View Full Version : What would you do? Need some help...
08-16-2006, 01:17 AM
So I inadvertantly gave false information in the airline thread, Austrian Air DOES allow carseats if you purchased a seat for your child. They have it spelled out in their website and DH confirmed it by phone. I just encountered a misinformed and V E R Y rude agent who did not let me take ours on board, saying it was not allowed and it was my choice whether I flew with them that day. I explained to her it was not safe, and she kept speaking to me like I was an infant "It's not allowed", like a mantra. I asked to speak to a supervisor, she said she was it. It was so horrible, Erik bust into tears spontanously, and eventually, so did I. After half an hour of getting the afromentioned mantra in response to everything I said, I relented as I had no choice if I wanted to fly that day. Mind you this was pre-London.
What do I do now? I am beyound furious that not not only would they not know their own rules, but they would be so rude when explained. ANd I am also pissed DS spent almost all his flight time on my lap with an infant strap tied to mine as I just did not feel safe with him in his seat (and he would not wear THAT seatblt, why would he, when he could just stand up and release himself!).
Whom do I write to/call? I do not want to send a letter into oblivion as ot often happens in this case.
Any advise is appreciated.
08-16-2006, 03:08 AM
OH boy, I would be hopping mad!!! I've fought with flight attendants before and I know it is very stressful :(
Call the CEO of Austrian Airlines. Seriously, go straight to the top if you can! You could try writing also. You paid for his seat and had every right to use it (not to mention the safety issues). Do you have the name of the flight attendant? Get all the details together before you call or write, to back up your case. (flight no., day, your seat no., sequence of events, names, etc...) If nothing else, the flight attendant should be reprimanded!
Let us know if anything happens!
08-16-2006, 06:53 AM
Agreed. Good luck and let us know what happens. I'm sorry this happened to you and Erik!
08-16-2006, 08:50 AM
Having worked in the aviation industry for over 9 years I suggest writing a letter and professionally explain what happen. Be sure to include date, flight number, names if you have them (although they will be able to look up the crew) and any other info you have. I would send it to the customer relations department not the CEO. I checked the website and they have a North American customer relations department in NY. Sending it to the CEO actually usually doesn't help you in my experience. Start w/the appropriate department and then if they don't help you or you are not satisfied then move it up. It's just more professional.
After looking at their website I'm rather confused by the child requirements. Realize they are not governed by the FAA but there own agency and they may have confused the issue. How old was your ds? Was your carseat a US one? It may not have had the appropriate label or requirments for them. The website states it is required for a child under 2 to be strapped to the adult for take off and landing but it also talks about buying a seat. I think you can purchase a seat but the child is required to be strapped to an adult for take off or landing (safe or not if that is the requirement they have to follow it). In any case, you should not have been treated rudely and in the maner you were. I know in my experience whan an international carseat showed up it did confuse things because it often didn't have the labeling the faa required it to have. Even if it appeared to meet the requirements w/out the correct labeling it couldn't be used.
Hope that helps you. Let us know what happens.
08-16-2006, 09:08 AM
I agree about sending the letter to the customer relations department. Does the Department of Transportation oversee Austrian Air??? I am not sure, but sometimes airlines react quicker to your complaint when you copy in the DOT - this is because the complaint goes against their standings and they also have to report statistics to the DOT on how many of those complaints have been resolved. This is good to keep in mind if you ever have problems on a domestic airline.
08-16-2006, 09:46 AM
Thank you. I have to investigate their website better when I am not on dial-up to find the appropriate people. Even if I find the CEO's name (for a public company it's published), I doubt I can find his contact info).
My carseat is a US one, and it has proper labelling, and she knew I had a seat as I had 2 boarding passes in hand, but I am telling you this lady took one look at me frazzled with my sullen child who had just said bye to his father and said "It's not allowed" and continued to repeat that to me for the next half an hour like I speak no English.
I have her name and all the flight info. I was shocked that at least one other attendant witnessed the very unpleasant exchange and said nothing. You'd think ONE person would know the rule??
08-16-2006, 09:55 AM
Eri, I am so sorry this happened to you. I can only imagine how awful both that scene and the flight must have been.
My only advice is to contact the Customer Relations department ASAP. I would write a very professional, straightforward letter with my contact info and I would also assure them that I would be in touch again if I did not receive a prompt response.
Hugs to you. Please keep us posted!
08-16-2006, 10:53 AM
When I fly a new airline, I always print out their website where it says it's OK.
And yes, write a letter calmly explaining. Make sure you give exact dates and flight numbers so they can track down your information.
08-17-2006, 01:20 AM
Thanks all for the advice. I wrote a long letter with numbered paragraphs, and ALL the relevant info, gates, agent name, etc. last night and sent it to the general customer service email listed for NYC. In the meantime, I find out my husband, who was infuriated by the incident, wrote a strikingy similar letter to an actual person he ws able to locate in Customer Service office at their main office, which he found while talking to them on the phone trying to ensure I do not have this trouble coming back.
The intial response says they are "disturbed" by the incident and are investigating. I since copied my long leter to this person to clarify what my DH had said. We'll see what happens. Thanks again.
08-17-2006, 02:04 AM
I agree w/ Kris, go up as high as you can. Fax them, email them, send a certified letter (so you know someone signed it) w/ all of these send your flight number and airport you were flying out of.
I would be infuriated, we have dealt w/ so much airline madness! As a matter of fact can I call them for you :)! I need to vent (he he).
At any rate...good luck!!!
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