To whom it may concern,
Re: EGYPTAIR Flight MS452 / 11 May 2010 / 16h45 / Ferihegy Airport Budapest Hungary Terminal 2B / Confirmation # 3CTFOE – Unacceptable treatment from EGYPTAIR staff – Furious customers
Eszter Erdelyi Passport # BA4240178 HUN
Melanie Palframan Passport # 468213363 RSA
I, Eszter Erdelyi, write this letter to you at EGYPTAIR customer services after much time and consideration surrounding the unacceptable and unprofessional behaviour of your team on the ground for our flight check in (MS452) on Tuesday the 11th May 2010 at 16h45 at Ferihegy Airport, Budapest Hungary, Terminal 2B.
As two professional athletes and ladies travelling alone on our return flight from Hungary via Cairo to South Africa we were embarrassed and badly treated by your entire EGYPTAIR team, specifically by your manager, on the ground at the check in point. This occurred in front of many people causing us emotional stress as well as to being delayed for our international racing commitments.
Your management would not speak with us and explain their reasoning behind the excessive fee that they wanted to charge us for our excess baggage on the flight. We were told that we would have to pay HUF 540 000. Our luggage combined was 40kgs overweight for the flight, which means we would have had to pay HUF 13 500 per kilogram overweight for our excess luggage.
The manager on duty refused to talk to us and was nothing but rude and arrogant. The entire EGYPTAIR check in team, who I would think are employed by Budapest Airport Zrt.,knew exactly what our situation was and saw that we were emotional and upset about their rudeness and yet nobody did anything to help instead they closed the check in counter and left. Other passengers and airline staff around us were horrified by how we had been treated and were more than happy to step in and help us to find new flights. We then immediately contacted EGYPTAIR offices in Budapest about our situation where we were put on hold and passed backwards and forwards between various people, none of whom knew what the solution was and who gave us various different answers or referred us to the EGYPTAIR website.
Our original return tickets cost R 4 411.00 each from JHB via Cairo to Budapest with EGYPTAIR – these were booked and paid for through our travel agent as per usual.
Your EGYPTAIR team on the ground said that we had to pay HUF 540 000 for our 40kgs of overweight luggage for the flight, which means we would have had to pay HUF 13 500 per kilogram overweight for our excess luggage. This was absolutely ridiculous and did not come any where near to what your website stipulates. In fact it works out at over 8 times what your website stipulates, over 3 and a half times the price of our original return air tickets!
They gave us no opportunity to question or investigate their decision further and we were told that if we did not like it that we should just leave our bicycles and get on the plane. With our sponsored bicycles, each worth over R 60 000.00, this was not an option and with the gates closing for the EGYPTAIR flight we were forced to make a decision and abandon our flights with EGYPTAIR and make another plan to get back to South Africa for our very important National Cross Country Mountain Bike Championships in George on the weekend.
Emotional and very upset we then went and bought 2 new return air tickets with SWISSAIR for HUF 189 200 which is equivalent to R 6 560.85 per person (as per my bank statement). We then also had to pay excess baggage for our bicycles (2 bicycles), the extra 40kgs, which came to R 2 947.52 (R 1 473.76 per bike). This came to a total cost of R 16 069.22 in total + our bank fees of R 105.80 for a grand total of R 16 175.02 (HUF 463 400.00)
Your website clearly states the following about bicycles:
If you are carrying special sporting items EGYPTAIR applies special excess baggage rates to these items. When they are within the free baggage allowance of your class of travel refer to baggage allowance, these are carried free of charge. Additional sets will be charged at the normal applicable rate of excess baggage.
N.B. The special baggage items are as follows:
If you are carrying special sporting items EGYPTAIR applies special excess baggage rates to these items. When they are within the free baggage allowance of your class of travel refer to baggage allowance, these are carried free of charge.
Additional sets will be charged at the normal applicable rate of excess baggage for the followed special baggage items:
Ammunition, Archery Equipment ,Bike, Firearms, Fishing Equipment ,Golf Equipment ,Scuba Equipment Skis/Snowboard, Wheelchair none powered (Manual powered), Wheelchair with Dry cell batteries.
Should normally be sent as cargo, but they may be accepted as baggage provided the front wheel is taken off and fastened to the centre of the bicycle, tiers must be flat, pedals removed or fixed inwards all easily breakable parts must be dismounted. A charge will always apply for the transportation of bicycles.
Bicycles should be packed in a container or box with the handlebars turned parallel to the frame, the pedals and any protruding parts removed, and the tire pressure reduced. Special boxes (177 x 23 x 102 cm).
Your website clearly states the following about excess baggage:
Excess Baggage Charges
If you have any special or heavy items of baggage, or extra baggage which is over your free allowance, you should be aware of what arrangements you need to make before you travel.
Weight concept (international)
Flights to/from Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Far East are based on the weight of baggage being checked in. excess baggage fee will apply for any additional baggage you wish to check in over your free allowance Depending on your final destination Excess baggage shall be charged for per kilogram at the rate of 1.5% of the normal direct adult one-way economy class fare. Please contact you travel agent or nearest EGYPTAIR office to your city for information on excess baggage charge applied to your destination
Using your formula above this works out @ R 66.165 per kg of overweight baggage which multiplied by 40kgs would be R 2 646.60 which we were more than happy to pay had we been asked too.
We respectfully request the following from EGYPTAIR in order to compensate us for our financial loss incurred during this emotional and frustrating time:
- EGYPTAIR return tickets for 2 at our purchase price R 4 411.00 / HUF 123 508.00 (R 2 205.50 each)
- 2 x return air tickets with SWISSAIR from Hungary via Zurich to Johannesburg @ R 16 175.02 / HUF 463 400.00
As professional athletes travelling around the world we always make sure that we arrive at the airport way ahead of time, in this specific case 2 hours ahead of our check in, are very aware of the airlines requirements surrounding excess baggage and are more than willing to pay the excess fee required as stipulated on your website. In fact we actually choose our airline carriers taking this into account. We have travelled with EGYPTAIR before and have been very happy with your service in the past to such an extent that we not only booked this particular flight but others as well with EGYPTAIR and also promoted EGYPTAIR to other professional athletes looking to travel over seas.
We have to watch our budgets as every cent counts so you can well imagine what a dent this has made into our budgets and the repercussions this now has to our racing schedule for the rest of the season. We cannot now afford to do all the races that we had planned to and this will now effect our preparation for the Olympics in London in 2012 as we will possibly not be able to collect the required UCI points that are needed for our selection.
We travel all over the world on an annual basis, with just 4 countries in the past 4 weeks, we have a strong following and media presence and are very influential through word of mouth and our viral media platforms with the brands we support and the referrals to other people and athletes that we give.
Now, after this horrific experience with your team on the ground in Hungary we feel embarrassed to have recommended EGYPTAIR to these contacts as we are afraid that they will receive the same appalling service when they check in with you on their next flight.
As you will see I have posted this letter to you asking for your quick response and a solution as to how you propose to compensate us for money lost, as well as the emotional rollercoaster ride that you have put us through, onto my website and blog at www.multigirl.co.za
I really look forward to your positive response in this regard so that I can let people know that EGYPTAIR in fact does care about their customers and that EGPTYAIR has restored our faith in a pleasurable travelling experience with them once again and that this nasty and unnecessary experience was a rare and unfortunate occurrence.