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[Resolved] Etihad Airways / flight delayed and rerouted to another airport leading to missing the connecting flight and unnecessary charges.

LAGOS, Nigeria

Dear sir,

Subject: claim for missing baggage, visa fees, inconvenience & trauma casued to us on etihad airways.
Reference: pnr numbers: jzfboi ; mlyjic.

I with my family flew on your flight number ey97 on 09-january-2017 from abu dhabi to ataturk, turkey. We were 7 passengers including 3 adult and 4 children between the ages of 2 years to 10 years. Detail of the passengers is given at the bottom of this letter.

All was going fine till the time we flew from abu dhabi, but when the time reached close to landing time at ataturk-turkey airport, the flight kept hovering in the air for a very long time and later we were taken to another airport named burgas for re-fuelling as the flight was getting low on fuel. After waiting in flight again for a very long time at burgas airport the flight took off for turkey. To our surprise and dismay there was an in-flight announcement that the flight destination was changed to ankara airport instead of ataturk airport in istanbul, turkey.

We were told to disembark the flight at ankara airport and no one was ready to answer us. All we were told was that the flight cannot go to ataturk, istanbul as there is a lot of traffic and they are not getting permission to land there, so everyone should get down here only. There was no one at the airport to guide us or take care of us from the airline. We tried asking the immigration and other officers for some help and assistance so that we could find out what to do next, but most of them could not understand english, and those few officers who could understand english told us that they also do not know why we were brought here. All our efforts to find an airline representative were in vein. No one was there for almost 2 hours after landing. We were told to take our baggage from the carousel and were told to go out from the airport and look for etihad airline city office the next day as it was almost 6pm and everywhere was closing down. After 2 hours we saw an airline staff coming in, and we went to him to know what was happening, why we were here instead of istanbul and what next as we were to fly to lagos from ataturk, istanbul and we did not know what would happen next as our flight time from istanbul to lagos had already passed. Eventually we missed our connecting flight from ataturk, istanbul to lagos scheduled for 09-january-2017 and had to stay in istanbul for the next 2 days from 10-january-2017 to 11-january-2017.

Your airline staff told us to take a visa and go out in the hotel being provided to us by the airline. We were surprised and amused to this statement of the airline staff. Was it us who told them to take us to ankara instead of ataturk, istanbul that they were asking us to get visa. We told him that it is airline’s responsibility to provide the visa, hotel and food if we have been disembarked at another location instead of our destination we were booked on. But all this was of no use, as they said that we should find our way to get visa, it is only hotel that they can provide.
• unwillingly we had to take visa on arrival at ankara airport which cost each of us u. S. $200, making it a total of u. S. $732 (U. S. Dollar seven hundred and thirty two only). We were forced to buy that visa over the counter so that we could go to hotel and spend our night along with children until an arrangement is made the next day to take us from ankara to ataturk airport. We were at the airport for good 8 hours before we could finally get on to the bus which would take us to the hotel from airport.
• also for the baggage there was a lot of problem. 04 of our baggage and 01 child stroller did not come. No one was ready to take our complaint for the missing baggage. Four of our baggage and one stroller went missing and we were just wondering what to do as no one took our complaint over there. We had so many of our personal belongings and valuable items in those luggage which went missing. And the stroller which was lost by the airline also did a great blow in causing more trauma to us as the two year child was so traumatised due to this long unwanted stay at the airport with no stroller in hand with us, and we had to carry him all along in lap for good 8 hours, making the mother’s hand so uncomfortable for the next 10 days.
• we were taken to ataturk, istanbul on 10-january-2017. Our connecting flight scheduled on 09-january-2017 from istanbul to lagos had missed and there was no connection flight available on 10th january 2017 when we reached there. After a lot of pleading and efforts we were able to get a connecting flight from istanbul to lagos for 11-january-2017. Since we had missed our flight and the next flight was the next day so we had to stay at a hotel in istanbul on the 10th january-2017 which also made a hole in our pocket to the tune of us$220, apart from the food and taxi.
• also we want you to take a look at the situation we were in at ankara airport where our children were just lying on the floor like refugees on the airport’s cold floor at ankara with temperatures running in minus, with confusion all around just to know what next is going to happen as no one was available to give us that information, neither from the airline nor from the ankara airport officials. We were just looking like refugees who did not had any food on them, no place with them to stay on to, no one to guide us on the next move, the children all cranky due to sleep, tiredness, hunger, frustration, the 2 year child crying for milk now and then but we are unable to give him milk as there is no warm water and no facility to boil bottles, in short totally confused, frustrated and traumatised. This was not what was expected when we started our journey. This is not what is expected of a reputed airline as yours. We agree that there was a situation on hand at that time and that’s why we were taken to another airport instead of the destined airport, but then there are some protocols, and responsibility of the carrier towards its passengers for their safety and comfort which we could not see at all, it went missing totally. The trauma we went through at that time is beyond expression in words. I cannot find words to express them, it can only be experienced, and I pray that no one should experience it.
With this traumatic experience of ours with your airline and the mental trauma & financial losses suffered by us we demand for compensation of u. S. $56, 622 (U. S. Dollar fifty six thousand six hundred and twenty-two only) from your airline against our financial losses and for the inconvenience and trauma caused to us. The detail of the claim is as below (All in u. S. Dollars) :
1. Turkey visa fee - $732
2. Four baggage missing - $5, 000
3. One stroller missing - $450
4. Istanbul hotel accommodation - $220
5. Istanbul airport to hotel to airport taxi – $430
6. Istanbul - food expenses– $790
7. Compensation for inconvenience and traumatisation we suffered due to not meeting up / fulfilling your responsibilities - $49, 000
Please find attached photocopy of the following documents and receipts for your reference:
1. Seven (07) boarding passes.
2. Five (05) baggage tags including baby stroller, which were missing hence remained with us.
3. Seven (07) visa purchase receipts.
4. Hotel payment receipt at istanbul.
Detail of the passengers as mentioned at the beginning of this letter is as below:
1. Mr. Vineet malpani – pnr no. Jzfboi
2. Mrs. Nidhi mohta – pnr no. Jzfboi
3. Mrs. Suruchi malpani – pnr no. Mlyjic
4. Master trinabh malpani – pnr no. Mlyjic
5. Miss anika malpani – pnr no. Mlyjic
6. Miss radhika mohta – pnr no. Mlyjic
7. Master raghav kumar mohta – pnr no. Mlyjic

We hope that you will look into the matter and resolve the matter on a priority basis.
Your’s truly,
Vineet malpani

  • Resolution statement

    Customer care service did everything in their power to resolve this complaint. All attempts to contact the complainant have failed. Therefore, this complaint has been annulled and must not be considered where image of the company in question and it's services are concerned.

  • Etihad Airways Customer Care's Response, Jan 29, 2017

    Dear Vineet,

    Thanks for taking the time to contact us here at our forum page, we would like to firstly apologise for any upset and inconvenience caused having recently flown with us. We would certainly like to investigate this and kindly ask you to share this feedback with our team; [protected]@etihad.ae

    Our team will review this, create a case and revert back to you as soon as possible, we hope to hear back from you to assist further *Gill

Vi
Jan 27, 2017

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