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Anonymous30 Oct 2013
One of the worst airline experiences I have ever had. We were booked on the Air Europa flight from NYC/JFK to Madrid. We were arriving by connection from San Francisco and were checked through from San Francisco to Madrid by the ticketing agent at SFO. On arriving at JFK we went to the Air Europa gate. There were many other passengers in the same situation as us, i.e. arriving from other destinations and taking the JFK to Madrid connection with Air Europa. As boarding commenced many of us (about a dozen) were told that Air Europa no longer would accept the boarding pass printed at our point of embarkation and that we would have to get boarding passes reprinted. There were 4 agents at the gate doing nothing. But they told us to go outside security to get our boarding passes reprinted, and then re-enter.
We dozen or so passengers then started running for the ticketing counters. When we got there, there was a huge line. Only one agent was doing ticketing. Our flight was leaving in 10 minutes so I requested that the agent deal with us dozen passengers. It was clear that since we were all unrelated passengers connecting through JFK, from different points of origin, that the problem was on Air Europa’s side. It is not possible that so many agents in so many different airports, for so many different passengers screwed up at the same time.
We were all in danger of missing our flight but none of the Air Europa agents could be bothered. They said, “Next time you should be more careful to make sure your tickets are correct!”, admonishing us as if we were at fault. I looked at the boarding passes we had been given by the ticketing agent in SFO, and they looked completely correct. How were we to check if they were “correct”?
Finally we were ticketed and we ran to get through security. We had about two minutes to get through security, but the line was about fifteen minutes long. I asked the Europa Agent if they could help us get through security. They said it wasn’t possible and that we should just go stand in line. I went to the line and told the TSA agents there the situation. The TSA agents took the entire group of us and allowed us to go through a fast line in the security.
We made the flight but the service we received from Air Europa was extremely rude and unprofessional. The JFK staff of Air Europa should be fired. They were acting like disgruntled employees who did not want to be there. They could not use their common sense. They did not know how to put two and two together. The quickest solution would have been for agents at the gate to deal with the boarding pass issues, instead of sending us outside security, but that would have involved using common sense and initiative. The people working for Air Europa were terrible.
On arriving in Madrid my wife and I discovered that our bags were not on the flight. At JFK the Air Europa staff had failed to place our bags in the cargo hold. We were fine with that. Mistakes happen, and we expected that might happen given the screw up with the boarding passes. We were spending a couple days in Madrid, so we were not worried if the bags were a few days delayed.
Air Europa, however, took about five days to bring our bags to us.
Our troubles did not end there. We were told that Air Europa would compensate us for any small incidentals we would need to buy while our baggage was lost. We did not go crazy with this. We bought simple things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, a change of socks, underwear, and a few spare t-shirts, so that we could manage until the luggage was returned to us. It was not a big expense. We submitted the expenses to Air Europa. Till this day we haven’t received a compensation check for those incidentals. It was a small amount of money … insignificant. But I think the principle is important.
At every stage Air Europa demonstrated that they just don’t care.
Recently I made a call to Air Europa to ask about the incidental expenses and why we weren’t compensated. When I first called they told me I should call between the hours of 10AM and 6PM Spain time. I called at 8AM PST the next day, which is within that period. When I finally talked to an agent she told me she could not help me as their computers were being upgraded. So I asked her when I should call back. She said call in a few hours. I called again and the computers were still down, so she said to call back at 12PM PST. I did so. I got a man on the line and had this conversation:
“Can I help you?”
“Yes, I’m calling regarding compensation for luggage that was delivered late”
“We cannot help you now, because you must call between 10AM and 6PM”
“What time is it there now?”
“It is past 6PM”
“I called earlier and they said to call back later because the computer system is down”
“Please call between 10 and 6”
“Why can’t you help me now?”
“We only deal with lost luggage between 10 and 6”
“Do the computers work now?”
“Why can’t you help me now?”
“We have a policy.”
“So you have the computer up, but you won’t look up my record”
“Call between 10 and 6. I will end this call if you have no other questions.”
“No, let me.” *Click*30 Oct 2013