Why I Hate Ethiopian Airlines

let_me_tell_you_a_story

The other day I was flying around Africa and I was pretty pissed off to begin with.

I was angry because I’d gotten arrested in Douala(but that’s a story for another day) and when I was finally leaving Douala, it was raining. Apparently, the guys who designed the airport there didn’t think that they needed to worry about weather because the long walkways to the terminals have no windows. I’m sure someone must have told the architect “Dude, what if it rains? No windows means the place will flood!” And he just looked back at the guy and said…

idgaf

Anyhow, after wading through about 4 inches of water on a slippery stone floor, sliding like a retard on skates, I finally get to my gate and go through the flimsiest security check ever. I’ve been doing this thing where I carry at least 3 items you shouldn’t have on a plane. Normally it’s a spray can, a lighter and a penknife or drugs and then act like I forgot them if they get found. And normally, they do. But this time I managed to get in with all three, looking back at the security guy chatting up the lady in the nearby shop with judgemental eyes.

wtfayd

So I sit down, 45 minutes to take off which means we should be boarding in the next 5-10 minutes. I look outside the slits in the wall (no windows) and I can’t see a plane. But everyone is just kinda sitting there like everything is OK. So I get up and ask the lady at the counter:

“Excuse me, ma’am. Will the flight be on time?”

She ignores me. I lean in closer and repeat the question. She ignores again, still talking to her coworker about some hilarity on TV the night before. And while I was sure it was hilarious and worth a chat, I didn’t know if now was the time they should be having that chat. So after another pause, I asked again. She turn to me and snapped: “If there was a plane here, you would see it.” Eye roll and all.

wtf

Her friend was a bit more cordial and said “Yes, the flight is on time. It’s landing now.”

To which I said “Thank you. But doesn’t that mean they need to refuel and clean the plane for an hour?”

She said not to worry, we’d be on time. I explained that I had a connecting flight in Addis to Nairobi and she told me to chill out and I said OK as I started thinking of ways to waste time.

So the flight was late by about 3 hours.

i told you so

I spent this time walking back and forth through the security checks (smoking in the airport, mind you) until finally my lighter was confiscated when one of the security guys realized “Hey, how does this guy keep lighting up cigarettes?”. I kept the knife and aerosol can and drugs.

Anyway, when the plane finally got there 3 hours late, I walked up to Rolly-Eyes and her liar friend and told them about my connecting flight again. As soon as I mentioned it, about 30 people rallied behind me complaining as well. Rolly-Eyes just walked off like “If you want to board the plane, it’s now boarding.” and then sucked her teeth and clicked her tongue in such a way that I was sure she could beatbox better than Doug E. Fresh if she really applied herself.

aint nobody

I’d love to tell you about how horrible the flight was. Or about the racist guy who was sitting next to me that kept telling his four-fingered father about how if the plane crashed, black people can’t be trusted to help him evacuate(and that’s four fingers on both hands, by the way). I’d even love to tell you about how we made a random stop in Equatorial Guinea for an hour even though we were 3 hours behind schedule. But let me tell you instead about what happened when we landed.

We landed at 11:10PM and the last flight to Nairobi leaves at 11:15PM. So I asked one of the hostesses if I could make the connection she says (and this is not a joke) “Of course, the flight is obviously late.” as if that was a company policy.

ethiopian-airlines

So I ran out, bags in tow, hoping to make my connection and go home. Alas, this would not happen. I found a lady at a desk that said “Transit” or something like that and asked her where my gate was and she goes “Oh, you missed your flight. Talk to that lady” pointing to another lady sitting at a desk with her friend. This broad I’d been referred to was chilled out, leaning back in her chair, spouting unintelligible words to her friend. So I walked up, exhausted, with my shoes still making a squishy sound from my swim in Douala, and asked very nicely if my flight had left.

Nail-File tells me “I don’t know.” So I explain my situation and she stops me and says “Wait!” and then continues her story. I’m thinking “This nigga here must not know who the Hell I am!”

nah nah

So I tell her “If you don’t know, find out.” She just grunts angrily, stands up and chimes some shit to her coworker before waltzing off. So I look at her coworker and she can see my rage. Like I’m starting to think crazy things like “Maybe I should just jump over this counter and body slam a girl to prove a point.”

lifting

But I stop heaving and remain calm and ask her “Lady, check the status on my flight now. Please.” as I twitch like a psycho, randomly clenching the side of the counter like I was about to pick it up and hurl it through a window. She checks and says “Oh, the gates just closed 2 minutes ago. We’ll check you into a hotel. Please see that lady.” She says, pointing me to the lady who had pointed me to her friend, Nail-File.

Remember the crowd I told you about earlier that rallied behind me in Douala? Suddenly, they all sprout from nowhere, and it looks like they either got friends or reproduced quickly. I mean, now there are 60+ people just standing around this one lady screaming random destinations. Meanwhile, the lady who pointed me there, walks off to join Nail-File in hiding. So I’m just left there looking at this other girl thinking “I’m going to die here.”

Wale-sad-2

So I join the crowd fighting for hotel rooms and I’m in the last group of people to get hotels. The racist guy with the four-fingered father actually said “We don’t want a hotel with him.” pointing dead at my forehead. I don’t think they knew they were in Africa. Even though they were Egyptian.

So I get assigned a hotel. And then another. And then 2 hours later, a third one. In between this time, folks of lighter complexions are being whisked off to other hotels. Me and two people from Gabon have been sitting in a little corner watching this going “What the f…” each time. It’s now going to 2:30am and I’m meant to be back at the airport at 7:30 and I’m furious. So I spot the first person I can yell at and walk towards them angrily.

hulk

“Listen, you little cumstain, if I see another bus leaving and it’s not from the rear view mirror of the bus I’m in, I’m going to seriously f**k you up. You and your little friend. (He had a midget friend.) You keep telling me ‘ten minutes’ every ten minutes. It’s been almost 3 hours. You must think we don’t have lives or something.” My posse was now standing behind me like it was a rap battle adlibbing everything.

OK, I didn’t call him a cumstain. But I did threaten legal action and wouldn’t you know it, 2 minutes flat and I was in a bus. The hotel was the worst thing ever. My bed was harder than the floor and my door didn’t close. And my bathtub had electric wires and open sockets all over the place. And at some point while lying on that bed and breaking open walnuts with my pillows, I swear I saw a rat walk into my bathroom and then run out like ‘F*ck this! I’m going back to the sewers.’

I tried to sleep but was woken up by a call from the reception 2 hours too early and the following sunrise. I walked to the window to watch the sunrise and realised my hotel overlooked a slum. I was at a loss for words at this point.

blink

Since I was early, I went to talk to ET customer care and settle my grief once and for all.

You know what? The head of customer care showed up and then left me standing waiting for her. After waiting half an hour for her, I just walked away and decided I’d never take that airline if I had a choice.

The whole time, every. single. employee. without. fail. was an asshole at one point or another and not a single apology was issued. Not a single one. And  if anyone at Ethiopian Airlines is reading this, I wouldn’t have been mad if your flights were late. Even the absence of food on the plane (forgot to mention that) wasn’t thaaaat bad. I wouldn’t even have been angry at the hotel or the lack of breakfast. What gets me is that your people have the courtesy of Tabasco laced sandpaper. They aren’t just crass and abrasive, they seem to enjoy it. Even if they weren’t nice, if they did their job, I’d be OK. But your people…man, listen, my frequent flyer miles and my peoples’ are going to go somewhere else.

And if you want to know what you can do to rectify this situation, I have one suggestion.

gfy

53 thoughts on “Why I Hate Ethiopian Airlines

  1. Sorry about your experience mate. I wonder why a company as respectable and reputable as Ethiopian Airlines doesn’t invest in improving their customer care. I know a friend (very frequent flyer by the way) who has had a horrible experience with that airline; not once or twice but three times! I am not much of a traveler but if I’m ever looking for an airline to travel with, I doubt it will be Ethiopian Airlines. That said, I wonder if the top management is aware of the bogus attitude of the employees. Surely they can not condone such actions and behaviour. Something must be totally wrong somewhere.

    • you must be new here

      Listen man. I’ve saluted companies that do well. I give free advertising to anyone that gives good service. I commend those who deserve and condemn those who don’t.

      I’m sorry but if I’m paying 1000s of dollars and being dissed by over half a dozen of your staff and not a single one of you says even one “sorry” a month after my formal complaint, I could give a fuck less if you think I’m an asshole. I’ve been nicer than most. If I was really an asshole, I’d have taken them to court. Or actually insulted someone. Not written some blog where I kept names and dates out(yes, I have those on record). A real asshole would have gotten people fired.

      But nah, I gave everyone way more than enough time to apologize or say/do anything. Nobody did anything. So I spoke my piece in the free world known as the internet. And apparently I need to be nice about being mistreated on an airline in order to be fair.

  2. I have said repeatedly that I would rather take a bus to Addis Ababa than fly Ethiopian Airlines again! Worst customer care representatives! The business lounge is full of anyone and everyone! The food sucks… I could go on and on! This blog post however is hilarious!!!

  3. Lmao! I so glad ur back to keep me entertained during my lunch break. I wear you always have the funniest stories.

  4. I suppose the downside (um … upside) of having a country where all the women are so hot that foreigners get consistently random (road) accidents from staring … is that you get to have lousy customer care, yes?

    • I don’t know if it’s the whole of Ethiopia. Because the service at that one bar I went to was pretty good.

      Sidebar: The women are astoundingly gorgeous but… what happened to the men? I wouldn’t know, but is it just me or did they get shortchanged when aesthetics were being done?

  5. Wow, couldn’t have put it better myself. I, unfortunately, do not have the choice of using an alternative airline. I also don’t look like I understand Amharic, so get to hear everything they say without them realising. I can confirm that they are as rude as you’ve depicted them, and then some. I had a cockroach travel across my table in business class back in December. It is now July, and I am STILL going back and forth (actually, more backing, less forthing) with them. They take over a month to reply and then reel out some standardised nonsense. Avoid like the plague if you can.

  6. This is a wonderful post, and I will tell you why…It is funny as hell, but I never lose sight of what a shitty experience you had. And that is difficult to accomplish.

    That said, some of the comments here are funny as fuck too. If you are an asshole, the world probably needs more of your kind.

    KQ is the shit by the way. But of course as a Kenyan asshole, I might just be talking out my arse.

  7. Pingback: Why Are You Fighting Your Real-World Battles On The Web? | Diasporadical

  8. Pingback: Pyro's Blog

  9. Pole sana. And that’s where my sympathy for you ends. And the hilarity begins. I will send ET a thank you note coz if not for the ‘wonderful’ experience they afforded you, I would not be splitting my sides right now… And of all the ‘insults’ surely the trolls could use something other than asshole thrice in a row?

  10. Pole about your flight situation. They are reaching out to you and you should see what they have to say..they also apologized for some bad service in Nigeria last month

  11. ET service is exatly what you pay for. the tickets cost peanuts because it’s run by monkeys. I once asked for a coke and a glass of water and the air hostess informed me that I had to finish my coke first THEN and only then should I ask for another drink.

  12. As much as this piece made my day, (hilarious), it’s terrible and unfortunate. I can imagine the kind of frustration you went through, and in a foreign country: no friends or familiar faces. It’s not often people stand up and speak out about oppression, of any kind (which would explain the occasional support you received from other random fliers) but I believe the continent as a whole should start to take customer care very seriously. (in addition to changing our colonial mindsets).

  13. I do agree that Ethiopian airline has crappy service. As an organization our staff have complained sooo much especially about the unhelpful nature of their staff and we no longer fly it unless we are desperate and even then you may not get to your destination in good time

  14. To the people calling the writer names and giving negative feedback, everyone has a RIGHT to proper service especially if they are paying for it. I always complain because the company and potential customers need to know. Business owners and companies shouldn’t think that they can treat people like crap and we just shut up about it.

    Thanks for highlighting this. I have heard enough bad things about the airline.

  15. Reading this post cracked me up, and yes ET sucks major, flew on it a few days back and yes they were bloody late. Their members of staff have some level of comfort and they do chat a lot even when they should be attending to their already irritated clientele.

  16. I LOATHE Ethiopian Airlines!!! Ive written them several complaints about my trip to Paris but not one response or acknowledgement…I will NEVER fly them again…and what is it about the staff at Bole airport..that has got to be the worst service ever…the women give you these looks like you’re interfering with their “ME” time!!! Worst Airport Worst Airline EVER!!!!

  17. Reblogged this on Winter in December and commented:
    I traveled to DC a few years back and for the first time decided to use Ethiopian Airlines. Their website was very enticing and a direct flight from Addis Ababa to Washington was even more enticing. A few months later and not by choice I sadly had to use Ethiopian Airlines again. This time I hoped things would be different because I was traveling business. I have said this countless times before and I’ll say it again, if I had the option of taking a bus to Addis Ababa I would probably consider it. From terrible customer service delivered in Amharic to delayed flights, uncomfortable seats, everyone and anyone let into the business lounge regardless of your ticket, to a point where they have a room for people to sleep on the floor, and it was so crowded that some people had to stand including a pilot… In the business lounge! Terrible food and and and… Well I thought I had it bad until I read a blog post from one of the blogs I follow… The comments after which keep coming, even worse! Ethiopian Airlines… It has become that serious!

  18. This is just too funny! Okay, sad because of the experience. But hilarious because of the narration and the GIFs. Note to self: NEVER fly ET.

  19. LOL, im sorry to laugh at your ordeal, but I’ve had many, just as bad, ET experiences that I do nothing but laugh everytime it happens to someone else. Its crazy, as I love Ethiopia and going there. Sorry though 😉

  20. From the adverts,class of planes flying ET, i always had an impression ET was an alternative to KQ..but judging from this experience and the comments am reading below, let me stick to the KQ i know.However am curious about this arrest in Douala 😀 since am in Yaounde and wouldnt want to go through the same thing you did 🙂

  21. This is interesting to say the least [ the narration] not the horrible treatment what I don’t get is why some people think you are a asshole for complaining about horrid treatment you received.

  22. LOL….late to the party but dude this just made my day…lmao!!btw pole jo….reminds me of being stuck in Cairo when airport was getting renovated…that wind. Thought i was gonna die. And those GIFs…epic!! You have been missed iCon. And i see you’re still getting arrested at random airports haha

  23. About the Douala airport, so true!! People think I’m overreacting when I try to explain how awful it is. The first time I got there, it was at night and the lights went off. At the airport! WTH???? For a whole 30 minutes, no generators, nothing. And the fact that you have to pay 10,000 FCFA (around 2, 000 KES) every time you leave the country is so retarded, especially since none of that money goes to fix the damn airport.

  24. You ROCK, iCon! I live in Scandinavia, and after offering these ET racist, incompetent bastards my custom from oh… ’98 to ’02, I threw my towel in and switched to Turkish, which flies to Kenya out of Stockholm. Now…. Whilst just as racist and clueless as Ethiopian, they at least leave and connect on time, and judging by the clientele they have as frequent fliers to and from Kenya… I can’t really blame them for the disdainful manner that they treat their darker passengers with.
    Case to point, I have thrice had to request a seat change based on fetid BO from my row-mate. The fact that I see this mirrored every 5th row or so says to my little mind that a certain part of Africa’s horn is overrepresented as culprits.

  25. You ROCK, iCon! I live in Scandinavia, and after offering these ET racist, incompetent bastards my custom from oh… ’98 to ’02, I threw my towel in and switched to Turkish, which flies to Kenya out of Stockholm. Now…. Whilst just as racist and clueless as Ethiopian, they at least leave and connect on time, and judging by the clientele they have as frequent fliers to and from Kenya… I can’t really blame them for the disdainful manner that they treat their darker passengers with.
    Case to point, I have thrice had to request a seat change based on fetid BO from my row-mate. The fact that I see this mirrored every 5th row or so says to my little mind that a certain part of Africa’s horn is overrepresented as culprits.

  26. WOW I thought it was just me. After my horrible experience I prepared a 6 page document to give to ethiopian airlines telling them why and when things went wrong and how to fix it…it’s by far THE WORST flying experience of my life. If you leave your email I can send you the document and maybe you can post it? Thanks!!!

  27. To ——— ————-

    Order of Events for the worst travelling experiences of my whole life, sadly using Ethiopian Airlines.

    1. Frustration Part 1: I was forced to miss my flight from ADD to JNB at Bole International Airport
    a. Reason 1: I did not have a return ticket
    i. Problem: I’m a U.S. Citizen and on the U.S. travel guideline nowhere does it say that a U.S. citizen is required to have a return ticket when they fly to Ethiopia, in fact they’re not even required to have a visa when they enter unless they plan to stay for 3 months or more
    ii. Prevention: I was at Ethiopian Airlines the day before to “confirm”, and the agent did not tell me that I needed a return ticket. If it was “well known” that people who fly to South Africa are required to have a return ticket, why did this agent not tell me to purchase one. On top of that, I had actually told her that I didn’t have the return ticket because I didn’t know when I would finish my work with ———————————- University and she had told me that it will be fine if I just “reserved”.
    1. ***I did not know whether I would return to Ethiopia, stay in South Africa, or go back to the U.S. after my 3 months in South Africa. My other classmates did not buy return tickets were not required to buy a return ticket it seems inappropriate to demand that they purchase one.
    iii. Attempt to resolve: I gave a credit card and an ATM card to one of the agents at Bole International Airport but they soon discovered that their machine did not operate correctly. It showed no “error” thus I did have cash, as stated by the agent, but it would not work. NOTE: These were the same cards that I gave to Ethiopian Airlines at “Biharawi” Theatre and purchased a return ticket thus the problem was not with my cards but with the machines at Bole Airport.
    b. Reason 2: I had forgotten my “yellow” shot record card in the U.S. and the agent at Bole Airport told me that I needed my card in order to fly.
    i. Problem: I did not stay long enough in Ethiopia to need that shot as required by the South African government as discovered by an agent when I went to the “Biharawi” Thatre Ethiopian ticketing center later on. I was one day short of the guidelines set up even on the Ethiopian. Although the required dates were 5 days, I was only in Ethiopia 4 days but because they prevented me from flying I now actually had to get the shot.
    ii. Prevention: I was at Ethiopian Airlines the day before to “confirm”, and the agent did not tell me that I needed that shot. Second, I looked for the information afterwards to see where it says that if a person flew to South Africa from Ethiopia they needed a yellow fever card. In the U.S. all information is digitalized and neither when I came to Ethiopia or later on when my sisters left to the U.S. did they asked us for our yellow shot record card.
    iii. Attempt to resolve: I filled the shot waiver and the supervisor signed but because I did not have the return ticket, I was forced to miss my flight.
    2. Frustration Part 2:
    a. I called Ethiopian Airlines headquarters and talked to the customer relations personnel. She sincerely apologized, said it was a big mistake, and then asked me to go to the “biharawi” theatre Ethiopian Airlines branch and talk to a supervisor.
    b. I went to the Ethiopian Airlines branch by the theater, talked to the supervisor on the second floor.
    c. He assigned gentX (the agent who handled the situation and refunded the money). The agentXtold me that I needed the yellow fever shot but as he looked in Ethiopian database, I was short of 1 day that I would be required to take the shot in order to enter South Africa from Ethiopia. Then he said I was required to have a return ticket. I told him that on the U.S. advisory website to South Africa, it said nothing about being required to have a return ticket when a U.S. citizen goes to South Africa. I showed him the website on my laptop. When he turned around and showed me on his computer where it says that I would be required to get a return ticket (I presumed that it was some inside database for Ethiopian Airlines agents) I asked him how would a traveler know this since it’s not “common” to be required to have a return ticket anymore. Secondarily, why did the agent the day before not tell me that I had to buy the ticket right away instead of just reserving the ticket? Finally I told him that I was willing, even though I was not truly convinced that a U.S. citizen was required to buy return tickets when they go to South Africa because the Supervisor at the airport told me it was only for people flying out of Bole International Airport and because I really needed to get to Cape Town that day, where a pickup was waiting for me from the airport, provided by ———————————- University,I was willing to purchase the tickets. However, their machine did not work. Thus Ethiopian Airlines had information ONLY available to them and failed to properly distribute it appropriately and when a passenger tried to comply to their standards, they did not have the equipment fulfill their own special rules.
    d. He thenapologized for the mistake and in order to compensate my frustration, he said that if I buy a return ticket from South Africa to Ethiopia, then he would talk to his supervisor, who was out of the office at that moment,and ask to “refund” my ticket. I was obviously happy, my father was there visiting family as well and said that if Ethiopian Airlines at least pays for part of my return ticket in which I would pay now for the ticket but the agentX will refund my ticket without cancelling the ticket, which is the purpose of “compensation”, then I should just calm down. I told the agentX that even though Ethiopian only flies to Johannesburg the city I’m going to is Cape Town and asked him if Ethiopian Airlines could buy (I would buy now but they would reimburse my money) the ticket from Cape Town to Johannesburg, and then to Addis Ababa. The agentX said that because Ethiopian is going to refund my ticket the Supervisor may not be willing to reimburse my ticket if it’s not somewhere Ethiopian flew to. Thus he promised that if I buy the return ticket, because it was their fault that after I came all the way to their branch that they didn’t tell me to buy a ticket, Ethiopian will make my return flight free of charge to make up for my suffering. He told me that if I buy the ticket, he wouldrefund it, talk to his supervisor and give me a free ticket as an apology from the Airlines so I can return from South Africa.
    e. I thought I was through the frustration.
    3. Frustration part 3:
    a. AgentX when he was showing me that I needed a yellow fever shot he came to discover that I was one day short of the required number of days a person had to stay before they are required to get a yellow fever shot. Nonetheless because the agents at Bole International Airport didn’t properly calculate the number of days I had stayed in Ethiopia, they told me I needed the shot but I asked to fill out the yellow fever waiver.
    b. Now that the ticket situation was cleared up and I was (because of the extra day I stayed in Ethiopia) now required to get the yellow fever shot. Scheduled to fly the next day, my father and I went to the “tikur ambessa” hospital to get the yellow fever shot. The person answering the phone had told us that giving the yellow fever shots will stop at 5pm. After we were finished Ethiopian Airlines ticket office at “biharawi” at 3pm, we went to get the shot. And again came to discover that it had closed early and asked when it would open the next morning. The “girl” who had told us it would be closed at 4pm told us it will be opened at 7:00Am. Thus my father and I decided that I can get the shot very early morning, rush to the airport and fly out the next morning.
    c. Then we returned to “beharawi” theatre and finalized to leave the next morning.
    4. Frustration part 4: problem with ticket to Johannesburg after Ethiopian said everything was fixed
    a. When my father and I got to “tikur ambesa” hospital the next day, we discovered that the person who had told us that yellow fever shots were given at 7am didn’t give us the right information. It actually began at 7:30 am. We were extremely angry at the lack of correct information and then left to the Airport. My plan was to fill out the yellow fever waiver again especially since I was held back in Ethiopia because of something that was not of my own volition.
    b. When I got to Ethiopian Airlines that morning to fly to Johannesburg, I again had a problem. For some reason, when agentX changed my flight to the next day the agent had messed up my confirmation number and the attendants at the airport said my flight did not exist. Finally, I got hold of a supervisor, the same one from the previous day who said I couldn’t fly without a return ticket, and explained to him that he prevented me from goin on that airplane the previous day and I now have to go to a country I have never been with no one to pick me up.He then asked an assistant to see if there is a seat on the airplane that will leave to Johannesburg, which only left once a day. I then was able to make it into the airplane, which leaves only once a day, on the back seat.
    c. The moment I sat on that airplane I knew this frustration was not over.
    5. Frustration part 5: where are my luggages?
    a. The agent at the airport the previous day checked in my luggages before she confirmed that I could fly. I saw no reason why I should not be able to fly so I gave her my luggage.
    b. Thus when forced to miss my flight, I came back home with just my laptop bag and a carryon.
    c. When i got to Johannesburg, I realized that my luggage wasn’t there because when I tried to get onto the airline the day before, the agent prevented me from going on the airplane but scanned my luggage onto the flight without me! So I had to wait for about a week until South African Airlines found my luggage and delivered it to my doorsteps. My research faced obstacles since I needed my notebook and studying material and because I missed the first day in which all other researchers were getting introduced to the project.
    6. Frustration Part 6: I have a return ticket and a yellow fever waiver!! Ask me, ask me….
    a. When I arrived at OR Tambo International Airport, the immigration agent stamped my U.S. passport in less than 30 seconds. There was no question of yellow fever shot and no question of a return ticket.
    b. She saw my U.S. passport, scanned it, and on I went.
    c. Thus the fact that I missed a whole day from the orientation, went through a lot of stress, and face unimaginable frustration was not justified.
    7. Frustration part 7: Ethiopian Airlines supposedly forwarded my ticket from the previous day to the next day but when I realized that my ticket from Addis Ababa to Johannesburg was somehow erased, I knew that my ticket from Johannesubrg to Cape Town was nonexistent.
    a. Ethiopian Airlines was able to fix my flight from Addis Ababa to Johannesburg because it was their airplane but what will I do when I get to Johannesburg and the agents tell me, just like what happened at Bole International Airport, that my ticket did not exist?
    b. When I arrived to South Africa at OR Tambo International Airport I had to purchase a new ticket from Cape Town to Johannesburg by cashsince I bought it there it definitely was more expensive around $200. I needed Rand (South Africa’s Currency) anyway so it was not a big deal.
    c. How was I able to fly a domestic flight (With luggage limit of 23kg up to, if aid additional price, 33kg) with international luggages that weighed 46kg? Because I did not have my luggages, which were not found when I asked for them at OR Tambo International Airport.
    8. Frustration 8: Ethiopian Airlines agent lost my ticket from Cape Town to Johannesburg
    a. After purchasing my ticket, I went to Ethiopian Airlines office at OR Tambo International Airport to report my luggages as lost. I told the Ethiopian Airlines agent there that my luggage was sent without me the day before, but he still demanded that I give him the pamphlet with my ticket in it. As he was looking around, I again tried to explain to him that my luggages came the day before (very frustrated).
    b. Then another agent took me aside, asked me what he could do. I told him that usually when an Airline misplaces a person’s luggage they provide them with some sort of compensation for the days they’re without their luggage. He apologized for the mistake, which by the way NO other Ethoipian Airlines agent has done before, and gave me his agent card and told me that if I make any purchases to send it to him with a fax number and he’ll do his best to reimburse my costs up to $100 and until my luggages arrive.
    c. Once I left hurridly to my flight from Cape Town to Johannesubrg, I realized that my ticket was not in it’s folder! The first Ethiopian Airlines agent, who was nonchalant and demanded that I give him my ticket within its holder, had inadvertently left my ticket on his desk!
    d. At this point I realized that I never have had and probably won’t have a flight experience as FRUSTRATING as this one. Then I hurriedly went to South African airlines and told them that I had just bought a ticket but had lost it. The South African Airlines agents WITHOUT any hassle printed me a new ticket and sent me on the way.
    9. Positive 1: South African Airlines found my ticket and delivered it for free at an address I gave them in about two weeks. And I did not send that agent from the airport a fax copy of my receipts. Why? Because an apology was sufficient. I did not need the refund, I simply (like most customers) need someone to recognize that they’re frustrated and ask how to resolve the problem.
    10. Frustration 9:
    a. It’s still not over. After almost 2 months, I call to make an update (calling the 1800 number people use to call Ethiopian Airlines office in India) to the ticketbecause my mom was sick and I needed to get back to Ethiopia a few days early; to update the ticket that agentX said he refunded me (after I sent him an email to remind him about me). My understanding was that he was going to talk to his supervisor to refund this ticket as a compensation, which implied, as my father and I understood from the agent, was to make up for my frustration and suffering. Nonetheless because the Supervisor wasn’t there he asked me to purchase the ticket and then promised to talk to the supervisor to see if he could make the ticket free for me.
    b. I now have to assume that the Supervisor refused for Ethiopian Airlines to cover my ticket. If that was the case however, should not the agent have emailed me and told me that even thought he was hoping his supervisor to have Ethiopian cover the ticket, he didn’t approve?
    c. Instead, there were only a few days before my flight date when I realized that the ticket did not exist. What if I had actually at OR Tambo International to fly to Addis Ababa and realized that my ticket didn’t exist?
    d. I also discovered that if I have two separate flights from Cape Town to Johannesburg and then from Johannesburg to Addis Ababa, I’d face problems with my baggage which are a total of 43kg. Thus I had assumed to update my flight from Johannesburg to Ethiopia since it was more expensive then the flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg and to make it a full international flight on the same itinerary instead of separate flights to resolve the baggage problem.
    e. Finally however, I had to buy a new ticket all the way from Cape Town to Johannesburg then to Ethiopia altogether, since my ticket from Cape Town to Johannesburg could not be adjusted since the flight date was very close.
    11. Frustration 8: no response from Ethiopian Airlines
    a. I sent email to Ethiopian Airlines several times in a letter explaining this situation but they gave no response.
    b. I talked to a different supervisor at the “biharawi” branch, and she was able to call a number and find the emails I’ve sent. But why was there no response to my emails?

    Conclusion: Worst customer service experience ever and it cost me an additional $400.

  28. I agree 100%. Don’t get me wrong I am confident on the airline crew knowledge and capacity. But guess what? customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. The cabin crew lack professionalism, has no work ethics, and definitely no clue about customer service at all. I am sorry to say it but the flying captains especially are super arrogant, inflated and honestly I don’t even know what they think about themselves. The way they carry themselves is so sad and pathetic. They need to come down and has to understand their salary comes from the passengers that have been tolerating their ignorant behavior. They need to know that their dumb attitude is so embarrassing not only to one of the great organization in the nation but also to the country because unfortunately are carrying the flag wherever the go. I wonder if they even take ethics and professionalism as a course, if they do, may be it needs to be revised and strengthened. CHANGE CHANGE CHANGE,and get matured please.

  29. Enat. I completely agree with you. I finally went the main office in Bole and explained to them just that. Because they cost me an additional $400 I nor no one in my family will ever fly Ethiopian airlines. So when my family came to visit me in Ethiopia and returned, guess what? We used a different airline. At a very low 1k for a family of 5 they just lost $5,000. They however maintain the monopoly because Ethiopian Airlines is a quasi-governmental organization. They get the governmental to protect them while private hands take all the profit. So what is their incentive to improve business practice including customer service when the Ethiopian government charges other airlines much more for the taxi gate even though other airlines offer better service and customer service.

    This is why many African countries are still crappy. The leaders care much more about themselves and the money they’ll make than how this affects their people. Colonialism was a long time ago and it’s these corrupt leaders who take advantage of scenarios like this that prevent progress.

  30. I’ve been in customer service and public transport related industries to be able to tell the difference (on the whole) between a career whinger and someone who has been wronged. Your writtings, errr, writings, lead me to sympathise truly with your horrible experience and understand why a trip on ET is a clear £200 cheaper than my preferred alternative. *pays the extra*. I feel bad that I chuckled a little through your pain. Laughing with you, not at your experience. I hope that your subsequent flights with Anyone Else have been better.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s