Hello there, I am about to share my first experience with Etihad Airways. From past three years, I was working with Infosys, India and then I decided to step out of my comfort zone and planned for higher education in the United States.
Moving out of my country for the first time was not at all pleasant for me. It was a hectic journey and I think It was all because of the airlines I preferred! To start from the beginning, I was more inclined to prefer Qatar Airlines because all my friends were travelling through Qatar. But, I chose Etihad just because it is the only airlines through which I could have got my immigration check done at Abu Dhabi and I thought that I will not have any problems when I land Dallas.
I was hoping to reach Dallas on time and without facing any problems. So, I booked my tickets and was exited about my getaway. The problem started when I was in India and was trying to do web check-in. I was surprised to know that the PNR number printed in the ticket was incorrect!
I called Etihad customer care twice and they gave me 2 different PNR numbers. The one which was printed in the ticket was entirely different from the PNR number I got from Etihad's customer care representatives. They told me that I have booked Etihad airlines flight through Jet Airways portal and this is the reason for not been able to complete the online check-in and for having multiple PNR numbers. Anyways, I started my journey from Delhi Airport and everything went well till I landed Abu Dhabi.
At Abu Dhabi international airport(Terminal 3), Raja, one of the Etihad's airport executive told me that the flight from Abu Dhabi to Dallas is overbooked and I'll have to wait for 2 days in Abu Dhabi for the next direct flight to Dallas. I was dumbstruck to hear that! I had booked my tickets 2 months before my travel date, but airlines refused to provide me a seat inside the flight. After wasting 3 hours of my time, she gave me 2 options which were- 1) To travel to Dallas via Paris and 2) To travel via Hong Kong.
I decided to travel via Paris because this was the better option. The flight to Paris was on 29th July- 2:00 AM and I was stuck there in Abu Dhabi for next 17-18 hours. Surprisingly, there were 2 other Indians with me. I was surprised to know that all of us are from the same country and there wasn't a single American who faced this problem.
I had to tolerate the racism because I was stuck there in a completely different country with no facilities to call loved ones. Finally, after wasting 3-4 hours, I went to Holiday Inn, Abu Dhabi. The airlines provided the accommodation but I had to pay for my transit visa fee and all the other expenses which were done at Abu Dhabi. Calling India and informing everyone about my well being was one of the major expense there!
I spent almost 500-600$ that day. All because of the service I received from Etihad Airways. Online whatsapp call/messenger calls- nothing was permitted in that country! I called my hometown from Hotel's phone and wasted my money on those calls!
After spending a day in Abu Dhabi, I reached Airport and boarded flight to Paris and then to Dallas. Reaching Dallas from Paris via American Airlines was another headache for me. I got worst seat in the flight which was not at all comfortable. But, I was more into reaching my destination rather than picking up flaws so I managed to change my seat with some other passenger.
Finally, I landed Dallas at around 3pm CST 29th July instead of 4pm, 28th July. I informed my parents and was ready for the new beginning in the United States. But, the fate had something else planned for me. I waited in front of the Bag lane for almost an hour and was shocked to know that 2 of my bags are missing!
I filed complaint at the Baggage help desk and wasted around 2 hours in the Airport. I got to know that my bags are still lying somewhere in Abu Dhabi airport. My friends were waiting outside the airport as they came for my pickup and I was busy in filing the complaint for my bags. I was not even having any number to call, because the international sim card which I got from India was in the bag which was there in Abu Dhabi!
I had to buy a new sim on the very first day and again wasted my money. All my friends and family members were worried about me and were trying to reach me but, all their efforts went n vain. Finally after 2 hours, I was told that my bags will arrive at my address within 24 hours and I don't have to worry about my bags. But, I am a student here and I came to study.
I was carrying almost everything in those bags and I was told not to worry! Previously, I was a bit suspicious about my luggage as there were change in flights but Raja(Etihad's executive at Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal 3) convinced me that I'll receive my luggage at DFW. But, my bags went missing. I was carrying many important stuff in my bags like Leasing papers for the new flat, formal wear for the next day orientation, home made food for initial days, etc.
But, I had to spend on each and everything, because of the missing bags. I had to buy everything from tissues to cosmetics, clothes and shoes for my initial day in college. After continuous follow up with the Airlines, the online executive informed me after 48 hours that my bags are with a courier company and they cant provide the number of the courier company. The American airlines closed the ticket without even delivering bags to me.
I googled the number of courier company and they told me that they don't have my bags and they have not collected any bag from the Airport that day. I was so worried about my luggage and the Airlines was not even concerned. I was shocked to receive this kind of service from American Airlines representatives. They even updated their portal- as baggage delivered, and I was not having a hint where my bags are!
Finally, after 3 long days, I received my bags! I cant even explain the expenses I made for small things during these 3 days! Apart from the expenses, I suffered mentally because of whatever happened. My parents were so worried about me and I cant explain the feeling I was getting after reaching here empty handed.
I suffered with Fever because of the climate change( In Abu Dhabi and Dallas), but I was not having any medicines with me as my medicines were there in my bag which was not with me! There were many issues which I faced but, no one was actually concerned about customer's satisfaction and I had to go through all the trouble in finding and locating my bags and then finally get them delivered. I wasted a day of my life just because of the Airlines I preferred. My parents were worried back there in India, they were trying to reach out to me, but I was in a totally different country and that too empty handed.
I can only explain the sufferings in terms of money, but I cannot explain the mental suffering I faced because of all that was happened that day. First time, out of my country and 2 longs days- only for travelling. I spend Rs. 55,000 on my ticket just because it was of 22 hours flight and other flights were of Rs.30,000 which takes 40-50 hours from Delhi to Dallas.
I wasted lot of my money by choosing this airlines. In the above mail, I tried to explain my sufferings but I think no-one can understand the problems I faced. You can only get 1% of idea of my sufferings that day. Anyways, its been more than a week now and I would really appreciate if your company would compensate for my loss, so that I can give another chance to Etihad to provide a better experience next time.
I hope that you take complaints into consideration and that you will compensate my for my expenses. My eTicket number was- 5894926162033 and let me know if you need any other detail.
Looking forward for your reply. Thank you Neha Kalra 682-386-9535
Review about: Etihad Airways Flight Booking.
Reason of review: FLIGHT OVERBOOKED ISSUE.
Monetary Loss: $5000.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
I didn't like: Staffs.