Kicked off IberiaBack to Forum
Last week I was travelling from Madrid to Rome, I had booked a multi-destination ticket with CX, with this particular leg operated by Iberia.
When I checked in for my 9.30 flight at 7.30am, I was unceremoniously informed that the flight was full and I had been put on standby. My luggage was taken and I was told to go to the gate and I would be dealt with there.
At the gate, the agent very unapologetically confirmed I was not on the flight and waved in a general direction to go to the counter to be rebooked.
After finding the correct counter, I was told I couldn’t go on the next available flight (a couple of hours later) because I had originally booked with CX who was not a partner, and so was rebooked on a flight departing seven hours later and again waved in the general direction to claim my compensation (in fact, I had to exit the airport and go to the second floor customer service department), where I was given 250 euros.
Despite the compensation, I am still incredibly annoyed. I find the overbooking practice annoying in itself, but surely when this happens the airline should ask all passengers if anyone is willing to take the 250 euro compensation – after all, many travellers would quite likely find this an appealing offer. But to simply kick off the last passengers to check-in is terrible, lazy customer service.
What was more annoying was the attitude of every staff member I dealt with – not a single apology. I also think some airport vouchers/lounge access/an upgrade should have been offered – after all, the 250 euros was the minimum legal compensation, not a show of good will or customer service from the company.
What was worse, a young lady I met at gate had been bumped off the Iberia flight the night before, did not realise she was entitled to hotel accommodation and so slept in the airport, and was STILL not able to board. Outrageous.
Has anyone else found themselves dumped from a flight? How do you deal with this? In hindsight, I wonder if I should have thrown more of a tantrum…28 Jun 2018
Sorry you’ve had this bad experience but this is typical Iberia. Their customer service skills are zero and always have been, even if they are sometimes not bad in the air. I am convinced that they and their even worse subsidiary, Vueling, have a training academy where they train staff to be surly, unhelpful, scruffy, and obstructive. They are even worse than AF ground staff and that takes a lot of beating!
I am surprised at the comment that ‘they are not a partner’ as CX and IB are both in the One World Alliance and as such they are, in a sense, partners.
I would also point out that if your MAD ROM was part of a connection (either outbound or inbound within 24 hours and on a through ticket) your EU261 compensation should be based on the length of the journey from origin to destination, not on the point to point flight. If MAD ROM was not part of a connection then the €250 is correct, but as you say is the legal minimum. They should at least have given you meal vouchers.28 Jun 2018
Headintheclouds, what class were you travelling and do you have any status with CX or any other airline in OW i.e Diamond/Emerald as I would have thought Iberia should have recognised that?. Customer care culture is very inconsistent across Spain. In Iberia there are pockets of staff who do try and a notable example is Air Nostrum. The cabin crew are smart, polite and the newer aircraft clean and bright. Like most airlines when things are going well no issues but when things go awry Iberia are awful. Their website to claim compensation is a nightmare and being part of IAG really says it all. Iberia lost my bag between Valencia to Madrid where I was connecting to HKG and SIN. The bag was sent to LHR!!. As it was a short trip I sought the help of CX at Madrid Airport to intercept the bag when it was sent back to Madrid and I collected it 5 days later. Without the help from CX goodness knows where the bag would have ended up.28 Jun 2018
captonianm – Ah yes sorry, I wasn’t very clear there. Iberia said they couldn’t book me on an earlier flight with airlines they had other partnerships with because I had booked through CX (who did not have partnerships with the other airlines). And no it was not a connecting ticket.
CathayLoyalist – I was travelling in economy and no status… I’m sure these things would have changed the experience, but it’s still poor form to treat paying passengers this way, even if a lowly econ class passenger! Glad to hear CX were able to retrieve your bag. Thanks for the tip – I may well try Air Nostrum in the future as I will certainly be avoiding Iberia!28 Jun 2018
Iberia said they couldn’t book me on an earlier flight with airlines they had other partnerships with because I had booked through CX (who did not have partnerships with the other airlines).
Thanks for clarification. The next available flight/s were probably on AZ, with whom they are not ‘partners’. Nevertheless their obligation under the circumstances (if you had missed the flight it would have been entirely a different situation) is to book you on the next available flight, regardless of carrier. Of course they will always try to sidestep that obligation as it costs them more to send you on another carrier.28 Jun 2018
OW alliance doesn’say much does it? IAG and CX are very close in other ways, sharing ticket revenue on many routes from HKG and LHR, however no allegiance to OW elsewhere?28 Jun 2018
openfly, yes I should have said Air Nostrum is Iberia´s Regional Airline so you will find they fly within Spain only. That said for what are generally short hops they do seem to have a better customer focus. Ticketing, check in etc is still through Iberia28 Jun 2018
I have to ask why you didn’t buy a through / connecting ticket. Also, why didn’t you check in online? If you had baggage then presumably you had to clear immigration first, then go to check in?
And, I believe that I am correct in saying that Air Nostrum, operating as Iberia, also fly to / from Portugal and Italy, at least they used to.28 Jun 2018
Sadly, Air Nostrum don’t just fly within Spain. I flew them the other week CPH-WAW and back, where they were operating on behalf of SAS.
And they were fairly grim, as usual.
Simon28 Jun 2018
Head in the Clouds.
The 250€ presumably covers the EC261 article 7 compo for denied boarding.
However, the denied boarding caused you to be over three hours late, IMO you are due another 250€ for a delay equivalent to a cancellation, ref Joined Cases C-402/07 and C-432/07 (Sturgeon).28 Jun 2018
This proactive overbooking situation that many airlines in the US have adopted is very good, alas here in the Old World the EU carriers seem to have taken their eyes off the ball! If they could be a little more proactive in how they manage potential overbooking they could perhaps save themselves a lot of grief.29 Jun 2018
I have had a look at EU261 and, rather as I expected, there is nothing in there that allows airlines to restrict themselves to partner airlines. Of course by doing so, they are likely to extend the delay and therefore increase the compensation they are liable to pay.
I noted from OP’s post “I find the overbooking practice annoying in itself, but surely when this happens the airline should ask all passengers if anyone is willing to take the 250 euro compensation – after all, many travellers would quite likely find this an appealing offer. But to simply kick off the last passengers to check-in is terrible, lazy customer service.” Not just poor service, but (if true) a contravention of the regulation, which requires airlines to seek volunteers to give up their reservation in exchange for certain benefits before denying boarding.
The rules are complex, so I recommend that my fellow forum members download the EU’s own little app on the subject. The iOS version is here. While it is not the slickest app on the planet, it is very easily navigable and (for something produced by the EU!) written in surprisingly clear English.
It includes advice not just for passengers on airlines, but also trains, sea transport and road transport, although that is more general (unsurprisingly since I don’t think there is an equivalent of EU261 for these modes of transport, so I have never consulted that part of the app)5 Jul 2018
When you get on IB longhaul or even shorthaul, if A350 is on training route can someone review the new J class seat or the aeroplane?
It appears this maybe the new business class seat for all of IAG and therefore BA too.5 Jul 2018