Etihad; one of the biggest airlines but they steal money from your account after you pay for the flight!

I very rarely review anything but films, but Etihad have forced me into a review based on the shocking treatment they gave my family.

First off I was paying for my wife and son to travel from Bangkok to Dublin,I tried three times to confirm payment on their system but each time it came back with error, I then called them up and the lady told me she could do it over the phone but she would have to charge me £30.00 for the privilege, I told her you are giving me no choice, she just hummed to herself and said yes.

She then asked for my debit card number three times saying she had got some numbers wrong, when my wife finally got on the plane she was as shocked as I was that she was actually flying with Jet airway’s and not Etihad, this was not mentioned at the time of the booking.

My wife and son where joining me in Ireland as we were moving into a new house, I had just over £700 left in my account which was to go towards the first months rent and deposit, once my family had slept off their jet lagg I went to my bank to withdraw my £700 so we could give this to the landlord and move into our home, instead my bank balance said 0.00

My mouth fell into my stomach,I called my bank straight away with a good idea that my card had been defrauded, they told me it hadn’t but that Etihad had taken an extra THREE payments off the card, Oh and plus they had requested the balance of flights again meaning they had reserved £700 + off my card on the day I was supposed to be moving into a new house and at the start of a new beginning for my family and I, this is on top of them already taking full payment for the flight I had paid for the week before!

I called up Etihad a dozen times over the next day, I spoke to NINE different service staff and they all said they did not know what to do, I scanned my bank statement and pointed to the outbound funds they had taken, I then phoned back the next day and was told someone was looking in to it,at this stage we had to pay for a hotel, we ended up in this hotel for a week,and by this time we missed out on the house we wanted to rent as other people had delivered their deposit in time.

It was a week that went by before someone took the courtesy to tell me they had returned the cost of the flight that they shouldn’t have reserved from my account,there was then the case of three extra payments and the cost of the hotel bill for the week, well this was back in April 2013, it is now August 2013 and to this day I still have not had them refunded, I have spoken to another half a dozen of their staff and they all ask all the same details and then nothing happens.

I got an email recently saying that the money wrongly taken from my account and my hotel bill will be refunded, I have checked my account for the past two weeks and still there is no refund, I chased them up and was told that all refunds can take from 7 days to 21 days, I would not mind if this was last month but I have waited for FOUR MONTHS for my refund! I normally fly with Emirates and their service team are first class, nothing is too much trouble, the same can’t be said of Etihad, I have experienced better service with Ryan air than I have with Etihad, they have a system in place that tries to put the customer off getting a refund, I had to chase them up after two months when I realised the refund still hadn’t been issued, and still hasn’t to this day.

I would recommend anyone thinking of travelling with Etihad to think twice, they have millions to invest into Manchester City FC but very little to invest in any customer service.

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