Hello fellow travelers,
I recently had an incredibly unpleasant experience on Qatar Airways Flight QR579, and I'm reaching out to this community for advice and insights from those who may have faced a similar situation.
Yesterday, my wife and I embarked on a journey with high hopes for a smooth travel experience. However, our experience with Qatar Airways turned out to be quite the opposite.
Upon arriving at Delhi Airport to board QR579 (and connecting flight QR081), we had four check-in bags totaling 60 kilograms and three handbags weighing 14 kilograms in total (2 laptop bags of 3.2kg and 3.8kg respectively, and one small trolley bag of 7kg). To our dismay, we were met with rude and hostile behavior from the airline staff, even though we were within our luggage limits. The situation took a drastic turn when we reached the boarding gate.
At the gate, we were informed that we could only carry two pieces of hand luggage, not three, which was perplexing given our 10+ years of travel experience. We had consistently carried our laptops in separate bags from our hand luggage. However, we were told to check in a small trolley weighing 7 kg, and pay an exorbitant fee of 24,418 Indian Rupees.
Despite presenting evidence of other passengers with similar bags, the staff remained unyielding, acting in a derogatory and abusive manner. We were left with no option but to pay and board the flight under duress. We told them to dispose off the bag as the content of 7kg is not worth of 24,418 INR. We requested that we take out our apartment keys and 1-2 more minor items that are important to us and the remaining content can be trashed. But they forced and pressured us to pay for it and put that bag in check-in. They threatened us that if in the next 5 mins we do not pay, they will remove our checked-in bags from the flight and deny us boarding.
What added to our confusion was that on a previous Qatar Airways flight from Berlin to Delhi (QR082 and QR570), our experience was entirely different. The same set of hand items—two laptop bags and the small trolley bag—didn't raise any issues on our outbound journey.
This inconsistency leads us to believe that the staff on our return flight intentionally harassed us for financial gain.
Request for Advice:
We have raised the complaint with Qatar Airways support through their website immediately, and now have received a response which is not quite helpful, all they've said is:
We seek to train our employees to meet our high standards however, we are seriously concerned when customers feel they have been poorly treated. You can rest assured that we have shared your comments with the responsible departments for their information and any appropriate action that may be required. We apologize for any inconvenience which may have been caused on this occasion and look forward to welcome you onboard our flights again in the near future.
We are thinking of initiating a chargeback request with our credit card provider to recover the unjustly charged amount. No idea how much this will be helpful.
We'd appreciate any insights, advice, or guidance from those who have faced similar situations. What steps can we take to address this issue, and how can we ensure it doesn't happen to other travelers in the future?
Your experiences and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your assistance.