When bad airlines happen to good people

I got Iberia’d. Again. Damn.

Since I was a youngster I’ve been flying in and out of the Canary Islands and Ibiza (Eivissa). Most of the time I’ve had to fly on Iberia Airlines, where the food is okay and the onboard staff are pretty good. Oh, sure, there was that time in the nineties when they experimented with shoe-horning more seats into tourist class, and I spent eight hours with my knees jammed into the back of the next seat, but mostly it’s been a good trip.

bad-landing-navyThe corporate folk at Iberia, though, are pretty darn bad. They make mistakes (allowable) and don’t fix them (unacceptable). Last time it was when they lost our luggage for three days. Told us to buy $300 worth of stuff on them, and then disallowed the credit card receipts because there wasn’t an itemized sales slip from each of the beach boutiques. (Hey, this is a tourist island. I was happy to find a tee-shirt, much less an itemized receipt!) Bozos.

This week they did it again. Their website doesn’t make a good distinction between London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports. The outbound leg starts at “London Heathrow”, the return, “London”. No warning that the round-trip doesn’t end where started. When I get the emailed itinerary it shows the airport codes. (Luckily I took a screen capture at the end of the buying process, so I can show I’m not a complete bozo.)

In the old days I’d head downtown to a corporate office, but most airline offices have dissapeared. I’ve called the online ticket folks in England, and in Spain, but they don’t help or suggest nothing more than trying the customer support email address. (Remember, every day this ticket isn’t changed makes it more likely that there won’t be four seats available.)

No response from customer support. I’m about to try their corporate offices in Miami, Florida, and filing a complaint with the Department of Transportation.

If anyone out there knows anyone who knows anyone, please drop me an email. HELP!!! A vacation ought not be held hostage by a poorly-coded website engine. Grrrrrr.

1 Comment so far

  1. Wilson (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 8:54 pm

    I’ve flown exactly once with Iberia, and it was enough for me to say “never more”. The flight was Rio de Janeiro – Madrid, then Madrid – Tel Aviv on a code-share with El Al, and return. Going to Tel Aviv, everything was decently fine, except for really messy toilets after a few hours of flight (but that may not be their fault) and for the fact that my bags never made it into the El Al plane (they arrived in Tel Aviv two days later…).

    Going back, though, we were stopped in Barcelona due to fog and I missed the Madrid-Rio flight. The next flight would be 24 hours later. They were a little reluctant to provide me and a group of other passengers with accomodation and, especially, international phone calls. Their personnel *really* needs more training on how to deal with inconvenienced passengers.

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