Air Pacific / Horrible experience with customer service
My complaint starts with the service received at Air Pacific Los Angeles and in Fiji, for the period between Dec 18-21. I was registered on flight FJ 0811, LAX-Nadi on Tuesday Dec 18. Upon early arrival to the check in area, I discovered a long queue already and proceeded to wait. After service attendants arrived and begun checking people in I noticed an unusually long wait time and guests becoming disgruntled. After trying to ask questions nobody seemed to know more than the fact that flights were delayed because of a cyclone that had just occurred in Fiji. There were no signage or announcements of any kind. Finally, after waiting 3 1/2 long hours in the queue I got to the front and was asked which flight I was checking in on, then told that flight wasn't leaving until the morning and I was to go outside and catch a shuttle to Hilton LAX to spend the night. I would have been perfectly okay and compassionate with this situation had they simply announced this or answered some questions, prior to me having to spend 3 1/2 hours in line for nothing. But this lack of customer service is simply unacceptable.
Fast forward to Dec 19 after the flight had landed in Fiji and I needed to connect to FJ 0411 Nadi-Akl, we were not directed anywhere and simply had to find our way into a series of queues at the departure terminal, once baggage had been claimed. Again there were many angry and disgruntled guests who had been waiting hours and in some cases a couple days only to be told a different story by each representative. Again, there was no signage, no announcements, and absolutely no assistance in this messy situation. This time I waited four hours in a queue where there was only ONE attendant for hundreds of guests, and after talking to many other guests deciphered that the hotels were all full and we were most likely going to be sleeping on the airport floor! One very helpful guest did tell me that if I could find a room over the internet by my own accord, Air Pacific would supply the voucher to cover the cost, but I would have to push that myself as they were not offering, but leaving people to sleep on the airport floor. I did find a room, and this was indeed what occurred when I finally made it to the counter, but only because of the tireless help of this other guest. So although I ended up having a room for the night unlike many other unlucky guests of Air Pacific, my complaint is with the entire way in which the situation was dealt with, completely unprofessional and downright unacceptable. This has certainly turned a great number of people off using Air Pacific again!
To add insult to injury, when I called to alter my return flight date I was charged an astronomical ticket difference of $368US plus the $100 change fee, because my promo fare wasn't available. It is standard practice in cases where guests have been held up in the way that I was for the airline to offer a discount voucher for use on the next flight. Not only have I experienced this in the past, but I also have family members who work with airline companies and confirm this practice.
I sent emails at the beginning of January, on the 26th January, and on 11th February. I also made a number of calls to the service line at Air Pacific in Fiji and left two voice messages. None of the said communications have been responded to and to say that I am shocked by Air Pacific's lack of professionalism is an understatement. As an official apology I requested a refund of the extra ticket charge. This is the minimum Air Pacific could do given the circumstances. I have not had a response from Air Pacific on this matter, even after I threatened to take further action and report the company online and to contacts in the press.