Worst Customer Service

Review of Claire W. about the flight Condor (Thomas Cook) between London Heathrow and San Jose on 21/08/2016 in Economy plus
Claire W. DE / CFG LHR / SJO

Although the flight was smooth (enough) and I got to my destination, I had the most stressful experience with getting to my destination.

For some background context, this flight was for my semester abroad and I had just had to say goodbye to my friends and family for the next 6 months, so obviously emotions were high.

When I went from Heathrow to Frankfurt, my journey was fine (operated on a different airline) but they did want to check that I had a ticket back to the UK at some point. I showed them my ticket home from Brazil and explained that I would be taking local transport when I was in Costa Rica to make my way to Brazil and come back, hence why nothing was booked in advance. This answer, because it is reasonable, was enough for Lufthansa so I went to Frankfurt with no issues.

When it came to going from Frankfurt to Santo Domingo, I was given the worst customer service in my life. I was rejected from boarding the plane because I didn't have an outbound ticket for leaving Costa Rica. I wanted to try and explain my plan but they pushed me aside and did not want to hear it. In the moment, I began to cry and I was, again, pushed to one corner and told to 'get over myself'.

The only help and advice that they were willing to give me was that I needed to buy a ticket out of Costa Rica to board a plane. Of course, as this is my first time in Latin America, I don't know what my options are for a quick and cheap ticket just to say that I'm leaving. They refused to help me with this and instead taunted me by giving me a countdown saying that I had 10 minutes left to figure something out... 7... 5... Hurry up... They were almost laughing at my distress. There was ample staff around who could have helped me but instead, I was helped by a member of the public who thought on her feet and I ended up buying a really expensive coach that I didn't even know what I was paying for because she did it all for me and I was so emotional. In the wake of all of this, I was left ashamed, humiliated and broke.

Right now they are convincing me that I had been unprepared and that this is my fault even though I had been to the embassy months before to check with them. I do understand that Condor need to protect themselves and not let me on a plane without a ticket out in case there is an issue at the other end, but there are better ways to aid your customers when saving your own behind.
In the wake of all of this, I have repeatedly been in contact with Condor asking for some compensation for this as it was not needed. I checked my legal rights before going to Costa Rica and British citizens can go to Costa Rica without a visa or outbound flight for 90 days. During my time living in Costa Rica, I discovered that I could have booked a very cheap flight to Nicaragua for only £32, rather than the £200 pounds that I wasted.

According to Condor's website, they have a duty of care to their customers; a duty that I was for some reason exempt from. If Condor had just spoken to me and given me a bit of attention rather than sniggering at the little teenager who can't do a flight, then I would have known not to have wasted so much money.

As aforementioned, I am in conversations with them to try and get some compensation, but I won't hold my breath as they are doing all they can to avoid their responsibility.

General
Overall rating
1 / 5
Value (price + quality)
2 / 5
On the ground
Check-in and boarding
1 / 5
On board
Comfort
2 / 5
Costumer service
1 / 5
Your opinion of security
1 / 5
Food
2 / 5
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By Claire W., about Condor (Thomas Cook), , close to Hendon, England, United Kingdom
Posted online by Nicolas, on 31 January 2017, view original version
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