Aeromexico / serie of unpleasant events
Dear Sir or Madame,
As a new customers of yours I am writing in regard to a series of very distasteful experiences my partner and I had with your company and this on our way there and back.
We booked a flight to Havana, Cuba over Mexico City, with a three-days-long stay in Mexico City, on March 28th, 2017 from Amsterdam to Mexico City and furthermore on April 1st, 2017 from Mexico City to Havana Cuba. Returning flight we booked a flight from Havana to Mexico on April 19th, 2017 and from Mexico City to Amsterdam also on April 19th, 2017. Both flights we booked with Aeromexico/KLM and on both directions occurred some inconveniences.
The first unpleasant experience occured already in Amsterdam during our check-in for the flight to Mexico City with KLM. Whereas there were no problems with my check-in, your staff did not allow my partner, Haydar Sari, to enter the flight and told us, that without a valid visa for Mexico he won’t be taken by your company to Mexico, not even as a transit tourist.
I am a German citizen. My partner, Haydar Sari, is a Turkish citizen with an unlimited residence permit status for Germany where we both live. Before booking our holiday and the flights with your company we checked the visa regulation for both countries. For Cuba we had a tourist visa, for Mexico we did not since according to the information we got from the Mexican embassy in Germany neither I nor my partner needs a visa for Mexico. As a Turkish citizen he admittedly does need a visa. As a Turkish citizen with an unlimited residence permit status for one of the Schengen area countries he does not need it, though. He is allowed to enter Mexico, according not only to the Mexican Embassy in Germany, but also to the immigration office at the airport in Mexico City where we double-checked this information after finally getting there as transit tourist.
Although we had informed your staff about the valid visa regulation for Mexico (gotten from the Mexican embassy from Germany) and had showed the unlimited residence permit card to them, they rejected us and send to AeroMexico representative who, after several phone calls and consultation with Aeromexico and KLM information centre, told us, giving us a call center number for AeroMexico Ticketing and Reservation, to get a visa (not possible within two hours) or to change our flights.
After 20 minutes long call phone to AeroMexico Ticketing & Reservations Call Center we were offered to change our booking and to get on a plane to Havana over Mexico on March 29th, 2017 but only with a short transition stay in Mexico as transit tourist. We were charged only for the change of reservation (173 €) and not for the new flights what at that point, after the whole disappointment, anger and uncertainties about our whole flights situation, had seemed as a great deal for us.
As a result of the changed flights we had to cancel our hotel booking for Mexico City, change our booking for Havana and stay a night in the Netherlands, not to mention of the lost of a whole day of vacation. Additionally, if we had booked a simply flight from Amsterdam to Havana without a stay in Mexico City, it would have coasted us around 200€ less per ticket so that I value this loss as more than 683 € (173 € for change in booking, 50€ train tickets to my sister place in the Netherlands where we spend the night, cancelation of our hostels 60 € and 400 € more expenses on the originally flights) in personal expenses.
Arriving in Mexico at the airport by the passport control we were told that my partner with his Turkish passport and unlimited residence permit card for Germany does not need a visa! To make a double or at that point even a threefold check we went to the Mexican immigration office located at the airport that confirmed it! Please look at the document (that you will find attached to this mail) they gave us and marked the corresponding sections. Moreover the Mexico City airport is not really an airport with a transit area and so weather you were a transit tourist or not you have to go through the passport control and need to address the visa regulation.
You can only imagined how disappointed we were and still are and how unpleasant the whole situation was. Because of the false information of your staff we were forced to change our flights and our plans, we lost time and money.
Getting back to Amsterdam on our way back to Germany I went to KLM service centre in order to mention the whole unpleasant event. Instead of understanding and apology I got the information that the Aeromexico/KLM acted correctly according to the information guidelines they have gotten from the Mexican government (www.timaticweb2.com/trial) and that next time I should check the guidelines of your company instead of asking the embassy. This kind of respond made me literally speechless as I hoped for more respect and empathy from your company. You can’t really expect your customer to check your internal guidelines instead of getting information from the first hand that in such situation should be embassy! It is as if I were going from Germany to Netherlands and asked the German or the Dutch Railway company about the visa regulation and not the embassy of this two countries. It is a little ridiculous. Especially if you consider, that on the Havana airport we did not have any problems. We were asked for visa for Mexico for Haydar Sari or for the unlimited residence permit card for Schengen area countries. Somehow your staff in Havana knew about this visa regulation for passengers of Turkish origin with unlimited residence permit card for Schengen area countries and I doubt that the Mexican government sent to the same company different information regarding entering to their country. Is this how you treat all of your customers?
On the way back from Havana over Mexico City to Amsterdam on April 19th, 2017 the AeroMexico/KLM staff were much better informed, although the flights back were not free of unpleasant events though. The flight from Havana to Mexico City was over 1 hour (almost 2 hours) delayed. We tried to find a gate agent, but nobody was anywhere to be found. There wasn’t anyone at the gate to give us any information about the delay.
The flight from Mexico City to Amsterdam was delayed as well, not only over 1 hour but more than 24 hours! The first one-two hours, before the announcement about the postponing the flight to the next day came, none of the agents explained to us what was happening. The flight was delayed again, and again. Finally after almost two hours waiting the delay was announced and all passengers were asked to pick up their baggage and direct to the airport hotel. No general information followed. Every piece of information (about the duration of the delay, about our lost baggage, about the time of a new flight) had to be asked personally by one of your agent and the responses were very contradictory, depended who you had asked.
As we wanted to pick up our baggage, our baggage was not to find. On demand it was told us that the baggage (two rucksacks), differently than by others passengers, can be picked up directly in Amsterdam because it was sent directly from Havana to Amsterdam. Well, It might be except that after arriving in Mexico City we picked up our baggage ourselves and checked it in again for the flight to Amsterdam at the connecting flights baggage check-in point at the airport. Beyond that directly or not the baggage should have been to find at the airplane we were on, shouldn’t it?
Anyway, we didn’t have our luggage and knowing that the bags would already be somewhere on the way to Europe, we went to the hotel and had to managed the night and the whole next day, left without many essential items so that we were forced to buy some cloths to not spent the next day in totally sweaty shirt and dress (ca. 60 €).
By the way, the information your staff in Amsterdam gave us on our way to Havana – about not having to pick our baggage in Mexico on both ways because of its directly checking-in – was false anyway. Following this information on our way from Amsterdam to Havana over Mexico City we did not intent to pick up our baggage and to check it in again. Only per accident we got the information we have to do it, otherwise our baggage stayed in Mexico City.
Arriving in Amsterdam, we collected our luggage, that had arrived way earlier than we and happy about getting the baggage at all we made us on our way to Germany. Because of the flight delay we missed our bus from Amsterdam to Hannover, Germany that we had booked for the April 20th, 2017 what costs us around 80€. Being back to Amsterdam one day later than planned, we had to figure our how to go to Hannover. Finally we took a train what cost as another 115 €. As a result of these delays, I value our cost for around 200 € (80€ missed bus and 115 € new train tickets).
Along with this we both had to call our jobs and ask for another free day as we were scheduled to have some shifts on Friday evening and Saturday morning.
Getting back home and unpacking our baggage we noticed that from one of our rucksacks a lot of things got stolen – 4 packages of cacao bought in Baracoa, Cuba (cacao you can only buy on Cuba!), chocolate (cucurucho – a sweets from Baracoa, Cuba, again available only in Baracoa) and some peppers. Firstly we fought it was the customhouse but it was not. It is not just that bringing of cacao for personal use is allowed, but we did not even get any notice about examining our baggage.
We understand that mistakes happen, computer failures occur and things can’t always run as smoothly as planned. However we don’t understand the lack of customer service and the density of misinformation and unpleasant events that we experienced.
We would hope that you take these complaints into consideration and that you would compensate us for our added expenses and unpleasant start and end of our holiday. We would ask that you refund the 683 € (173 € for change in booking, 50€ train tickets to my sister place in the Netherlands where we spend the night, cancelation of our hostels 60 € and 400 € more expenses on the originally flights), 60€ for cloths in Mexico City, 200 € (80€ missed bus and 115 € new train tickets).
We would also request that you issue us a flight voucher in order to give you another opportunity to show us that your service isn’t always so poor and to refund our lost vacation in Mexico City as well as the lost of one-two workdays and the with that associated payment.
In attachment you can find evidence of some of our expanses: 1. our originally flights, 2. changed flights, 3. evidence of a charge for the changing of booking, 4. train tickets from Amsterdam to my sister place, 5. train tickets from Amsterdam to Hanover.
I am sending this mail to AeroMexico as well as to KLM as you are both a skyteam. Please don’t refer to each other by giving us a response.
If you have further questions regarding this catastrophe, please email me [protected]@me.com
Justyna Aniceta Turkowska & Haydar Sari
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