I had booked my travel from Mumbai to London via Abu Dhabi via Etihad Airways and have had the most horrible and horrid experience I have had in my lifetime of travelling across the world on various airlines.NEVER will I ever travel on Etihad Airways; even if I was offered a free ticket!
The ordeal started on Jan 3, 2017 when I was checking in with my luggage on a confirmed ticket from Abu Dhabi to London. I was in line for Check-in for about almost an hour. On reaching the counter, I was told the flight was overbooked and I won't be allowed to board the flight!! I informed the Etihad staff that I had to reach London that very day as I was in London for my marriage function on January 7, 2017 and on January 3, 2017 evening there was a welcome function organised for me the groom in London.
The airline staff along with the manager David and personnel Sarah promised me their best to get me onto the airline. After a sometime they came back to me saying the flight is overbooked and they canít do anything but would see if they could request if someone on the flight was willing to de-board to flight for me to take the flight. Well they came back saying it was not possible as no one was willing, which was totally understandable. So then I offered that one of my friends already on the same flight from Mumbai was willing to get off to let me board the flight instead of her seat.
To my surprise the staff then said it would not be possible to get her bags off and mine on the plane in time. So this clearly proved the airline was lying all along the time by offering me that option in the first place. At the end I could not get onto the flight and thus in time to be at a function in London that was organised for me!! I was offered a USD 300.00 voucher as a lousy excuse of compensation along with a stay at the hotel airport with 2 meals!!
Really that compensation means *** all to me. I was also given exit row seats and boarding pass issued by Ms Sarah on the next flight at around 2:00 am along with a friend of mine who could not board the flight as well. So we checked in our bags the same time. 15 hours later and after waiting another 2 hours at the gate for a delayed flight we were about to board the flight and we were in for a rude hospitality shock by Etihad once again!!
We were told our boarding pass issued tickets were given away to someone else as they are paid tickets!! You have to be kidding me right!!! Etihad has the audacity to change our seats which were a compensation of some sort for the excellent hospitality given to us earlier. Well not only were our seats after a boarding pass was issued in our name not changed but we were put on the last row non reclining seats!!
Thank you so much for the compensation!! When I asked the original boarding pass be kept with me I was refused so by the ground staff, so I took a picture of it! I went on to ask the gentleman his name for communication purpose and he refused to give him name or show his badge. This is when I raised my camera to get his picture to report this behaviour of his; however I hadn't clicked his picture yet.
So your staff Mr Sajid threatens to call security for having raised my phone to click his picture and not let me board the aircraft. Such is the high-handed and obnoxious behaviour of your staff that instead of apologising and making amends, they seem to love harassing passengers and making the experience of flying with Etihad the worst ever!! The nightmare with Etihad just did not end here!! On my return flight along with my wife back to Mumbai via Abu Dhabi, on landing in Mumbai we were shocked to know both my bags were not loaded onto the flight in Abu Dhabi the connecting flight to Mumbai.
What was surprising was that we had checked in 5 bags in all and 3 of my wifeís bags arrived in Mumbai and not my 2 bags. Moreover all our bags were checking in as priority check-in!! The bags did come to me the next day but yes did cause the inconvenience!! I will be totally honest with you and let you know that such kind of behavior and service does not bear well for the airlines and is not acceptable in any part of the world.
I think these guys just get away with it because all the mis-handling happens in their head quarters in Abu Dhabi where itís the law of the old ages that still prevails!!Try doing this in a civilized and western world where customer service matters and you will be made to pay dearly for this.