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Old May 17, 2018, 1:35 PM
NallyBally NallyBally is offline
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 1
Unhappy Etihad: Severely lacking in basic knowledge and completely unwilling to help

Dear Mary,

Unfortunately I found your response to be entirely unsatisfactory and it would seem you did not read my letter in its entirety?

I am indeed solely responsible for the visa, as I explicitly acknowledged in my letter.

However, Etihad are responsible for customer service and that is what was missing in this case, in multiple instances.

Had your staff known what they were doing, they would have been able to apply for the visa on my behalf at the check-in desk for the cost of 50 USD which they mentioned but then thought it was only a possibility for German residents – I have checked this and it is simply not true, this is also evident in me being able to apply for the visa online myself within 13 mins (evidence attached in my first email).

Similarly, they should have encouraged me to apply for the visa myself online simultaneously – had they done this, I would have had the visa within 13 mins of arriving at the check-in desk (as also demonstrated by the timings in my attachments after I left the check-in desk) and again, I would have made the flight.

If the online check-in message had alerted me to the fact that I needed a visa, that it was missing or indeed that there was any kind of problem when I tried to check-in the night before, I would have again made the flight.

Not to mention your staff leaving the desk while my bag was still on the scales and I was in tears!

I honestly feel there were so many ways in which Etihad could have helped me to make the flight, but they repeatedly let me down.

What about the fact that your Munich staff told me I couldn’t travel to Abu Dhabi and apply for the visa once there during my layover and yet your staff in Abu Dhabi told me that I could have? Who is correct and why are your team not aligned on this?

Why was I charged a “no-show” fee when your staff at Munich told me that would definitely not happen as they would verify that I was indeed present at the airport and on time? I know that your customer service team emailed the Munich staff to confirm this and assured me this portion of the fees AT LEAST would be refunded as soon as possible. This has still not happened.

The experience of having to wait at the airport for another 12 hours was traumatic enough without having to pay so very much money to be re-booked onto the next flight.

To reiterate my expectations:

I look forward to hearing from you in regards to this matter and an appropriate means of making up to me the time and financial losses I have encountered as a result of Etihad’s poor handling of what could easily have been a salvageable situation. I would expect a full refund on the re-booking (including the $200 that was paid to the agent as every element of that payment was due to Etihad’s inability and then refusal to help me take the first flight) as well as compensation for 1 day’s loss of holiday (time and expenses incurred in the 12 hours I had to wait at Munich Airport as well as arriving a day later and missing an important dinner I was due to attend on Monday night).

I would certainly think twice about recommending Etihad both personally and professionally if I am not given a reasonable outcome – running the global social media presences for an established global brand also gives me the know-how to make this case as widely known as possible should I not be compensated fairly.

I would like this case escalated if there is any misunderstanding in the exact situation being raised here - which is ultimately a combination of shocking customer service and a complete lack of knowledge by your staff.

In addition, may you also take the time to explain why there was a combination of Lufthansa and Etihad staff on the check-in desk for an Etihad flight and yet you are not part of the same alliance?


terrible airline, terrible customer service, terrible experience, upsetting

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