Austrian Airlines bumped me and then gave me empty gift cards as compensation

Austrian Airlines overbooked Robert Raffanti’s flight from Venice to Vienna and asked for volunteers to take a later flight, promising compensation of 125 euros. Raffanti and his wife agreed, but the airline never loaded their gift cards. Can we help Raffanti, or will Austrian Airlines continue its infamous silent treatment of both its customers and with us? Read more “Austrian Airlines bumped me and then gave me empty gift cards as compensation”

Austrian Airlines reimburses passenger who ate nutty brownie $1,462

This might be one reason why Austrian Airlines is in so much trouble. Then again, it might be why the beleaguered carrier hasn’t folded any sooner.

A passenger who bit into a brownie and broke a cap on her tooth on a flight from Washington to Vienna has been reimbursed by the airline to the tune of $1,462.

That kind of customer service is all but unheard of in the United States. But Austrian Airlines sees it differently, apparently.

(Full disclosure: I grew up in Vienna. I still have family in Austria, and I think Austrian Airlines is one of the better European carriers.)

Reader and travel agent Sherri Carnefix sent me the story:

I had a client who flew to Vienna last month from Dulles. Upon her return, she let me know that she broke a cap on her tooth while eating a brownie (bit into a shell).

The flight attendant filled out an irregularity form stating what happened. My client went to her dentist and obtained an X-ray and an estimate of $1,462 to repair it. I sent the form along with a note explaining what happened to Austrian Air in New York.

I think that was nice of Carnefix, but as someone who has resolved thousands of grievances, I’m not sure I would have given her client much hope.

Then Yonca Celikkol began to email me with what additional information was needed. I sent that to Yonca, and today got a message that the bill would be paid in full!

Just plain “done.” Not many US carriers are this helpful.

No, they aren’t.

So what’s the takeaway for the rest of us? That if you want real customer service, you should fly an international carrier? Maybe.

That even an airline flying under difficult financial conditions can take care of its passengers? Perhaps.

Maybe I’m nuts, but the explanation could be an even simpler one: that those Austrians sure do take their pastries seriously.