ETHIAD: REPORT ABOUT A TOTAL INEFFICIENCY (ZERO Assistance in Shanghai)Back to Forum
Anonymous22 Apr 2016
On Tuesday 12th April, flying back from Shanghai to Milan MXP (Alitalia “return Business Class ticket”) with a stopover in Abu Dhabi, I was checking-in at the Ethiad Business Class counter (Ethiad was the operator for the first leg) when I saw that the label wrapped on my luggage was relevant only for the flight PVG – AUH, even if the final destination written on my ticket was Milan MXP.
At that stage, I told to the ground hostess (she couldn’t quite understand English) that there was a mistake on the label, because my final destination was Milan and not Abu Dhabi. She immediately replied me that, on their systems, my reservation was only for the flight to Abu Dhabi.
Annoyed by her answer, and pointing out the destination written on my ticket, I told her to ask for information to her supervisor; waiting for the “release”, I went straight to her boss, who explained me that he was already on the phone with Ethiad in Abu Dhabi, trying to sort out my problem.
One hour later and after several phone calls to Abu Dhabi, the Ethiad supervisor replied me, at first, that Ethiad tried to make a new reservation (from AUH to MXP) but, at that time it seemed to be not possible because there were no seats available in the same level of class/fare of my ticket and, subsequently, that the office in Abu Dhabi, qualified to manage the reservation, was closed in that moment.
After these answers, I was getting more and more irritated and I decided to call directly the Alitalia “Club Freccia Alata” assistance in Rome: the operator immediately replied me that, for Alitalia, the reservation was regular. Furthermore, he added that probably the mistake was due to the difference between the two registration systems (Arco for Alitalia and Sabre for Ethiad). Neither the Ethiad Supervisor at Shanghai Airport, nor the Ethiad staff in Abu Dhabi seemed to have a solution to a very well know problem.
The Alitalia Customer Service suggested me to board on the flight (it was about to leave) and reassured me that, at my arrival in Abu Dhabi, I would have found an Alitalia assistant with my new boarding pass for Milan as well as a solution for my luggage.
Even though I reported to the Ethiad supervisor in Shanghai about this total inefficiency ( practically I received no assistance at all..), I insisted on meeting an Ethiad agent at Abu Dhabi Airport, to whom explain my complaints. This was confirmed by the Shanghai supervisor.
As I could imagine, at the airport, I didn’t meet any Ethiad personnel, but I met a very professional and polite Alitalia representative with the boarding pass and the solution for my luggage.
I finally arrived in Milan on time, thanks to the Alitalia Assistance, which understood the reason of the mistake ( which is the lack in communication between the two reservation systems) while Ethiad, despite my Business Class ticket and the Club Freccia Alata Plus (Platinum) membership, had been completely disinterested.
I take this occasion to remind that this two companies have several flight in code-share and Ethiad is now the major relative shareholder (49%) in Alitalia!!!
I fly almost every week and I’m often facing different problems but, in this case, it is hard to find a such complete disinterest as shown by Ethiad (I repeat: ZERO assistance) toward a LOYAL CUSTOMER.
As passenger, I wonder if I am aware of all problems between the two “partner” airline companies as Alitalia and Ethiad: both the staff present at the Shanghai airport didn’t have the authority to solve out a problem, and the HQ Supervisor in Abu Dhabi Airport didn’t seem to be helpful in finding a solution. I, THE CUSTOMER, have been forced to find the solution by myself!
Last, but not least, in order not to recognize this shameful inefficiency, I was granted (by an e-mail dated 15th April from the Guest Relations Officer) a compensation of 5000 Ethiad Guest Miles, that is normally what is grant when, during a flight, the coffee machine doesn’t work.. For instance, some months ago on an Alitalia flight FCO-MIA (AZ630) I was granted 10000 miles only because the “snake light” of my Business Class seat was out of order.
Honestly, I consider this reply as a further, maybe the worst, mockery from Ethiad: for this reason, I claimed for my message to reach directly Mr. James Hogan, CEO of Ethiad, in order to report about the total incapacity of his personnel in problem solving.
At this stage, I ask to the “Business Travellers Forum” readers to tell about their bad experiences with, as Ethiad Claimed to be, “The Best Airline Company in the World”.
What would I have expected if such “problem” happened with a less titled airline and for a passenger flying in Economy Class?22 Apr 2016
So, to sum up, you arrived home on the flight you were supposed to traveling in the class you were booked with your luggage.
All sounds well to me and the remainder is just the occasional frustration of travel.
Perhaps as a new poster you have other things to contribute here?22 Apr 2016
WilieWelsh, so do you really think the bag would have arrived in Milan with Andrea had she not intervened?. Your comments are more akin to a disinterested employee of Ethiad than a rational response to really poor customer service. Equally I cannot imagine anyone on this Forum seeing the error and dismissing it as a non-event.22 Apr 2016
The OP’s problem is one of the systems not being able to talk to each other….annoying…..but it happens. The OP should have been treated better by the staff in taking ownership of the problem and dealing with it. The problem as with so many big businesses (including BA) is that low paid staff are employed to follow the system…..thus if the system says no!!!! In this instance after some effort the OP got what he/she wanted and arrived on time, with baggage in the cabin booked. So a happy ending.23 Apr 2016
Here a a couple of examples for you 😉
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWQbuJ24Wzg not the one in the white dress 😉
How was the lady’s name spelt? Andrea is equivalent to Andrew in English, one of a selecty group of masculine names that ends in ‘a’.23 Apr 2016
This seems to be a failure by check in staff to do a baggage through check, which they should be able to do even if they cannot issue a boarding pass, and if it was obvious that there was a confirmed booking on the onward flight. The real problem as has already been pointed out is the failure of customer service staff who strictly follow the system.23 Apr 2016
Londoner1966 – 23/04/2016 07:34 BST
What on earth is rude about the summary of events I posted? I also asked if the OP had other things to contribute to the forum as this was their first post.
My post was about the topic, yours isn’t.
FWIW I speak my mind and don’t mind who likes it and who doesn’t. I don’t tolerate people who make a business or career out of being ‘offended’ either so if you don’t like my posts, don’t read them.23 Apr 2016
WillieWelsh – 22/04/2016 19:18 BST
As much as I like both Alitalia and Etihad as airlines (for product), when you mix that combination for back office efficiency, it’s a wonder his luggage got anywhere 😉24 Apr 2016
Thank goodness the issue was resolved. Reminds me of a UL Flight my wife went on and because it was delayed she missed her connecting flight so her baggage tags was still the original flights and code. So at the connection they moved her to MH and still was not given a tag with the excuse that it still reads KUL as that was the destination. Thank goodness the bags arrived24 Apr 2016
Andrea’s issue highlights the whole mess involving code-sharing.
It definitely has benefits,especially if you’re an educated frequent flyer. Unfortunately, and all to often service levels are compromised by incompatible systems, on board product differences, frequent flyer redemption small print and potential legal and regulatory implications when things go wrong.
In this instance, a very very minor problem ,that should in any case have been a seamless integration has ended up on a internet forum page for the whole world to read about.
Poor show by Etihad, and makes you question their 5 star rating, if they’re unable to problem solve a basic everyday airline process ?24 Apr 2016