Reasonably priced, but terrible customer services if there is an issue

Review of Travel123 about the flight Air Baltic between Zurich and Riga on 11/11/2015 in Economy
Travel123 BT / BTI ZRH / RIX

AirBaltic were a convenient option as they flew directly from Zurich to Riga, but when the flight was cancelled they were incredibly unhelpful. We called the main office immediately to explain why it was particularly important for us to be there the following day (a lecture needed to be given) and we requested being put on an evening link flight that we knew was going close to the destination (so as not to risk it). They said this wouldn't be possible and offered us two very inconvenient options instead, one of which involved 3 flights and getting in at 1:40am.

After waiting to speak to the person at the airport, he said he was unable to help (as it had to come from head office). As we were running out of time, we had to book on the link flight, because we could not risk it. We then found other AirBaltic customers from the cancelled flight were onboard the link flight, having been moved onto the flight by the airline, i.e. onto the flight they said we couldn't be moved to, even though we had explained why it was important to get there.

Then without consulting us - and too late - we were sent an email confirmation booking us onto a different flight the following morning (and this was one they hadn't even offered us originally).

So we incurred the extra cost of booking a flight and a hotel and the airline refused to compensate us anything, even though it was their fault and they would have had to put us up in a hotel anyway. They refunded the flight cost of the one we didn't take, but their customer service department has been incredibly poor and just ignored what we said and just quoted policy to us. They even said they 'do everything possible' to help and that they take into account their customers' preferences, despite the fact that they made no attempt to contact us, before booking us onto a different flight (which was too late by then anyway).

So it was just a very disappointing experience and especially so as they would have incurred additional costs to put us up in a hotel and yet wouldn't contribute towards that when we booked onto the other flight. Furthermore, they haven't even responded to some of our emails trying to take the matter further.

The airline does everything through a central booking office, so it obviously can't cope very well when a problem happens (i.e. it is slow). Even so, it is frustrating that when you make the effort to speak to them to explain something is urgent, they then gave some customers what they said we couldn't have and they didn't even take the urgency into account - and actually made no attempt to contact us before booking us on to a flight (by which point is was too late).

So I think the airline is reasonably priced, but do be aware that if something goes wrong, the customer service leaves a lot to be desired.

General
Overall rating
1 / 5
Value (price + quality)
3 / 5
On the ground
Check-in and boarding
1 / 5
On board
Costumer service
1 / 5
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By Travel123, about Air Baltic, , close to Oxford, England, United Kingdom
Posted online by Nicolas, on 15 December 2015, view original version
This review has been read 8 times
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