Old Mar 31, 2013, 9:25 AM
mchk mchk is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2
Default 24 Hour flight delay

Please see below my original complaint to etihad made on Feb21, 2013.

We had our flight delayed 24 hours due to mechanical issues from COK to AUH enroute to ORD. The flight from COK which was supposed to take off at 4:25AM was cancelled and we were send to a hotel (Marriot Courtyard Nedumbassery Kochi) at 10:30AM (After 6 hours). While at the hotel, our second room was provided only after an hour after constant follow up (There were 5 of us). We were not communicated when the next flight would be and when I called the travel desk of the hotel regarding this, I was asked to check out immediately and go down to the lobby so that they can accomodate new guests. We were kicked out of the hotel at 6:30pm and had to wait at the hotel lobby for 4 hours before they send us to the airport. They lied to us that the flight is at 11:30pm even though they clearly knew the flight was next day at 4:25AM. Travelling with aged parents and kids (a group of 5), this was one of the most horrible experiences I have gone through. Sleep deprived, we had to wait another 6 hours at the airport to catch the flight finally which was again more than an hour late. The flight was further delayed at AUH couple hours. During the flight, even though we had requested veg and were confirmed veg meals for my parents, they did not deliver it. It seems like when the airport staff re-scheduled the flight, all this information went off the air. We are a big family of more than 25 people travelling every year from USA to India.
I am requesting the following:
1. I know etihad pays for hotel stay, so need to better communicate with travellers when their outbound travel is and instruct the hotels not to kick the passengers out based on their convenience.
2. I am also requesting compensation for more than 24 hour delay during which we were not able to sleep for two nights and even though we were provided accomodation, most of the time was spend in hotel lobby and airport. Also due to the delay, I missed work and very important meetings which has additional financial bearings. I sincerely hope that you understand the pain we had to go through and hope this would help provide better service to customers in future. Thanks

First automated response from Etihad:
Thursday Feb, 21,2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to give us your feedback.
Your comments have been received by our Guest Affairs Department and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Please make a note of this reference number: UGywqJ

Etihad Airways Guest Affairs

Second response:
Our ref: 132286
Date February24, 2013

Dear Mr.Pillai,

Thank you for your e-mail.

The events outlined in your correspondence are under review and one of our Guest Affairs Officers will write to you once our review is complete.

This may involve a number of operational departments, and possibly third-party providers, and may take up to 18 days. Please be assured however, we will do all possible to reply within 18 days, and we thank you for your patience in the meantime.

In any future correspondence with us, please quote the above reference.

Thank you for taking the time to write to us.

Yours sincerely,

Guest Affairs Department

Third response:
Our ref: 132286

10 March 2013

Dear Mr Pillai,

Your correspondence is receiving our attention and we hope to be in a position to respond to your concerns shortly.

In the meantime, thank you for your continued patience.

Yours sincerely,

Guest Affairs Department

My email to the above message on March 27th:
I am following up on my original correspondence dated March 21, 2013. Its now over a month and I havent received any further information. Please advise.


I have not received any response to my email and it is close to 40 days since my flight. I forgot to list in my original correspondence to Etihad that I was charged by Marriot Courtyard Nedumbassery Kochi for calling an 800 number (Etihad customer service). Just listing this out for everyone to know this has happened and havent heard anything useful back from Etihad Guest affairs.
Old Mar 31, 2013, 8:41 PM
mchk mchk is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2

I got a response from Etihad within hours of posting this message. I am happy that my issues are being addressed which was the intention of my post.

Our ref: 132286

31 March 2013

Dear Mr ,

Thank you for your correspondence.

As Etihad completes the switching of the reservations system all aspects of the business are being impacted. Unfortunately this has resulted in a delay in our response to you. Please accept our apology and we thank you for your patience.

On 19 February our flight EY281 from Kochi to Abu Dhabi was cancelled due to a technical issue.

Our guests have every right to expect punctuality from Etihad and I can assure that we do everything we can to maintain good performance. However, sometimes unforeseen circumstances prevent us from operating our flights on schedule.

I am sure you can appreciate that safety of our guests and crew is of paramount importance and something we would never compromise.

I regret that the delay caused a knock on effect, resulting in you missing your onward connection from Abu Dhabi to Chicago.

In a flight disruption situation, our staff are instructed to offer all assistance feasible to passengers in an attempt to alleviate inconvenience. We have earned a reputation worldwide for our friendliness and customer focused approach. During these challenging circumstances our priority was to reduce the inconvenience to our customers and to ensure comfort during an unavoidable situation.

Our records confirm that you were rebooked to travel from Kochi to Abu Dhabi the following day with an onward connection to Chicago, which was the first available flight to complete your journey and was provided Hotel accommodation.

I have however noted your dissatisfaction with how the situation was handled and we do regret that this was the case. I have forwarded a copy of your correspondence to Kochi Airport Manager for their review of your assessment of the service received with a view to improving the same.
We are not insensitive to your concerns and we appreciate you taking the time and trouble to write to us in respect of the difficulties you experienced. Only by receiving such feedback will we be aware of where we are getting things right, and where there is room for improvement.
That said, it is never our intention to leave our Guests feeling unhappy with the services provided. With this in mind, and as a purely goodwill gesture I would like to offer you and your family members, who travelled, 20,000 Etihad Guest miles each, to be credited to your Etihad Guest Accounts. These miles can be used towards future flights, upgrades, and a whole host of other opportunities, including over 6000 items on our Etihad Guest Reward shop.

I trust that you will accept them as an extension of our apology for your experience on this occasion. If you have not already joined the programme, this can be done by enrolling on our website www.etihadguest.com . Once done, please advise your Etihad Guest numbers to enable us to credit your accounts accordingly.

Finally, I do appreciate that your experience on this occasion was not as you, or indeed we would have liked. Disruptions are inconvenient and unpleasant and I am sorry that you were caught up in this situation. Your feedback has confirmed that certain aspects of this cancellation was not handled as well as they could have been and I can offer no excuses for this, or for the fact that we did not meet your expectations. One thing we have learned however, is that communication is a very important part of any disruption, and this observation will be implemented in any future strategic plans should a similar situation occur.

We value your support and hope that the isolated sequence of events you have described do not deter you from flying with us in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Guest Affairs Officer
etihad customer service

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