Alitalia — unethical behavior
Our family has experienced a great stress, and the stress was created by Alitalia. The main victim was my 14 and a half years old granddaughter Alexandra Artemenko who travelled on June 11 from Brussels to Milan/Lin by the Alitalia flight AZ149 at 2:50 p.m. She arrived to the airport Brussels/Bru accompanied by my son (her father) and a family friend Samuel. As my son had to fly to Moscow about one hour before Alexandra’s flight to Milan, Samuel had to help Alexandra at the registration desk. First, the person at the registration desk announced that Alexandra, as a minor, must pay 65 euro for an escort. Alexandra paid, but it is worth mentioning that she was not escorted at all, she was accompanied only by Samuel, while Alitalia, instead, made her a hell. After paying for the escort Alexandra was asked the passport data of her mother, Liza, who was going to meet her at the Linate airport in Milan. As Alexandra did not have the mother’s passport data with her, she made a phone call to the mother, and the mother dictated her the data. However, the person at the desk said that it is not enough, now the mother must call to the call-centre of Alitalia (number 892010) and to tell them her passport data. When Elizaveta got the call-centre, they said that it is a complicated problem and she has to wait while they solve it, but after 12 minutes of waiting (it is worth noting that this was a paid call) the call-centre disconnected. Then Liza called them again and learned how they did solve the problem: she must call to sub-unit that is responsible for children (phone number 0665640, supplementary 2 and then 1). So she called this sib-unit and they fixed her passport data, but the lady from the subunit demanded, in addition, the data of the person who accompanied Alexandra in Brussels. Thus, Lisa called on Brussels again, learned the data of Samuel and made the second call to the sub-unit in Milan. This time a man answered to her call, he informed her again that this is a complicated problem and she must wait. After 10 minutes of waiting he said that as there is only one hour left till the flight departure it is too late (in fact, at this moment it was one hour and 25 minutes left), so they can do nothing, and recommended to book a ticket for the next flight. Moreover, he added that 24-hours before the flight are needed in order to solve the problem, and recommended Liza to call to the Alitalia office in Brussels. Liza called on the number given by the man, but there was no answer because the number given to her was incorrect. Then she called to Alexandra asking her and Samuel to go immediately to the Alitalia office at the airport. Thank goodness, this helped, and they permitted Alexandra to fly. But this was not the end of the story. In Milan Alexandra was not permitted to leave the plain with other passengers as Alitalia officials pretended to have no information that someone meets her at the airport. Thus all the calls made by Liza to different Alitalia units were for nothing. Though in the plane Alexandra explained to officials that her mother is waiting for her and gave them the telephone number of Liza this did not help, they did not want to call to her mother, informed Alexandra that it was illegal that she was accompanied in Brussels by a friend of the family and not by the relative, left Alexandra waiting in the plain, and after a while transported her somewhere by car. When Alexandra asked them where do we go (she speaks both English and Italian), they just recommended her to be polite without explaining what goes on. Alexandra told us later that she was feeling as if she was a criminal. Finally, Liza was able to get Alexandra by phone when they were in the car. Alexandra gave the phone to one of the escorting persons and they agreed to deliver her to the arrival entrance where her mother was waiting.
It looks like there is no connection between different sub-units of Alitalia, and the passenger is expected to do their work making several calls to various ineffective employees, while the main professional obligation of the employees who pretend to protect a travelling juvenile consists in creating a great stress and making all possible obstacles instead of helping, not forgetting at the same time to take 65 euro for their assistance. Note that in Italia one has a right to get the driving license in the age of Alexandra, but cannot travel with Alitalia alone without artificially created problems. To our experience, this is a great contrast to other air companies who collect all the information needed at the moment when tickets are booked and do not create the stress situation. Now our family will never use Alitalia flights, moreover, we believe that it is our duty to inform people about our story in order to help them in avoiding stress and possible problems that may be caused by ineffectiveness of Alitalia service.
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