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Condor- any ideas on how i can be heard? thanks

Sucre, Bolivia
posts: 1
reviews: 1
Condor- any ideas on how i can be heard? thanks

you can find the details of my complaint in the 2 emails to Condor (or Lufthansa) pasted below. Unfortunately I do not speak German but I was sent a reply in German by mail (though apparently my complaint went to the English department). I have translated the letter via an online translater and included it and though it has translated far from perfectly it is pretty easy to get the jist of the reply. Needless to say, having spent 56 hours getting from London to Bogota, sleeping a night on the floor at Frankfurt airport, incuring a $40 dollar exit fee in Panama (when i was never even supposed to enter the country) and being told I am intitled to nothing I am a very unhappy customer.

1st ( or actually the 3rd, 2 uploaded straight to their website were ignored) email from me...

Good Evening,

After writing 2 contact emails via your website with no reply i have been advised by one of your representatives (Federicka) to try this email address so i hope that someone can help me.

I booked a series of connecting flights with you guys through fly.co.uk on the 4/11/2012 from London(Heathrow)- Frankfurt, Frankfurt- Santo Domingo(refuel), Santo Domingo- Panama and then finally Panama- Bogota.

i will try to keep this as simple as possible but to be honest there were a whole catalogue of problems encountered so apologies if it seems like i am rambling on.

-(13/12/2012) London- Frankfurt no problems

-Frankfurt- no more than a couple of centremeters of snow had fallen causing delays. sat on plane for roughly 1.5-2 hours before leaving gate. apparently the de-icing machine had broken down causing us to miss the 12 o´clock closing of the airport and forcing us back to the gate. after speaking with one of your air hostesses we were never going to make it given the time we left the gate anyway so the whole process off getting on to the run way and sitting around seemed pointless in the 1st place.

-slept on airport floor from around12.30 to the reschedualed flight time(roughly 5.30am) with no food, just a few bottles of Coke provided by the airline.

-chaos at check in with no order and everyone trying to rush onto the plane before their seats were called.

-Issued with a confirmation of a flight irregularity.

-Before landing in Panama the Pilot assuered all passengers that connecting flights had been arranged as we had obviously missed the ones that we were supposed to catch and all would be taken care of on arrival in Panama.

-Sent to a gate and left waiting for around half an hour.

-a lady stood in the middle of departure lounge shouting names with boarding passes though it soon became apparent that there werent enough and around 70% of people would be leaving with nothing. This was finally confirmed by an airline representative after around 3 hours stood in the departure lounge. It was a circus scene and was almost like you guys had not had 15 hours to prepare.

-a hotel was arranged and we finally left the airport around 4.5 hours after landing.

-at this point i was supposed to be shortly touching down in Bogota and meeting a young female Canadian friend of mine but with no Panamanian currency and no atm within the airport had no way of letting her know what was going on resulting in her being stranded in the airport with no idea what to do. She ended up having to check into a fairly expensive hotel costing her in total around 250 dollars(for the 2 nights she was going to need to stay) as she would not have felt safe in a hostal(where we were supposed to headed to) or a run down hotel in Colombia.

-after spending the afternoon in the hotel a boarding pass was dropped in around 10pm on the 14th though nobody had informed me it was even there, i had to just keep checking at reception and on top of this there was no answer at the contact phone number for Condor that we had been provided with.

-apparently i was on of the ´lucky´ones as some people had been told that they would not be flying until Tuesday or Wednesday (3 or 4 days later!)

-one German guy even contacted the German embassy as he was getting nowhere with Condor and they had to allocate a representative to deal with Condor directly to get him a flight for the next day though he had initially been told that this was impossible.

-when i arrived at Panama airport the next day to fly with Panama Airlines(arranged by Condor) they said they would have to charge me a $40 dollar fee to leave the country as i had been there over 24 hours! after explaining the situation and getting nowhere i searched the airport for a Condor representative to resolve the situation and was told that there was not a single person from the airline in the whole airport that day. after some thought i decided to bite the bullet and pay a $40 dollar fee to leave a country that i was never even supposed to have entered rather than miss another flight which im sure you will agree is pretty ridiculous.

I finally touched down on the Saturday(15th) evening, around 55 hours after arriving at Heathrow.

like i said, apologies for the lengthy email but i really wanted you guys to understand how much of a joke my few days had been.

im not usually one to make complaints and this is the first i have ever made with an airline but i do feel that most of the issues outlined above could have been dealt with much more professionally and i think i am entitled to compensation for the experience, the fee i incurred and also the unnecisary hotel bill that my friend had to pick up.

Please let me know how you feel.

Kind Regards,

Sean Quinn

An online translation of their reply...

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR LETTER THAT OF YOU US ANNOUNCED UNPLEASANTNESS FAVORS WE TO EXCUSING

A CLAIM TO THAT OF YOU VALIDLY MADE DEMAND does NOT EXIST HOWEVER BECAUSE AT THE DELAY AND THAT THROUGH IT ENTERED CONSEQUENCES ENCOUNTERS US do NO GET INTO DEBT. WE FAVORS THEREFORE AROUND UNDERSTANDING THAT WE did NOT KNOW YOUR WISH AFTER REIMBURSEMENT YOUR VALIDLY MADE OF CLAIM DESCENDANTS.

WE BECAME OURSELVES PLEASING, YOU DEFIANCE OF THIS DEPLORABLE EXCEPTION BADL AGAIN ONCE HERE ON BOARD WELCOME MAY. CERTAINLY BECOMING YOU THEN OF OUR GOODS SERVICE CONVINCE KNEW YOURSELF

WITH FRIENDLY GREETINGS

Thanks

2nd email from me......

Good Evening,

I am writing to inform you of how unhappy I am with your eventual reply to my 3rd email and phonecall regarding the most comicle airline experience I have ever even heard of, let alone experienced.

Not only have you decided I am intiltled to no compensation (not even the $40 it cost me to get out of a country I should never even have entered if it were not for your airline) but i have been sent a letter in German that I have had to try to decode to even realise this, though aparently my complaint was sent to the ¨"English department".

On top of this I have waited 6 weeks for a reply!

If you think this is the last you will hear of this you are very much mistaken. You can find the 1st of my actions on the Lufthansa section of airlinecomplaints.org (as from what i read you are 1 of the same airline) and rest assure, as i am travelling i have much time on my hands. This will be the 1st of many places that people will be able to read about my experiences with Condor (or Lufthansa) along with the dismissive reply that i recieved back.

Regards,

Sean Quinn

Llandudno North...
posts: 2,582
reviews: 17
1. Re: Condor- any ideas on how i can be heard? thanks

Is this not one the reasons we have travel insurance?

:-)

Edinburgh, United...
posts: 8,807
reviews: 17
2. Re: Condor- any ideas on how i can be heard? thanks

One thing that stood out to me was why you would complain to Lufthansa instead of Condor? Maybe I'm wrong but as far as I can tell, Condor is not owned by Lufthansa and even if it was, I would want my complaint to go to the operating carrier. Similarly, Panama Airlines were responsible for getting you to Panama to Bogota.

Honestly, while it sounds like a trip from hell, with the exception of not putting you up for the night in Frankfurt, it looks to me as if the airlines largely did what they had to do. I.e. you were provided with accommodation in Bogota until you were flown out on the next available flight. Your friend having to book hotel accommodation and the exit fee from Panama really has nothing to do with the airline.

Edited: 10:44 am, March 11, 2013
Leyland, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
posts: 23,176
reviews: 42
3. Re: Condor- any ideas on how i can be heard? thanks

Condor did used to be a Lufthansa subsidiary, but they are now owned by the Thomas Cook Group, and have been for a few years.

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 14,198
reviews: 73
4. Re: Condor- any ideas on how i can be heard? thanks

Hi,

I can appreciate your pain..

It can be hard when you're communicating with a carrier whose native country language isn't yours.. Sometimes patience is key..

I agree with the others in that your first battle is making sure you're writing to the correct party, whomever that is..

On the larger point, as I read it, I never really got a clear, concise answer to the question of "What do you really want?" I read a lot of what happened... about some fees paid, hotel, expenses, etc. etc.. but I don't ever read -- directly-- what you really expect them to do, and the time frame in which you want that done.

I read some implied actions-- but that's implied.. I don't read a clear "Here is what I want done...." statement.

Your 3rd letter to me, is largely focused only on the language gap between you and the airline and doesn't (to me at least) further your conversation about the actual issues and what you want as a result or bringing this to a close.

To me, I'd start (or continue at this point) with a short, polite letter, outlining *exactly* what you want done- and if that's cash compensation, a clear and documented paper trail of how you arrived at that amount, the reasons you want this (and if that includes a contractual clause or regulation, be sure to enclose or cite as such) and the time frame in which you expect a reply.

I would be sure that IF you're asking for cash compensation that is NOT contractually or legally required-- that your request is "reasonable" and inline with the overall situation.. A carrier will pretty quickly close a claim that is deemed to be wholly unrealistic in demands.

Lastly, IF your claim is one that's discretionary on their part-- that is to say, the airline has no contractual or legal requirement to do so-- it might help if you provide at least one alternative solution that's acceptable to you-- might not be your #1 option, but it will be acceptable to you... This might be like asking for $XXX in cash, OR $YYY in travel credits, or similar...

By doing so. you are essentially making it easier for them to meet your demands without forcing them to deny you outright-- again in a discretionary case I (which I how I read the majority of this matter to be), you've got little "backing" to demand anything..

Travel Safe,

London, United...
posts: 18,896
reviews: 23
5. Re: Condor- any ideas on how i can be heard? thanks

Trip from hell yes, but it does sound like the airline met their obligations.

I agree on the above posts, it always helps if your write to the correct people, articulate what you want and stick to the facts, honestly, your " young female friend" is not really relevant, nor is the exit fee. Keep it brief and to the point ie encountered delay due to snow, missed connections, no hotel accommodation, slept at airport, arrived back x amount of hours after original time due.

southern england
posts: 215
reviews: 31
6. Re: Condor- any ideas on how i can be heard? thanks

I agree with the others.....this was a trip from hell, but,this is where travel insurance comes into it's own, so if you were stupid enough to travel half way around the globe without any ,then any expenses will be down to you to pay.

7. Re: Condor- any ideas on how i can be heard? thanks

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