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It’s not about the money, It’s about the principle!

I’m sick of the customer service most airlines are offering to their customers. In the last weeks I’ve read lots of articles on the web and comments on twitter on how shitty employees of different airlines have treated their customers.

And I’m sick of all these email with many words and empty promises “bla bla bla, we will get back to you very soon…” WHATEVER!!

Example of Iberia

In May I flew, with the biggest airline of Spain, to Central America. I departed from Germany to Backpacking Nicaragua with stops in Madrid and Panama. Once arrived at the airport in Managua I realized that my backpack didn’t make it! BRAVOOOOO IBERIA!

Well, I wasn’t that angry actually! It can happen and I was tired and only wanted to go to bed. I claimed that the bag was missing and they told me that it must be in Madrid with 17 other bags, which didn’t arrive the last days! Sounds like Iberia has some problems here!

Two days later they called and said that they would deliver it between 11 AM and 10 PM. They must have been kidding, but the lady assured that this is how they do it. They really expected me to wait a whole day in the house for, them to deliver the bag they lost. What she said something like: “Yes ,you have to be there the whole day, if you are not, you cannot sign, if you don’t sign we can’t deliver the bag. Easy isn’t it! Please be there!”.

I stayed in the house the whole day and left only for 30 minutes at around 6 or 7 PM. And of course, they came during the half an hour I was gone. Luckily the driver must have been too lazy to come back the next day, as I was living in the middle of nowhere in Redonda Bay and he left it with the reception!

When I got back and checked the bag it was broken! BRAAAAVOOOO IBERIA!

I immediately called them and said that it is broken and they said that delivery sheet was signed and nobody claimed anything!! Fair enough! I wasn’t there cause I was starving cause I had to wait the whole day!!!

After a couple of calls with very rude customer service employees I gave up! It wasn’t worth the stress and I wanted to enjoy my holidays!

If you don’t pay, you stay here!

30 days later I found myself back at the Airport of Managua. Here they told me to pay $ 35 airport fee, which my airline didn’t pay! I checked all my documents and couldn’t find anything that said that a fee had to be paid at the airport! I was sure I paid all fees and taxes when I bought the ticket. I firstly refused to pay it and they refused me to check in! It wasn’t about the money, it was about the principle! When I noticed that there was no way around, I finally paid!

I arrived in Germany 16 hours later and my bag was there too! All good! But now I want to hear what IBERIA has to say!

Back and forth!

I wrote a complaint on the 9th of May and got a response on the 23rd of May saying:

„We are pleased to be able to inform you that your request no. XXXXX has been accepted.

Yours sincerely

Centro de Servicios Iberia Plus“

A month later on the 12th of June, I wrote again asking what is going on as I haven’t heard of them.

Response of Iberia:

“Regarding the information you have supplied, we would like to inform you that in your claim has been delivered to Iberia URC, which is the departament that will attend your query.

We trust that future contact with us will be to your complete satisfaction. „


Fair enough! They have a lot to do! I waited another month and wrote on the 19th of July!

This time no response!

Airlines try to ignore passenger claims and hope that they forget about it but you messed around with the wrong one, pal! Again, it’s not about the $35, it’s about the principle that they should stop treating us like shit and should start investing in their customer service!!!

I wrote another mail on the 4th of September – no response.

Again on the 10th of November – no response!

6 months later I have nothing! Iberia is still ignoring me!

Couple of weeks ago Andi from My Beautiful Adventures complained about the service of US Airways on Twitter. I replied to her complaining about Iberia and mentioning them. They read it, got back to me, asked me to send in the complaint AGAIN and two weeks later of course nothing happened yet!

Some final words!

IBERIA and all other airlines out there!!! Start caring about your customers and invest in your customer service!!!

I’m not saying that all airlines are bad! There are some airlines who do a great job! I’m just saying that most of them suck at it! 

It’s not about the Money, it’s about the principle!!!!!!!!!!!

 Your thoughts????

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31 comments on “It’s not about the money, It’s about the principle!

  1. Angela on

    I agree, what does it mean, that if we buy a discounted ticket or if we find a promotion we are not entitled to customer services? This, at least seems to be Ryanair and Easyjet philosophy. I’m glad to see this post, I just started yesterday a post myself on this very same subject, just different airlines. Will link to your site.

  2. Alexandra on

    I think you have opened up a can of worms! We all have awful stories to tell. Last time i flew Aliatalia we spent christmas without clothes or gifts, and I sent in a claim for what we had to buy. After 4 months we got a letter in the mail saying we had to send further bills. By then i’d given up and thrown out what we did have….
    But worse was last week when I flew Air France with my expensive medication which has to remain refrigerated. I have documents for this and a doctor’s letter. Alitalia took it so I assumed a real airline like Air France would not give me trouble. Well, they refused. I spent the whole 10 hour flight worrying about my medicine which was going bad in the process, a waste of 400 euros and a lot of physical pain for me. Finally they gave me a bag of ice. I still don’t know if it’s been saved or not.
    All this makes me think that it’s absurd that we fly around the world in metal tubes. I am tempted not to go anywhere for a while.

    • seba on

      That is horrible!! I have heard many bad things about Alitalia but I thought that Air France would treat its customers better. Sounds like they don’t!

  3. Eric @ Trans-Americas Journey on

    Sadly most airlines are essentially bus lines in the sky, with the service and quality to match. Even though most have come out of the red in the past year or two by nickle & diming passengers for everything, service and quality has certainly not improved. As for taking responsibility for anything…you can forget about it unless they have a proverbial gun to their head.
    A year ago on a flight into Guatemala from the US on Continental we had several hundred dollars of equipment removed and disappeared from our bags. Though we proved via TSA logs these items were last in the custody, and obviously stolen by a Continental employee. The airline refused to take any responsibility since, well…they didn’t have to. Here is our post about the situation – A quick search online shows we were not the only ones to be ripped off like this. After several months of being blown off by Continental we were getting nowhere and were out about $600. We decided to write the blog post about the situation and contact the media relations department threatening to publish our story in one of the newspapers we regularly write for. Suddenly things changed and we were first offered compensation in the form of vouchers. When that was refused and we showed them the TSA evidence, they quickly sent us a check. Happy ending for us, however it is frustrating that the vast majority of people just get blown-off like we were. Sadly this is the usual outcome unless you have a trump card to play.
    We’ve been intending to update our post to tell the last chapter of this story but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Good luck getting anything out of an airline these days unless you have the law on your side without a loophole the airline can use, or without being in a position of power. I guess you get what you pay for.

    • seba on

      This happened to me in Spain. Things were removed from my bag but I only noticed when I was at home and it was of so little value that I ignored it. But your story is awful, good for you that they gave you a check at the end. How long did that take?

  4. James Cook on

    Airlines can be so bad and I hate hidden airport fees! If we want to complain about anything we normally email first and if nothing has happened in 2 days we go and find them on twitter its so useful as it is so hard to ignore!

    • seba on

      I also tweeted them but they always reply the same “We forwarded your claim and will look into it as soon as possible” bla bla bla!!! I will never fly with these guys again!

  5. Shaun on

    All I can say is WOW…..

    I consider myself lucky… so far, that i haven’t gone through anything like this before. Are you keeping up the fight? Like you said, they want you to back down.

    I agree it’s the principle but, it’s a little bit about the money. I think if they made flights more affordable, more people would travel!

  6. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures on

    Thanks so much for the shout out! I have been nothing but absolutely disgusted with ALL airlines over the last couple of years. They are lucky that no matter how badly they treat me, I will ALWAYS travel. Otherwise, I would have stopped giving them business forever ago. They shouldn’t be able to get away with this though. It’s morally wrong.

  7. Caz Makepeace on

    I have recently found the service on jetstar (australian airline) and Air New Zealand to be outstanding. What a difference it makes!!

    Previous to that on Delta, I found the air hostess to be disgustingly rude.

    I’m sticking to the carriers that give the best service from now on

    • seba on

      I’ve heard some great things about Air NZ. Jetstar disappointed me a little in 2008 but I didn’t fly with them recently!!

      I do the same Caz! I will only stick to those airlines recommended to me and the ones I have good experiences with!

      Funny thing is, that a friend told me that I shouldn’t fly with Iberia cause they lost her bag and she never got it back!! I should have listened to her!

  8. Melvin on

    Thanks to social media & the internet, airline will have sooner or later realize that they have to change. I just hope that we don’t have to wait much longer for that.

    Companies will see this development negative, I guess. But see it realistic, it’s good! Very good!

    That’s why it’s importnant to fight for a free internet, which doesn’t get ruled by companies & governments!

  9. Ashray on

    Sorry to hear about your poor Iberia experience. We had a pretty traumatic experience with AeroSur lately and are trying to get our money back. You’re right in that a lot of airlines treat customers very poorly, I believe more so in latin america because there isn’t much competition. There are a few major carriers (some of which are good) but the others are just chilling and making money. *sigh*

    • Cornelia on

      My favorite airline is Lufthansa and I never ever had a bad experience … except that the vegan food is not so great. When I live and travel within the US (5 months a year) I have to book US carriers, though. My experience: they are usually late, flights are often cancelled, they treat people like cattle. Had a great experience with Aeromexico to Buenos Aires earlier this year – the friendliest flight attendants I ever met!

  10. Lauren T. Bates on

    There are some really crappy airlines out there and after your review I don’t think that I will ever book a flight with them!! Thank you!

  11. Iberia is total crap on

    Another Iberia nightmare sufferer here. It’s the worst airline ever. I mean, it’s soooo horrible. Customer service is a bloody joke of a name for the dumbasses who answer their phones. I swear to you, this airline is a piece of s***. And I haven’t even flown yet, this is just in trying to get a bloody invoice, which they refuse to give me.

  12. Ulrike on

    I just found this article but I can still completely confirm Iberia’s terrible service. I travelled with them from Berlin to Santiago de Chile in February 2014 and I have never encountered more unfriendly flight attendants, worse (or less recognisable) food or a less comfortable plane. And everyone I have talked to since who ever flew with Iberia had only bad things to say about it. It’s sad that Iberia runs most flights to South America but after my experience with them, I will always pay more to fly with British Airways or some other airline.

  13. Voltaire on

    I had my luggage damaged by Iberia while flying on vacations and then filed the damage claim locally at Guarulhos airport. After much against time with arbitrary answers trying to sorting out the problem through claim forms on their website and by telephone, now they want me to provide them with a “certificate of irreparable loss provided by the shop substituting the item”, on which of course no one here is willing to do so. The shop only sells brand new items! Additionally by the phone they informed me to pay a maximum of 150,00 € for my damaged luggage which will be subject to approval.

    Filling a form in their website simply does not work, calling their support number no one was able to address the problem or provide me a solution, last but not least, filling-in a complaint in the website does not work as well as in the last moment you are told the page expired. Was all this done on purpose? Maybe yes, maybe not, however I will never ever book a flight anymore with Iberia. I don’t care how cheap it is. I urge you to stay away from them. Save yourself the headache and time!