Qatar Airways / my distasteful experience I had with qatar airways
Dear Qatar Airways,
As a Oneworld frequent flyer, I'm writing in regards to a very distasteful experience I had with your company. I have flown with many airline companies all over the world in the past, and this is the first complain I have ever made, so please take it seriously.
I booked a flight from your official website to fly to Dublin from Taipei on Dec 12th, 2017. (Booking reference - QE7LX3) The first leg was from TPE to BKK. This flight left late due to some internal issues, which was the first of many problems in this fiasco. The plane arrived with barely enough time for me to make the connecting flight to DOH. As I approached the gate, out of breath from running, one of your ground staff asked for my passport and a return ticket to Taipei. I patiently told her I was enrolled in an 8-month language school in Ireland. It's also worth mentioning that I had all the necessary documents required by the immigration office in Ireland, including an original Letter of Acceptance from my school, proof that school fees have been paid and evidence of finance. (For more information please visit here: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/registration-study-language)
According to the official procedure for language students in Ireland, because I (a Chinese Taipei passport holder) do not need a visa to come to Ireland, when I arrive in Ireland, an immigration officer will place a landing stamp in my passport. I will only be able to retain my student visa after I arrive in Ireland. (Which is when I visit a registration office before the date on the landing stamp expires.) Therefore, it was impossible by law for me to show a student visa on my passport to your staff at BKK.
I understand there is always the first experience of everything even for Qatar Airways. The rules of your company must be followed, but there are always exceptions like this, and that is why the judgment of your ground staffs and supervisors is very important. What really bothered me was after I patiently explained the situation to your staff, and even pulled out the governmental document from Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Department, which indicates that I do not need a return ticket when entering Ireland, they actually ignored whatever I said to them. Your staff insisted that for me to show them a return ticket no matter what, and denied the facts I just showed them. They refused for me to make calls to the immigration to seek proofs and they wouldn't let me talk to their manager at all. As time went by, I realized that my flight has taken off, a deep frustration I felt due to the poor communication I had with your staffs.
It was 1:30am, I found myself alone at the airport. Your staff did as little help as they could, and left me with another staff from EVA Airline. I could not believe how poorly Qatar Airways dealt things like this way, and the staffs were unbelievably arrogant. With no instructions of where to go to get further information, your staff just told me the next flight is 21 hours later, so I could either fly back home or show them a return ticket and catch the next flight. I had no choice reluctantly paying 2, 000THB on arrival visa in Thailand to get out and try to find a gate agent, but nobody was anywhere to be found. There wasn't anyone at the gate, and no employees were found at the ticketing office either. When I finally was able to find a Qatar employee after over 12 hours, who explained that she had no authority to decide anything for me, and asked me to wait for another 5 hours until other staffs are on duty. And of course, no solutions from anyone after 5 hours.
This experience has caused me to feel like your policy is simply to "pass the buck" onto someone else time and time again until there isn't anyone at the end of the line. It is too late at that point to go back and explain the situation to the Qatar Airways employees. The customer service number would easily result in another two-hour wait on hold, so reluctantly I spent 7, 795THB on the next flight and 13, 699TWD on a return ticket I don't even need. This is a series of delays on behalf of your company. Is this how you treat all of your preferred customers? When I arrived in Dublin, the immigration officers did not even ask for any return tickets, and instead, after reviewing all the documents which I also showed your staffs, they placed me a landing stamp gives me permission to stay here up to 3 months for me to go to registration office and receive my student visa. This whole thing was obviously a mistake of your staffs at BKK. If only they would take a minute to try to understand the situation instead of being unreasonable only because they could. It was so ridiculous they insisted that I should show them a return ticket back to Taiwan specifically, but not anywhere else. They didn't care if I will plan to travel somewhere else after my study. When I told them I had a ticket for trips I planned flying out of Ireland but just not Taiwan, they rejected me again for no reasons.
With all the delays included, I finally arrived at my destination over 30 hours later than anticipated. I had spent over €2, 000 in additional costs between transportation, accommodations, expenses at airports, arrival visa fees in Thailand, unnecessary return tickets from DUB to TPE and not to mention that all the costs I had to spend because you lost my luggage for more than four days. I had nothing for those four days in Dubin, and you can imagine how frustrated I felt at that moment. These costs add up, but what really is more hurting is the way that I felt like Qatar Airways handled the situation. The employees in Thailand, rather than helping, were simply passing me along without the help that I needed. It was a series of problems, one on top of another. Not just a single failure to perform, which I definitely be understood.
I understand that mistakes happen, you may encounter different situations every day with customers from all over the world. However, I don't understand the lack of customer service that I received. I felt disregarded and unvalued. I felt like things could have been handled better. I would like to be able to continue to fly with Qatar Airways, but as I'm sure you understand I have hesitations now due to this horrific experience.
I would hope that you take these complaints into consideration and that you would compensate me for my added expenses. I would also forward this letter to Mr Akbar Al Baker, and ask that you refund the €2, 000 I spent on everything I spent on this incidence. I would also request that you issue me a flight voucher in order to give you another opportunity to show me that your service isn't always so poor.
If you have further questions regarding this catastrophe, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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