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Puppeteer battles airline for cash and human contact

August 11, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

An irate Swedish puppeteer is fighting a vivid and amusing Facebook battle with Air Berlin, seeking to speak to a living human being about a refund which she says the airline is reluctant to pay her in cash.

Geneviève Tremblay says finding a person to speak to at Air Berlin seems to be impossible.

“So I spent an hour waiting on line, and after spending another 20 EURO on call charges, I hung up without have been able to speak to a real person. This airline is mocking its customers.”

The caption says: I’m sorry, I cannot understand English, I have chocolate in my ears.

Tremblay has written to Air Berlin chief executive Thomas Winkelmann (appointed earlier this year):

“It is as a last resort I write you directly to address my complaint, your Team Guest having ignoring my multiple requests. I do really insist you pay a visit on my Facebook page, where you will be able to appreciate my article denouncing in detail the poor treatment I have been victim from your company and your staff.”

On Facebook, Tremblay says: “Two months ago, I had the misfortune to order a round-trip Copenhagen-Krakow flight (with stopovers in Berlin) for a short business trip to Poland. Between 20 and 23 May, with a total of 5 flights delayed and / or cancelled, I missed all my appointments in Krakow and Lodz.

“Additionally, the staff at the airports (both Copenhagen and Berlin) and also in the airplanes is grumpy, rude, unhelpful, incompetent and absolutely not fluent in English.

“Obviously, on my return I wanted to complain and I asked a refund of my ticket.

I completed the online complaint form on May 25th.

“On June 7th I received the following ‘noreply e-mail’:

‘You may opt for the amount of 587,93 EUR to be refunded directly. Since you are a very important customer to us, we would like to offer you the following appealing alternative: We will grant you a discount of 688 EUR.’”

Tremblay does not want the discount.

“I will not travel EVER AGAIN with Air Berlin,” she fumes, “and I want to be refunded in cash. However, no procedure is mentioned in the e-mail regarding the ‘587 EURO refund’ option, and I can not send my reply via a ‘noreply e-mail’. I have to fill out another complaint form, where I CLEARLY mention that I want my money, and asking for the contact of an agent to whom I can address myself directly.”

To make the position clear, Temblay posts: “HEY, AIR BERLIN: DO YOU HAVE CHOCOLATE UP TO THE EYES AND EARS ??? I WANT NOT YOUR @% # $% #? #? OF VOUCHER. I WANT MY CASH !!!”

She illustrates this with the image (above) of someone who appears to be a flight attendant, with the caption in German saying: “I’m sorry, I cannot understand English, I have chocolate in my ears.”

The chocolate heart is an Air Berlin trademark and is presented on many Air Berlin flights as a farewell gift to guests as they exit the aircraft.

The situation gets odder, with Tremblay now saying that Air Berlin claims to have already paid compensation to “another company” acting on her behalf.

She has received a letter from Air Berlin: We have taken the opportunity to review your concern. According to our documentation compensation was already paid to a claim company acting on your behalf. 

Please accept once again our sincere apologies. We hope to be able to reassure you of our reliability and would be pleased to welcome you onboard airberlin soon again.

This infuriates Tremblay even more.

“Obviously, the so-call documentation they have is totally WRONG!,” she says. “ I never received any compensation from any kind of other company!

I would not go through all this trouble if I had received any compensation.”

And so it goes on.

Written by Peter Needham

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