On the 30th May 2014 I booked three return flights to Dublin Airport, departing on the 10th June 2014 and returning on the 19th June 2014. At the same time I booked the car rental through ETIHAD as their Car Rental partner collection point is based at the Airport and we wanted to make a quick transfer.
We arrived in Dublin Airport at 07.30-hrs collected our luggage in record time and presented ourselves at the Car Rental Desk only to be told they did not have a reservation for us. They suggested that we check the other Car rental companies and this I did, all five of them only to be told that they did not have a reservation for us.
I went to the Etihad Help Desk in Departures who rang a call centre in england, he asked me to speak to a lady at the call centre and explain our situation. The lady discovered that they had not processed the booking properly and that I would have to write to ETIHAD to raise a formal complaint in order to claim back the money I had paid on the 30th May.
I asked her about arranging the car hire as my Family were weary from travelling through the night and also we had Family in Ireland waiting for us. The Lady told me that they could not arrange car hire for me today, I did not quite believe that I heard her correctly and I asked her again and she confirmed that they would not arrange car hire for me.
I did not accept this and I asked how they could just leave us stranded in an Airport after a long overnight flight when the fault was theirs. She put me on hold whilst she spoke to her supervisor and when she came back she reconfimed that they would not be arranging car hire for me. I slammed the phone down on her and walked away, they might leave a Family stranded in england but this was Ireland.
I returned to the ETIHAD Help Desk again when I had composed myself and I asked them what help they were prepared to offer. They tried to relieve themselves of all and any responsibility. At first they were reluctant to help other than to contact the call cantre in england again but I was adamant that they represent ETIHAD and I had been let down by ETIHAD and they had to provide us with some assistance.
After lengthy telephone conversations they offered a car to take us to one destination in Dublin when I explained that we had six-large bags of luggage they explained that no luggage can be carried other than in the boot of the car. Clearly the car would not be capable of carrying the 90-kgs of luggage that we had so this was only a partial help and I considered sending my Wife and Son in the car offered with some of the luggage.
I would have to take a Taxi and the remaining luggage and travel seperately, when I discussed this with my Wife she had an easy solution. We travel together as a Family in the ETIHAD car and take half of the luggage with us, the car returns to the Airport and collects the remaining luggage and delivers it to us.
I returned to the ETIHAD Help Desk for a third time and this time I bought my Family with three trolleys of luggage. The sight of my weary Family and the luggage did nothing to soften the response from the ETIHAD Help Desk. My wife took up the case with the ETIHAD staff and they were adamant that they would only provide one car on a single journey.
My wife explained that she would take up the lack of service with him as I was completely exasperated and had no patience left. Again, all that they would offer is partial transport to one destination with some luggage, after this we would have to make and fund our own arrangements. My Wife asked him if he thought that this was an acceptable solution, he replied that it was all that he could offer to us. My wife responded that we had one child that was hungry, he ate no food on the flight, he had not slept for 24-hours and a Husband who joined us at Abu Dhabi Airport straight from work. ETIHAD have provided a partial solution driven by financial expenditure and I need a complete solution so that I can get my Family fed and rested.
My wife asked his female colleague if she thought that this was an acceptable level of service and she replied ‘No’, My wife was asked to find a seat somewhere and sit down but she refused and stated that she would remain standing at the help desk until they resolved. Clearly they wanted my Wife out of they way.
At this stage Mr. George made several calls and established that there was a website failure which caused this problem, my Wife stated that there was no website failure in taking the funding for the car. There only response was to instruct my wife to write to ETIHAD, George acknowledged that it was ETIHAD’s fault and would open a case for a full investigation but would not resolve our immediate predicament.
After a long deliberation where my Wife refused to sit down or walk away the ETIHAD colleague suggested to George that he just ring for a Taxi and get the Family to their destination. My Wife asked whether they would then be arranging the Car Hire for the remaining nine days holiday and they answered no.
I have no problem with an organisation making mistake but to then completely wash their hands of all responsibility and leave a travel weary Family stranded is shameful.