My family just suffered the worst customer service and absolutely inhumane treatment from Etihad Airways flying a long haul flight, Melbourne to Lahore. I am an Etihad Guest Member, and hold status with Emirates, Virgin and Delta airlines and never in my travels have I ever experienced such horrible behaviour.
I chose Etihad because I thought you all were world class and would at least be close to Qatar and Emirates in hospitality. You have let down your airlines, and you have let down the Emirati Hospitality. I travel a lot for work and write for various blogs. I am a top 1% contributor on tripadvisor from Melbourne amongst other things. It was absolutely shocking what you made my family go through. This is NOT HOW EMIRATI people treat others. I have been to Dubai and UAE many times and the whole nation prides itself on its hospitality.
My 64 yr old Mother (Who is a Qatar Frequent Flyer), 3yr old Daughter and wife were travelling via EY461 to Abu Dhabi and Connecting to LHE via EY243 via two different booking #s XXXXX& XXXXX. Flight Leg 1 Mel - Abu Dhabi was on March 27 - 23:10, Second Leg was scheduled for March 28 14:10.
When checking in online as soon as online checkin opened we were able to assign them seats for the MEL->AbuDhabi leg. But your system said "sorry cannot assign seats, please contact check in staff" for the Abu Dhabi -> LHE leg via EY243. We contacted check-in staff at Melbourne who told us that she is getting the same message and someone in Abu Dhabi will take care of this for us.
After flying 13 hours when they reached Abu Dhabi, they were told plane is full and they need to wait to be assigned seats. This is on a CONFIRMED ticket with 8 hour advance check-in on a CONNECTING flight. After a few hours of waiting your staff issued them boarding passes. When the flight was close to leaving your staff again contacted them and told them that No they can still not travel even though they have confirmed tickets and boarding passes issued by YOU GUYS! I personally spoke to your supervisor on duty Julie who kept telling me there is nothing she can do. So you made an old woman and young child suffer for 21 hours WITHOUT any food vouchers, and without any update. You should be ashamed of this. But this is not where it ends.
Julie had personally promised me that as compensation she would upgrade them on the next flight and issue their boarding passes altogether in advance. Again Etihad cannot speak the truth to save themselves. She did not upgrade them all and told them since we have a toddler it is against policy. How is it in your policy to kick a young toddler and old woman from a plane but not upgrade them on the next flight to compensate for their suffering? You gave them the next flight, hotel and some meal vouchers with economy boarding passes.
But Wait ... there is more. When they reached for boarding, you told my mother she was upgraded. She argued with your check-in staff that she does NOT WANT to be upgraded unless the family is sitting together and specifically requested that the family be together. You told her she does not have a choice and once again the boarding pass you had ALREADY issued was cancelled and you didn't even let the family sit together after turning their journey into a flight from hell.
I am beyond angry at Etihad at the moment and am amazed how your owners do not know of what goes on.