A LoyaltyLobby reader dropped me an email about interesting situation where they are with American Express point transfer and award tickets issued on Etihad Airways.
Here’s the email from the reader:
Etihad Guest has boxed my family in a corner and I can see no way out….
In Brief: transferred Amex Points to Etihad account then purchased 3 one way tickets from SFO to AUH in April 2017. Etihad cancelled SFO services so they routed us LAX – AUH. To date our tickets are labelled “no go”. Having called well over 50 times and sent numerous emails, Etihad has no answer or supervisors are always busy or that department is closed. My tickets are currently DOA even though I have been issued ticket numbers.
Last conversation agent told me the tickets are No Go due to an illegal accumulation of points used for these tickets.
Amex will not assist and Etihad is, well, left me out to dry.
I would be most grateful if there is anyway you could shed some light on this travesty.
It is unclear if the reader’s relationship with the American Express has soured up or I everything is ok at that end. If everything is ok with American Express and this has nothing to do with them, I don’t understand why they wouldn’t be willing to assist the reader with the issue with Etihad?
The reader could file a complaint with the DOT Airconsumer Unit (access here) for invalidating the ticket assuming that they absolutely haven’t done anything wrong. This would certainly get a response from Etihad that would explain why they have decided to take the action they have.
Another venue that they could use to purse this in the US is the small claims court.
The problem in both these cases is that I doubt that either would be fast enough to resurrect the tickets in order for the November 20, 2017, flight, however. The reader should make alternate plans if they need to get to Abu Dhabi on those dates.
All the Middle Eastern carriers of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways are very difficult to deal with if something goes wrong. There just isn’t any customer service culture behind to back up the advertising promise.
Difficult to say what has gone wrong here. If all is clean and clear at the reader’s side, I hope that they can get the resolution they deserve.