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I am writing to you, because my trip was abruptly cancelled due to unsuspected complications with my passport. On 23rd of October, I was supposed to travel with Aeroflot Company from Los Angeles to Minsk, Belarus. I am a dual citizen of both countries with American passport valid till 2016 and my Belarusian passport valid till 2022. This is my first time trying to fly with Aeroflot. Normally, I do fly with Lufthansa or Lot. My last trip was three months ago with Lufthansa and I never had a problem to present a visa to an intermittent country, which is normally Frankfurt, Germany or Warsaw, Poland, since my start point and my destination point fall within my legitimate presence due to both passports being valid. However, while trying to travel with Aeroflot, I discovered that my Belarusian passport, even though valid, lacks a stamp that allows me to leave and enter Belarus multiple times a year.
Last time I was in Belarus, they informed me that they stop administering stamps in Belarusian passports and it never was a problem for me, while I was trying to leave my country, Belarus, on multiple occasions previously to travel through Germany of Poland. However, this time I was denied the entrance to a supposedly friendly country, Russia, even though my country, which is Belarus, doesn't seem to have a problem with me coming home as desired. I understand that different countries have different policies and regulations; therefore, I will keep this newly learned lesson in my mind for my future travels.
In the mean time, I would like to receive the full refund of the unused ticket, I do not wish to receive any credit, since I do not plan to fly Aeroflot in the future. I also have to comment on a representative from Aeroflot in Los Angeles, he was very helpful and he provided a very professional way of dealing with my problem. I do not know his last name, but his first name is Karen. Thank you Karen for being there when disgruntled and mostly upset passengers feel extremely helpless! As I am writing this letter to you, I am also copying this message to a Belarusian embassy representative for their future consideration.
I flew on Aeroflot Russian Airlines from Amsterdam to Shanghai, connecting through Moscow, on December 24, 2009. When checking in for my flight to Moscow, I was informed that the flight was delayed by 2.5 hours with no apparent weather problems in either Amsterdam or Moscow, and was told to go to the ticket counter for rebooking as I would likely not make my connection. The ticket counter told me the only possibility was to go on the same flight the next day, but that I should go to Moscow as the flight would be held for me and 5 others. I took that advice and checked in. The flight ended up 3.5 hours delayed and I had no chance of making my flight to Shanghai. No information was ever offered about the flight delays.
When I arrived in Moscow, I was unable to pass the transfers desk as I and the other 4 travelers to Shanghai were on a list indicating that we would spend the night in Moscow and leave at 8 PM the next day. This is despite the fact we were in plenty of time for the Beijing flight at 10 PM the same night, which would have gotten us to Shanghai the next morning/afternoon. Instead, we were forced to go to the transit section of the Novotel hotel for almost 24 hours--where we were forced to share a room with a stranger, provided with one bottle of water for the entire time, and given two inadequate (some of the food was rotten) meals at improper times.
We arrived at the hotel around 10 PM but were offered no dinner since we had sat at the airport for 2-3 hours (in a zone which did not have access to food or drinks), waiting to be moved to the hotel, we had missed dinner. The worst part of the entire process was that no apologies were offered or even friendliness on the part of the staff. Instead, we were treated as if it was our fault to have been stuck in that situation. This was all took place on December 25, which is Christmas Day in western countries.
I cannot believe that the Skyteam alliance allows Aeroflot to be a member, and especially to codeshare with airlines like KLM or Delta who provide excellent service and would never subject a traveler to such events. I would never have chosen Aeroflot was it not for its membership in the Skyteam alliance which gave me faith that I would be treated the same as other Skyteam airlines. Other airlines would have provided a business class upgrade on the next leg of the flight (the business class was almost empty), as well as free frequent flier miles or a flight voucher. Aeroflot has not even offered an apology.
On the 23rd of December 2009, I was traveling from Edinburgh to Chelyabinsk, in Russia to visit my partner. Due to inclement weather conditions, my flight was cancelled. I managed to secure a later flight which should have arrived in London in plenty of time to catch the Aeroflot to Moscow and a further flight from Moscow to Chelyabinsk, but this flight was continuously delayed, and consequently, I missed my connections from London to Chelyabinsk, I had to pay an extra 150 British Pounds for a flight from London to Moscow on a flight which was virtually empty. Then they decided my suitcase was overweight and charged me a further 80 GB Pounds. Eventually arriving in Moscow, I had to collect my baggage and check in for the onward flight to Chelyabinsk, I could not find my luggage and was promptly informed it was still in London. No one apologized; no one accepted responsibility. They just shrugged their shoulders and said, "It is not my fault." I feel that Aeroflot personnel at airports are running some sort of confidence trick on tourists. Aeroflot and BAA should look into this matter. It took four days to retrieve my suitcase, with still no apology.
Aeroflot lost my luggage last month. On Oct 9th, I flied from Rome to Shanghai and transferrd in Moscow. Finally they lost my suitcase and haven't found it for me till now. There are a lot of luxury goods and gifts in the suitcase and total value is higher than $4000 US dollars. However, they only would pay me $400 US dollars as the compensation base on the Warsaw Convention.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines lost my suitcase in February 2008. Their Los Angeles office offered $460, citing Warsaw Convention limitations. When I went to San Francisco small claims court and filed suit for $1500. Aeroflot wanted the Los Angeles small claims court to hear the case, but the San Francisco court refused. The Warsaw Convention allows the baggage victim to file suit in small claims court in the city where the travels ended: Spanner v. United Airlines (9th Cir. 1999) 177 F.3d 1173. Aeroflot gambled by not showing up in court, so the San Francisco judge awarded the entire $1500. Aeroflot did not appeal, though they were correct that $460 was maximum under the Warsaw Convention. It all depends on where you go to court.
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Aeroflot left me with no suitacase (held in customs in Moscow due to a tight connection) during my two weeks in Krasnodar and did not reimburse for any of the clothes I was forced to buy. Additionally they did not let me board my return flight on 1/5 because my visa - which they had controlled but did not notice was wrong upon check in on 12/20 in JFK - was for an earlier day (the day I left Krasnodar). With three hours to spare, nobody from Aeroflot was able to provide the service (nor speak English) to show me the place where I could correct my visa at the aiport (a process that took 15 minutes the following day) and therefore missed my flight. Later nobody helped me rebook another flight. This airline does not deserve to be a member of the Sky Alliance Team!
Applied for refund for a ticket on June 13th using a refund form signed and dated by the Aeroflot official in New York office. Its been about 6 months hanv't received the money yet after numerous calls to Aerofolt. We were told the refund is already made and american express is holding my money, i am unable to secure a refund tranaction ID from Aeroflot and was told to contact Moscow (I don't speak Russian).I called American express and no refund transaction was requested by Aeroflot. After I call the New York office they hang up and without any response, please advise.
I purchased 2 round trip tickets for my parents to travel from Moscow to New York for approximately $900 each (Total: $1,800). When they tried to return to Moscow from New York, Aeroflot said their ticket was void. The only solution they offered was to buy one-way tickets for $1,500 each (Total: $3,000). I provided thorough documentation that successful payment was made for the original tickets, but they refuse to honor the return leg of the trip. At first Aeroflot had no explaination for voiding the return leg. Finally they said they never received payment. However I provided the Aeroflot Transaction Receipt and my debit card statement. Both documents indicate that funds were transfered.
In June Of 2000 we planned a vacation to India and bought the tickets (for a family of 4) from a travel agent who was located in New York. When we left on June 17th from JFK the lady at the check out asked us where we want our luggage to be sent. So I told her Our final destination was New Delhi. To our surprise at Moscow they confiscated our passports and tickets and sent us back to JFK on the flight following day. The treatment was horrendous we were kept in the detention center with all of us going through a lot of trauma. My husband went through a lot of pain as he had gone through catherization 2 days before the flight.
The whole family went through such ordeal after spending more than $8000.00
and lot of inconvenience. Our luggage was sent back from Delhi to MOscow to new york to atlanta to philadelphia and arrived damaged condition. We had to forgo our 5 weeks vacation were terrified lost a bundle of money. All because of Aeroflots fault
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