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First time in EY with infant - Our experience

First time in EY with infant - Our experience

Old Jan 12, 15, 8:33 am
  #1  
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First time in EY with infant - Our experience

First time in EY with our new born, though I flown umpteen times with other airlines its my first experience with infant,thus I ain't giving my opinion based on a comparison, but just this maiden experience.

Me and my wife were on a different itinerary, and with a 5 month old infant we always wanted a bassinet accessible seat. But after booking we realized that we cant pre-book those seats (did I miss something ), they can only take the request and the seats are on first come basis to the airport.Nevertheless I thought it should be okay as I planned to be in airport 3 hours before the flight.

Flight day : 1/1/2015

MAA-AUH-AMS is the route travelling in Y . At the airport by 0115 hrs for the 0450 flight. EY counter was not so busy, so our turn came up quickly. The check-in staff was a contracted staff ( my guess ), and also in her first week of job ( which she told ). She was very nervous since the person before us had an heated argument with her, dont know the reasons. The first thing I inquired was about the bassinet seats, to which her reply was she will request someone to open up the seats and in the mean time she asked to check-in our luggages. She insisted to check-in our hand luggage too, as we are with baby we took the things needed for her, everything else was checked through. She let few baggages check-in and then realised that she tagged some other passengers itinerary into our luggage . Reason she gave is the first 3 letters of my name prompted the other passengers name, and by mistake she printed that. The bags are already gone, and she looked completely helpless. Its already half hour gone in the check-in counter and my daughter was getting restless, the check-in staff spoke to her superior and then realized that they need to take my downstairs into the luggage storage area and I have to identify my luggage and then only they can re-tag it.

All these time I was insisting to make sure that Im getting the bassinet seats, her reply was seats are on hold, so no problem and when she actually check it, boom.. Its all gone by that time.... Okay, I tried to be calm and ask her to book the bassinet for my second flight. Another 15 minutes gone and she came up with an answer that only one seat is available and I have to sit behind separately. She said I need to sort out inflight.

Okay, tried already on the New Years day, dont want to spoil our mood. Tried to be cooperative by assisting them in luggage storage, and then into the flight without bassinet, and then there is fog during landing so arrived 2 hours delayed, thus the connection flight departure time is already passed by 45 mins. After landing there is no signs of EY staffs to help the transit passengers. I checked the flight status for our AMS flight, it said ''Last Call''. Okay, we hurried on our own, reached the gate. The 2 seater bassinet had another passenger and when I asked the EY pursuer whether she can help, reply was that I need to sort out on my own. The passenger in the other seat refused to change because he needs some leg space. He is flying AUH-AMS and he could book the bassinet seat who is travelling without a kid and the couple with kids couldn't book it in MAA because bassinet can be booked only 3 hours before flight, when the check-in for AUH-AMS opens in AUH, we are in mid-flight. My wife was reluctant to sit in the bassinet alone, as she would uncomfortable during feeding time, we flown again without bassinet. In the flight we saw all the bassinet seats was not used because it had children above 2 years. Just lame work done by EY..

Flight landed 2 hours delayed in AMS, and all our baggages didnt make it. It arrived 3 days later.

Its still New year day, and we had a party later in the evening ,so I tried my best not be get upset with all happened. I didnt bother to write up a complaint or anything, I just don't know whether it will be worth. Any advise ?

Positives : Seats were comfortable, much better than EK. Food was excellent. My daughter behaved like a charm, she slept the whole flight in our lap.
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Old Jan 12, 15, 2:03 pm
  #2  
 
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Me and my partner have done about 50 flights with our now 18 month old infant and I can't say that my experience hasn't been much better than what you describe.

Done everything from Lufthansa F, to long-haul charter Y, and found that in 80% of cases the ground staff or crew just could not be bothered to sort out a bassinet or use available ways to make a slightly more comfortable experience for us or our seatmates.
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Old Jan 12, 15, 2:54 pm
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Best is AA, flown longhaul with them and you get the bulkhead seat if you request traveling with infant, BUT more often than not you get no bassinet, apparently they carry just one, and rarely two, bassinets on each flight so if you get to your seat last, you maybe out of luck.

As for EY, I've actually scored each time I've flown, key is to call the reservations line and speak to an agent until you get one kind enough to block the bulkhead bassinet seats for you. They won't actually block the seat for you when you call them but send a request message to whoever the Master Seat Blocker dude is at EY who then confirms within 24 hours and will block the seat. And when I've checked-in at the airport they confirm that my seats are already pre-allocated with the bassinets so thankfully have had no problems. Key is to be nice and persistent enough till you get an agent willing enough to help you, otherwise you'll get the standard BS to try your luck at the airport. I have twins so it was imperative I get the bassinets or else our journey would have been very difficult.
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Old Jan 13, 15, 1:01 am
  #4  
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Thanks for the advise. As said, its our first flight with baby, may be we will get used to it. On the hindsight, I just booked my next flight with EK, and I could select & book the bassinet seats just online ^
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Old Jan 13, 15, 2:49 pm
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This thread brings back several bad memories with Etihad.

SHAME on ETIHAD and shame on the passenger who refused to give up their bulkhead seat (as if they paid extra money for it!!).

I have had several terrible experiences as well with regards to reserving baby bassinets with Etihad. Complained to them in the past and suggested they improve their bassinet reservation system but nothing has changed.

I think it is time they get named and shamed online until they get this sorted. Etihad airways, the world's leading airline my ***.
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Old Jan 13, 15, 7:15 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by isle11 View Post
First time in EY with our new born, though I flown umpteen times with other airlines its my first experience with infant,thus I ain't giving my opinion based on a comparison, but just this maiden experience.

Me and my wife were on a different itinerary, and with a 5 month old infant we always wanted a bassinet accessible seat. But after booking we realized that we cant pre-book those seats (did I miss something ), they can only take the request and the seats are on first come basis to the airport.Nevertheless I thought it should be okay as I planned to be in airport 3 hours before the flight.

Flight day : 1/1/2015

MAA-AUH-AMS is the route travelling in Y . At the airport by 0115 hrs for the 0450 flight. EY counter was not so busy, so our turn came up quickly. The check-in staff was a contracted staff ( my guess ), and also in her first week of job ( which she told ). She was very nervous since the person before us had an heated argument with her, dont know the reasons. The first thing I inquired was about the bassinet seats, to which her reply was she will request someone to open up the seats and in the mean time she asked to check-in our luggages. She insisted to check-in our hand luggage too, as we are with baby we took the things needed for her, everything else was checked through. She let few baggages check-in and then realised that she tagged some other passengers itinerary into our luggage . Reason she gave is the first 3 letters of my name prompted the other passengers name, and by mistake she printed that. The bags are already gone, and she looked completely helpless. Its already half hour gone in the check-in counter and my daughter was getting restless, the check-in staff spoke to her superior and then realized that they need to take my downstairs into the luggage storage area and I have to identify my luggage and then only they can re-tag it.

All these time I was insisting to make sure that Im getting the bassinet seats, her reply was seats are on hold, so no problem and when she actually check it, boom.. Its all gone by that time.... Okay, I tried to be calm and ask her to book the bassinet for my second flight. Another 15 minutes gone and she came up with an answer that only one seat is available and I have to sit behind separately. She said I need to sort out inflight.

Okay, tried already on the New Years day, dont want to spoil our mood. Tried to be cooperative by assisting them in luggage storage, and then into the flight without bassinet, and then there is fog during landing so arrived 2 hours delayed, thus the connection flight departure time is already passed by 45 mins. After landing there is no signs of EY staffs to help the transit passengers. I checked the flight status for our AMS flight, it said ''Last Call''. Okay, we hurried on our own, reached the gate. The 2 seater bassinet had another passenger and when I asked the EY pursuer whether she can help, reply was that I need to sort out on my own. The passenger in the other seat refused to change because he needs some leg space. He is flying AUH-AMS and he could book the bassinet seat who is travelling without a kid and the couple with kids couldn't book it in MAA because bassinet can be booked only 3 hours before flight, when the check-in for AUH-AMS opens in AUH, we are in mid-flight. My wife was reluctant to sit in the bassinet alone, as she would uncomfortable during feeding time, we flown again without bassinet. In the flight we saw all the bassinet seats was not used because it had children above 2 years. Just lame work done by EY..

Flight landed 2 hours delayed in AMS, and all our baggages didnt make it. It arrived 3 days later.

Its still New year day, and we had a party later in the evening ,so I tried my best not be get upset with all happened. I didnt bother to write up a complaint or anything, I just don't know whether it will be worth. Any advise ?

Positives : Seats were comfortable, much better than EK. Food was excellent. My daughter behaved like a charm, she slept the whole flight in our lap.
Hi isle11, We are sorry to hear that. Kindly send the details to [email protected] to look into this for you. *ES
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Old Jan 14, 15, 4:08 am
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Okay, done.

ahmed2020, my wife is still fuming over with all the things happened. I really didn't expect the pursuer onboard to distant themselves from helping the passenger travelling with infant. The policy over bassinets are completely out of shape.
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Old Jan 14, 15, 3:27 pm
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Originally Posted by EtihadHelp View Post
Hi isle11, We are sorry to hear that. Kindly send the details to [email protected] to look into this for you. *ES
Typical useless Etihadhelp reply. Not only Etihad needs to clear the matter with isle11 but also must ensure it doesn't happen again to any other passengers. If Etihad is serious about customer service image, I invite Etihadhelp to outline in this forum what Etihad is planning to do to sort this out. Why can't a passenger with an infant be allocated a bulkhead seat at the time of their booking?

Hopefully this thread will be at the top of google search engine when people search keywords "etihad infant" for them to be clearly aware of Etihad's shameful service for passengers with infants.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 3:03 am
  #9  
 
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interesting story. I never had any issue with advance bassinet confirmation on LH, SA or EK. But then again, the seats were still available, and the bassinet was confirmed within 24h latest.

I thought that - in case the bassinet seat is taken by a "normal" passenger - the flight crew is entitled to reseat any passengers not needing a bassinet in those seats. Like they can ask you to move out of a handicapped-suitable seat.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by CalFlyer View Post
I thought that - in case the bassinet seat is taken by a "normal" passenger - the flight crew is entitled to reseat any passengers not needing a bassinet in those seats. Like they can ask you to move out of a handicapped-suitable seat.
Irony is on my inbound flight, my seat was actually re-arranged by Jetairways ( EY code share ) for a hand-capped person. They put me on a middle seat.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 11:40 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by CalFlyer View Post
I thought that - in case the bassinet seat is taken by a "normal" passenger - the flight crew is entitled to reseat any passengers not needing a bassinet in those seats. Like they can ask you to move out of a handicapped-suitable seat.
This is correct, and I have seen this happen on EY. a "normal" passenger was seated in one of the seats where the bassinets are and on boarding the Purser switched him out into another seat so that the couple who was traveling with the baby could sit together and also so that he did not have a screaming child entertaining him during the flight.

What I don't understand, and why EY find this so excruciatingly difficult, is to positively confirm and block those seats for those passengers who have babies under 2 years old who need the bassinet and the child is clearly included in the PNR. Why give the run-around and stress to go to the airport and play roulette to see if they can get the bassinet seats or not. I mean, who are they saving the seat for? If they believe that it's first-come-first-served at the airport gets the seats, then how is that different to being first-come-first-served to get the seats when you actually make the reservation?
It's a simple fix, this is not complicated, and will win EY repeat business from passengers who are in the situation where they need the bassinets and know they can reserve it when they book.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 12:16 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by yabadoo View Post
This is correct, and I have seen this happen on EY. a "normal" passenger was seated in one of the seats where the bassinets are and on boarding the Purser switched him out into another seat so that the couple who was traveling with the baby could sit together and also so that he did not have a screaming child entertaining him during the flight.

What I don't understand, and why EY find this so excruciatingly difficult, is to positively confirm and block those seats for those passengers who have babies under 2 years old who need the bassinet and the child is clearly included in the PNR. Why give the run-around and stress to go to the airport and play roulette to see if they can get the bassinet seats or not. I mean, who are they saving the seat for? If they believe that it's first-come-first-served at the airport gets the seats, then how is that different to being first-come-first-served to get the seats when you actually make the reservation?
It's a simple fix, this is not complicated, and will win EY repeat business from passengers who are in the situation where they need the bassinets and know they can reserve it when they book.
As you say. It should really be first come first served at reservation time. That would be simple.

My experience has been hit and miss with a bassinet (in Y). A couple of times we got the seats and bassinet and a couple of times we didn't. I always made sure I was at the airport when checkin opened. But still no luck on a couple of occasions.

Once, my wife was flying MAN-AUH with our one year old (booked 10 months in advance). She only needed one seat. When she checked in, she was told that the last seat had just gone. When I quizzed them further, I was told that a party of eight had checked in together with one infant and taken up an entire row (2,4,2). I did ask them how they could take all 8 seats and asked if they could move one or two of them. But was told she could ask onboard. When she asked onboard, the stewardess asked and nobody would move.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 1:28 pm
  #13  
 
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Does anyone know if EY have a policy of seating children with their parents like BA do? I have an F booking for my daughter (aged 7) and I and can't pre book the 2 middle seats online. Have called EY and they have put a request in. Row 2 of the middles is taken, row 1 is avail but blocked. Will it be freed up? My 7 year old will not be impressed in 1A!!!
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Old Jan 17, 15, 1:51 am
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My wife and I have flown multiple times with our 2 kids since they were infants (5 and 2 yo), primarily overseas to Dubai and India. My experience is that emirates and qatar have seemed to be the most helpful and kid friendly, especially in economy. Dubai airport is extremely helpful with complimentary strollers which is a godsend (stroller pickup at the jet bridge is usually painful).

On a side note, we just got back from London on virgin upper class. Not a good way to travel with little ones!! The herringbone (coffin class) is good for single travelers but is very isolating and difficult to see your kids. If your little one is still a little clingy or needs to be observed more often, I strongly recommend another airline for business class.
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Old Jan 17, 15, 11:11 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by MANCHESTER View Post
My 7 year old will not be impressed in 1A!!!
Millions of people would be mightily impressed in any seat in F, something which most of them can only dream of.

Johan
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