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Austrian Airlines Complaints>Austrian Airline
khodadad 10:38 AM May 25, 2009
This is amazing. I know Austrian is doing really horribly and is being bought by Lufthansa, but still, the treatment was amazingly bad, and I cannot see any reason other than the fact that the passengers were from Iran...

The Austrian Airline flight 872, IKA-VIE, 23 May 2009, scheduled to arrive in VIE at 06:10.

The flight had to have an emergency landing, initially claimed to be due to a "thunderstorm", in Bucharest. The cause was later revealed to be faulty navigation system which was known even before the aircraft departed Tehran's IKA. That by itself could be the cause of a criminal investigation and obvious neglect of passenger's life.

Fortunately, the passengers reached Bucharest unharmed. However, their treatment in that airport by both the airport staff and the Austrian staff was appaling and shameful, apparently inflicted for the sole reason that the flight was coming from Iran. This was made even more clear when an Australian passenger complained to the staff with the words "why am I being treated like this, I am not Iranian!". Shall we also add a racism/discrimination charge? Let's proceed...

The worst part was the absolute refusal of the airline to remedy the situation as soon as possible. Considering that the hub of the Austrian Airline in Vienna is about one hour and a half away, and by the admittance of an airline representative contacted on the same day in Vienna, there are fewer flights on saturday (meaning more unused aircrafts), still, no effort was made to send or re-route a replacement aircraft for the one that was left in Bucharest. This meant that for the passengers whose final destination was Vienna, the only flight available was the regularly scheduled 17:55 Bucharest-Vienna flight. This meant a 12 hour delay!!!! And for a distance that could be covered in 6 hours by car or train...

In a sense, this could not even be done, as the IKA-VIE flight was not even completed, so in order to complete the flight, a replacement aircraft MUST have been sent. Several contacts via telephone with the Austria representatives in Vienna only resulted in "sorry, we cannot do anything" answers which were totally unacceptable.

The passengers were not offered a hotel room and no compensation was made, not even a proper apology, and they were threatened with the loss of their baggage if they take another flight such as the SkyEurope flight which was to arrive in Vienna at 10:00.

Seeing as Austrian Airlines is in dire straits financially (which is no wonder considering the level of service), I think the passengers can be quite understanding, although the humiliation of being told to "stand back" like animals is a bit hard to swallow. However, as the article 9.2.2. of Austrian's "Conditions of Carriage" dictates:
"In the following cases, you have a claim to compensation in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No. 295/91:

- Delay to departure of more than 5 hours,
- Denied boarding due to overbooking,
- Certain cases of flight cancellation as described in the above Regulation,
- Transportation in a lower class than that purchased for the ticket. "

I would personally like the head of the Austrian's customer service department, but I think I shall settle for a refund...
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Jetliner 3:17 PM Jun 1, 2009
Two things. First, how do you know it was a navigational problem? You never stated how you found this out.

Secondly, I wouldn't go so far as to call the staff racists, just because a passenger made the statement "I'm not Iranian." Those are that passenger's words, not the airline.
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Ross 3:09 AM Jan 19, 2016
Jetliner, this guy went through hell and all you have to say is how he knows it was a navigation problem and Austrians are not racist?!!! You are really missing the point here.
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