Nuit wrote:Sounds rubbish service. What do they expect you to do with the rest of your journey, if you miss leg 1?
Let us know how things work out.
Yeah, it really is. If the last leg was waitlisted, I'd be OK with that. If I had to wait for the next flight or something, no problem. But like you say, if I miss the first one, the other two are buggered.
Anyway, here's what happened yesterday for anyone that's interested. I found the Golden Foundation Tours details during lunch and decided to take the afternoon off work and go down to their office to sort this out. I figured a face-to-face would give me the best chance of success.
When I arrived and explained the situation, they were perfectly nice and able to look up all my flight details on the computer and say, "Yeah, you're waitlisted", and then not do anything else to help. It was pretty frustrating. The girl there said that since it was booked through the website, there was a specific department that fixed "mistakes" like this. I asked her if she could tell me how to get in touch with this specific department and all she was able to give me was the customer support number in Abu Dhabi. I said I wasn't in a position to be making long international phone calls and she said I could email them instead. So I asked if she could help me find an email address and she looked and looked on the Etihad website before finally giving up.
So I left the office pretty despondent, gathered my thoughts and decided I'd chance my arm and visit the Cathay Pacific office since the first leg of my journey was through them. The very nice lady there (who spoke great English, btw) said that this was really an Etihad problem, but I said that I had no way of getting in touch with Etihad in Taiwan and that they didn't have an office here. She said, "Of, they do. It's called "Golden Foun...." At that point I finished the name and said, "Yeah, but they're not actually Etihad and they weren't able to help me." So she phoned them up and confirmed that they weren't able to help. She was also able to bring up all my details on her computer too. She couldn't believe I had been given tickets where the second and third legs were confirmed, but the first was waitlisted.
The only advice she could give me was to buy an international phone card so it wouldn't cost me a fortune to call overseas.
So I went to 7-Eleven and got an international phone card. It took so long to get through to an actual person at Etihad (who I had difficulty understanding, and who had difficulty understanding me), coupled with the fact that the card was being used up more quickly on a cell phone than it would on a landline, that my credit ran out before she had even started looking into my problem.
I finally went home and decided if I was going to make an international call, then why not just call an English-speaking country. I was going to get another phone card, go to my in-laws' place to use their landline and call the UK, but just before doing that I thought I'd give Scomargo's trick a go and call America instead, and lo and behold it worked. As it happens, calling America eventually gets you through to the same customer service department as if you call Abu Dhabi directly. Luckily the guy I spoke to this time was a bit easier to communicate with. I was on the line for over half an hour (mostly on hold while the guy tried to fix the problem) and he eventually had to come back and say the team was working on it and could I call back in 24-48 hours. I tried to answer but he just kept saying, "Hello? Hello?" And then he eventually hung up. Anyway, I'll call back tonight. Fingers crossed.
Last time I ever buy a ticket through the Etihad website, that's for sure.