Do not EVER fly Iberia Airlines

by Christina Geyer on January 17, 2008 · 43 comments

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So here it is, the full story with all the gritty details. From cancelled flights to unannounced delays, from death marches through the Madrid airport to sleeping in moldy hotel rooms.

Chapter 1: The cancelled flight

Our tale begins in the fall, shortly after booking four tickets with Iberia Airlines to visit my family in the US this Christmas. Normally when I go home for a visit, I go for 4-6 weeks, since I so rarely get to see my family, but this year we were bringing along Rainer’s nephew, who had school off from December 20 through January 7, so we had to limit our visit to these dates. I wasn’t quite ready to fly alone with a baby yet, I was going to save that for my next trip back. We ended up booking our trip from December 20 to January 5, to maximize the time I would have with my family and that they in turn would have with Oliver. A few weeks after we booked, we received a letter that our return flight had been cancelled and we were rebooked on a flight later in the week. This wouldn’t work because Rainer’s nephew Paul had school. We called and complained, how can they just cancel our flight and move our dates? Apparently, as the agent explained to us, there were more important routes that the planes were needed for, and Iberia would not book us on another airline (we asked), so our only option was to fly back two days earlier than planned. I hadn’t been home in 18 months and instead of 16 days, I was now only going to have 14 days with my family! Was there an apology at least? Nope, only a, “Tough luck. You should have read the microscopic fine print.”

Chapter 2: Customer service? Iberia don’t need no stinkin’ customer service!

We flew out of Frankfurt, through Madrid, to Washington DC. In Madrid, I went up to the Iberia gate agent to ask if there was a way for us to get seats next to each other for the long trans-Atlantic flight, since we were not seated together. He ordered me to, “Sit down and take a rest,” because the gate agent had more important things to do than work, like chat with a Madrid airport security guard (who doesn’t have to do much apparently, there was no addition security and our passports weren’t even checked as we boarded the flight to DC – so even if the rest of my story doesn’t deter you, there is probably a higher risk of being blown up by a terrorist if you fly Iberia). During the flight, the attendants didn’t seem interested in clearing away our dinner trays, I guess if all the passengers are pinned in their seats, it makes a lot less work for the crew!

Chapter 3: The Waiting Game

Our vacation came and went much too quickly. Our flight home to Germany was to depart Dulles Airport at 8:55pm. At 6:00pm, I called Iberia’s 1-800-number from my mom’s restaurant to check whether the flight was on time. I called 5 times and was hung up on 5 times. I went to the computer and checked the Internet. Everything was set, the flight was on time. We made the 20 minute drive to the airport and my brothers dropped us off.

We should have gotten suspicious at the enormous line, or the fact that it wasn’t moving. We didn’t reach the Iberia counter until 9pm, 5 minutes after the scheduled departure of the plane. It was not until we reached the agent that anyone bothered to inform us that Iberia had sent the wrong plane from Madrid and it was not large enough to accommodate the number of people booked to fly that evening. We needed to wait for a larger plane to arrive, our new departure time was 2:30am, arriving in Madrid at 3pm the following day. Why they couldn’t tell everyone waiting in line when we first got there, I don’t know. It would have been nice to have my family there to pick us up and take us home for the wait… but back to the check-in: Three Iberia agents were needed to book our connection at 4pm to Frankfurt. We strongly doubted that it would be possible to make this flight. We asked if there wasn’t a later flight they could book us on, but no, they assured us that this would work – after they spent 30 minutes trying to rebook our seats because they insisted that we had booked e-tickets for Rainer, Paul and I, while booking a paper ticket for Oliver. I stated that I booked all tickets online at the same time, but somewhere this got screwed up and, it seems, the employees were doing this for the first time (this is a recurring thought throughout our entire experience with Iberia).

By the time we were out of the line and able to get to a pay phone (since our German cell phones don’t work in the US), my family was heading to bed and it wasn’t worth it to drive out, bring us home, then drive us back to the airport, so we headed out to the gate for the long wait.

To make the 5.5 hour delay up to us, Iberia issued us $36 in credit ($12 each) for any restaurant in the airport. The thing was, the restaurants and food places had all closed or were in the process of closing. The only place open was a Starbucks, so we bought $36 worth of muffins, cookies and coffee to tide us over.

The boarding time came and went. The flight took off after 3am. The flight attendants didn’t seem to know how to install the bassinet for Oliver, and they never brought us the flight pack with diapers, wipes, a bib, and blanket, or the two jars of baby food that we received for him on the flight to DC two and a half weeks earlier.

Chapter 4: The Madrid Death March

We arrived at 4pm, the same time that our Frankfurt flight was departing. Just outside of the arrival gate was a customer service desk, where we joined the line of all the other passengers who also needed to be rebooked. After about 45 minutes, Rainer made it to the front of the line, where the agent informed him that we needed to change terminals and go the the help desk at the H gates. “Why?” Rainer asked. Apparently this guy wasn’t in the mood to rebook people anymore and decided to just send the rest of us to someone else. He refused to help any more people. Nice.

We had to take the shuttle and walk forever to get to the next customer service desk. Here we were informed by a female Iberia employee that we needed someone in a red coat and she was only issued a green coat. We needed to leave this desk and find another service desk. It only took her directions, a janitor, and three info desks to direct us to the appropriate counter. During this time I had to remove my shoes due to the screaming blisters that had developed on my feet. We arrived at 4pm and had been looking for help since then, what time do you think we were finally helped? 5pm? 6pm? 6:30pm? Nope, we (and many of our fellow passengers who’d made the march with us) finally got to someone willing to help us at 7pm.

Chapter 5: A Birthday to Remember

We wanted to be in Frankfurt that night. It was Paul’s 16th birthday and he was completely miserable. The agent told us to calm down, if we raised our voices at him, he would be forced to yell at us and then there would be hell to pay and we wouldn’t like that at all. He informed us that the last flight to Frankfurt with Iberia was already full and we wouldn’t be able to get to the gate in time even if it wasn’t. So we told him to book us on another airline. He proceeded to list slowly, one-by-one, all the flights that would have gotten us to Frankfurt if the first guy had helped us, but that by now, we had already missed, or wouldn’t be able to catch. Thanks dude, that’s so helpful.

In the end he booked us on a flight the next morning and promised us a 4 star Madrid hotel with dinner and breakfast included. And what was his response to the fact that it was Paul’s 16th birthday? An apology? A weak Happy Birthday? Nope, he just shrugged his shoulders. Did they even get us a taxi to the hotel? Nope, we had to wait 20 minutes outside in the cold with a baby for a dingy hotel shuttle.

Chapter 6: The Final Chapter a.k.a. Let’s just get this sad story over with

Not only did the hotel room smell musty, there was mold growing in the corners, the paint on the bathroom ceiling was peeling off and underneath was a nice layer of rusty orange mold. In the basement restaurant that reeked of chlorine bleach, we were given a choice of two options for our dinner. Paul’s dinner was still slightly frozen, none of the dinners were very appetizing. We went to bed to try to get some rest, until 10pm came along and we found out that our room was directly above a nightclub. When morning came, we had to leave for the airport before breakfast was served, not that we really cared at all at that point.

The final leg of our flight was uneventful, except for one humongous security violation. The reinforced cockpit door stayed open for much of the flight. Ummm, you’d think that with the Madrid bombings and all, Iberia would take security a little more seriously.

At least our bags made it.


  • http://martinisfortwo.com Diane Mandy

    I am sorry you had such a terrible experience, but am grateful for the tip.

  • http://theviewfromher.blogspot.com rositta

    Holy Shit, and I thought Olympic was bad. Your experience would have sent my into hysterics. I hope you send a copy of your entire blog entry to Iberia, maybe you can get a refund…ciao

  • http://tgaw.wordpress.com Vicky

    So, in all my travels the last few years, I have found scheduling changes, equipment problems, cancellations, missed connections, lost luggage, etc to be commonplace. So much in fact, when I go on a business trip, I *expect* problems.

    That said, when these things happen (even though many seem to be 100% preventable), this is the key opportunity for the airline to differentiate themselves and SHOW how much they value you as a passenger. Iberia seemed to have unity in all their employees to botch that effort.

    I’ve probably had the most problems with Delta (the only times my luggage has been lost, it’s always Delta!), but because they resolved my problems quickly, I’ll still use them. Once they even put me up in a genuine fancy hotel (not a so-called four star hotel featuring mold) when my missed connection wasn’t even their fault.

    Northwest, I’m happy with as well. Not only did I get food vouchers for a canceled flight, they also gave me bonus mileage and credits for a future flight. (Northwest could probably shit on my mother’s head and I would still use them because I love Detroit Airport so much). I also LOVE LOVE LOVE how easy it is to get mileage credit for your frequent flyer account on their website. Their online request is the most lenient with name spellings I’ve seen. They don’t mind if your ticket name is “VICKY”, “VIKTORIA” or “VICTORIA”. Somehow, through the marvels of internet technology they manage to still give me my mileage credit. The other sites get tripped up by spelling differences and make me jump through hoops like….picking up the phone or mailing my ticket stub.

    Continental, I’m not so fond of. Once, I had to change a flight home and they were claiming the fare of my flight was nearly 1000 dollars more from my previous flight (this is in addition to the change fees).

    “Are you talking about Flight #XXXX leaving at 3:50?” I asked.

    “Yes.”

    “I’m looking at it on your website right now and the fare is only $350. [I find it hard to believe that is $1000 *more* than my current flight.]”

    They tried to explain how they use the “round trip” fare for their calculations on fare difference. And for once a dropped call turned out to be a good thing. When my cell phone suddenly fell silent, I called my boss to vent and lo and behold he had an extremely simple idea that never crossed my mind.

    “Cancel your return flight, they’ll give credits toward a future flight and then buy a one-way ticket.”

    SOLD! I shoved it to Continental and got my return flight on United. Take that, Continental! I would have given you a reasonable fare difference, but now you don’t get that and you don’t get my future flights! Suck it!

    United I am pleased with– which says a lot because one time I slept on the floor of Dulles Airport due to a United mishap. I did get some good vouchers for that AND the two times I have had to change a United flight, the folks at the call center go out of their way to save me as much money as possible (checking all sorts of dates and destination airports). One lady even managed to change my flight AND get me a refund.

    U.S. Airways I’m not pleased with. Whereas Delta got me an awesome hotel for FREE. U.S. Airways gave me a discount on a crappy hotel that I still had to pay for. Also it seems to be U.S. Airways mission to try to cheat me out of my air miles.

    JetBlue I haven’t had any bad experiences with at all, but I won’t seek them out. Why? I have no self-control. I end up staying up the whole flight watching reruns of Project Runway on DirectTV. It disrupts my body’s natural sleep cycle (I usually sleep on flights). As a result, when I arrive at my destination, I have one of those “Too much TV” headaches and I am exhausted. :)

    Anyway, it occurs to me that this comment is a little misplaced. I’m talking about U.S. airlines on a German blog.

    Oh well. :)

  • http://tgaw.wordpress.com Vicky

    Oh also– spending entire food vouchers at Starbucks is not a new experience to me either. :)

  • http://mariaandkevin.blogspot.com Maria

    YIKES! I also like Northwest. I recently had a big delay with them (see my post on my return from MN). Without requesting it, because I was lazy basically, I had a letter in the mail this week saying they are giving me 1000 bonus miles. Not much, but the trip was only 800 or so miles, so doubling it was nice!

  • silvia

    Oh dear, what a circus! And with a baby on top! I wonder how they could have been so cold not serving Oliver a meal. babies don’t eat no more these days???!!! You did not say how the little one took this? And I am wondering if you were not able to find another airline and flight schedule than Iberia, since you started looking in fall already?
    Nontheless, I feel bad for you guys. Good luck next time with another airline!

  • http://mariaandkevin.blogspot.com Maria

    One more thing– Thank God for nursing, eh?

  • http://lulusbay.blogspot.com/ Lynda

    Oh what a mess… poor you! Remember the days when flyiing was glam, glam glam… yeah right.

  • http://www.theblythespirit.com Blythe

    Now that’s a story you’ll get to tell Oliver when he grows older and tries to complain that the customer service at your dinner table sucks.

    I’ll bet you are so glad to be at home. Incidentally, we’ve had very good luck with Lufthansa, but we tend to pay a premium for it.

    We’ve also had the same problem with the e-ticket/paper ticket. Apparently infants are supposed to have paper tickets when flying internationally. But not always. Or something. Babies confuse the airlines. One experience included double-listing Theo in their records, so every time we checked in, they looked around and asked us where our other baby was.

  • http://regensblog.com Sarah

    Wow. Just…

    WOW.

    I’ve heard people warn against flying Iberia before, but I’ve never gotten any details as to why. That is a truly hair-raising tale.

  • http://www.bloggingmama-andrea.blogspot.com/ Andrea

    I’ll be sure to mark Iberia as the ‘No way in Hell am I flying with them!’ choice next time we fly.
    What a nightmare!

  • http://swenglishexpat.blogspot.com/ swenglishexpat

    Holy cow! I’ll never ever fly Iberia! Weren’t there rumours last year that other airlines might buy it? Who would want that rubbish company anyway? There seems to be institutionalised incompetence!

  • http://rita.blogkade.de rita

    wow! now that’s an epic travel story!!! i am glad you all got back in one piece despite Iberia’s bothersome attempt to guide you into geographical nirvana.

  • silvia

    I wonder that Iberia is still in business.

  • http://www.ready2rocksc.de.vu Janina

    hey ya :)
    somehow came to your page…don’t even know how 😉 but it’s really great to see this site…i was amazed! =)
    i’m a german exchange student & i’m in south carolina right now (until june) and it’s really interesting to see that there are also american ppl like you who are in germany :) great & interesting blog!
    love from sc,
    janina

  • Christina G

    @diane: Thanks for commenting. Nice blog, btw. I love the layout.

    @rositta: That’s a good idea. I’m gonna do just that!

    @vicky: Those tips are great. It’s nice having all the reviews from such a frequent traveller as yourself. And many of us are Americans, so we’re travelling on US airlines as well.

    @maria: Maybe I’ll get something from Iberia in the mail… NOT! Thank god for nursing is right, but I’m also a strong believer in being prepared. I had baby food with me. 😉

    @silvia: There were other choices, but Iberia was €450 each and the next lowest fare was €550. With three fares to pay (Oliver’s was €90 with either airline), the difference adds up. But in the future, I will happily pay €300 more for good customer service.

    @lynda: I used to love flying when I was a kid. Did I just grow up or have things gone that downhill? Aren’t things supposed to improve with time???

    @blythe: Our new policy is to only fly with European airlines of countries located north of the Alps. It will be worth paying a premium to avoid all the hassles. And Lufthansa is a pretty good airline. I usually try to fly Lufthansa or United (since they are partners and Dulles is a United hub). And thanks for the info, I’ll be sure to keep in mind that babies will take extra time at check-in in the future.

    @sarah: Exactly.

    @andrea: Definitely avoid them. At least we only had a happy, sleepy baby along. I can’t imagine what a nightmare it would have been with a toddler and a small child.

    @swenglishexpat: Very true. Either they didn’t care or they didn’t know what they were doing. Incompetence all around.

    @rita: Yeah, now I know what Odysseus felt like!

    @janina: Hi there and welcome! Thanks for commenting. I tried to check out your site but I wasn’t able to load it. Hope you’re enjoying SC. I love the south.

  • Christina G

    I should say that Oliver was awesome during the whole trip. That made it a whole lot easier. He was the only one of us who enjoyed the fiasco, spending the entire time napping or laughing and smiling at everyone. But maybe if we’d had a screaming baby to set on the counter, we would have gotten more help. Hmmm, doubtful.

    Rainer also reminded me that I forgot to mention that when we complained about the service to the last agent who finally sent us to the hotel, he said snottily, that he was sorry that Iberia did not have enough staff to personally take each passenger by the hand and lead them to their destination. Jerkoff.

  • silvia

    What? That was very rude! Like I said before, I wonder that they are still in business…

  • Pam

    Wow, what a nightmare! Christina, I can’t imagine all of that with a baby. Oliver is amazing. You are so lucky to have such an easy going baby, but once again, he reflects the nurturing, easy going attitude of his parents. My daughter and son-in-law flew Iberia last year to the Canary Islands and had an okay experience, but I will tell her not to trust them again! I think it is great that you took Ranier’s nephew with you for Christmas. What a great experience for him (except for the return trip). Well, all is well that ends well I guess. Happy New Year. Pam

  • http://www.eurotrippen.com B.

    Yipes! Sounds like I should avoid Iberia like the plague…

  • Nick

    Stunning … It sounds like you had a LOT more patience than I’d ever have managed!

    I can also warn against Alitalia … similar experience on the way back from Shanghai last year. The connecting flight from Milan to Munich was cancelled at around 8pm … finally got the flight rebooked and hotel organised by midnight … no food open at that time and had been waiting in a queue until taht point … had to wait another hour for transport to the hotel … there was no food there, no coffee, Tea or water in the room … and breakfast was not served until after we were due to leave in the morning. The bus didn’t turn up in the morning and we ended up having to shell out 100€ for a taxi back to the airport.

    I travel KLM and Lufthansa a lot and most of the time am really happy with the service

    … b.t.w. I think that the only reason Iberia are still in business is that it is the Spanish national airline … and as such I think it is government run (not 100% sure about that, but reasonably certain)

    Cheers, Here’s to another year of wonderful airline hospitality :O)

    Nick

  • http://www.tranzformer.de/blog Ben

    I’ve only heard tales of the misery Iberia can provide, but I have to second Nick’s warning on Alitalia and specifically the Shanghai-Milan flight, which was horrendously bad in nearly every department. And, yeah, I got the apology-free mean-spirited “service” and the moldy hotel room because of missed flight experience as well. Could it be that Iberia and Alitalia are the same airline?

  • Klaus Dorhmann

    It just goes to show how air travel has become a commodity.

    Remember, you get what you pay for!

    Ya shoulda flew with Lufthansa.

  • Christina G

    I have not had the most pleasant experiences with Alitalia either, which is why we’re only flying on airlines from countries north of the Alps from now on.

  • PT

    Fuck! I just booked a round trip with them from Boston to Tel Aviv, for me AND my girlfriend. How hard is it to get a refund with those folks? The trip isn’t till end of May till early June.

  • Peter Kirkpatrick M.D.

    Here is my tale, in the form of my reply to their reply to a complaint I filed on their website. Never fly Iberia.

    Dear Ms. Mariscal,

    Thank you so much for the form letter you sent me regarding my complaint–not! It is typical of your customer service that you addressed none of the specific issues I raised.
    My complaint was less about the changes made, (although all of them were obviously unworkable: change in the day of travel from Friday to Wednesday, which not one traveler in 1000 could do; making a one hour connection at JFK from a domestic flight for an international flight; arriving in Madrid 30 minutes after the connection to Geneva leaves and not changing the connection) than about the impossibility of obtaining information or help from either your website or any telephone number listed on the website.

    Your airline is essentially impossible to deal with unless you are a travel agent–and even the travel agent we used (Cheaptickets.com) was kept on hold for more than one hour on three occasions and longer than two hours on one occasion, meaning I also had to stay on hold from them for the same lengths of time since their rules forbid them from calling me back. I spent nearly five hours on the telephone to correct the obvious errors in booking made by your airline, which would have been apparent to anyone paying attention to what they were doing (e.g. arriving after the connection leaves and not changing the connection). The last call was occasioned by your failure to update your website five days after a new connecting flight was booked (although now, 10 days later, your website has me on the right correction). My point is that there was no way for me to find out from you whether the change to the later connecting flight had been made.

    I suggest you look at some of the reviews you are getting on the Web and find out what people think of your service.

    I can’t even reply to your email!

    Peter Kirkpatrick

    On Apr 3, 2008, at 8:35 AM, IBERIA_LAE wrote:

    Madrid, april 3rd 2008

    Reference: C08021-559019527

    Dear Mr Kirkpatrick:

    We should like to thank you for contacting us and, at the same time, apologies for any inconvenience we may have caused in regards to flight IB 6166 of april 11, 2008.

    Owing to the changeover from one season to another, and during certain holiday periods, some adjustments, based on certain operating factors and according to demand, may be made to our schedules. These adjustments are always made sufficiently ahead of time for passengers to be notified, thus allowing them to change their plans in the way that most suits them.

    Yours sincerely,

    Nicole Mariscal
    Customer Assistance Manager

  • Peter Theodorou

    I also had a very bad experiance and have taken an oath to never use Iberia again. The arrogance with which the Air hostes treated me when I complained about having bought a business class fair and be shaved in a matchbox for the flight Madrid to Porto. She insisted it was Busniess class cabin while I could hardly fit in to the seat and when I asked other passengers to show me their boarding apsses they were all Economy. yet the silly cow insisted that this was business class.
    Shame to Iberia its management and its arrogant idiots they employ…

  • Ami

    Just had my first Iberia flight (to Cuba) – the worse flight I ever had in my life.
    lost luggage, delays, rude flight attendance, ZERO customer service (toll number does not work, so does email) and last… really bad food on the plane!

    my suggestion: Don’t EVER fly Iberia.

  • http://mariaandkevin.blogspot.com Maria

    I keep thinking about this post… as I search for tickets to go to Spain. The lowest price and best flight times are on… this damned airline! ACK!

    Marias last blog post..A lesson

  • http://www.iberia.com Johan

    I am praying …need to go to PDX next week via Chicago, Dallas..first flight operated by Iberia….for a 2 day meeting…..hope I will be able to attend part of the meeting….

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  • Jose

    I had nightmare Xmas trip with Iberia. Has business tickets to have a cool journey with 2y old kid + pregnant wife.
    Today i got some lines from Iberia (same Nicole Mariscal as the post, and unable to write back) with an answer detached from the facts that DID take place. I am in rage. Now the lawyers will take care of it.

  • http://global-gal.com globalgal

    Just ask any Spanish person what they think of Iberia! Most refuse to even acknowledge it as Spain’s national carrier! I’ll never forget my Amsterdam-Madrid Iberia flight, first and last. I felt something dripping on my forehead and was shocked to find a brown liquid rolling down my face. I looked up and observed a huge coffee stain, slowly dripping down on me. Gross!
    .-= globalgal´s last blog ..See You August 1st =-.

  • Osagie

    I am sorry about your experience..but i have a contrary experience.
    I heard all kinds of things about Iberia before flying( Lagos to London via Madrid). My family and I (14 months daughter and wife and I) had a pleasant experience. The flight was on time, i found the food okay..granted there was no in flight entertainment..but that was made up for by the smoothness of the flight.
    I hope my comment is read and someone enjoys the service i have enjoyed.

  • Catia Proenca

    Trying to be as succinct as possible… We were travelling from New York (JFK) to Lisbon with one stop in Madrid. First flight was delayed 24h due to winter storm. Yeah, understandable, but all other airlines at the same terminal canceled the flight 4 hours earlier, Iberia forced us to wait until 2am to tell us this. Next day, at the supposed boarding time, nobody knew which gate it would be from; the couldn’t reschedule our connection flight, they said we would have to do this at Madrid! (WHAT?!) Then we spoke with another person who asked us why didn’t we go there earlier to get our connection flight…
    Flight departed 2 hours later than new time, still we made it to our connection flight, stayed in the plain for 3 hours until they cancel that one too. We asked for our bags as we decided to take a train to Lisbon. They couldn’t find one of the bags… 3 hours in line to register a lost bag… They would call as soon as they would find it. We tried calling several times but this was around Christmas time, finally on Dec 27th somebody picks up, no they didn’t find our bag yet, they told us to call back before we travel back to New York in order to give our American address. We call Jan 3rd (our flight back was on the 4th) and they told us the bag has been in our city’s post office since the 23rd!!! “Sorry about my colleague he must have made a mistake” WHAT??? Jan 3rd is a Sunday the office is closed, they said they would send the bag back to New York. Jan 8th we call again and they say it’s not their responsibility is somebody else, and that we should call them! But we flu with Iberia only.
    They don’t want to refund us the train back to Lisbon ($310).
    We are still waiting for the bag…

    We will NEVER travel with Iberia again! And I just told a few of the facts but in general they just don’t care what happened and they are never responsible for anything…

  • http://www.checkmein.eu/ Fluggesellschaften Check-in

    I don’t know why everyone here had a bad experience with Iberia Airlines, as per me, they service was not so bad.

  • http://traveldave.com Dave

    I’ll avoid Iberia like I now avoid Ryanair after a booking mistake, which ended up with me buying new tickets on the competitor and trashing the Ryanair ones. (change fees were more than the ticket cost).

    Now Ryanair wants to start charging for *using the bathroom* on the flight. That’s so insulting, I’d pee in a cup before I gave them a euro to take a leak. I can’t wait until the news report of the first person who hasn’t got a euro and just lets their bowels go in the aisle. [ugh]

    Thankfully my RTW trip is all Star Alliance, mostly Continental and other decent airlines. I think. :-)
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..5 Most Critical Items in my Backpack =-.

  • exPATations

    HA! dave, the next thing is after the lift off, the oxygen masks falling from the seat in front of you with a blinking light…”please insert 25 cents for the next three minutes…” theyll get to their cash one way or the other, even if it means taking advantage of a personal emergency. i have always flown with the star alliance group and have been happy with it. my really BAD expiriences were with pan am, continental and another company called capitol air where we all got food poisoning on the way home back in the early 70s and had to land in new york instead of philly because they didnt get landing allowance, being they were known to leave potholes in the runway in the process. we finally arrived in philly airport, 6 hours late after spending easter in a hot, mucky and extremely uncomfortable bus with no toilettes and everyone around me barfing the bad sandwiches. i am SO GLAD i didnt eat. pan am was one for hurry, hurry and sloppy security measures, i guess just to stay on schedule. during my flight a part of the load slid because it wasnt fixed according to regulations with wood blocks and belts with defects. i only know this because my husband was working for pan am at the time. …and we thought we were expiriencing air pockets! on the way to the states a section of the inner shell in the back of the plane came crashing down. they were lucky, no one was hurt. they absolutely ruined my new suitcase and lost part of my other baggage which they did manage to deliver 3 days later. it was too late when i noticed the orange juice had gone sour. i spent part of the lovely trip eating backwards. continental was a case of hurry up and wait, wait, and wait some more. an 8 hour trip took a bit over 15 hours, full of inconvieniences like not being able to leave a check-in area. my nerves had a case of spilt ends.
    of those three mentioned airlines, i believe only one still exists. no wonder…

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  • Jane

    I’ve flown with Iberia 3-4 times within Spain and back/forth to the US. I never had an issue with ticketing or anything on any of the flights I took. However, on my recent flight a week ago back to Spain they had like 2 dozen people they overbooked and had to reschedule and they didn’t check passports either. While flying they took ages to come around with anything, and they would pass out drinks and never come around with a trash bag. I was on the crying baby section, so it was a wonderful 8 1/2 hour flight to Madrid from Chicago. Madrid airport is a nightmare, and took 45 minutes to get to customs non-stop walking and those stupid ramp escalator things are terrifying, haha. The flight from my hometown left an hour early. I arrived and they were like “The plane is leaving in 3 minutes, you should arrive 2 hours early” – I was an hour earlier than said departure time.

  • Javier Torrejón

    El servicio de Atención al Cliente de Iberia me mando a 80 kms. de mi destino para arreglar el silla de paseo del niño y cuando les envío el ticket del Taxi, no se hacen cargo. Son unos incompetentes, no tienen ni idea de tratar a los pasajeros que han sufrido demora o daños en el equipaje, te amargan las vacaciones y te dejan solo para que te las apañes como puedas.
    Voy a evitar a toda costa volar de nuevo con ellos, y si tengo que volar, asegurare las maletas y el contenido porque me arriesgo a que estos sinvergüenzas me arruinen de nuevo las vacaciones.

  • Frequent Traveler

    I was forced to buy a bloody ticket on Iberia – long story – and for the love of muffins, swim across the ocean if you have to but don’t fly Iberia. Really, really listen to this if you don’t want your holiday and months that follow it to turn into a living nightmare.

    Based on my experience I’d even say avoid Spain altogether to avoid further nightmares since Iberia’s “customer service” is what you’ll find in Spain anyway. Lots and lots of other nice places to go to on other airlines, donkeys, paddle boats – take your pick, avoid the nightmare.

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