I have complained to Qatar's Consumer Relation who have refused me any compensation. Here are the facts:
1. I purchased a ticket from Expedia for a round trip from Denver to Colombo, based on a United reservation. My departure was Friday Nov.11 and my return Nov. 21.
2. My departure was from Denver through the Continental desk on Nov. 21, and they ticketed my bag straight to Colombo, where I collected it.
3. On my return I checked in at the Qatar desk at Colombo. The desk agent stated that he could not ticket my bag to Denver as his computer only displayed Washington IAD as my destination. I showed him my itinerary and explained to him that my booking was to Denver and that my baggage had been ticketed to Colombo from Denver. But he stated that he could only check my bags to Washington IAD. I was aware that I had to clear customs and immigration at IAD and would have to collect my bag at IAD, but like other airlines wanted Qatar to tag my bag to Denver. Their refusal or inability to tag my bag to Denver, shows either that Qatar does not possess a computer booking system operated by ordinary airlines, or that their gate agents are terribly inefficient.
4. My check in at Colombo on Nov. 21 was completed 2.5 hours before departure. The first leg of my journey was Colombo to Doha, and no reason has been offered as to why my baggage did not make the plane from Colombo to Doha.
5. I connected at Doha for my flight to IAD. At the Qatar desk I explained to the agent that my bag should have been checked to Denver not to IAD and asked her if she could change that tagging. She said she could not and that her computer showed my flying only to IAD. I gave her my itinerary and explained that is not the case, but she said I would need to collect my bag at IAD and re-check it to Denver. At no stage was it ever mentioned to me either at the desk or by way of announcement that my bag was missing or delayed in Colombo.
6. The flight from Doha was delayed by nearly an hour and arrived in IAD only at around 4:00 pm. This was too late for my scheduled connecting flight to Denver, on United 407 at 4:10 pm
7. After standing around the baggage carousel for nearly an hour there was an announcement through the public address system asking me to report to the Qatar desk. I did so and was informed that my bag has not arrive at IAD. The desk agent informed me, along with a number of others, that our baggage was delayed in Colombo and would only arrive the next day. They told me that I was informed of my baggage delay in Doha. I protested and denied any such notification. They were deaf to what I stated, and seemed clueless about my connection to Denver and were very unhelpful.
8. I had to participate and speak at a conference in Denver the following morning and needed to have access to my clothes. My bag was delayed entirely due to the fault of Qatar, and the least they should do is to offer me compensation (like other airlines do) to purchase some clothing. They have refused to do so.
9. Moreover, I had missed my scheduled connection that arrived in Denver at 6:07. The next flight to Denver departed after 10:00 pm and arrived in Denver well past midnight. My final destination was Boulder, and there was no bus or Super Shuttle running to Boulder at that time. I had to take a taxi that cost $100.00. It also left me physically shattered and emotionally exhausted following upon nearly 48 hours of flying, and the non arrival of my bag.
10. The desk at IAD, and Consumer Relation to whom I complained, have been totally unhelpful and refused to pay me compensation for the following actions attributable to the fault of Qatar:
a. Cost of dinner on the night of Nov. 21. My connecting flight did not leave till after 10:00 pm.
b. Purchase of clothing. My bag arrived only on the 23rd. Two days after my arrival.
c. Taxi fare to Boulder. There was no public transport because of the late hour.
d. Consumer Relations have denied all my claims to compensation.
My wife and myself flew from London via Doha to Johannesburg and back recently. The whole experience with Qatar Airways was, to say the least, apalling!
I have a few complaints and would like to stipulate them to you:
We eventually got hold of someone when we dialled 02087457464. This person told us to call back in an hour as the person who dealt with lost luggage was not there at that moment. After an hour we called back, just to be told the same again. We called back an hour later just to be told that the person in question is not on duty anymore. After explaining our situation, the person at the other end of the line asked us for our reference number. With this information he explained that our luggage was on its way and would be delivered to our doorstep before 10.30pm on the same day. At 23.30 we decided to go to bed and try again today (15 March 2010). I called the same number at 09.15am today. A lady answered and asked me for my reference number. She then said that I will get the luggage today. I just made a call to that same number and now the person at the other end does not know about anything.
We have all of our toiletries and valuebles in our luggage. We already had to purchase the basiscs to be able to get ready for work. My wife had no make-up and no shops are open that late on a Sunday evening.
I am really frustrated with the whole situation and very unhappy that wrong numbers were given out to us.
2.1 On the first leg of our flight (London to Doha), two of the onboard toilets were out of order. The one did not even have a door. This meant that 170+ passengers had to use only 2 toilets. The standard of cleanliness in the toilets was not very good either.
2.2 The cabin crew had their luggage stored (together with other Qatar Airways property) in the overhead luggage compartments of the last 5-6 rows of the aircraft. These are clearly designated for the use of passengers. This occurred on all 4 legs of our journey. Upon requesting about space for our luggage we were told to "Find a place". This is really not on. We ended up with our hand luggage in totally different overhead compartments which usually was 6-9 rows forward from where we sat. This also caused us to utilise space designated for other passengers. This has never happened to us before.
2.3 The cabin crew was at the best of times unprofessional and very unhelpful. On our Doha to London flight, the cabin crew member did not even attempt to smile once. Her demeanour was one of irritation and being very rude. Their serving of drinks and food was questionable and very rarely did they serve any food warm and/or of a good quality. I was appalled with especially the drinks. The airline does not serve alcohol in pre-measured containers. Instead they pour spirits like gin, brandy and whiskey out of a big bottle. Every drink was poured way too strong and I suppose no-one actually got what they asked for.
2.4 My entertainment unit did not work on the flight from Doha to London. Upon requesting assistance I was told that I just have to accept that it does not work. Sitting on a flight for 7 hours without entertainment is really frustrating.
I usually don't complain about anything. I am always happy if an airline has the right way of helping and/or explainig a situation. The experience with Qatar Airways rates as the worst I have ever come across and I feel that my complaints and issues are valid.
I will never fly Qatar again and will advise any friends or family to not fly with them either. They advertise themself as a 5 star airline and boast about being awarded "The Worlds best economy class in 2009". To me, this might just as well be false advertising!
KHARTOUM, SUDAN -- Following is the letter I sent to Qatar Airways via e-mail and a hard copy to the Area Manager in Sudan on January 3rd. To date I have had no response from anyone.
Dear Sir or Madam:
I wish to make a formal complaint about the terrible service of Qatar Airways in Sudan and Doha that resulted in the loss of a bag containing US$3,000 of scuba equipment. The sequence of events is as follows:
Obviously I want to be reimbursed for the replacement value of this equipment but I also want to file a complaint for negligence (#6, 11, 12), incompetence (#6, 11, 12, 13), and theft against the female agent in Khartoum and negligence (#7) and incompetence (#7) against the male agent in Doha.
I will to the main Qatar Airways office tomorrow and try to talk to the manager. If I am not totally satisfied with the outcome I will file a criminal complaint for theft with the police against Qatar Airway in Khartoum.
This was my first and probably my last flight with Qatar. While I was very pleased with the help your agents in Cebu gave me I am equally (if not more) unhappy with the negligence and incompetence of those responsible for the loss of my equipment. Do you really want such people working for you?
On Dec. 22 6:30am we checked in on flight 613 in Bangkok scheduled to fly out 8:15.
The plane was basically empty. We departed from the gate, got on the runway only to hear the captain say we were returning because of engine problems.
After a 3 hour wait they said the flight was being canceled and we would return to the gate. In the terminal the attendants just kept insisting that the airline would address all our needs including connecting flights and travel.
By 2pm they finally got us to a hotel and we got a meal after a 6 hour wait (this would end up being our only meal in 12 hours). We sat a the hotel till 17:30 when they called us up and said we would return to the airport, where they would check us on the next Qatar flight at 8:30 pm. When we asked about what to do about our train tickets from Athens to Bulgaria which we would now miss, they said "all will be taken care of in Doha"
We arrive in Doha before midnight and now start dealing with managers who couldn't care less about our problems. They insisted that their only obligations were to get us to Athens and we should be happy that they just get us there safe, no matter how late we arrive. We spoke to 3 managers. They all insisted there was nothing they could do but we could present our case in Athens to the Qatar staff. (they said they would send a report to them about it, but that was never done... Just lying to get rid of us.)
The following morning at 7:30 we depart for Athens and arrive in Greece now 20 hours late. On arrival we find we have no baggage. How much worse can it get?
When we explained our story to the Qatar staff, there they listened with empathy (for the first time). They tried to phone the train station about our train tickets but couldn't reach them so they encouraged us to go ourselves and try to get on the train, insisting that our tickets could still be valid. When we arrived at the station, surprise, surprise, there was a big sign saying due to the Christmas holidays all trains are sold out. As a matter of fact we couldn't reserve a seat until Dec. 29. Now we were stranded in Athens.
That evening we managed to book a flight to Sofia for Christmas morning.
The next day (24th) we returned to the airport to see if our bags had arrived, which they did, but one of them had holes in it from the trip. The Qatar staff said that this was normal and there is nothing they could do.
Now we had lost our patience with this airline. We finally arrived home 3 days late, lost our train tickets, had to buy another flight out of Athens and had a damaged bag. All this and the answers they kept giving us was, "Sorry, we wish we could help you but we can't!"
We have now sent a complaint to the airline (no reply yet), and also to several papers hoping that we can get some kind of justice.
DOHA -- Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like to advise users of your website never to fly on Qatar Airways.
I originally booked a flight to Delhi and back, one part of which Qatar Airways simply dropped a few days before I was due to fly out. They never contacted me about this as I only learned about it when I phoned their Gatwick number to inquire about an unrelated issue about the flights.
As a replacement flight to the one they dropped (Doha to Gatwick), they put in place a flight that was supposed to fly out 11 hours later than the one originally scheduled. The result being that when I landed in Doha, I was denied a hotel room and had to contend with the dreadful food they give to passengers awaiting transfer in the Doha airport. The reason they gave for this is that the original booking I made never included a hotel room as the original transfer time in Doha was less that 8 hours. However, they, out-of-the-blue, canceled this flight and scheduled another one that was 19 hours after I landed in Doha, way over the 8 hours cut-off-point for a hotel. I tried inquiring about paying for a hotel out of my own pocket, but I was again even denied this information.
The upshot of all this is that I was forced to spend 19 hours staring like a mad thing at the floor of an airport terminal.
I had flown Qatar before this and thought their service was good. However, I, along with numerous friends, work colleagues and relatives to whom I have explained what happened to me, will not use this company ever again after the kind of appalling service I was subjected to. I hope you will agree and that your users should review any flight arrangements they have made now and in the future with this company based on my experience.
In short, stay well clear of this "airline".
Cabin Appearance: Clean Presentable
Service at departure airport: Regular with no glitches, in fact extremely co-operative check-in staff who helped me get good seats and confirm my child's meal! Plus the staff at LHR also gave passengers with kids priority so we could get on board conveniently!
Seats: What you would expect in all economy classes so no different from any other, in fact maybe a bit worse.
Meals: Although they provided a menu card and asked to choose options beforehand, the trolley was already out of all chicken choices halfway down and the beef option as many fellow passengers complained was undercooked. Kid's meal was satisfactory with a healthy burger and some fries and one candy bar!
In flight entertainment: The options for kids were very few with only 7-8 options to choose from and each option lasting only 30 minutes! No educational channels or trips to the cockpit for the many children on vacation in-flight. In-flight Duty Free terribly expensive. The AVOD malfunctioned on a few seats while on the way back and hence had an extremely boring and hard to get through experience!
Cabin staff: Efficient and helpful on the way to LHR but the way back was pretty unsatisfactory and harrowing as no activity packs for kids were available, same choice of programs on the AVOD and so had to actually rummage through the hand luggage to find my little one stuff to do!!
Arrival services: Transfers of Qatar Airways are usually through Doha and the ground staff guide you but with no courtesy that a child is along. The wait at the Doha Airport was for 6 hours, minimum available and the dinner provided was as if in a school cafeteria with one apple, one slice of bread, one piece of chicken!!
Summary: An option I was keen on in the beginning but that completely changed on the way back with inefficient preparations of cabin crew whether it was with meals or for children on board and the totally exhausting wait at Doha the most unexciting and disorganized airport in the world!!
If you are travelling on QATAR from JFK, New York you should make sure that you check your boarding pass for the seat assigned to you. Many people choose a particular airline and a particular flight due to the availability of preferred seats, especially on long flights such as JFK to Doha, and may buy a more expense ticket only due to the availiability of preferred seats. QATAR check-in staff, however, changes your pre-selected seats at check-in without even informing you of the change. The Terms of Carriage do allow the airline to change seats for security, safety or operational reasons, however, you do not want to fall victim to QATAR staff's shenanigans to oblige friends and family members. Please inform the QATAR staff member checking you in that you pre-selected seats when buying the ticket and check your boarding pass once it has been issued. If your seat has been changed, ask for the reason. Once you are hoodwinked into sitting for 14 hours on a middle seat of row 42 rather than the aisle seat of row 14 you paid good money for, any good features of the airline, which are not exceptional anyway, are meaningless to you. QATAR is NOT the cheapest airline operating on the US-South Asia routes either. If you have to be extremely uncomfortable or be a victim to dishonest practices, you can do so for a few hundred dollars less.
I am very disappointed at how the ground crew of Qatar Airways handled my case. My wallet was stolen in Athens and with it was the credit card that I used to buy the ticket online. I was refused check-in at the airport, despite my explanation of the situation. I even recited my credit card numbers and expiry date from memory to prove that I was the person who actually bought the ticket. They were very rigid and would not budge, and stick to the letter of the "rules" instead of the spirit (which is to serve me, the customer - protecting me from fraud). On top of all this, I was slapped with 50 euros of penalty for asking for a refund.
I am very very disappointed with Qatar Airways crew and management for failing to train their staff better and be more big-picture-minded. I will never fly Qatar Airways again.