First, despite being told over and over again that our email security systems do not permit the delivery of html content (so all I get is sender, title and any plain text parts of the message) Etihad persists in sending what are, when I get them, blank e-mails. I point out that even their own legal department understands that people block html – and we can tell that because the only thing I receive in the body of a mail is a disclaimer notice.
I make enquiries about the EU compensation scheme where I am denied boarding without good reason. It turns out that Etihad can behave like this with impunity because EU considers an onward flight transit stop to be a separate flight. Therefore, even though I’m on a single ticket booking out of the EU, I’m outside the scheme. Had I made my transit stop in Amsterdam or Paris, for example, I would have been within the scheme. That’s a useful fact if you are making multi-hop flights. For a long-haul flight, for circumstances such as mine, the compensation is set at 600 euros per passenger but only for flights, not itineraries, with a direct EU element which kind of makes a mockery of the compensation scheme if you are hubbing through anywhere outside the EU.
Eventually, someone works out how to send a mail I can read. It’s full of standardised platitudes – and offers me a derisory number of air-miles in compensation. I point out that I’m never going to fly on their airline again, after using the ticket I’ve already bought. And even if I was going to fly with them again, the air-miles aren’t enough for even a single sector. And I don’t feel like roaming through an on-line catalogue to see if there is anything I might want that such a paltry number of miles would provide. So air miles are not a valid form of compensation.
They ignore me.
I go back onto social media. Someone who might actually be a manager sends an email telling me that she will get it dealt with. I get an e-mail from the customer service department.