[Resolved] Etihad Airwaysstopped me spending time with family on christmas - poor service

Review updated:

Missed being with children on xmas due to etihad - very very disappointing * must read*

I booked to fly with etihad as they had the quickest total travel time.
I paid significantly more to fly with etihad due to the total travel time offered, which ended up being 35 hours and 25 minutes which is more than other carriers ranging between 28 hours - 30 hours and their tickets being 30% cheaper than that of etihad.

Booked flights
Sydney - abu dhabi - ey451 business class
Abu dhabi - edinburgh - ey27 business class (2 hours 5 stop over)
(total travel time =25h 25m)

Actual flights
Sydney - abu dhabi - ey451 business class (9 hours 5 stop over)
Abu dhabi - munich - ey3 business class (3 hours 25 stop over)
Munich - edinburgh - ew1712 economy
(total travel time =35h 25m)

I had bought it to the attention of the staff in the lounge that we were due to depart 16.20 and there was a current delay, who advised that there is plenty of time for my connecting flight and that the plane will make up for the lost time during the course of the flight.

Additional stop and additional travel time 10 hours

I received the new ticket in the etihad lounge @ abu dhabi.
I questioned this ticket as it said economy on the ticket and was reassured that I will be sitting in business class.
I asked the question again to confirm as I said I cannot fly economy on any flight as it will affect my back and potentially ruin my holidays if my back seizes up.

When landing in abu dhabi

Upon boarding the plane I communicated with the staff and manager within the business class area in relation to my connecting flight to ensure that there would no issues with my connecting flight.

I provided all of the particulars and raised concerns that my stop over allowed for 2 hours for my connecting flight and we are already more than 2 hours late on departing.

I was advised that there won't be any issues in making up for the lost time and that I won't have any issues in making my connecting flight.

I expressed that I needed them to confirm that this is correct as I would make alternative arrangements now to ensure that I arrive at my location in time for christmas. I was reassured that there would be no issues.

I again spoke with the staff whilst in the air to confirm that we were making up the lost time and that I was going to make my connecting flight to ensure that I arrive in scotland in the morning of christmas to be with children and family.

They advised everything will be okay and that most likely as there has been a lot of smog in abu dhabi a lot of flights will be behind schedule, but they would contact the airport an hour out and confirm, but they reassured me again that there won't be any issues.

An hour out I had to chase the staff in relation to my connecting flight details.

They advised that I would make my connecting flight, albeit that I would need to rush to get to the gate quickly without shopping.

Upon landing I quickly had everything ready and as soon as the doors opened I was the first out of the plane running up the ramp.

As I got to the end of the tunnel and walked out, I was greeted by ermer (etihad staff member) upon leaving the plane who was holding a card with my name. ermer advised that I wasn't able to make my connecting flight and that I was required to attend the lounge with him to sort out travel arrangements.

Ermer then turned around and started to walk off at a very swift pace and I was left carrying the luggage and coats, dodging crowds trying to keep pace with him.

This level of service was very surprising considering the amasing service emirates offers carrying your luggage.

Upon conversations with ermer and probing ermer as to why I wasn't boarding the flight when it is still showing as boarding on tv screens within the airport, he advised that myself and many others were all taken from the flight ey27 to ensure that the plane was able to leave prior to the smog setting in and to eliminate the backlog of travellers who had missed their flights previously.

Ermer advised that I am required to wait 8 hours in the lounge prior to boarding a flight to munich as this is the only flight available and didn't offer anything in the way of a hotel to stay that was located next door, or ask if there was anything else that he could do to assist. (this was in addition to the 2 hours I had already been waiting around on flight possibilities)

There were other opportunities to fly with other carries to heathrow, but I was advised that etihad doesn't have agreements with those carriers. this had me questioning ethihad's alliances.

Ermer advised that there was no one that I could liaise with working currently and that I had to wait until 7 or 8am when management started. I requested that ermer organise for someone in management to come and speak with me.

During the time that I had to wait I organised to utilise the services available in the ethihad lounge and had massages, hair cut, beard trim which were all at my own expense, and both ermer and the manager were aware that I was utilising these services and never opted to pay for these or mention originally some options available for me to relax during the long period of waiting time.

As I walked out of the spa and walked towards the barber, one of the staff members came and got me and advised the manager wanted to speak with me.

I met with the manager, but have lost the piece of paper with her name. I do remember though it was her birthday on christmas.

She was rude, obnoxious and the worst customer relations I have ever dealt with.

I was advised by this manager that "I should be grateful that I am getting to see my children on christmas"

She again advised "that I am ungrateful and that it's her birthday today and that she has to work and won't get to see her children on christmas, so I should be appreciative of what etihad have done so I can see my children and family on christmas.

I asked why I was removed from my connecting flight to allow the back log of people held up from previous days and why the staff on the plane were advising I would make my connecting flight when that wasn't to be true.

She replied that is a decision that the company made and that they have the right to do so, and that I had been removed from the flight several hours prior to me landing and she was unsure as to why the staff onboard the flight were advising otherwise.

I expressed that I was very disappointed in the professionalism and the level of sympathy surrounding the situation, which then set her off again advising that I don't appreciate what etihad have done for me, and nothing will make me happy as i'm being unappreciative of etihads efforts.

I replied stating it has all been one big lie after another and that a little sympathy and compassion surrounding the situation wouldn't go astray.

I suggested that the least that she could do is upgrade me to first class for the rest of my journey, to which she replied"that just won't happen, we don't work like that".

I said you would think considering you are adding 10 hours to my trip waiting around in lounges that it is the most you can do, is first class full? response"yes the plane is totally full in all classes".

At this point I could see I was wasting my time and ended the discussions and went to the barber.

When I boarded the plane, there was no one sitting in first class and there was only one other person in busines class, just prior to the doors closing.

I was disappointed yet again to find that I had been lied to once again by a etihad staff members and that the plane was an older model and not the current fleet which was a requirement when booking my tickets, as I require that additional extra length on the new fleet due to my height.

I spoke to the etihad onboard staff member in charge and he advised if I wanted to sit in first class it would cost roughly $4000 - $6000aed (can't remember the exact figure) and that he advised it wasn't worth it in his opinion.

At this point there was 2 people who made their way into first class, and were the only travellers in first class.


When I arrived in munich and tried to go into the lounge I was refused entry as they said my ticket was economy and not business class as advised by etihad.

Munich to edinburgh with euro wings on an economy ticket operated by adria airways

Flight number flt1712 or ew1712 (to edinburgh)

I had bought this up earlier with ermer whilst in abu dhabi whom advised this is just the pass and isn't the actual plane ticket and it will be business class not economy as the paper stated.

I contacted etihad customer relations and they advised that the ticket was business class and that I have entry to the lounge. I tried to explain that this wasn't a business class ticket to which they were rude and spoke over me advising that it is a business class ticket.

I spoke to the lounge concierge and they confirmed my ticket is economy, so I handed my mobile phone to the concierge and they spoke with ethiad and explained it is in fact an economy ticket.

I then received the phone back and etihad continued to try and advise it was a business class ticket.

The etihad customer relations advised they will have to contact me shortly after arranging a lounge pass.

Whilst I was waiting on concierge and etihad discussing my ticket I organised access to the lounge, paying for this as I could tell this was an economy ticket and that I had been lied to in abu dhabi so that they could get me to agree on the flight and move me on and knew too well that I couldn't rely on the etihad team producing the goods giving how much they have failed previously.

The ladies at concierge"lufthansa explained that etihad are so arrogant and think they can do whatever they want and try and bully people around. they advised that they don't have any partnership with etihad, and that etihad would have purchased this ticket and knew that it was economy as the plane doesn't cater for business class".

Upon boarding and sitting down in the plane I was crammed for space and my right knee especially was jammed against the side of the chair in front and the side of the wall.

I was very uncomfortable, and my back started to seize up causing me great discomfort.

On landing in edinburgh, we landed with a thud which caused me right knee to be stuck between the chair in front and the side of the wall.

The impact caused damages / bruising to my knee which affected me walking for a few days after, coupled with my hamstrings tightening and my back starting to seize from sitting in such a way as to be able to have my legs fit within the leg space available.

I had sent brief correspondence to ethihad as per the above case references whilst on holiday from my mobile phone, to which I received no positive feedback and no reassurance of achieving a satisfactory resolution.

I was advised by other passengers that they were put up in the airport hotel whilst in abu dhabi and were advised that etihad would be in contact in relation to compensation for these travellers, whom were flying economy.

Abu dhabi to sydney

When I abu dhabi airport I asked to speak with management in relation to what had happened.

The person that I met with was lovely and explained that she was very sorry about what had happened and as a mother could understand and was sympathetic.

She advised that the feedback email address isn't the right one to be contacting in relation to a matter like this, and that she would contact the customer response team in relation to my matter.

She advised that she was disappointed in the ethiad managers approach and was really surprised and disappointed in what was said, and the stance taken.

Upon explaining who the manager was, I could tell she knew exactly who I was talking about and got the feeling she had experienced similar situations previously with her.

On this flight the staff onboard were very unresponsive and took a long period of time to attend to requests or when pressing the attendance button.

The condition of the toilets was appalling. there was urine in masses on the floor of the toilet and all over the walls and the toilet itself too.

I pointed this out to the staff and another traveller did too.

2 hours later I went to go to the bathroom to brush my teeth and as a gentleman walked out he said you don't want to go in there. I opened the door and noticed that the toilets were even worse, and that the urine was still on the floor and the smell was disgusting.

I again pointed this out to a staff member.

Prior to landing I went to the bathroom which would have been some 5 hours after I initially pointed out the situation to staff, and purposely opened the same toilet door to see if the mess had been cleaned.

The bathroom was in the same situation, though the amount was now greater, and it was moving with the turbulence back and forth.

The other toilet too had urine all over the fall, though not as bad.

Given the condition I decided that I wouldn't use the facilities and wait until I arrive in sydney.

Broken seat - abu dhabi - sydney - flight ey454

After take-off I went to recline my business class seat to find out that my seat was broken.

One of the flight attendants came and had a look at the seat and agreed it wasn't working.

She asked for me to stand up and she manually tried to fix the seat.

The seat wasn't able to be fixed so that I could lay down and was only able to recline a portion of the way.

I was advised that this is the best that they can do in relation to fixing the business class seat.

I requested to be moved to a first class seat or another seat that is operational, to which I was advised there are no other seats available unfortunately.


I paid significantly more to travel with etihad (30%+ more) due to offering the quickest flight path, with one stop over of minimal time that allowed me to arrive at the required time to spend the time with my children and family.

After reading all of the negative feedback online surrounding etihad and the resolutions and disgruntled travellers I have little confidence.

The responses by etihad guest relations officers advise the flight was delayed due to bad weather and considered out of the control of the airline.

This is incorrect, there were no issues with weather condition at sydney airport on 24 december 2017.

Its one thing to offer poor service, but to affect someone's christmas and have no sympathy is disgusting.

  • 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 30, 2018

    Hello, we believe we responded to you in another forum.
    Kindly forward your complaint to [protected] *Isi

Jan 29, 2018
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  • So
      Jan 31, 2018

    You missed Xmas with four weeks. Not the airline fault. Plus they are not christian so not mandatory for them to follow your religious mambo jambo

    0 Votes

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