Newest Review: ... was almost as bad, with insult to injury being added when at check in the Iberia staff wanted to charge excess baggage as the replacem... more
Member Name: europhile
Date: 23/01/09, updated on 25/01/09 (604 review reads)
Disadvantages: lateness discourtesy lost baggage lack of security
I recently made a trip to Tenerife with Iberia , flying there via Madrid. It was a ghastly experience and I will not be using Iberia in the future. We made 4 flights with two connecting flights in Madrid. None left on time or arrived on time. The departure from Heathrow was late departing and whilst our luggage was put through for our original flight we were placed on a much later one, leaving 4 hours late. This meant that we missed the connecting flight in Madrid and had to stay there overnight taking the earliest Tenerife flight at 12.10 the next day.
Due to overbooking and misallocation of seat numbers the flight left late so that eventually we arrived in Tenerife at 3.50 pm. Taking into account time changes the whole process of getting to tenerife had taken 23 hours. It is normally a four hour flight when using a direct route. On arrival our baggage was missing .
For five days we only had the clothes we arrived in and no toiletries other than those the hotel had given us . We had to purchase some basics and with the pound in free fall this proved expensive. Calls made to Iberia at tenerife airport baggage dept were expensive, as we had to use mobiles, and calls to Madrid to contact the tracking service were more expensive. We were given a number in spain to contact about compensation but it was never answered.
The return journey was almost as bad, with insult to injury being added when at check in the Iberia staff wanted to charge excess baggage as the replacement clothing took us over the limit. Removing books to put in hand luggage reduced the weight but the fact that our hand luggage now weight a ton seemed to pass them by .
The first leg of the return journey left late as Iberia put two flights together , poorly communicating this fact by not changing flight boards so that many passengers arrived late through no fault of their own and seat allocation was a free for all causing distress to some late arriving families with small children. I must advise you all too that Iberia charges for food and drink at exorbitant prices even though these were scheduled flights. This was not made clear by e-booker tickets and I have taken that up with them.
An incomprehensible explanation for the delays was given over the loudspeaker none of which was believed by us or other passengers one the excuses had been deciphered. We arrived late into Madrid. The stopover was mercifully fairly brief , though longer than planned due to late incoming arrival of the plane. It arrived back in Heathrow two hours late at 11.20 pm , a total return time Tenerife to London 8+ hours . At Heathrow only one of our bags arrived.
I write this after receiving the missing bag last night at 10pm, 15 days after returning to London . No receipt for the missing bag was given when requested - "we just deliver them mate!" was the reply. When I asked the driver if he had done many Iberia deliveries he said "mountains of it ". this came as no surprise having seen mountains of unclaimed , late delivered bags with Iberia stickers labeled "rush", all over the baggage reclaim at terminal two. The queue for claim forms to register lost luggage at the iberia desk was long and time consuming : this after not being able to find any staff to enquire why the carousel had halted. A search of the hall for my lost bag was horrifying as hundreds of bags , some open and rifled , were taken from overloaded carousels by three Heathrow staff( who quickly disappeared.) Had I been so inclined I could have walked out with any number of bags such was the laxity of staffing there. No doubt some bags will have gone missing this way. Security was appalling and a worry. I have written to BAA about this but not had a reply.
Passengers were given chits by Iberia so that we could use their web based tracking service . What they omitted was to put on a reference number so that tracking was impossible. Angry and tired by now and too late to get home by public transport we took a taxi home at a cost of £80. Thank you Iberia.
During the last 15 days I made dozens of phone calls to Iberia , many of which were automatically transfered to sales , who put the phone down at the mention of baggage and when they didnt they were unable to transfer me to anyone who could. The website for Iberia is a travesty for a national airline , staff are either uncommunicative or ill informed and at worst downright rude.
I am about to attempt to obtain compensation for the expense stress and worry this experience has caused , but a look at the web for similar experiences and there are hundreds of them does not bode well. If anyone out there in dooyoo land can advise the best way forward i would be grateful for some. Dooyoo currently rates Iberia with two stars - this is grossly overgenerous and should be amended.
I would advise anyone who intends to use Iberia to make sure they have fully comprehensive insurance( my expensive one I now find does not offer compensation for baggage delay on the return journey !) , ensure that they have ample funds to purchase food and drink on the flights , especially long haul, anticipate that the journey will be disrupted , that you will be treated with discourtesy by uninformed staff, and be frustrated to the point of despair at tying to get through to anyone who will offer you a sympathetic ear . Be warned !
Summary: An experience not to be repeated
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