Etihad Airlines - No Show Penalty

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Nov 22, 2018
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#1
On Nov 15th our flight was scheduled at 10 PM from JFK airport. Due to a snow storm, the traffic situation became terrible. NY and NJ roads became a gridlock. Our originally booked taxi driver called and canceled the trip. Later we checked with few other service operators and they said they closed because of traffic situation. We booked Lyft/Uber 3 times, but canceled later after 20-30 minutes because the drivers were also stuck and couldn't come to pick us up. Finally we decided to take our own car and go to the airport, but couldn't go far due to the traffic situation. Between 6.16 PM and 8 PM I called the call center 20 times, however the calls weren't going through (I have screenshots of call failures). Later I called their UAE number and they said that the flight is on schedule. They advised to call them at least before an hour of scheduled departure (10 PM) so that it is not considered as no show. I called them again around 8.50 PM and the calls weren't going thru, I even called their UAE number but was put on wait. Finally when I called the US number again, it was on wait for long time (20 minutes+) and by the time somebody answered, it was past 9 PM and they said it will be considered as no show. They also informed us that the counter already closed at 9 PM so we won't be allowed to board now when we reach airport. It was already sometime in the car with an infant in this horrible weather. We decided to return home. At 10.49 PM, we got first and only alert from airline saying that the flight is delayed and will departure at 11.20 PM. Next morning, we found out that flight actually started at 1 AM in morning.

The only option we were given was $600 for no show penalty, $200 for re-booking fee and any fare difference (all amounts are per ticket). The re-booking was costing me an extra $1700 per person. I chose to buy tickets with another airline and fly after a week.

Below news videos gives an idea of how bad the situation was on that day.


 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#2
I was driving home in that storm from JFK and know exactly what you went through. It took me 2-1/2 hours for a 1/2 ride. Did you consider the train?

We have company contacts on top of our page. Get contacts for the airline and write, asking them to make an exception and waive all the penalties due to the freak storm.

Use this post on how to write an effective letter. Let us know how you make out.

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/
 
Nov 22, 2018
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#3
I was driving home in that storm from JFK and know exactly what you went through. It took me 2-1/2 hours for a 1/2 ride. Did you consider the train?

We have company contacts on top of our page. Get contacts for the airline and write, asking them to make an exception and waive all the penalties due to the freak storm.

Use this post on how to write an effective letter. Let us know how you make out.

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/
Thanks Neil for the suggestion. Will follow that.
We did consider train but the train station is ~2 miles from my home and I had no easy way to reach there due to traffic situation. It was taking ~2 hours to cross this distance.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#5
Between 5!pm and 9 pm it was terrible — and if I remember correctly both LIRR and NJT had significant delays.

If the OP was coming in from NJ I do not know if they would have made it on the train—- signal problems, falling branches — and NY subway had issues.

It was a miserable day for transit and the worst of it was when the OP needed to get to the airport.

And the weather reports were off and the region was unprepared— so I have a lot of sympathy for the OP.

I suspect many people missed flights and many airlines gave waivers.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#7
These posts really put the reality into the headlines. How awful this must have been. rivaham, when you compose your email, be polite and state only the facts. Tell them you tried several ways to get to JFK in time. Tell them the media forecasted the weather wrong. Tell them you tried to call many times but couldn't connect (no blame on them, just the facts). You don't know the location of the person reading your letter, so don't assume that the airline will give you a break for a terrible snow storm. You are asking for an exception to their rules, so you want them to understand the situation with one read-through. I'm quite sure you will prevail, but depending on the number of flights that got messed up during that period, it may take a bit of time for them to respond. Submit your email and wait two weeks before moving on to the first executive in our Company Contacts.
 
Nov 22, 2018
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#8
Thanks everyone for understanding the situation and being so supportive. At one point, we were depressed and lost hope. You guys have given us some hope.

I have written the feedback to the email address from company's page. Waiting for their response.
 
Nov 22, 2018
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#9
I just got a reply today. In short, Etihad is still maintaining the same stand. Any suggestion whom should I approach next?

"Thank you for writing to us about the issues you have faced.. I can imagine that was stressful when you were unable to travel as per your plan.
I have investigated your concerns with our airport team and our records show that you have reported late to the check-in counter. We always highlighted check-in requirements in the confirmation email we sent after you purchased the ticket. As I am sure you understand, it is the guest’s responsibility to arrive within the published check-in times. As you arrived after the check-in counter was closed, our staff was unable to accept you on the flight for which I apologise.
Please allow me to explain as per the fare restrictions refund or date change is only permitted without any charges in case of a death of immediate family member and in all other situations applicable change, cancellation or service fee will apply associated to the fare incase if its refundable.
Hope above clarifies your concerns."
 
Nov 22, 2018
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#11
I wrote to Vice President of Guest Experience, however they are neither ready to waive penalty for re-booking nor offering anything else. I feel helpless now and losing hope. Should I write to next executing? Any suggestion on how to approach this issue further?

"Thank you for writing to us regarding your recent flight with us from New York to Delhi and I regret to read that you were not happy with the response you received from us in this regard.
My team and I have fully reviewed your case together, along with all the correspondence relating to your feedback and as mentioned previously, it is your responsibility to arrive within the published check-in times.
While I do appreciate that the changes to your travel plans were unforeseen, we do not make exemptions or waive additional charges to change or refund tickets for the circumstance that you have mentioned. Our policies ensure that we are both consistent and fair to all of our guests.
The normal fare rules and charges on the ticket still apply in this instance and you have been charged accordingly for the changes.
Thank you for the opportunity to review your concerns."
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#12
Have you checked with your credit card to see if they offer insurance for this situation? For example, Chase Sapphire Reserve would reimburse up to $10,000 for tickets that could not be used due to "severe weather , which prevents a reasonable and prudent person from beginning or continuing on a Covered trip."
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,163
14,752
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#13
C
I wrote to Vice President of Guest Experience, however they are neither ready to waive penalty for re-booking nor offering anything else. I feel helpless now and losing hope. Should I write to next executing? Any suggestion on how to approach this issue further?

"Thank you for writing to us regarding your recent flight with us from New York to Delhi and I regret to read that you were not happy with the response you received from us in this regard.
My team and I have fully reviewed your case together, along with all the correspondence relating to your feedback and as mentioned previously, it is your responsibility to arrive within the published check-in times.
While I do appreciate that the changes to your travel plans were unforeseen, we do not make exemptions or waive additional charges to change or refund tickets for the circumstance that you have mentioned. Our policies ensure that we are both consistent and fair to all of our guests.
The normal fare rules and charges on the ticket still apply in this instance and you have been charged accordingly for the changes.
Thank you for the opportunity to review your concerns."
Continue going up the executive chain one by on, once a week. Perhaps you can find a sympathetic ear. After the CEO, if the answer is still no, go back to the help screens and refile your case, saying you went all the way up the chain and the answer was no. Maybe the writers could look and see if they can do anything but you need to finish the entire writing chain.
 
Likes: Christina H
Nov 22, 2018
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#15
Have you checked with your credit card to see if they offer insurance for this situation? For example, Chase Sapphire Reserve would reimburse up to $10,000 for tickets that could not be used due to "severe weather , which prevents a reasonable and prudent person from beginning or continuing on a Covered trip."
Yes, I had already checked this. I had booked it using World Mastercard. They have travel insurance, but they dont cover delay/cancellations due to weather.
 
Nov 22, 2018
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#16
C

Continue going up the executive chain one by on, once a week. Perhaps you can find a sympathetic ear. After the CEO, if the answer is still no, go back to the help screens and refile your case, saying you went all the way up the chain and the answer was no. Maybe the writers could look and see if they can do anything but you need to finish the entire writing chain.
Sure, will do that. Thanks