My Iberia nightmare

Old Jul 31, 19, 2:23 pm
  #1  
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My Iberia nightmare

I stupidly got involved in the 9000 Avios promo in 2018 and although we had an amazing holiday to Peru with the points, Iberia managed to spectacularly ruin every element that involved them.

Having (very nearly) losing £3000 because of their incompetence, Iíll never fly with them again. Too much risk, too much stress. Reading this forum, Iím surprised they have any customers at all, they certainly donít deserve any.

You can read about my experience here; https://travellingjake.me/2019/06/15...nes-nightmare/
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Old Jul 31, 19, 7:06 pm
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wow.. that was stressful... =(
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Old Jul 31, 19, 8:03 pm
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It’s our last morning in Cusco, the other half had booked his & mum’s seats on the British Airways flight back to London via the BA app the night before and we wake up to a voicemail from BA…

“we’re unable to confirm your seats as Iberia have cancelled your tickets, you need to speak to Iberia about your booking.”

...[text omitted]

The hour long phone call determined that the tickets were cancelled in November 2018 but there’s no notes in the booking to say why and Iberia will not reinstate the tickets.
I don’t understand your story. You booked 2 BA tickets to London the night before using the BA app and woke up to a message from BA that IB cancelled your tickets. You also had tickets cancelled last November. Is that correct?

Were all of these paid for with IB avios (maybe transferred to BA)? If they were ticketed at different times they were different PNR, so why were they all cancelled? Did anyone ever say? Was the carrier BA metal or IB?

Also for reference I think IB requires 24 hours or maybe 48 to ticket an award.

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Old Aug 1, 19, 12:00 am
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Originally Posted by rrgg View Post
I donít understand your story. You booked 2 BA tickets to London the night before using the BA app and woke up to a message from BA that IB cancelled your tickets. You also had tickets cancelled last November. Is that correct?

Were all of these paid for with IB avios (maybe transferred to BA)? If they were ticketed at different times they were different PNR, so why were they all cancelled? Did anyone ever say? Was the carrier BA metal or IB?

Also for reference I think IB requires 24 hours or maybe 48 to ticket an award.

The tickets were booked in July 2018 after the 9k promo, but cancelled in November by IB without any notification. We only discovered the problem when trying to reserve and pay for seats on the day before the flight.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 2:40 am
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Your story makes absolutely no sense. Lots of unnecessary detail. Assumed knowledge of your entire life history with Iberia, etc.

I can't even figure out what happened and how you got home...
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Old Aug 1, 19, 2:51 am
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This caught my eye...

"The last 90 minutes have been the most stressful I’ve ever experienced whilst travelling and I’m visibly upset, crying in the middle of the check-in hall. I’d put so much effort in to making this holiday perfect, a once in a lifetime trip that we’d all remember forever and it was being so spectacularly ruined right at the last minute."

This is bloody a first world problem. It's your return from your holidays. How can a return flight problem spoil your entire trip? Just take it as an amusing story you can tell your grandchildren.

Let me tell you what happened here... there was a communication problem with IB and BA system. This is not new, it happens more often than not - both IB and BA now this, but they don't bother about it because it costs money.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 7:18 am
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
I can't even figure out what happened and how you got home...
Itís actually quite clear - I paid £3000 for new flights, only necessary because IB cancelled my original tickets without me asking and without telling me.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 7:29 am
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Originally Posted by tobsw View Post
This caught my eye...

"The last 90 minutes have been the most stressful Iíve ever experienced whilst travelling and Iím visibly upset, crying in the middle of the check-in hall. Iíd put so much effort in to making this holiday perfect, a once in a lifetime trip that weíd all remember forever and it was being so spectacularly ruined right at the last minute."

This is bloody a first world problem. It's your return from your holidays. How can a return flight problem spoil your entire trip? Just take it as an amusing story you can tell your grandchildren.

Let me tell you what happened here... there was a communication problem with IB and BA system. This is not new, it happens more often than not - both IB and BA now this, but they don't bother about it because it costs money.

Maybe 3 grand is pocket change to you but it certainly isnít to me. The situation was far from amusing. The thought of being saddled with a £3k debt through no fault of our own was horrible.

I also donít believe there was any communication error with BA. The only thing BA could have done is not display refunded ticket numbers in their app or, better still, show the ticket status. It wouldnít be too difficult to display that based on the ticket status in the GDS.

The problem was that IB cancelled the tickets in error, didnít tell anybody and then left the PNR live so that anyone looking at the booking thought it was still valid.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 7:31 am
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As an aside, I suspect the random increase in refund amount was perhaps down to a change in the Forex rate from (whatever the purchase was made in) to £ refunded
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Old Aug 1, 19, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by travellingjake View Post


The tickets were booked in July 2018 after the 9k promo, but cancelled in November by IB without any notification. We only discovered the problem when trying to reserve and pay for seats on the day before the flight.

Between November and now, did you ever login at the Iberia site or app and look at Manage My Booking? If so, did it appear correctly there?

Something like this happened to me with Aeroplan. I had to buy a full fare ticket because the award was screwed up, and later got reimbursed. It wasn't £3000 though!

Last edited by rrgg; Aug 1, 19 at 7:39 am
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Old Aug 1, 19, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by travellingjake View Post


It’s actually quite clear - I paid £3000 for new flights, only necessary because IB cancelled my original tickets without me asking and without telling me.



It's not all that clear, because it's buried in with the crying and the trip of a lifetime and the phone calls to random places. It's hard to even tell which airline you tried to fly. Believe me - you need to concentrate for a good 20 minutes and re-read it 4 or 5 times You may not care about being concise in a blog post or Flyertalk, but I can assure you that any customer service agent would struggle to figure out your issue...

If you want anybody other than your closest family to follow along (presumably they already know the story), your post should be 5 or 6 lines maximum.

1. I booked flights to/from? Lima using Iberia Plus Avios, to fly on BA or whoever
2. Iberia Plus cancelled the flights (return, one-way?) without my knowledge
3. We only found out at the airport
4. We paid for replacement flights
5. We were reimbursed for those replacement flights
6. Nonetheless I hate Iberia and will never have anything to do with 90,000 virtually free Avios ever again

Presumably you also earned a handy stash of Avios from your paid ticket that was subsequently reimbursed.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by rrgg View Post
Between November and now, did you ever login at the Iberia site or app and look at Manage My Booking? If so, did it appear correctly there?

Something like this happened to me with Aeroplan. I had to buy a full fare ticket because the award was screwed up, and later got reimbursed. It wasn't £3000 though!
Yes and the status of the booking was ďconfirmedĒ. Annoyingly, IB donít display the ticket numbers or status of the tickets on MMB (that I could see or find). In hindsight, I now know the confirmed status was bolox and only referred to the PNR and not the tickets. BA did display the ticket numbers but not the status so we were clueless.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 11:04 am
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I recently used my stash of Avios from the promo for a couple of J tickets on Iberia metal from the US to Spain. Like others on FT, I went through the validation drama, refund emails, etc. so I was pretty alert. As the trip got closer, I kept checking on the manage my bookings and to confirm I had ticket numbers to go with the PNR,

But ... if I understand the main points, you missed the absence of a ticket number to go with the PNR until trying to return home from Peru and had to buy expensive tickets. Iberia then reimbursed you for the cost of the tickets, and gave your mom and SO 5,000 Avios to beat.

I might view this as a stressful, but ultimately good news story ....

And, if this is the worst travel experience in 20 years, perhaps I should introduce you to some mates I've made over time in the UK Defence Forces ... there was that sandstorm that neither the RAF or USAF would fly into with occasional inbound mortar fire landing near the "terminal" ... alas, there was that "stiff upper lip, old man" thing combined with solid British humor and hubris.

And, while I realize the need to pay some money upfront that you were refunded is stressful but I continue to be surprised how things like this seem to impact people who take trips of a lifetime. (Thinking of the thread in another forum for an FTer who scored J tickets to Capetown but had a problem when DFW was closed down by the FAA after a lightning strike)

Like a couple of other threads, this highlights for all of the need to look to confirm we have ticket numbers to go with PNR's -- particularly when redeeming across airlines.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by travellingjake View Post


Yes and the status of the booking was “confirmed”. Annoyingly, IB don’t display the ticket numbers or status of the tickets on MMB (that I could see or find). In hindsight, I now know the confirmed status was bolox and only referred to the PNR and not the tickets. BA did display the ticket numbers but not the status so we were clueless.
That part is strange. When I ticket IB awards, I receive an email with the e-ticket numbers, and a PDF attached which also shows the same. The subject line is, "Booking confirmation." For future reference, you can also request a receipt for Amadeus reservations at the Finnair site, and I think QANTAS. After what I said about Air Canada, I always get the e-ticket number in advance.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by rrgg View Post
That part is strange. When I ticket IB awards, I receive an email with the e-ticket numbers, and a PDF attached which also shows the same. The subject line is, "Booking confirmation." For future reference, you can also request a receipt for Amadeus reservations at the Finnair site, and I think QANTAS. After what I said about Air Canada, I always get the e-ticket number in advance.
Yes, I had those too, they were sent when the booking was made in July 2018 and the tickets werenít cancelled until November. IB sent no notification of the tickets being cancelled. I had ticket numbers in the BA app which is why I thought the booking was fine. Obviously not!
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