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Disappointing service from Thai Airways

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Disappointing service from Thai Airways

Me and my family have been loyal customers of Thai Airways for many years. However, from the very disappointing service that we received recently, make us wonder if this is the way you treat your customers.

On Monday 18th March, 2013, my parents were travelled back to Thailand from London Heathrow Airport, on Thai Airways in business class. We have requested, from the very first, that we would like to have a staff that can speak "THAI" to take my parents through immigration process and facilitate them until they get on board.

However, when we reached the check-in counter and asked for the service that we have requested for, the supervisor informed us that she could not find any Thai speaker staff to take my parents through the process as stated earlier. Instead, she ask the member of the staff around the check-in counter, which "CANNOT SPEAK THAI" to take care of my parents. We have no idea what her name was, as we trusted in your services, at the beginning. Only thing that we know is that her skin color is tanned. We also stated that we would like your staff to take my parents to do tax-refund before they get on board, your staff acknowledged that and appointed us to meet her at 7.30 pm.

At the appointed time, I took my parents to the meeting point but your staff was late and come to meet us at 8.05 pm. to take my parents to the gate. During the time that she served my parents, she was not even bother to take my parents to do Tax Refund or take them close to the tax refund department. Even though, my parents tried to communicate with her the only answer they've got was there was not enough time. Without saying a word she went back to her job, and left my parents waiting for a very long time before they decided to call me. When I spoke to her on the phone, and stated again that I would like her to take my parents to do Tax Refund, she insist that there was not enough time, and she would not take them.

Even worse than not getting the tax back, we loosing our trust on your services. Our family, used to trust in your service and chose to fly with your Airline in business class, as we believes that we would get a better service from you. Even though, our family's friend warned us about the lack of service mind of your staff, and many of them changed to fly with other airline, we still trusted and choose to fly with Thai Airways, which we have never thought that this was the way you treated what you called "precious customer".

We believed that if your staff was there on time and pay attention to what we, your customers, asked for, this would not happened. To be truly Thai, to service as Thai, your staff must learn how to "Ow Jai Sai" (or take care) your customers.

Nannup, Australia
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3,652 posts
27 reviews
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1. Re: Disappointing service from Thai Airways

Since when have airlines been responsible for assisting with tax refunds? You expect too much imo.

Toronto, Canada
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11,419 posts
24 reviews
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2. Re: Disappointing service from Thai Airways

I think you are looking for a concierge service rather than an airline. Maybe first class is the way to go if you expect full first class service

Atlanta, Georgia
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673 posts
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3. Re: Disappointing service from Thai Airways

I expect by "Tax Refund" the OP refers to getting back VAT on non-residents' shopping, a fairly normal activity at LHR.

Anyway, the point is that the OP requested a service, Thai Airlines apparently led her to believe she would receive that service, but she didn't.

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
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39,268 posts
38 reviews
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4. Re: Disappointing service from Thai Airways

This post is being written as if the airline is reading it. I hope the poster realizes that no one from Thai airways is going to see this post.

Ananatapong--you are writing on a public forum of Trip Advisor. Not only do Thai Airways personnel not see this, all of us commenting are members, just like you. We are not employees and we have no ability to do anything.

Personally, I think your expectations are way beyond what an airline offers a business class passenger. Loyalty over years is not the same as 10-12 trips a year. I fly business when I fly. My 2-3 yearly trips does NOT get me special treatment. There are business men and women who fly minimally once a month, and some more than that. THEY get special treatment.

However, you are entitled to your opinion. I suggest you write to the airlines,not Trip Advisor.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
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32,521 posts
6 reviews
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5. Re: Disappointing service from Thai Airways

I think the question is did TG agree in advance to provide a Thai speaking concierge to accompany their parents through security? If the airline did agree in advance to provide such a service, but then didn't then yes that's a shortcoming. But that's not confirmed by the OP who only talks about "we requested" ... I also find it difficult to believe that they would do this for business class passengers (especially to divert to a specific facility and not go directly to the gate or lounge); First class maybe.

A better thing for the OP to have done would have been to provide parents with a map indicating where to go for the VAT refund, and then where to go for the lounge. It's very clearly shown on the map of Terminal 3, immediately after security before entering the departure lounge (location 18 on page 4) - heathrowairport.com/static/Heathrow/Download…

Melbourne
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2,688 posts
1 review
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6. Re: Disappointing service from Thai Airways

Why didn't you help your parents with their VAT claim before they went through security? Then the representative of Thai would only have needed to help you parents to the departure gate. Looking at the Heathrow website it appears that you can do VAT refunds before the security areas (I assume in case you have goods to then place in your checked baggage): heathrowairport.com/heathrow-airport-guide/s…

""Then when you get to the airport, take your receipt and form to the Travelex counter or the Customs desk (located before and after security). Please have the items with you for inspection. Anything large and bulky (including clothing) will need to be presented before check-in. "

Mind you, this might depend on what they had purchased for which they wished to claim VAT refund:

"High-value items including watches, cameras and smartphones must be presented after security control."

Are you hoping someone from Thai will see your post and respond or are you planning to send this as a complaint to the airline? If so, I'd just suggest that you ensure you were entitled to the service and I'd keep anything you had in writing where the airline stated that they would provide the service. Also, if you are looking for compensation then state what you are entitled to or what you expect. If you are telling Thai that you would not fly with them again then there is little incentive for them to do much beyond acknowldge your disappointment.

I can see it would be difficult to drop your parents off in a location where they don't speak the language and where you cannot be there to assist.

London, United...
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29 reviews
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7. Re: Disappointing service from Thai Airways

Hmmm. The key question as usbt says is did Thai airways offer a Thai speaking service, that would not just take the parents through security but also to stay with them and to do the tax refund?

It seems a bit of an extreme request to make of the airline, but if they agreed they agreed, and should have delivered. However I suspect there is a big difference here between what the airline offered or agreed to do and what the op expected them to do, and it would appear, expected them to do for free simply because they had a business class ticket.

A member of staff did meet them and take them through, I think that is probably as much as can be expected, and probably more than would be expected by most. Taking them to do tax refund and waiting with them, seems a bit much too me.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
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32,521 posts
6 reviews
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8. Re: Disappointing service from Thai Airways

edited ...

Edited: 3:37 am, March 29, 2013
Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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15,760 posts
71 reviews
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9. Re: Disappointing service from Thai Airways

Hi,

I agree with the others in that it sounds like the OP's expectations were not really "in line" with what an airline does as a normal course of business..

However, much like it is with other parts of travel, they are of course free to do *more* than what their contract requires or what regulations require them to do or to provide..

So, to that end, IF the Thai staff did indeed agree to do all these things- escort to and thru immigration, VAT service, etc, then that's arguably what they took on as their liability- albeit voluntarily.. And as such, I think there's a reasonable expectation that it be done as such.

Thai does have a few Thai speakers at the airport- their station manager being one.. But as the vast majority of their airport staff are third-party contracted agents, that number will be limited..

If I were the OP I'd contact Thai and let them know... Perhaps there was a breakdown in the communication between all parties or even a misunderstanding, but in the end there was some form of an issue and I think its fair to let them know..

I don't think the OP has a "claim" to anything from Thai per se (and I recognize the OP does not reference to any claim) but I do think a s/he has an expectation of getting a reply from them, if only a cursory acknowledgement.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 4:33 am, March 29, 2013
Bangkok, Thailand
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5,864 posts
26 reviews
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10. Re: Disappointing service from Thai Airways

Thais tend to assume they are entitled to special treatment when flying TG. Finally, it seems that Thai pax get treated just like any other pax without the VIP treatment they have grown used to just because they are Thai.

I once suffered the contempt of cabin staff for the duration of the flight because I didnt change seats with a Thai lady.