Aerolineas Argentinas / Exorbitant delays, lost luggage, stolen items!
We flew with Aerolineas Argentinas from Madrid to Buenos Aires on 26 December 2007. On that flight, apart from the aging aircraft, with broken reading lamps, essentially inedible food and the low-quality inflight entertainment, they lost the luggage (and delivered it only 36 hours later!). In addition, a camera was stolen from the checked-in suitcase.
On the return flight from Buenos Aires to Madrid on 8 January 2008, the flight was delayed - initially - by 16 (!) hours, from 2300 to 1500 next day because one of the pilots failed to show up for work. This meant for everyone: re-entering Argentina (queue for passport control), waiting for the luggage to be unloaded (another 1.5 hours wait), queuing to get a hotel voucher (another 1 hour), and then a 90-min bus transfer to a hotel 60km away from Buenos Aires. We eventually got our hotel room around 0500 am. We were told to await the bus back to the airport at 1100 am (i.e. 6 hours later). It arrived only at 1430, by then the flight had been postponed from the originally planned 1500 departure time to 1900. Later on, it was shifted again to 2100. It eventually took off just before midnight. The cabin was initially not airconditioned, leading to unbearable sauna-like heat for the first hour or so.
Worst of all, not a single word of apology from the captain or crew for the 24 hour delay. To add insult to injury, the captain did his usual spiel at the end with "hope to welcome you onboard an Aerolineas Argentinas flight again", which appeared to be a deliberate affront to a full cabin of enraged and suffering passengers In Madrid, the onward flight to Frankfurt was missed, causing another 5-hour wait. Rebooking of flights for all passengers with onward connections at the local Aerolineas Argentinas desk was a chaos, causing tumultuous scenes. There were in fact were ealier flights to Frankfurt with other airlines, but since none of these would do any business with Aerolineas Argentinas, we were - once again, as had been the case for the past 36 hours - de facto "hostages" of an atrociously badly managed and incompetent airline.