Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - INBOX -

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.

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