luggage? We tried to speak to the AA personnel in vain. We were told to wait. Yes wait but the queue did not move even 1 cm. While waiting we saw that a plane of the Emirates to Dubai was prepared to depart at 15:00 with sufficient places to accommodate us. We wanted the AA personnel to help us in vain. None from AA seemed to care. On the contrary someone came and told us that we will never make it to Dubai in time to catch our cruise ship from Costa Cruises. As a result we waited four long hours without moving in the queue. In the end we arrived at the counter. A lady of AA managed to find an AA flight to Milan departing at around 18:00 and from there at around 21:20 an Emirates flight to Dubai. So we took those flights and reached Dubai at 8:00 on 20 December only to spend another 2 hours running around in the airport trying to submit a claim for our lost luggage. Again none from Austrian Airlines to talk to. Luckily the Air Emirates personnel were quite helpful and competent. Our luggage arrived in Dubai on 21 December and were transported to the ship in Muscade by the highly competent Costa Cruises personnel.
Now, there may be snow, delays, planes my be missed, problems may always occur, but the modern world has a mechanism called Crises Management to deal with such situations. It looks as though Austrian Airlines is unaware of this mechanism. We had to stay most of the time standing, walking under stress without sleep for around 28 hours. This is a real story of modern times air industry.