Luftfahrer
Topic Author
Posts: 976
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:27 am

Beware Of Flying Airberlin

Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:14 pm

Dear all,

I am posting this as a warning to anyone considering a flight on airberlin. I was supposed to fly out of Düsseldorf (DUS) and was already at the gate waiting for the boarding call. At first the delay was announced to be one hour. One and a half hours after the original scheduled boarding time, the flight was suddenly canceled without any reason given.

The worst thing is that I had experienced the same scenario two months ago (except that we all had waited for three hours then). Flights get canceled all the time, yes. What is really inacceptable though is how AB (mis-)handled the whole situation both times. There were no information given the whole time, largely because AB hardly has any staff airside. Those contraced to do the work said they couldn't help us. That may be true, but the question is, why contract staff that is so blatantly unhelpful in the first place?

After retrieving our bags (which took forever) the wait at their counters outside the secure area (in order to get rebooked–that is, on other means of transport) was unsurprisingly very long. When I finally got through, the agent did not even offer any kind of apology (seriously, that is the least what one can expect). I told her I had been through the exact same situation two months earlier, while showing her my FF card – nothing. Absolute indifference. She said that there was no more flight to our destination that day, so all we could do was take the train instead (DUS is supposed to be their homebase – what about spare planes, rerouting via TXL or HAM?).
I eventually arrived at home some seven hours later than planned.

Synopsis: The nature and handling of these two incidents have really put me off flying AB. It seems like their service quality is deteriorating even faster than their financial situation (go figure). If you want to complete your journey in a timely and less-stressful fashion, without taking any chances, I strongly advise against choosing AB. As the saying goes – fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Thank you for reading and best regards.

[Edited 2014-12-20 11:18:27]
'He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified.' Joseph Conrad
 
aloges
Posts: 14842
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:38 am

RE: Beware Of Flying Airberlin

Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:07 pm

You seem to have a right to financial compensation. I suggest paying this site a visit: https://www.fairplane.de/ I've tried them recently, which has just resulted in €175 for me - incidentally, from the same airline that ruined your day.   In my case, they chose to have me misconnect at TXL... well, no thanks.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
Luftfahrer
Topic Author
Posts: 976
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:27 am

RE: Beware Of Flying Airberlin

Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:13 pm

Quoting aloges (Reply 1):

Thanks for the tip, I'm actually still in a proceeding regarding the first case two months back. Looks like I have another one now.
'He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified.' Joseph Conrad
 
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fallap
Posts: 976
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:36 am

RE: Beware Of Flying Airberlin

Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:17 am

Darn, sounds like a not so pleasant experience 

I recently flew AB from CPH - TXL -AUH and I have woved never to fly AB long-haul again! The thirty inch legroom is just not adequate.
Ex grease monkey buried head to toe inside an F-16M
Now studying Political Science
 
debonair
Posts: 3470
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

RE: Beware Of Flying Airberlin

Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:18 pm

Quoting Luftfahrer (Thread starter):
the flight was suddenly canceled

What was the route, flight number etc.?
 
Steelyman
Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:40 am

RE: Beware Of Flying Airberlin

Thu Dec 25, 2014 2:33 pm

Ground staff are paid ridiculous wages and have to deal lots of times with unruly passengers or other ones who just shout at them for the cancellation.

I have been ground staff some years, and I have always tried to smile, understand, apologize, etc. But some passengers still feel like they have the right to shout at you as if you were the responsible for the delay/cancellation.

As a summary, this is a chain, and we pay peanuts ...
BRGDS, Mike
 
Luftfahrer
Topic Author
Posts: 976
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:27 am

RE: Beware Of Flying Airberlin

Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:31 pm

Quoting Fallap (Reply 3):
Darn, sounds like a not so pleasant experience

At least the train ride was excellent. DB isn't perfect, but at least they don't outsource their staff, and I have found them to be very polite and actually truly helpful most of the time.

Quoting debonair (Reply 4):

I sent you a PM.

Quoting Steelyman (Reply 5):
Ground staff are paid ridiculous wages

Completely agree. I have to stress that all passengers stayed calm and reasonable despite the inconvenience. All we asked for was for them to get some actual AB employee to help us out while we were waiting for our bags. I don't think that it is too much asked. But as such, my criticism was more directed at AB for not having enough of their own staff even though it is one of their biggest bases.
'He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified.' Joseph Conrad
 
KLAXAirport
Posts: 172
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:14 pm

RE: Beware Of Flying Airberlin

Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:13 pm

This past summer I flew LAX-DUS-TXL-BUD on AB in J class and once I arrived into DUS after a rather great flight, food and hard product was pretty good, I had to go to the next gate for my TXL flight. We boarded a bus and once we arrived to the aircraft, an unmarked ATR-72, we had to wait in the bus for 15-20 mins to see our bags being loaded. Keeping in mind my connection in TXL to the last BUD flight was only 45 mins, I was very frustrated. Regardless, we left a good 30 mins late and just as we pulled into our stand in good old TXL, my BUD flight was pushing back. I quickly rushed to see what my options were and the AB ticket agent rebooked me via FRA in Y promising my bags would meet me in BUD. After 3-4 extra hours of flying I arrived into BUD only to not find my bags. Overall, bad experience with AB within Europe although the long segment I had with them was quite acceptable.

Cheers,
KLAXAirport   
 
b777a340fan
Posts: 674
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 12:42 am

RE: Beware Of Flying Airberlin

Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:17 pm

@aloges gave you a website, which seems to do all the leg work for you, but if you feel adventurous and want to do it yourself check out: http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens...passenger-rights/air/index_en.htm. The direct link doesn't seem to work, but go under "Travel" --> Passenger Rights --> Air Passenger Rights. The good thing is that the EU has one of the best air passenger rights in the world (unlike money hungry USA). From a cursory reading you seem to be able to get the money you paid for the ticket + additional compensation based on your circumstance. Unfortunately, many people just don't know or either don't care at that point. I would try and milk every cent you can so you (and your fellow passengers) can send AB a message that it is not an acceptable thing to do. Good luck! I'd love an update to see if you were able to get anything back.
 
User avatar
fallap
Posts: 976
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:36 am

RE: Beware Of Flying Airberlin

Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:11 pm

Great job Airberlin.

You must managed to loose my luggage TWICE in two weeks, both inbound and outbound.

NEVER EVER again!
Ex grease monkey buried head to toe inside an F-16M
Now studying Political Science
 
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lesfalls
Posts: 3242
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:58 pm

RE: Beware Of Flying Airberlin

Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:46 pm

I used to transfer in DUS because of their good prices (flew JFK-DUS-XXX of then and prices are too expensive for us now) and their flight attendants were always so upset of us for no reason. Even just to ask a simple question they would tell me to go away. Only reason I flew them was because of price But NEVER will I fly them again.
Lufthansa: Einfach ein bisschen mehr.
 
Luftfahrer
Topic Author
Posts: 976
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:27 am

RE: Beware Of Flying Airberlin

Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:54 pm

Quoting b777a340fan (Reply 8):
Good luck! I'd love an update to see if you were able to get anything back.

Thanks, I will report back as soon as I hear something from the offices handling my case(s). At the moment I have two open ones. The first one may be a bit more tricky because according to official statistics and AB themselves, the flight operated while in fact they said it was cancelled and subsequently rebooked us all. I am suspecting foul play here and have let the office know this.

Indeed AB has competitive fares, but I've found their mainline cabin crews not to be as good as their subcontracted counterparts on the Q400 flights (which is surprising, as the latter ones are less-well paid).

[Edited 2015-01-05 09:32:43]
'He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified.' Joseph Conrad

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