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[Resolved] Etihad Airways / unethical behaviour

1 Italy

January 25, 2018
Etihad Airways
Customer Care Service
Head Office, New Airport Road
Khalifa City A, PO Box 35566
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Re: Tickets number [protected] and 6075926237263and Ticket Holders Names: Mr. Ennio Dina and Mrs. Ermida Gotelli

Dear Sir/Madam:

I am writing to seek a full refund on two round trip tickets my wife and I purchased to visit our daughter over the New Year in Myanmar (Burma). Our return tickets, as referenced above, have the following itinerary: Genova-Abu Dhabi-Bangkok-Yangon. The flights, while with Etihad, were co-shared by Alitalia and Bangkok Airways. The circumstances are as follows:
On December 31, 2017, at the Alitalia's check-in counter in Genova operated by the airport, we discovered that my wife's visa to Myanmar did not have the correct date while mine was in order. As we both had applied for the visas together and received both visas attached to the same email, we were not sure why my wife's visa date reflected her previous visit to Myanmar and not her current one. We tried to explain that there must have been an error and one that could be corrected quickly. Our daughter in Myanmar, who was alerted immediately, had reached out to the officials in Myanmar to rectify the situation and explained this to the check-in staff over the phone. We suggested that my wife be allowed to board and travel only to Bangkok while her visa to Myanmar was being sorted out. Thailand, we know, does not require entry visas from EU-Italian passport holders. The check-in personnel, including the supervisor, however adamantly refused. Despite our pleas and appeals for a concrete solution, my wife was refused boarding. Because of their refusal, we both missed our flights.
Having been shut out by Alitalia, we purchased at the airport a new set of tickets that allowed us to travel on the same morning from Genova to Bangkok via Air France. As anticipated, we learned that my wife's visa to Myanmar was resolved, without any delay, a few hours later after we left Genova (see email communicating this to the check-in counter in Genova). We then purchased a separate set of tickets from Bangkok to Yangon, Myanmar. In the end, we reached Myanmar after 30 hours.
The interactions with the check-in personnel left us with a very poor experience. The message we received was that they simply did not care. They made it clear that helping customers and finding practical solutions to their travel problems were not part of their jobs. Indeed, they exhibited a bureaucratic rigidity and a severe deficit in service mentality. Further, we found check-in personnel's attitude lacking any understanding and empathy, and even more so shocking given that we were travelling for the New Year to visit our daughter who had booked a full travel plan for us in Myanmar. We think Etihad, as the new minority partner--particularly one with an established world reputation to protect, deserves better.
In light of the above, we ask for a full refund on our original tickets (Euros 1951, 77) and an apology for the severe inconvenience caused by the ground personnel.
Sincerely yours,

Mr. Ennio Dina

Da: Stefania 2
Data: 31/12/2017 13.11
A: "ennio.dina", "Roberta Gotelli"
Cc: "Minh Pham"
Oggetto: VISA
Allegati: B04ECD7A-0D2F-48B3-BACD-EC8B9C88A0E7.jpeg (1971K)Ecco il visto della mamma in allegato. Il numero e' E846296. Ora vi mando i biglietti da Bangkok a Yangon. Buon viaggio e cercate di riposarvi.

Un abbraccio. Stefania

Etihad Airways

  • 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 26, 2018

    Hello Ennio,

    thank you for writing your detailed experience of your flight to us. We are sorry to hear that you were not able to board. Since there was an error with the Visa the airline was not able to let you board. However we will investigate the case and our office will then get back to you. *Marc

Jan 25, 2018

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