Whine Wednesdays: Airberlin Customer Service & Reservations (Miserable Experience!)


I was literally pulling out my hair this past Sunday when I was trying to get one Airberlin ticket reissued after I had to make some changes to the return flights.

Whine Wednesdays Airberlin

Quite frankly, it seems that Airberlin has hired some of the most inept representatives to handle its phone lines in Germany that are impossible to deal with.

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I had an Orbitz issued ticket for travel on Airberlin and on an Airberlin filed fare. I had traveled the outbound and needed to make changes to the return flights per the fare routing and rules associated with their fare. I couldn’t understand the “garbage” coming from the mouth of the Airberlin employees:

– Sorry, we cannot book this as it only has one Airberlin flight on the return (Doesn’t matter as the routing and carriers that can be used are determined by the fare and routing rules)

– We cannot issue the ticket because you have Japan Airlines flights within Europe there (Why did you book some intra-Europe Finnair flights under JL’s code?)

– We cannot get the fare to price (Well. Have your rate desk manually reprice it)

– Sorry, our system won’t allow us to reissue the ticket (Well. Could be that the dumbed down version that the front line employees use may have some issues)

– Would you like a refund? (Nope. I want the return fixed)

– We cannot sell that Etihad flight (It is per the allowable routing and there are no exclusions on the fare rules)

– You need to contact Orbitz (Nope. The travel has already begun and the airline taken control over the ticket)

– Just go to any Airberlin ticket counter and they will fix it for you. (Tell me one airport in Asia that has Airberlin ticket counter)

– Go to any travel agent ticket counter at the airport and they can reissue it for you (This was about the worst advise that someone working for an airline would give. Why would any 3rd party take over a ticket that Airberlin has control over)

– You have made changes to your ticket and we cannot touch it (Airberlin changes the ticket on outbound due to irregular operations)

And I could just go on and on.

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What do the airlines think that they can win by not training their front line employees properly and giving them tools (in this case native Amadeus access), so that they could actually do the rebooking properly?

I probably spent close to six hours on phone with both Orbitz and Airberlin trying to resolve this issue unsuccessfully. Orbitz is not at fault here, but Airberlin is. There is zero excuse for the lack of service and knowledge that even a minimally trained travel agent should know.

It felt that they were just trying to pass the buck and the problem to someone else without having to deal with the rebooking at all.