Kuwait Airways — mismanagement at kuwait that delay my flight for 24 hours
Name: Maryam Mehryar
I am writing to file an official complaint for my flight KU364 & KU117 from Colombo to New York on January 9th, 2017. The original flight was scheduled to leave Colombo on Jan 9th at 2:50am, land in Kuwait at 6:05am and take off for our final destination, NYC, at 9am.
When we get close to Kuwait airport, we were informed by staff that we couldn't land in Kuwait due to lack of visibility. We landed in Bahrain instead. During the flight to Bahrain, we got assurance from staff over and over that there will be no problem in our connection flights and we should not be worried about it and we will catch our next flight %100.
Their rationale was that since the airport is closed due to weather and lack of visibility, NO flights can leave the airport or land on the airport. There will be no operation till the weather gets cleared up and as a result we will not going to miss our next flight under no condition, since it is impossible for it to take off anyway. Everything made sense to me till this point!!
When we landed in Bahrain, there was a debate on whether we will be leaving the plane or we have to remain seated. The decision was made that we should remain seated. That's OK. However, I started to get worried when they announced they can not leave because they are refueling the plane! Why then? And why for so long? It wasn't like we went so far off the original route. It seemed like they were using the time to get something done rather than it being a necessity. Anyway, we took off after a long refuel process and landed in Kuwait. Upon our inquiry from Kuwait Airways booth at the airport, we unbelievably found out that our flight to New York left without us just half an hour ago. To add to the injury, we learned that there will be no flight until the next day and we have to spend 24 hours at airport hotel. I cannot explain the level of frustration and disappointment that I experienced. I could not believe what just happened and how Kuwait airways staff handled the issue without having any empathy towards us.
I understand the weather condition is out of staff's control and the safety should come first. But there are several reasons that made me believe the whole situation could be avoided simply by better management from Kuwait airways:
1- We could have left Bahrain earlier. There was no time and place for refueling. We did not land there to refuel. The sole purpose was to wait till Kuwait air got cleared up and as soon as it happened, we should have left.See the Top 10 Worst Complaints in New York, NY
2- The plane to New York could have waited 30 more minutes for us. It wasn't like we were transferring from another airline. Both flight were booked through Kuwait Airways and they knew exactly how many of us were supposed to be on New York flight and still decided to let that flight leave without us.
3- The staff on flight from Colombo to Kuwait could have communicated to Kuwait airways office at the airport and let them know that we are on our way, so they would have delayed NYC flight till we get there. They could also communicated and realized the weather got cleared so we could have left Bahrain earlier. None of these happened. Instead, they falsely reassured us that our connection flights will be fine!! I felt so betrayed and my trust were broken by their lies. The New York flight departed while we already left Bahrain and en-route to Kuwait. How difficult was to inform airport that we are on our way and to wait for us just an extra half an hour?!
4- There was absolutely no contingency plan on Kuwait airways office. They knew we are going to arrive while our flight has left us behind. There was absolutely no apology for our inconvenience and no alternative plan to arrange a flight with other airlines to get us home earlier. Their only solution was to fly with the exact flight the next day and stay at airport hotel the night. Each one of us had obligation and wanted to be back in New York asap, but we were forced to waste 24 hours of our time.
It was the first time that I flew with Kuwait airways and my highly respectful opinion that I gained by flying from New York to Colombo was greatly tarnished by my return flight experience. I work at hospital and time-sensitive meetings were arranged on my first day at work after two-weeks vacation that I had to miss. There was no time to reschedule those meetings and my reputation is damaged for my absence.
I would like to file official complaint by this letter and request full refund of my ticket price.
I just hope that my experience with terrible customer service, mismanagement, missing one extra day at work and spending a night at airport hotel was all unfortunate incidents and not regular business model of Kuwait Airways. Otherwise, I would strongly advise all my friends and family to never book through your airline.
PS. The next day flight, KU117 on Jan 10th, left Kuwait at 10:30am instead of scheduled 9am departure on a clear day! It was announced that our departure time will be delayed due to "Airport facilities", whatever it meant!! Yet, the day before, they couldn't delay the flight and had to leave without us!!
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