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[Post your experience] Airlines/hotels that misbehaved or offered stellar service

[Post your experience] Airlines/hotels that misbehaved or offered stellar service

Old Apr 25, 20, 5:40 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2019
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[Post your experience] Airlines/hotels that misbehaved or offered stellar service

I am putting together a guide of airlines to memorialize how they have recently been treating passengers. While some of them typically want to charge us for 0.5lbs heavier check-in luggage, they now claim "we are all in this together."

After COVID19 is over, I would like to look at this list to choose airlines that have treated us, the passengers, really well.

What are your stories? What were you disappointed about? What were you pleasantly surprised with?

I had experience with a couple of airlines: KLM, Delta and Wizzair.

KLM: KLM cancelled my flights from the US to Europe. I was asking for a refund to the original method of payment for days, via WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. I was stonewalled with what I perceived as slightly different but equally misleading responses (that only a voucher or rebooking were applicable, which was in accordance with the stance of some governments around the world). In my case, KLM did not even entertain my request for a full refund. In the end, KLM forced me to file a complaint against them with USDOT and file a chargeback with the credit card company to retrieve money. I typically LOVED and ADORED flying with KLM. They were my airline of choice, but I am very disappointed with how they treated me.

Delta: I had some flights scheduled with Delta for later this year. There were significant schedule changes. I called up, and the customer rep filed a request for full refund on my behalf. I am still waiting, but I was pleasantly surprised how easy & nice the process was. Delta has always had really awesome customer experience, and I am happy to see they continue treating passengers with dignity and respect.

Wizzair: Wizzair cancelled one of my flights within Europe. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to navigate the refund process. I was able to complete everything without needing to call. I haven't received the money yet, but they stated it could take up to 60 days to see the refund (I am not on day 7). Again, for a budget airline, Wizzair seems to be doing a really nice job with refunds.

Any stories, anyone?
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Old Apr 25, 20, 9:40 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: SEA
Programs: AS 75K, TK ELPL (*G), BA Gold (OWE), DL GM (ST E+), Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 7,529
My experiences cancelling trips in February/March:

Air Astana (KC): Excellent experience - even before my flight got cancelled, they published a waiver allowing full refunds for passengers who could no longer travel because their nationality was banned from the origin, destination, or connecting country. Since I fell into this category, they promptly refunded my ticket with no issues. I hope they make it through this crisis - it's an awesome carrier and I can't wait to fly them again

Alaska Airlines (AS): As an MVP gold, I get waived change fees anyway, so the waiver wasn't particularly useful. For flights which AS cancelled or which were refundable fares, I received prompt refunds to my original form of payment.

All Nippon Airlines (NH): This flight was booked through a travel agency, so while ANA's call center claimed to have no issues approving the refund, CheapOAir refused to process the refund. After a DOT complaint, ANA took over control of the ticket and refunded it directly.

British Airways (BA): I had an award ticket booked with BA Avios operated by S7 (BCN-DME). BA refused to waive the cancellation penalty even after Russia banned passengers arriving from Spain. I cancelled the ticket and ate the refund fee 24 hours prior to departure, since BA does not allow cancellations within 24 hours. S7 ended up cancelling the flight on day-of-departure, but I haven't followed up with BA to see if the cancellation charge can be reversed.

Ryanair (FR): Ryanair refused to cancel/refund my ticket even when my destination country had banned my nationality from entering. Fortunately, my flight was cancelled and they promptly refunded my ticket after the cancellation was announced.

United Airlines (UA): I was lucky to get my tickets refunded before they negatively changed their policies, and I was really impressed with the customer service. They refunded one of my friends' tickets because we were traveling together and my ticket (on a separate reservation) was impacted by a coronavirus-driven schedule change (the cancellation of the second SFO-HKG). They also refunded both directions of a separate trip of mine booked as two one-ways, where one direction was impacted by a coronavirus schedule change but the other wasn't. All in all, an excellent customer experience, and reflective of my usual experience with United. Unfortunately, after things started to get serious, they tightened up the policies a lot, but hopefully they'll revert to their previous generous schedule change policies once this cash crisis passes.

I had horrible experiences with every OTA I had tickets booked with (Priceline, CheapOAir), but fortunately every airline stepped up and made things right when the OTAs failed. I've always known that I should always book directly with the airline, but sometimes I cave and book OTA when I have unusual interline connections and/or the airline's website isn't pricing correctly. After this experience, I'll be sure to use a trusted brick-and-mortar travel agent for those types of use cases going forward.

I have a trip next month that I need to postpone/cancel with tickets booked on AS, AV, TK, and UA stock - I keep putting off actually dealing with it because I know it'll be more painful than the (overall positive) experiences I've had so far, but I'll report back when I get around to it

Last edited by PVDtoDEL; Apr 25, 20 at 9:46 pm
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Old Apr 25, 20, 11:36 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Programs: Marriott Titanium; WN A-list; UA Silver
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Asiana got me a refund in 14 days from request to hitting my AMEX.

WN's basically been WN as they've always been more flexible.
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Old Apr 26, 20, 12:33 am
  #4  
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I think it’s important to point out that these are anecdotal stories, and the plural of anecdote is not data. In the individual airline subforums you’ll find stories spanning the entire customer experience landscape.
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Old Apr 26, 20, 7:23 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Programs: Marriott Titanium, IHG Spire Elite, Hilton Gold, United Silver, BA Bronze
Posts: 233
Sri Lankan Airlines: It is unclear if refunds are being processed, I have not seen a single response on Twitter which has indicated that funds have been received since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. After my flight cancelation, I requested a refund which I am entitled to under EU 261/2004. My ticket was also refundable regardless of this. Given the failure of the airline to confirm they are processing the refund, I have raised a chargeback with Amex. I do not see myself using this airline in the future.

British Airways: Refunds for 2 flights received in around 2 weeks. Assisted in both instances by BA Refund Helper on this board to get my Avios back. Disappointed by the website changes making it harder to request refunds, but delighted at how professional and helpful BA Refund Helper and other staff have been.

Virgin Atlantic: Refund for 1 flight received in less than a week. Whatsapp channel is slow but reliable. As with BA the staff are very helpful.

Lufthansa: Opted for the voucher which was straightforward, was tempted by the bonus for rebooking for using it. However, this decision was taken knowing they are not processing refunds and the amount involved was low.

Net experience with Virgin was positive, BA and Lufthansa neutral and Sri Lankan negative. I sincerely hope VS remains afloat, they have always treated me well and done the right thing first time - this was no exception.

Last edited by MrM2016; Apr 26, 20 at 7:32 am
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Old Apr 26, 20, 12:03 pm
  #6  
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I know that Luftgansa offered a re-booking option. Till the end of december 2020, but who knows. I bought a ticket not directly. it's difficult to contact them to get my money back.
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Old Apr 26, 20, 12:24 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 8
I had great experience with Air Canda. They really took a great care of my mom when she had to take a flight from Canada to Ohio and her booked flights was canceled.
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Old Apr 27, 20, 4:24 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
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Posts: 257
British Airways proactively triggered a cash refund for a cancelled package booking so I wouldn't even have to call in. Was able to rebook another trip onto AY online without any hassle. A third trip I had to phone in about to get a cash refund, but I didn't have to wait very long, and the agent was very friendly and helpful. They said it might take 3-4 weeks to receive the money. Money back on my Amex in less than a week for both. Considering the circumstances, I think they've handled everything quite well in my case. Let's see if they can keep it up as more cancellations are undoubtedly looming ahead.
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Old Apr 28, 20, 10:10 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 2
Delta has been terrific. No long wait on hold. Responsive. Generous policies​​​​​​. Good bedside manner. So glad they are my airline of choice.

Kenya has been another story. Tried to cancel a $7000+ ticket two days after booking in mid-March, right as the coronavirus was exploding. Conference I was supposed to facilitate was cancelled and even if it was not, my doctor strongly advised against a long flight, given my age and medical issues. Local Kenya agent made me go to their home office. Had to deal by email after frustrating efforts on phone. Finally they gave me a choice of a voucher, which I will now never use, or a refund minus $1000 they will keep for themselves that will take as long as a year to get to me.
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Old Apr 28, 20, 10:36 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by smartytravel View Post
I am putting together a guide of airlines to memorialize how they have recently been treating passengers. While some of them typically want to charge us for 0.5lbs heavier check-in luggage, they now claim "we are all in this together."

After COVID19 is over, I would like to look at this list to choose airlines that have treated us, the passengers, really well.

What are your stories? What were you disappointed about? What were you pleasantly surprised with?

I had experience with a couple of airlines: KLM, Delta and Wizzair.

KLM: KLM cancelled my flights from the US to Europe. I was asking for a refund to the original method of payment for days, via WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. I was stonewalled with what I perceived as slightly different but equally misleading responses (that only a voucher or rebooking were applicable, which was in accordance with the stance of some governments around the world). In my case, KLM did not even entertain my request for a full refund. In the end, KLM forced me to file a complaint against them with USDOT and file a chargeback with the credit card company to retrieve money. I typically LOVED and ADORED flying with KLM. They were my airline of choice, but I am very disappointed with how they treated me.

Delta: I had some flights scheduled with Delta for later this year. There were significant schedule changes. I called up, and the customer rep filed a request for full refund on my behalf. I am still waiting, but I was pleasantly surprised how easy & nice the process was. Delta has always had really awesome customer experience, and I am happy to see they continue treating passengers with dignity and respect.

Wizzair: Wizzair cancelled one of my flights within Europe. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to navigate the refund process. I was able to complete everything without needing to call. I haven't received the money yet, but they stated it could take up to 60 days to see the refund (I am not on day 7). Again, for a budget airline, Wizzair seems to be doing a really nice job with refunds.

Any stories, anyone?
BA flight from Africa in First. When the country closed the borders at Midnight, BA refused to help move me onto the flight that day. They said everything was sold out. So we hung up went on line and booked the flight. Trying to get refund back in UK they nickel and dimed every inch of the way. Flight crew were great but I would not give BA a penny of public money support during CoVid 19. Quite abominable exploitation of Covid 19 and they did it to many many people.
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Old Apr 28, 20, 10:38 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Subpar customer service experience with Korean Air refund

Back in February 2020 KAL twice cancelled the return portion of my BKK-SEL-BKK. The second time they rebooked me on a flight that was 18 hours later than my original departure, forcing me to overnight in SEL, which I did not want to do. Even though my booking was in J and I am Gold on Skyteam no-one at KAL's service counter in BKK could help, other than giving me the customer service phone number in BKK and in Korea. I called the BKK number 6 or 7 times over a period of several days, after 60-120 minutes on hold I hang up. Calling the Korea number was not much better, got disconnected several times after a very long wait. When I finally got through to someone they told me the value of my return ticket was worth about 20% of what I paid for it and that is what I would get as a refund. I thought highly of Korean Air's service before this experience but no longer. KAL is only OK if there is no issue, otherwise you are on your own. While very polite they completely gave me the impression that they could not care less about my business or (dis)satisfaction.
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Old Apr 28, 20, 11:18 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NY
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 2
I have been at odds with UA regarding a substantial change in schedule for a direct, nonstop flight they cancelled for 5/6/20 from EWR to RIC. UA rep claims they can reaccommodate me on an earlier or later flight within six hours so they don't have to refund, but they offered their voucher for a future flight. They subsequently cancelled all direct nonstop flights and put me on a EWR/IAD'RIC/IAD/EWR which again is unacceptable. I was told by the very sympathetic rep that she could put in for a refund, but UA is denying practically all requests for refunds and it would be denied. I told the rep that I will file a complaint with the DOT which I did yesterday, so we will see what happens. I am worried that if I don't cancel the reservation the day before, it would be treated as a no show and I would lose the entire value of the ticket. I am a UA million miler which doesn't get me anything other than a little more sympathy from the reps.
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Old Apr 28, 20, 11:26 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Federal Way, WA
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Posts: 1,177
My business partner had a good experience with AS. She was scheduled for a SEA-ONT-SEA trip, but the schedule was reduced from 3/4 737s per day to one E75, the return leaving at 07xx. Since she would have been staying an hour and a half away and doesn't do mornings any better than I do, and being unsure of traveling right now anyway, she cancelled the trip. She took the voucher offer. The voucher itself is good for a full 12 months, then I think the usual reservation lead time after that, so she essentially has at least a year and a half to make the trip (which will definitely happen, since it's to visit her aging parents). She's quite happy with it.

(I'm just holding off on making reservations for a trip later this year, since it'll depend on what restrictions are in place locally at both ends at the time.)
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Old Apr 28, 20, 11:42 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: coastal Croatia
Programs: BAEC gold, M&M FQTV
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I had two tickets with AA that were separate but two thirds of a single trip. One was to fly from SFO to MCO and the second (actually the second half of a ticket purchased via BA) to fly home from MCO a week later via MUC. The CLT-MUC flight had been cancelled fairly early on--a day or two before my flight from SFO to MCO. When I got to the airport, I asked AA if they could re-route me back to Europe that day and refund my flight from SFO to MCO. The check-in agent made several phone calls and found me flights home at no additional charge and offered me a voucher for the SFO-MCO flight. Great service and attitude. When I went over to BA, they couldn't see the ticket and eventually realized it was a paper ticket from AA which their systems don't support. My main complaint was the attitude from the BA team and their statement that BA was trying to get the maximum amount of revenue from any distressed passengers since Covid wasn't BA's fault. Anyway, back to AA after 45 minutes at the BA counter and it turned out there was a single keystroke missing on the AA ticket which made it default to a paper ticket. Took about 15 minutes to figure out the error but again, the attitude was great and then I was back over to BA to check in. Flights on BA were fine albeit an hour late which made for a rushed connection from T5 to T2 in LHR. Anyway, five stars (out of five) to AA for everything.

With another ticket, LH said they would process a refund for a flight they cancelled over a month ago which still hasn't hit my credit card.
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Old Apr 28, 20, 12:24 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 19
Frontier: Gave me a "schedule change" which involved cancelling the flight # I booked (direct flight MCO-GRR), and gave me a connecting flight via DEN.
Not eligible for a refund as this is not a "significant change" per their policy written in their favor. The original flight left around 4pm, new flight leaves around 10am.

They gave me a similar run-around for a different booking with a "schedule change" which involved cancelling a direct flight and putting me on a different connecting flight the following day. Eventually got a refund on that one after spending a few hours on hold.

I am getting the impression that they will go out of business if they provide refunds in a manner that is fair to passengers.
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