Okay, to be fair, I don’t have 100+1 reasons, but I have couple of very good reasons. And it piled up a lot from the beginning of the year.
Strikes!!! yes, everybody has the right to strike, cool. But I have a very strong opinion, when airlines go on strikes and practically use their customers as hostages. I mean, okay, you go and cancel you’r domestic flights, fair enough, people still have trains etc. But if you cancel long haul flight, you might cause serious troubles. But whatever… I was flying on the day of strike, and till the last moment, I had no idea if my flight is cancelled or not. And when I called the customer service, the lady practically laughed saying that she has no clue. For god’s sake, if Lufthansa is on strike, they immediately start rebooking people on different flights, Iberia is just on holidays and customer service is useless. And honestly, if you take your work so lightly, I’m pretty sure there’s plenty of people in Spain, who would take your job and would not go on strike!
Cancellations… in March, I’ve learned, that my flight to Tenerife Norte was cancelled. Well not only my flight, they just decided to cut that line on work days. Instead they offered my flight to Tenerife Sur. Not a big deal if you’re living on the island? Oh it is, if you arrive at 11 p.m. to airport 80km from your home and there’s no decent transportation… you’re screwed. And guess what, Iberia is unable to pay for your transport. When I asked if they can pay for my taxi, they declined, saying that I agreed with the change. What the hell I was supposed to do? I asked if they would pay for my hotel in Madrid, if I was waiting for the flight to Tenerife Norte next day. No they wouldn’t. This has no excuse whatsoever.
Poor inflight service here’s the fun comparison. Flight between Munich and Madrid takes 2:05 hours, Flight between Madrid and Tenerife Norte takes 2:50 hours. From Munich, I fly Lufthansa and I got full warm meal, selection of drinks including wine and beer and smiling staff. From Madrid, I fly Iberia, I got nothing, if I manage to catch the flight attendant during the flight, I can ask for a glass of water, but I have to be specific, glass, not just water, since just water, you get a bottle, which you have to pay. On top of that, the flight attendants are often acting as they’re not there, which is really charming in the case when the plane is full of some school trip full of yelling kids, while the rest of plane somewhat feels like sleeping. I’m not saying they should be giving full meals, but for Gods sake, something to drink, or even active offering of the water would not hurt the company!!! And okay, i.e. Air Europa doesn’t give you meal or drinks either, but their approach is much nicer.
Customer service… I’m honestly suspecting that they know how bad they are, hence they don’t have any contact e-mail on the web page. Or it is so hidden that I haven’t discovered it. You have to call. If you call, it takes them a while to catch somebody who speaks English (how the hell is that possible, if you can sort of guess you might have international clientele) and then, the person is usually completely unable to solve you’r problem. Fun right? So far, I’ve needed to deal only with customer services of Iberia, Lufthansa, British Airways and KLM. Guess which one is the winner of the ‘most useless’ trophy.
And I’m pretty sure that there are people who have flown with Iberia on long haul flights who would have a lots of comments on how bad they are.
Here’s the thing, I don’t care only about getting from point A to point B. I travel a lot, so I also want to be treated nicely. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t like low-costs. But with Iberia, I feel like I’m getting really shitty value for a lot of money. I guess, yesterday’s flight was the last one on their board (if I can help it). And so far, I have at least three trips ahead of me, none of them will be with Iberia, which makes me feel good. And yes, I’m biased towards Lufthansa… but considering I’ve tried (almost, just to be on a safe side) every major european airline, I think my preference is based on some significant experience. KLM is right behind them, though they’re funny with the new charged for check-in luggage. So if you fly frequently… just avoid Iberia.