Saudi Airlines ripped me off!

Old Oct 2, 18, 2:31 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 16
Angry Saudi Airlines ripped me off!

Late last year, I was about to lose Alfursan flyer points from Saudi Airlines. On the very last day to redeem these, December 31, 2017, and after several very difficult calls to their call center in Jordan, I was able to get booked on a domestic U.S. Delta Airlines (Skyteam Partner) roundtrip ticket, MKE to SFO. This would cost me as many miles were expiring and, despite the horrible flight times for a flight 8 months later, I was happy to use these miles. During my many calls (since they weren't very friendly to check many city pairs and/or dates on a single call), several times I had the reservation agent on the phone refer me to Delta Airlines to make the reservation (with my Alfursan points??!?!) or say that it isn't possible to book Alfursan tickets on Delta. I corrected them on these occasions.

After finally going through the process of booking a red-eye flight for August, the reservation agent warned me that this was a "use it or lose it ticket and that the miles were getting pulled from my account....are you sure?" I agreed and he booked the reservation. The miles were deducted from my account shortly thereafter. I received numerous emails confirming and updating my reservation (as Delta adjusted its schedule slightly over the year).

I arrived at the MKE airport for my flight and was greatly surprised that I had a reservation but no ticket! Apparently Saudi Airlines did not actually buy or pay for the ticket from Delta! Knowing that I didn't have time to solve this problem right then and there, I pulled out my credit card and paid for the $800+ coach ticket price and flew off on my vacation. Not a good start to the fun!

Upon return from my vacation, I tried complaining to Saudi Airlines through their web site (horrible), call their Alfursan and reservations departments in the USA (useless as they referred me to call Saudi Arabia), and then I called Saudi Arabia and was transferred around and around and back and forth and back again. No one would claim that they could find my reservation (clearly, I had a reservation code) or that they were the right people to help me.

I can only suggest that people never fly Saudi Airlines. This is a theft of my points and it cost me $800+ for their mistake. And, they have horrible customer service!
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Old Oct 2, 18, 2:40 pm
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Saudia is on my "won't fly" list. Different reasons though.
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Old Oct 2, 18, 3:41 pm
Join Date: Mar 2016
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While you say they "ripped you off" the reality is likely more of a "someone screwed up issuing the ticket", no doubt very poor handling on their side.

Always make sure you get an eticket for your reservations, even more so for award tickets and irrespective of which airline issues the ticket.
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Old Oct 2, 18, 4:03 pm
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OP - In your many emails from SV, do you have an e-ticket receipt which has an e-ticket number? That is the starting point.

If you don't have an e-ticket receipt, you never had a ticket and nobody ripped you off. On the one hand, SV screwed up in failing to issue an e-ticket, but on the other hand, over 8 months you never confirmed that you had the basic travel document to board your flight.

A further suggestion here is that it is likely that you did not use DL's online check-in (available 24 hours in advance). One of the many reasons to do so is that when there is a problem, as there was here, you would have known in plenty of time to have had SV push the e-ticket to DL.
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Old Oct 2, 18, 4:09 pm
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Montreux CH
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It is AWFUL. I was in the same situation and quickly saw that Saudia was beyond a disaster for booking anything other than tickets on their own metal. I had bought miles up to make an award and had to change, but it was unchangeable (because of the existence of partner airlines in the ticket apparently) and they refunded the ticket. However, I lost the miles that would have expired plus quite a bit of money, because I had purchased miles. Just awful, awful.

In the end, I redeemed with what was left an Economy ticket to Dubai and had an excellent trip. For some reason this award ticket earned a whole pile of miles in the Air France programme because I put my AF number in so I could profit from Gold benefits. So I guess I got something back for my troubles. If anybody’s going to redeem Alfursan miles, keep it to Saudia metal and don’t try to involve partners. Should work out ok then. I even changed my ticket once with no problem which cost 58 Euros. And yes, make sure you have got an e-ticket every time you book an airline ticket

Last edited by Concerto; Oct 2, 18 at 4:15 pm Reason: formatting mess
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Old Oct 2, 18, 4:13 pm
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Duplicate post
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Old Oct 3, 18, 3:30 pm
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 16
Clearly, the title of this thread is a bit inflammatory, but it is how I feel.

It is true that I never verified a ticket number was provided. I never do this when flying otherwise and, often, they are impossible to find (try to find it in the Delta app or even might be there online, but isn't easy to find!). In the Delta app, I was allowed to pick seats, it offered me upgrades, etc. But, when it came time to check in, it said, "See agent." Now, I've had this on Delta domestic and other airlines from time to time, so I didn't think it was all too weird. Given the origin of the ticket, I assumed that it might have something to do with that. So, no, I never confirmed the ticket number and that is my fault.

Where it comes into "rip-off territory" is when there is no possible way to rectify this post-flight. No apology. No reinstatement of the miles and a "sorry you had to pay." No reimbursement for the ticket I had to buy. Any of these would be nice. But, to have completely clueless and horrible customer service is not acceptable and this is where it comes into rip-off land.

And, Concerto, I agree...they were totally clueless about booking on a partner airline. I, too, had to purchase some additional miles to make this work. And, this $120 is on top of the $800 I spent on the ticket!
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