On Sunday, September 10th, my wife and her sister were denied boarding on TAP Flight 1011 from Madrid Spain to Lisbon Portugal. Since I was traveling with them I was obliged to relinquish my seat as well or travel on without them. I chose to remain with them.
Apparently this flight was overbooked and this was the reason we were denied the seats we’d reserved months before. However, no announcement was made to that effect, no one was asked to take a later flight, and no inducement was offered to do so. Instead, we three – along with two other Americans – were arbitrarily chosen and denied boarding.
Further, we were given no assistance or advice whatsoever, simply handed our luggage and told to leave the boarding area. We received no remuneration for meals, lodging or time lost in transit at the time. We were able, on our own, to find a multi-airline office which re-booked us on an Iberia flight later in the afternoon. Instead of arriving in Lisbon at 10:00 we arrived instead at 18:00.
On September 25th I filed a report with TAP pursuant to this incident.I complained that protocol for overbooked flights was clearly not followed. I’ve yet to receive a reply.
I am frustrated that we have not been compensated for the day we lost from our vacation, even though their "Passenger Bill of Rights" says we're entitled to compensation. Further, I'm upset that protocols outlined in this document were not followed, either with regards to overbooked flights or stranded passengers. Finally, as an American, I’m offended that these gate agents denied boarding only to U.S. citizens and this anti-American bias has yet to be acknowledged and apologized for.
I understand that TAP is a member of the Star Alliance, a consortium of airlines committed to a higher level of service. You should know that their service is sub-par and, in my opinion, bigoted.