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Old May 19, 2018, 5:42 AM
Mother Goose Mother Goose is offline
Join Date: May 2018
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Default Et 405 tel aviv-yafo (tlv) addis ababa (add) 21 mar 2018 et 809 addis ababa (add) johannesburg (jnb) 21 mar 2018 et 848 johannesburg (jnb) addis ababa (add) 07 apr 2018 et 414 addis ababa (add) tel av

Information sent to Ethiopian Airlines but no response.
Good day

On the 12 February 2018,I telephonically booked four return tickets for my children from Tel Aviv to Johannesburg. I had requested a friend to be with me when I made the booking as I have previously had problems with ‘ticket complications’ conducted telephonically. I requested confirmation (with the loudspeaker on) of all the information including the price which was quoted as R45 000.

I was informed that I could not pay via credit card over the phone but would have to come into the Johannesburg office. Thank goodness my friend came with me! On arrival we were informed that only three people had been booked for not four, and that it was my fault. Despite both my friend and I insisting that the booking had been made for four people, had been confirmed by the agent as well as the price, little notice was taken of us. A new ticket had to be issued (at a greater cost) and instead of the tickets costing R45 000 as initially quoted I was now told that the tickets would cost R66 000. If my friend had not been with me I would have had to go to the bank and withdraw the extra money as I had not made provision on my debit card for that kind of payment.

My children flew from Tel Aviv to Johannesburg on 21 March 2018. On arrival at Johannesburg International my daughter noticed that my grandson’s communication devise, which was attached to the footplate of his wheelchair, had been ripped off. She consulted people at Oliver Tambo who informed her that they would look for it and that she should phone back the following day to find out if it had been located. They then told her that if it was not found she should contact Ethiopian Airways. We did exactly what she had been told to do. The device could not be located at Oliver Tambo so we wrote to you and this is the response we received:

Thank you for contacting us and regret for the inconveniences due to the reported issue. Kindly note that all such mishandling reports should be reported to the Airlines representative immediately after arrival at the destination airport and before leaving the airport baggage reclaim area; Airlines representatives are always available on arrival. Please be advice that unless the mishandling report was made physically to Airlines representative immediately and before leaving the airport baggage reclaims area; the airline wouldn’t be in the right position to acknowledge the report. It is hard to prove actually the reported devise loss was experienced while the wheelchair was under the custody of the airline or not unless it reported on the spot physically when collecting.

My grandson has cerebral Palsy, cannot walk, use his hands or say many words. The device which he uses to attach his cell phone and computer had been specially made for him and is his only means of communicating. How awful to have flown with an airline which has little or no concern for its passengers! Although we tried to get something in South Africa that he could use, we were unable to and for the full two weeks my grandson was left without any device!

My daughter was leaving on the 7 April and she asked me to phone Ethiopian Airways to order kosher food as they were flying during Passover. I initially phoned the call centre, waited on the line for 2 hours while an American voice informed me that my call was important and that I would be attended to shortly. R250 later, I gave up. No-one was going to answer the phone and no-one was really concerned. The following day I phoned the Ethiopian Office in Johannesburg – something that I had been trying to avoid based on my initial experience with them. Once again I made the phone call (this time in front of my daughter, husband and friend – I was taking no chances). I requested kosher food for all four passengers, confirmed that she had given all four passengers kosher food and was then informed that the plane was no longer leaving at 08:20 but at 07:50. I asked her what would have happened if I hadn’t phoned to request kosher food and the response was that passengers are usually informed by their travel agents. And if I hadn’t booked through a travel agent but directly with the Ethiopian Air Office in Johannesburg? There was a slight hesitation before she said that it was possible we might be informed by the office!!!!

We received confirmation of the airline tickets: One (for Mr Roni Peker) indicated that the plane would leave at 08:20; the other (for my daughter , Tamara Kathryn Rabinowitz and her two children Kenya Sahar Yadin and Nahar Peker ) would be leaving at 08:20. This is two days after the agent indicated that the plane would be leaving at 07h:50. I have forwarded these under separate cover.

On arrival at the airport the nightmare continued. Someone at the Johannesburg Ethiopian Office had cancelled Nahar Peker’s ticket (a four-year-old) and issued two tickets to Kenya Sahar Yadin. Of course, Ethiopian Airlines tried their best to blame me. I had cancelled the four-year-old’s ticket and had somehow, miraculously, issued two tickets to Kenya Sahar Yadin. We had to wait for over two hours before the problem was sorted out. My grandson had to wait in his wheelchair, my daughter’s partner was unable to claim back VAT and he had spent a lot of money in South Africa) and the family nearly missed the plane.

The nightmare continues. The kosher food consisted of an apple, a pear and a plum for both breakfast and lunch. My goodness! How innovative and caring!

On arrival in Ethiopia my daughter was taken to an area and told to wait until they were fetched. Did anyone fetch them to take them to the plane? Of course not! They were left sitting in a corner until my daughter said to her partner that if they didn’t try and go on their own they would miss the plane. Of course, they nearly did miss the plane!

I am hopeful that I will receive an appropriate response to my complaint.

Mrs Jennifer Rabinowitz

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