In February, I booked tickets for my family to travel to Sapporo in June with Hong Kong Airlines. In order to sit more comfortably, we paid extra to reserve six extra-legroom seats on both flights.
When we received the confirmation email, the reserved seat numbers were not printed on the tickets. I tried to contact the reservation officer and confirm my purchase but was on hold for more than 20 minutes. Finally I managed to start a “Live Chat” with the airline staff through the website and our reserved seats were confirmed.
Twelve hours before our flight to Sapporo I went to do online checkin and discovered the seats had been changed. I wasted another 20 minutes on the phone to be told that the seat reservation had never been put in their booking system. This was when I realised that I had wasted HK$2,160 (US$276) for a non-existent seat reservation.
Eventually the ticketing counter at the airport solved the problem, but only after a lot of effort on my part. It appears that the “reserved seat service” is just a scam to make customers pay more. Harenberg Leung Pui Lam, Hong Kong
HONG KONG AIRLINES RESPONDS: We always strive to arrange the preferred seats for our customers, however on some occasions we may fail to do so due to operational problems. Nevertheless, we are pleased to learn that our call centre and ground staff eventually rearranged the extra legroom seats for Ms Harenberg on both sectors and we hope that she enjoyed the in-flight experience on those flights.
Having said that, we would like to apologise for Ms Harenberg’s disappointment with the handling of this incident. Her feedback has been brought to the attention of the relevant departments and managers, who will review the handling procedures and take appropriate remedial action for similar situations in the future.
Thank you once again for bringing this matter to our attention. We look forward to welcoming Ms Harenberg on board one of our flights again soon.