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COMPLAINT: Qatar Airways Flight QR 129 Refuses to let Mother hold her infant!

 
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  #1  
Old Mar 12, 2014, 2:16 PM
victimofQA victimofQA is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 3

Below is copy of mail sent to QA - but not even received an acknowledgement...

Dear Sir / Madam,

I am writing to you today with reference to our recent flight on your airlines and the extraordinary treatment we were submitted to by one of your staff.

At the onset, let me begin by stating that both my wife and myself are United Nations employees and are frequent flyers. Together we have traveled, lived and worked in over 30 countries in the past decade. And take between 6 – 10 international flights a year.

Recently my family ( myself, my wife and our 2 daughters aged 3 years & 6 months) were booked flights on Qatar Airway as per the following schedule:
- QR 837 from Bangkok to Doha on the 1st of March
- QR 129 from Doha to Venice on the 1st of March (departs Doha at 9:05 am)
For both the above flights I had been booked on a Business Class ticket while the family had Economy Class tickets.

On flight QR 837 I was in Business and carried my 6 month old infant with me. We had planned that I would keep the infant with me and then once she awakes would take her back to her mother in Economy. The flight crew took excellent care of us and indeed, did everything to ensure that the flight was pleasant. This included them repeatedly going to the Economy Class to reassure my wife and informing her that all was well and that our 6 month old daughter was doing well with her father ! Further, without me even asking, the flight attendant (Praveen) asked me if I required baby food. When the infant awoke, I took her back to my wife. Flying on QR 837 was a excellent experience for us as a family.

Upon arrival in Doha, we had a four hour layover before our next flight – QR 129.

As we boarded QR 129, I decided that my wife could take my business class seat for some time and carry our infant daughter who was asleep while I would sit in Economy along with our 3 year old. From here on – our nightmare began.

The attendant in charge of Business Class began to complain and indeed be abusive to my wife – on the grounds that she could NOT carry the infant into business class as the 6 month old did not have a business class ticket! My wife was first told to vacate Business class. After it was (politely) explained to your staff member she then said that my wife could sit in Business BUT not the sleeping infant in her arms! In other words, even though I or with my consent (as I hold the ticket) my wife could sit in business class, our 6 month old sleeping infant cannot sit on one of our laps even for a BRIEF time during takeoff – is this Qatar Airways policy? If so, where is this specified? And why did the crew of QR 837 not have an issue with this?

The following points need to be noted:

1. The language and behaviour of this flight attendant in charge of Business Class was so downright bad that even Business Class passengers and those in Economy who could follow the situation urged us to officialy complain at the behavior of your staff.


2. NO business class passenger had a problem with one of us sitting in business class with our infant.

3. Other business class passengers watching this immediately offered to give their seat up and sit in economy. Obviously, we were not going to take such advantage of the kindness of strangers.

4. We (myself & my wife) made it very clear that when the infant woke up – she would immediately be taken out of business class and seated along with one parent in Economy – as we did on Flight QR 837.

5. We also made it clear that our elder child (3 years) would at no point be brought into Business

6. The ONLY person who had a problem was one flight attendant. Her behavior only got worse – especially when she realized that other passengers were openly supporting us and even one member of the senior ground crew who in front of passengers said and I quote “ sir, I too am a father and I knew how you feel. But this person is refusing to listen to me too”.

7. The flight was held up while my wife and me tried to speak to a insulting crew member while trying to manage 2 children.

So we gave up our Business Class ticket. Even though we had one business class ticket, and despite the fact that we had done NOTHING wrong – based solely on the appalling behavior of only one of your flight crew, we gave up our Business Class ticket. Indeed, I requested a pregnant women sitting near us in Economy to kindly go ahead and take my seat and the family sat in Economy.

When I asked the attendant to please let me speak to the Captain AFTER we landed – she flatly refused.
When we told her we would be complaining about her behavior she laughed and asked us to go ahead and walked away. The impression we got from her was that a complain is not going to be of any use. Indeed, we had to repeatedly ask for her name before it was given (CSD Dimitrinka is what she said)

Nevertheless I am writing to Qatar Airways first in the hope that there will be a forthcoming reply.

In particular I would like to know – on what grounds does your airlines tolerate such behavior from your staff? As a business class traveler, one expects basic courtesy. While I have on many occasions as a frequent flyer sympathized with the trials and tribulations of an airline crew – at NO point did my wife raise our voices or even stoop to the behavior exhibited by your bursar.

Is it official Qatar Airways policy to insist that a mother (or father) sitting in Business Class NOT hold an infant for even a short duration if that infant does not hold its own business class ticket? So in other words, your airline policy is we do not care?

As already mentioned, Ms. Dimitrinka made it very clear that our complaint was futile and go no where. Nevertheless we write to you before seeking other avenues.

I hope you are as appalled as we our at the treatment accorded to your customers. Looking forward to hearing from you.
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  #2  
Old Mar 13, 2014, 12:50 AM
Der Richter Der Richter is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 62

I am shocked, shocked that an airline would have the temerity to expect a passenger to pay for the seat they attempt to occupy.
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  #3  
Old Mar 13, 2014, 5:46 AM
victimofQA victimofQA is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 3

Captain, perhaps you could take a minute to read the admitedly long email again? Or indeed for the first time?

We had paid seats. And more importantly the issue being raised had nothing to do with expecting free seating - as you seem to imply.

And also note our experience on flight QR 837.

Au revoir.
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  #4  
Old Mar 13, 2014, 7:53 AM
bilingual bilingual is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 84

Originally Posted by victimofQA View Post
Below is copy of mail sent to QA - but not even received an acknowledgement...

Dear Sir / Madam,

I am writing to you today with reference to our recent flight on your airlines and the extraordinary treatment we were submitted to by one of your staff.

At the onset, let me begin by stating that both my wife and myself are United Nations employees and are frequent flyers. Together we have traveled, lived and worked in over 30 countries in the past decade. And take between 6 – 10 international flights a year.

Recently my family ( myself, my wife and our 2 daughters aged 3 years & 6 months) were booked flights on Qatar Airway as per the following schedule:
- QR 837 from Bangkok to Doha on the 1st of March
- QR 129 from Doha to Venice on the 1st of March (departs Doha at 9:05 am)
For both the above flights I had been booked on a Business Class ticket while the family had Economy Class tickets.

On flight QR 837 I was in Business and carried my 6 month old infant with me. We had planned that I would keep the infant with me and then once she awakes would take her back to her mother in Economy. The flight crew took excellent care of us and indeed, did everything to ensure that the flight was pleasant. This included them repeatedly going to the Economy Class to reassure my wife and informing her that all was well and that our 6 month old daughter was doing well with her father ! Further, without me even asking, the flight attendant (Praveen) asked me if I required baby food. When the infant awoke, I took her back to my wife. Flying on QR 837 was a excellent experience for us as a family.

Upon arrival in Doha, we had a four hour layover before our next flight – QR 129.

As we boarded QR 129, I decided that my wife could take my business class seat for some time and carry our infant daughter who was asleep while I would sit in Economy along with our 3 year old. From here on – our nightmare began.

The attendant in charge of Business Class began to complain and indeed be abusive to my wife – on the grounds that she could NOT carry the infant into business class as the 6 month old did not have a business class ticket! My wife was first told to vacate Business class. After it was (politely) explained to your staff member she then said that my wife could sit in Business BUT not the sleeping infant in her arms! In other words, even though I or with my consent (as I hold the ticket) my wife could sit in business class, our 6 month old sleeping infant cannot sit on one of our laps even for a BRIEF time during takeoff – is this Qatar Airways policy? If so, where is this specified? And why did the crew of QR 837 not have an issue with this?

The following points need to be noted:

1. The language and behaviour of this flight attendant in charge of Business Class was so downright bad that even Business Class passengers and those in Economy who could follow the situation urged us to officialy complain at the behavior of your staff.


2. NO business class passenger had a problem with one of us sitting in business class with our infant.

3. Other business class passengers watching this immediately offered to give their seat up and sit in economy. Obviously, we were not going to take such advantage of the kindness of strangers.

4. We (myself & my wife) made it very clear that when the infant woke up – she would immediately be taken out of business class and seated along with one parent in Economy – as we did on Flight QR 837.

5. We also made it clear that our elder child (3 years) would at no point be brought into Business

6. The ONLY person who had a problem was one flight attendant. Her behavior only got worse – especially when she realized that other passengers were openly supporting us and even one member of the senior ground crew who in front of passengers said and I quote “ sir, I too am a father and I knew how you feel. But this person is refusing to listen to me too”.

7. The flight was held up while my wife and me tried to speak to a insulting crew member while trying to manage 2 children.

So we gave up our Business Class ticket. Even though we had one business class ticket, and despite the fact that we had done NOTHING wrong – based solely on the appalling behavior of only one of your flight crew, we gave up our Business Class ticket. Indeed, I requested a pregnant women sitting near us in Economy to kindly go ahead and take my seat and the family sat in Economy.

When I asked the attendant to please let me speak to the Captain AFTER we landed – she flatly refused.
When we told her we would be complaining about her behavior she laughed and asked us to go ahead and walked away. The impression we got from her was that a complain is not going to be of any use. Indeed, we had to repeatedly ask for her name before it was given (CSD Dimitrinka is what she said)

Nevertheless I am writing to Qatar Airways first in the hope that there will be a forthcoming reply.

In particular I would like to know – on what grounds does your airlines tolerate such behavior from your staff? As a business class traveler, one expects basic courtesy. While I have on many occasions as a frequent flyer sympathized with the trials and tribulations of an airline crew – at NO point did my wife raise our voices or even stoop to the behavior exhibited by your bursar.

Is it official Qatar Airways policy to insist that a mother (or father) sitting in Business Class NOT hold an infant for even a short duration if that infant does not hold its own business class ticket? So in other words, your airline policy is we do not care?

As already mentioned, Ms. Dimitrinka made it very clear that our complaint was futile and go no where. Nevertheless we write to you before seeking other avenues.

I hope you are as appalled as we our at the treatment accorded to your customers. Looking forward to hearing from you.
To be very honest, i do not think infants or small children should ever enter Business class, regardless of their voice level, people pay a lot of money for being able to enjoy a higher level of service and tranquility.

Qatar does not imply that infants are not accepted in Business class, but the facts are very clear, you did not buy business class infant seat for your infant and so the infant must be seated in Economy regardless of the courtsey of the first flight, the price difference between eco/inf and buz/inf is considerable.
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  #5  
Old Mar 13, 2014, 8:21 AM
victimofQA victimofQA is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 3

Hi there. Thanks for the feedback.

In fact I do agree with you - to an extent. The point I'm trying to stress is more the behaviour of one particular attendent. It was never about trying to wrangle a free seat or get some perk that we were not entitled too. This was a case of a sleeping 6 month old on the lap of a parent. With the understanding that she would shortly be moved back to Economy.

Indeed, we did exactly that for the first flight.

And even if we go strictly by law - meaning the kid cannot ever enter the business class, the language and behaviour was so crass and over the top....that as menetioned strangers felt moved to offer us their seat.

My point is not that my kid should be allowed to sit in BC thru the flight for free - its more the bahviour of one person which I wish to highlight- indeed the ground crew came to us - as I note.

Thanks,
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