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What Is Going On With Iberia’s Customer Service?  
User currently offlineCafa From United States of America, joined May 2004, 9 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 6477 times:

Ok, what is going on with Iberia’s customer service?

I’ve head horror stories from customers that fly Iberia and there customer service. Flight crews that are “dry” and don’t smile. They seem irritated and “snobbish”. The ground staff seems irritated and non-helpful in all situations. Even over the phone when calling reservations. It seems to me, as a carrier that has had labor issues in the past over wages and better work conditions, these important items are overlooked.

My family is from Spain, and own several businesses in the country. They know, as I do, greeting someone with a smile is always a good start. They always listen to and try to solve problems in a helpful matter. What’s with Iberia?

I have had many personal “flight” experiences with Iberia, and unfortunately, they have all been quite disappointing. My family has also had many bad experiences on the customer service level, and will not fly them again. I like to observe, while flying on Iberia, the interaction of the flight crew with other customers. They seem bothered and quick to “snap back”. I’ve noticed this more from the older, more senior flight attendants. The younger ones, not as much, but I’m sure there are cases when it’s reversed.

As a crewmember, I constantly here stories from our customers regarding the lack of customer service level at Iberia, and how we are so much better. How they will fly with us from now on over Iberia. They tell me how they are so displeased with the level of customer interaction from their “flag carrier”. Why is this? Don’t you (IB) want people to come back? The attitude is: you get what you pay for with IB. At least with us, we thank you fo flying with us, and we WANT you to fly with us again.

The attitude is almost like the experiences here ,in the US, at the DMV. They don’t care about customer service, they just know YOU need them, and they will act that way towards you. It is not so when YOU are paying their, MY salary when flying.

My family’s last experience with Iberia was simply awful. No one smiled, everyone had a serious face, and seemed tired. When asking the crew for a second headset because there was no audio, she snapped back: “What do you want? We’re not mechanics. Try reading a magazine”. A few minutes later, she slapped a magazine on her table and walked away.

As I waited for my family at the airport, I also came in contact with the flight crew. They were all huddled in a group smoking cigarettes waiting for they crew bus. I approached one of them to ask them what time their flight had landed. She never turned around. She said, talking with her back to me: “ I have no idea, why don’t you try and ask someone inside” and “waved” me off with her cigarette. She then commented to the other crew, in Spanish, not knowing that I spoke Spanish, how I was such an idiot (I will not use her exact words) but they all laughed. I approached her again and told her in Spanish how unprofessional that was. I then (in my anger) said: “keep up the good work, that’s why OUR flights are always full, thanks to you. As I turned, she gave me the finger.

With the contract issues in Spain, temporary vs permanent, can a crew member be reprimanded for this? I know with my airline, if I get a bad letter, we are immediately “reviewed” by our supervisors for disciplinary actions which may include termination of employment.

According to a friend of mine, who is a crew member for IB, you can basically tell someone to “drop-dead” (for lack of a better word) and if you have a permanent contract, you cant be touched. He stated, because of the labor laws it would cost the company too much money to fire someone since they would have to be offered compensation. Is this true? How about elsewhere in Europe? I’m curious to get feedback on this.

This incident happened last summer (05’). I’m still waiting for a response to my letter, or the letters my family wrote regarding their experiences.

This is not a bash Iberia thread, though some may say: too late. As a carrier I looked up to my entire life, and being the flag carrier of my country, it is sad I constantly read posts like this. Is there anyone at Iberia management that sees this going on? I know this can’t change overnight, and I’m sure there are people out there who have had great experiences with Iberia, but you need to listen, learn, then act.

To Iberia management:

Your crews need to be more courteous and helpful.
They need to learn how to smile.
They must be reminded that customers pay their salary.
Are incentive programs in place for this?
Are disciplinary actions taken against crew members that portray this attitude?...this makes it impossible for the rest of the crew members, and other employees to “turn the airline around”.

Iberia has a great potential, but it’s employees (not all) need to shed the attitude of when they were state owned. It’s privately owned now (for the most part I think).

Remember, customers have a choice in carriers, and they are making it. Iberia needs to see this and do something about it.

Thanks for reading.

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1211 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6455 times:

Hola Cafa!

Thanks for your posting.

I live in BCN and I take IB flights quite often. I totally agree with your words, it is really sad, sometimes a nightmare, when you have to go through their customer service. I have had some horrible experiences with them , very disapointing to see how they treat you; most of the times is like doing you a favor.

Sincerely, I think they are losing lots of customers due to this, beacuse in the end this is what you value the most when encountering problems, delays, or any kind of inconvinience in your flights.

Adding to the fact that now many intra-european flights, let alone all intercontinental, have been moved to MAD, to make all customers pay for the 6 million € new T4 new terminal I have decided to switch to Skyteam alliance once all my Oneworld miles have been spent.


Rogerbcn  wave 

"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineLVTMB From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 399 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 6434 times:

I was not aware tha Iberia had any customer service ...  sarcastic 


User currently offlineXkorpyoh From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 825 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6363 times:

I have also flown Iberia several times and expect this kind of service. I don't blame it on IB but on the Spanish culture in general. It is just the way the are and I actually laugh at those incidents because it is just so funny how they just snap back at anything and tell you off in your face. Even when I watch spanish movies I see it happening. it is just the way it is. I love Spain and spaniards. Dont get me wrong. That is why this attitude doesnt bother me.

I was once on IB seated on the front row and i was observing the two FA at the door greeting people and I couldn't stop laughing of the way they talked to them, the comments they told the arriving paxs and the comments they said to each other about those paxs. It was just so funny (if you know spanish).

But to support your claim, I think that, yes, IB could raise above this and implement some kind of program to try to provide a good customer service with a smile to truly serve an international clientele that expect higher standards of service.

User currently offlineBoeingguy1 From Ireland, joined Jan 2006, 415 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6352 times:

Quoting Xkorpyoh (Reply 3):
I don't blame it on IB but on the Spanish culture in general.


I know a lot of very pleasant spaniards. Every time I have visited Spain (only once on IB...  Smile ) the people there are freindly and kind... so I do not know where youre going with that statement.

Gatwick South! Id rather crash in Brighton!
User currently offlineCafa From United States of America, joined May 2004, 9 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6222 times:

Hola Rogerbcn,

Do you ever see this lack of service with other Spanish carriers? Air Europa, Spanair, etc?

People say the "Iberia problem" is because of old type management.

I've flown on Air Europa and have no complaints. A few crews were a bit "dry", but for the most part, they were good.

Have to add this one:

Flew ALC - MAD on UX, and started a conversation with crew members. The only crew member that was "dry", interrupted and said, "Well, I was trained by Iberia and went on and on about her experience." She was the only one that did not smile. Interesting, and not sure if I believe her.

I thought UX only hired at a certain "age" class. She stated she was ex-IB. Would you make more at UX?


User currently offlineTrinxat From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 190 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6173 times:

Quoting Boeingguy1 (Reply 4):
Quoting Xkorpyoh (Reply 3):
I don't blame it on IB but on the Spanish culture in general.

???? Don't you think you are going a bit too far? We host a lot of happy tourists every year (despite IB trying to keep them away) and what most report back is how they enjoy the charm and friendliness of the people

I completely share all the (other) above views. It is true that all the other carriers like UX, JK and Vueling are not an example of friendliness, but in Iberia's case it is blatant.

One day we could speak about the pilots too: most are former airforce pilots (whose training has been paid by us taxpayers) and there are regular stories on the press about confrontations with pax and several types of misconduct

User currently offlineSK736 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 602 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6166 times:

I sent an e-mail to Iberia six weeks ago - still waiting for a response!

User currently offlineSJUboeingGirl From Puerto Rico, joined Nov 2004, 274 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 6103 times:

and today I was thinking about traveling to FRA this summer with Iberia for the first time just to fly the 340! I think i'll take Delta's uncomfty 777 again...

If it's not Boeing, I ain't Going!
User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1211 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (9 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6014 times:

Hola Cafa!

Quoting Cafa (Reply 5):
Do you ever see this lack of service with other Spanish carriers? Air Europa, Spanair, etc?

The truth is I have flown them in very few occasions. UX only once and fortunately there were no problems. With JK I have encountered minor problems and I have to say that they have been handled very professionally. Their service is quite decent I'd say, maybe because of their Scandinavian origin.

Bon Nadal!


"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56
Reply 10, posted (9 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6000 times:

Ah, Iberia, the airline without customer service....its nothing more than an employee attitude problem: most IB employees truly believe that passengers are nothing more than an inconvenience and dont understand that the airline an airline is created to provide a service to passengers, not the other way around. Its sad, with a simple attitude change, IB could be so much better. In my experiences with IB, they offer a reasonable productas long as everything goes according to plan......should you have a problem of any kind (whether its something unimportant like a broken IFE system or something major like missed connections or rescheduling cancelled flights) everything quickly goes very wrong. Iberia is fine as long as you dont need to speak with a human being about any issue.

Many claim that IB's staff is not well trained.....thats nonsense, IB staff in the air and on the ground is just as capable as those from other airlines, there simply seems to be no interest in serving or helping passengers. And I dont buy the cultural thing either, Spain in general is a warm and inviting nation....the customer service issues at IB is an IB issue, not a Spanish issue.

Its interesting, IB is notorious for its rather poor service but passengers continue to fill the seats on IB flights and the airline makes money.....thus, how can an airline that does a lot of things very wrong continue to do so well? Plus, IB has become a legend in its own time for poor customer service.....the travelling public (not just a.net members) are very well aware about the situation but simply accept it. And, will we ever see changes at Iberia....I doubt it, being abused by IB seems to a national passtime for Spainards and others who chose to fly with IB.

User currently offlineIcaro From Spain, joined Nov 2004, 242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5999 times:

We should answer this topic every now and then, that way it would never be archived even if it is clear nobody carers about it.....  Yeah sure

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