Why NOT fly Air Europa EVER AGAIN
After some bad experiences, I want to give you few reasons why NOT fly Air Europa EVER again. It is no surprise for any of us that lately the flight companies are getting much more about the money and much less about the customer. But as long as we have some voice, we shall fight them. There are so many options to fly nowadays that we were not the ones that should be pleasing flight companies, but they are the one who should care much more about us. Keep reading to see my experience with Air Europa and why I’ll never fly with them ever again and I strongly recommend you to not to do it as well.
Flight Cancellation due Weather Conditions – Bad, but happens!
When the weather decides to not help, we know that it is not much that anyone can do. It is safer to stay on the ground. That happened with us during our last travel to New York: when it was time for our check-in, we were informed that the airport in New York was closed because of a snowstorm. Our world kinda broke down, because we had few issues: our hotel in New York was non-refundable, it was our first time in the city and we were really waiting for this travel to arrive and we had only 6 days there and we didn’t want to miss it. So, what to do now?
The lady on the information desk told us that what she could do was to postpone our flight for 2 days ahead – both ways -, but they could not reimburse our hotel expenses in New York because when it is weather conditions, they have nothing to do with it. So far, understandable.
Now, let’s go to the second problem: we were flying from Frankfurt and we live in Berlin. Going back to Berlin and then back to Frankfurt would be too hard. So, they promised us a hotel in Frankfurt if we agreed on changing our flight to the next days. Because we still had the “hotel issue” to deal with it, we had to wait a bit for the decision. Also, the lady told us that in one or two hours they would have more pieces of information for us.
Ok, looks like that we might have a solution with the flight company. Now we just need to deal with the hotel and our non-refundable rate. I called them and it was as I expected: nothing negotiable (click here to read my full review of this hotel). They not only didn’t want to negotiate our two nights because of the snow storm, but they also didn’t want to negotiate two extra nights for the same price we were paying our entire reservation. Well, looked like we were really screwed so and or we would lose the money for the hotel in New York, or the flight company would have to find a way to get us there as soon as possible.
Solving the Mess
Well, we went online for our rights and we understood that: yes, the flight company has no responsibility for costs on cancelled flights because of weather conditions. But yes, they need to provide you with the next available flight or any other way – if it exists – to arrive safely at your destination as soon as possible. So, we went back to negotiation with the flight company to see what would be the quickest way to get in New York. Here are the highlights:
- They are part of the SkyTeam, it means that they have as partners other flights company such as KLM, Delta Airlines, Air France, Alitalia and more.
- They told us that besides them they are also partners with Lufthansa for flight support.
- They told us they could provide us other flights (to Boston or Washington for example), but no transfer there to NY.
- They told us that we would have a hotel in Frankfurt for the delayed days. But if we wanted to already go to Madrid (our flight connection was there), they would not pay us a hotel there.
- They told us to not worry about our train ticket from Frankfurt to Berlin on the way back because this is something they offer for free for all their long-distance clients.
- They told us that only 10 passengers were flying from Frankfurt and that we were the only two passengers that still remained on that flight. Some of the other customers cancelled their travel and some agreed to skip their flights for two days ahead.
All that said, after 4 hours manager from Air Europa in Frankfurt came to us with a solution: we would fly on the very next day, with the same flights that we were supposed to take today. The way back would also be skipped for one day after, so we could enjoy our whole travel like before. It sounded amazing because we would just lose one day in the hotel and we would have to search a hostel for the last day. With all the trouble, looked like it would be the cheapest way to solve it.
We then had two options: taking a flight that night to Madrid and spending the night there, then taking the flight at 15:20 to New York, or staying the night in Frankfurt, then in the next morning taking the flight to Madrid and then New York. Because they would not pay us a hotel in Madrid but would cover the costs in Frankfurt, we decided to stay and fly on the next morning. So, she guaranteed us in both flights on the next day and booked us.
It was time to redeem the promises so: our hotel for Frankfurt and the train ticket back home one day later (because I had to cancel the one we bought).
Surprise! “No, we are not paying you any hotel here. When the cancellation is due to weather conditions, we don’t pay anything. The train ticket you take when you are back, I can’t give you now.” Well, there is some more story to tell, but I already tell you that they didn’t give us any train ticket back.
Customer Care: ZERO.
I would understand if they didn’t want to pay us a hotel if they had a full flight cancelled, with another 200 people asking for the same things. But it was only the two of us. They had informed us that we were the last passengers remaining on this flight. That all the other 8 already had their solutions in other ways. So, yes, I know that “legally” you have no obligations toward us. But as a company that cares for their passengers, for their clients, you should have a bit more of empathy. Especially because they knew that our situation was special:
We are from Berlin, so we took a train to Frankfurt one night before, because of our early flight. We were already one entire night at the airport, sleeping on the floor. After the flight cancellation, they were aware that we were already losing money with our hotel in New York that didn’t negotiate the one day. We had to arrange an extra night in another place because again our hotel didn’t negotiate. We could not simply go home before the flight because our house was 500 km away.
So, from 10 people that were supposed to take this flight, we were the only remaining ones, with all those things on us, WHY NOT caring a little bit about us? Why not making sure that we are going to have a pleasant experience and flying again with them? It is absolutely sad when a company just do “what is legal” and forget about being human. This is the main reason why we won’t NEVER EVER AGAIN fly with them because we know that if we need them, we can’t count on them.
Surprises never end
Well, on the next day during our check in we were informed that they were overbooked and we were given Stand By tickets. That time I made sure to remind them that weather conditions were not their problem, but not taking us to New York today would be their problem and we were going to make sure they know that legally. They got us a place in the airplane, but the flight got delayed for one and a half hours, which was the exact time we had on our connection.
After racing the entire Barajas airport, we got to our gate to also learn that they were 40 minutes delay BECAUSE THE BOARD CREW WAS STILL NOT THERE. Our flight was supposed to leave at 15:10, but they started to board us at 16:30. So, punctuality is also a problem for Air Europa, not only customer care.
On our flight back, finally, one flight that left on time: from New York to Barajas. But the flight from Madrid to Frankfurt was again 1:30 hours delayed.
Don’t choose Air Europa
Before our flight, I have already read a lot of bad reviews about them but unfortunately, I already had my flight ticket. I just had some hope that the company got better with time, but I was wrong. Now I add another bad review to their collection and I am going to make sure that as many people as possible learn about my experience and then they can still choose if they want to be clients of a company that do not care about their customers or not. So, what is your choice?