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Sali Z.

1 Level 1 Contributor
  • 4 Reviews
  • 4 Helpful Votes
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Experience: Travel, Shopping

Member since September 2018

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4 Reviews by Sali

Aegean Airlines
The incident happened on July 25,2019, on a flight from Athens to Milan Malpensa. Initially I wrote a complaint to the airlines, but got no reply whatsoever. A month later, I lost a family member and pursuing writing the review online was the last thing on my mind. I had kept the initial letter to Aegean, hoping I'd get a reply eventually, but no reply came whatsoever (I had sent the complaint to Aegean airlines at the end of July, 2019!)

The incident took place on Aegeanair flight number A3 664 from Athens to Milan on the 25th of July, 2019 (15:20-16:55).

Five minutes after the fasten seat belts sign for landing took place, I started choking on the bar of biscuit/chocolate that the airline had given for dinner. We were still level with the clouds. I was in row 36 (seat 36D), the row before last, and the hostess was sitting right behind me. The food got stuck in my throat, at first, I tried to swallow it down but couldn't and I started to choke so I got up and told the hostess to please get me some water as I was choking.

She refused. I BEGGED HER to get me some water as I WAS CHOKING. She still REFUSED, she was right behind me, she said "in 2 minutes we will land". Which was ludicrous as we were still very high up and only five minutes after the fasten seat belts sign. I told her I was CHOKING AND PLEADED WITH HER TO get me some water, the kitchen was ONE STEP behind her, yet she sat there and ordered me in the coldest manner, to sit down and wait till landing! (I asked for her name later, she said "Florakis")
Fortunately, a kind fellow passengers from the back row gave me the rest of his bottle of water, I don't know what would have happened if he hadn't.

I was extremely distressed at such evil behavior towards a genuine emergency.

Please note the following:
1-We landed TWENTY minutes after she said "2 minutes".
2- EVEN 2 minutes could have been too late for someone who was choking! (But they were 20).
3- She was right behind me, a step away from the kitchen and water, and we were still level with the clouds and I begged her because I was choking and SHE REFUSED to do anything and told me off!

After landing, I went to speak to her and get her name (she said "Florakis") I told her she should know the difference between an emergency and a whim and that such behaviour was unacceptable. She rebuked ME because I was speaking to her in a stern tone of voice ( I was the one who was CHOKING only to witness a level of MALICE AND INHUMANITY, so much so that I was shaking with anger and distress for hours later, because I couldn't believe that someone could be so EVIL in the face of an emergency!) her "explanation" was that I should have requested water before the fasten seat belts sign was on, meaning, I guess, that I should have known beforehand that ten minutes later I would choke (?!?)
I told her I shall report this, so she said "I'll report myself" and talked to someone on the phone, and since I don't speak except 20-30 words of Greek, all I understood was "nero' (water)…. And given her level of evaluation to the situation (LYING about the time to land, and saying 2 minutes while they were TWENTY, claiming I should have warned her before, etc.) I do NOT trust that she reported truthfully on what actually happened.

You might tell me that no one should have eaten that bar of chocolate/biscuit they gave us while landing, however, the FACT remains that a human being was choking and begging for help, and help was just one step right behind me, but I was told off and ordered to sit down, be quiet and wait, while I was choking! I was to be "punished" for making the mistake of eating it and be left to choke?

Please also note the following:

- I'm 60 years old, I've been travelling for 44 years now, I stopped counting how many flights after 250, and I have NEVER HAD A PANIC ATTACK or suffered from fear of flying or enacted a scene on a flight. THIS WAS GENUINE DISTRESS AND CHOKING.

- I take Aegeanair when flying from Italy to Cairo, even though it is a LOT easier for me (timewise and effort-wise) to take a direct flight from Italy, but I do that for one reason: I love Greece and the Greek people, so I'd rather take an Aegean flight and stopover and pay a Greek business, than the easier more convenient route to travel, which is a direct flight.
While this evil behavior will not change my mind about Greece and the Greek people, it would change my mind about taking an Aegean flight EVER again. I expected the airline to this matter, and, beside a formal apology, to make sure to INFORM THE STAFF ONBOARD THAT WHEN THERE IS AN EMERGENCY, THEY MUST ATTEND TO IT. (I have the email I sent them last year, in case they see this and deny it ever happened, I also think that the passenger in the last row who gave me his bottle of water would remember).

Had that man not helped me, would Aegean have born the responsibility of what might have happened in 20 minutes of choking?

I wait ed for months, nothing ever came for a reply from Aegean airlines ( I submitted the complaint to the relevant address I got from their website). My intention was to give Aegean time to react first, and if they didn't, then to seek all possible online venues to report on this, but due to the passing of my mother, I did not pursue the matter months as I intended, but continued to hope that Aegean would reply, which never happened.
I decided now that such an incident was too serious to be left unreported, and if Aegean didn't lift a finger nor care to reply, I would, as intended last year, see to it that I write about it in the relevant websites, to make this HORRIBLE EVIL AND INHUMAN BEHAVIOR KNOWN to passengers who could easily be in my place.

By the way, I took several flights after that (Air Italy, Volotea) and NONE of them behaved that way, even after the fasten seat belt signs, they did not object to someone getting to go to the bathroom or needing a glass of water, except in the last 10 minutes of landing (whereas the sign is on some 20-25 minutes before landing). This means that such behavior was a PERSONAL CHOICE of that "Florakis" person, who had NO QUALMS about letting a passenger choke, because she decided it was not worth taking seriously. I shudder when I remember begging her, as I was coughing continuously, to get me some water as I was choking and she just ordered me to be quiet and sit down. It was PURE EVIL!

That day and for weeks afterwards, I felt traumatized by that experience.

Had my mother not passed away in the time I was waiting for a response from the airlines, this review would have been everywhere on the internet, and I intend to do that now, because what happened that day should NEVER happen to any passenger, and it should NEVER be without consequences, and if Aegean does not care about complaints regarding serious abusive behavior of its staff, then, such behavior should be made known through other venues.
I shall never take Aegean airlines again, and if I go to Greece in the future, it will be with another airline.

Salma Zakaria
(seat 36D, Aegean airlines flight A3 664,25 July, 2019)
I flied with Volotea for the first time in September, from Italy to Greece and back. I didn't have big expectations as the flights were almost ridiculously cheap, even though it was still high season. What I got was a very pleasant surprise: the airline was punctual, and the crew on board was very nice and courteous (this is starting to become a rarity nowadays).
I would definitely fly Volotea again. I hope they will expand their destinations in the future.
My experience with them was very positive.
Yesterday, I called that hotel to make a booking on behalf of a friend of mine who doesn't speak Italian. It was late at night, but we assumed that if they don't pick up calls late, they wouldn't answer; though, given it's an expensive hotel, we assumed that, like others in the category, they have a reception service at night as well. I was answered by someone who first said the hotel's name, then his name, I told him that I wanted to book for my friend and he said curtly "look online". I started asking him something (I wanted to know if we could book directly via an email) when he SLAMMED THE PHONE DOWN while I was still talking, without letting me finish my question!

My friend decided that she is not going to give her money to people who have such manners. I wrote to the hotel in protest, and the person with the same name who replied to me on the phone denied that he ever had that call (it was last night) and that "this never happened". I sent him a screenshot of the time of the call and his number. No answer. However:

His "underling" wrote to me on Facebook (I had put the same complaint on their Facebook page) and told me the same thing: this never happened.

I repeated my story. He answered "you must have gotten the wrong number". I wrote that, upon answering the phone, that person said THE NAME OF THE HOTEL, THEN HIS NAME, I wrote back asking: if it were the wrong number, wouldn't the person who answered simply say that, instead of saying the hotel's name then his name?!?!

It turned out that the "name" that answered the phone and emailed back was the "director" (incidentally, his underling wrote to me "DIRECTOR" in upper case, I suppose for effect).

I asked him: in your opinion, why on earth would I just make up such a story, and how on earth would I know the name of "THE DIRECTOR"?

At this, friends, Romans, countrymen, the underling wrote a message CURSING ME AND CALLING ME NAMES!

I still wrote back, saying "thank you for confirming the validity of my complaint about the manners and civility of the people running that place, this is perfectly consistent with the behavior of your DIRECTOR on the phone yesterday. I shall make sure to let people know about that.

He wrote back again, but I am blocked him without reading further, after the litany of abuse in his Facebook message, I didn't want to be on the receiving end of more. Now I regret it, though, as I could have (should have) kept the message to paste it here and show what level of behavior it was.

I had written this no Tripadvisor, and "the management" responded, again, with lies (claiming "it never happened", claiming I sent them "some skype picture" when I sent a screenshot of my call from the cell phone, stating the time AND THE CORRECT NUMBER of their hotel of that phone they said "never happened") and accusing ME of being "without shame" and "without respect" for others.

Tripadvisor then removed my review saying it didn't meet their guidelines, and I don't know if it was because I hadn't actually stayed at the hotel, or due to a certain pressure from the hotel.

In short, after answering with the hotel name and his name, I was told, this never happened, and when I insisted it did, I was insulted and accused of being "shameless".

THANK HEAVENS that there are other forums online to warn people and to "have a voice", when others think they can get away with anything.

Venice is FULL of choices, my friend will look elsewhere. You've been warned.

I must add that in tens of years of travelling, I have NEVER EVER met such behavior!
Booking.com cancelled my booking to Athens
Less than a week before my trip.

Any and all attempts at getting a refund were
Met with either all kinds of exaggerated requests (3 documents from my bank all
Amounting to the same thing: proof that I paid, even though I paid through
THEIR website) or outright false information (sending me a link for the refund
Which proved false and I was told no refund was due to me). Beside leaving me
Last minute without accommodation, they make it the responsibility of the
Customer to sort out the refund with the property which uses their website to
Sell (KesTour in Athens). I lost about five days scrambling for a solution and
After plenty of misleading information I was told I was on my own. This could
Happen to you.

Sali Has Earned 4 Votes

Sali Z.'s review of volotea.com earned a Very Helpful vote

Sali Z.'s review of Booking.com earned 3 Very Helpful votes

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