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There are 2 types of companies, the real ones, and the Colombia mobsters! I purchase a ticket 4 months in advance. Then 2 weeks later I try to change my tickets. After 1 hour 20 minutes on the phone, they told me that the penalty was $450 each ticket. Do not do business with them, they still have Pablo Escobar in their veins!
I was verbally harassed, intimidated, treated horrible and not granted and able to travel on Oct. 2, 2018 by the Avianca front counter staff/employees at the Airport in SAP-Honduras. Here are the details of what I experienced with this horrible substandard and unprofessional Airline; I scheduled to fly back home to Los Angeles (US) on October 2, 2018 from San Pedro Sula, Honduras after a 5-day vacation trip. I even checked in on-line 24 hours before on October 1, 2018, as I usually do when I travel. I still arrived at the airport 3 hours before to be safe being an international flight. However, when I went to the Avianca front counter to check in myself and luggage the first thing I saw was two full passenger lines as it appeared they had another delayed flight, the pre-checked passengers line had only a few passengers.
I ran into an Avianca Staff at the beginning of the lines her name was Christel ** who seemed already upset due to their situation and I asked her which line was the pre-checked in line? She replied very rude and was sarcastic it does not matter which line but and pointed it out. I waited one hours and thirty minutes while all the passengers were complaining too and frustrated. They did not tell the passengers at any given time what was going and did not care. The Avianca employees were actually arguing with the passengers and verbally mistreating them (like take it or leave deal). There was a passenger going to Panama that they took off the flight the day before (10/1/18) for no reason and she told me she was there on time and they sold her seat, and they wanted to charge her $1,200 and had to put with their bad behavior and was able to travel the next day 10/2/10.
Things were so bad at the front counter that you can feel the tension and the employees just finding a reason to argue as they feel empower to do whatever they want with the passengers, and not let them travel, and then change their flight to charge them extra fees. The passengers were asking for the supervisor at the front counter and the staff refused to call the supervisor. After a long journey waiting in-line for 90 minutes and dealing with the unpleasant environment created by the Avianca employees because they did not want to admit they had their front counter overcrowded due to the other delayed flight, I was called to the front counter and ran into the same staff, Christel **. He was already upset and had been arguing with the passengers who was not even properly trained to work at the front counter but was asked to help at front due to their crisis at the moment.
However, she started getting rude again and arguing so I asked her what was going on and she wouldn't explain. I told her I had plans to submit a formal complaint in writing to Avianca and I also asked to call her supervisor to which she refused. She kept arguing and upset and I said to her please just give the boarding passes as I only have an hour and twenty minutes to get the boarding area. She started making up excuses but checked in my luggage and gave me the boarding passes finally, and I told her I still wanted to see her supervisor. Her supervisor never showed so I had to get to the boarding area so I left, on my way to it I checked immigration to exit the country and I was called in to come to the front counter to speak to the supervisor Amy ** so they made me come back through immigration when she could have come to the boarding area waiting room.
I told her what happened, how unpleasant it was and how rude her employee was and my feedback I will be given to Avianca. Instead of helping the situation this so called supervisor Amy ** who did not even speak English was rude too and had a bad attitude as Christel ** did and also did not either English, they took me off the flight as an act of retaliation because I complained and told them I would do it in writing too to Avianca. I was shocked and useless as this supervisor was just an acting one, and took the liberty to intimidate me and treated as she please disrespectfully and made up a bad excuse with her employee Christel to not let me fly that day, and also charge me. First Amy ** the supervisor wanted to charge $850 to change my flight and I told that did not make any sense and I had not even paid that for the ticket, then she said let me check if the other flight has space.
By this time I had waited over 3 hours, she come back to the front counter an hour plus later and tells there is no space left. She put me on the next flight for no reason just to satisfy her ego and charged $230 more to fly the next day. Additionally I had to stay at a Hotel and pay for other expenses, food, transportation, etc., that I also spent an additional $600 more or so. These two employees Amy ** and Christel ** should have been terminated from this airline to show the other employees that misconduct is not allow and bad behavior is not productive, there are procedures to follow and good customer service to have and display professionally, and if they don't they will be disciplined and/or suspended, or terminated.
I wrote an entire full complaint to the airline that took me a few days to structure and to go back and forth to get the forms, I sent them plenty of evidence of what they did wrong, they did not acknowledge anything after over a month going back and forth, and they declined my claim and denied compensation and to refund me over $800 in total I spend because they simply did not feel in the mood for to fly on Oct. 2, 2018 and wanted to show off how they enjoy screwing the passenger this way.
PS. Consumer Affairs should consider along with the Department of Transportation to investigate this Avianca Airline, and to fine and revoke their flying credential to not be allowed to fly in the US and surrounding countries. There is way too many negative complaints about this airline and enough is enough. Something needs to be with them to improve their unprofessional business to steal money from the passengers and to improve their terrible customer service and claims Department. They never return call or discuss the complaints on the phone, just the no thanks emails. Avianca does not even deserve one star it should a -start negative star instead.
I’ve had several incidents with HORRIBLE airlines in the last few months. First we purchased a ticket for my aunt to visit us In LA from El Salvador. When she arrived at the airport in El Salvador she was informed that the flight was overbooked and she would have to wait for the next flight. Her initial flight was 7am and she got pushed back until 9 pm. They gave her 200 for the inconvenience and told her it was her fault for not doing early check in. When we try to use the 200 later they would allow us to buy it online. They wanted us to buy with a representative and that meant that 490 flight was now 700. And again they said it was our fault. Not sure how.
Next incident we had bought a ticket way in advance for a graduation. Unfortunately there was an unexpected death in the family and when we try to switch the flight and have 370 dollar fee waived they said they couldn’t because the death didn’t fall within the fifteen day policy they had. Since it was an emergency we paid the difference and booked two extra seats on their flight (that was my mistake).
When we arrived at the airport check in they asked if we wanted to give up our seats voluntarily because they overbooked. We said, "No. We have a funeral and burial to get to." We then proceed to check in where we were informed that 2 out of 3 tickets were canceled for lack of confirmation. But if we wanted we could get seats in their 10pm flight. But to hurry because it was filling up fast. When I tried to talk to the manager on site she informed that she could only talk and help after everyone would be checked in and it would be about three hours. THIS IS A HORRIBLE AIRLINE, they continue to screw people over. And my money has been sent back yet. Pay extra and fly with another airlines.
I called Avianca Customer Service just to find out if there was a departure fee from the US to Colombia and vice-versa. The CSR asked me to provide an ID or passport to answer my question. I was at work and told the CSR so and he said that without an ID he couldn't answer my question. I thought that was the most ridiculous requirement ever since I have never been asked for an ID at any other airline to answer any of the questions I've had.
I asked to talk to the supervisor and had to wait for 11 minutes for him to grab the phone to tell me that they can't answer the question without an ID because they just started a new program in which they pretty much are just creating a profile of their customers to get to know them better. I told him that I didn't want to be in their database and that what I was asking was just a simple question that I have actually found on-line while for him! I proceeded to ask him, "What if I didn't have a ticket yet? Would you answer the question?" Got no answer from him but just the same BS "without the ID we can't answer the question" I haven't even flown with them yet and I am already disappointed with their poor customer service!
Flying to Bogota from London was fine and no complaints but the moment we arrived my wife her sister and myself arrived in Cartagena it all started to unravel... where we were informed that both my wife and her sister's luggage hadn't arrived. They promised that when it did they would forward them to our location which was lucky as the first place was 5 hours away and we were staying for 3 days before moving on.
On the second day of our stay my sister in law's bags arrived and no sign of my wife's so we decided to buy some clothes for my wife and hoped as the staff at the airport said buy some and keep the receipts. We continued with our vacation with constant contact to see where my wife's baggage was and told it's on its way and will meet up with us. Which later turned out to be a pack of lies from Avianca Airways. As the baggage never arrived for the 18 day trip so my wife had to borrow her sister's and my clothes as we decided that Avianca couldn't be trusted to even refund the clothes she had bought. When we eventually arrived back in London surprise surprise her bag had never left Great Britain to start with.
At this point more than a little annoyed with this we asked Avianca for an apology and to sort out the refund for my wife's clothes which she spent $200 including a bag to carry. This was last October and we have tried emailing customer services several times and every time no response. Without doubt the very worst airline on the planet (we have traveled with quite a few) ever. If you lose your luggage don't expect a sympathetic ear with Avianca. I don't want to even give them a star rating.
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My wife and I were traveling to Honduras to celebrate our second honeymoon. When we landed since it was a full flight they open the back door so passengers can depart the plane quickly. They placed a black metal staircase and as my wife stepped on the staircase she slip, fell backward and banged her head against the plane and No One helped her up. We I then asked the ground staff to get a wheelchair which we did not get until we were at the immigration booth. I asked to speak to a supervisor to see if they had a medical staff on site and once again we had to wait for the paramedics.
Then when the paramedic checked my wife they told us we had to wait two more hours to see if they can get insurance clearance to talk her to the hospital. The supervisor was rude and inconsiderate she was more about covering her own ** instead of helping my wife. We left the airport and I took my wife to a local doctor where she was treated. This airline has not even reached out to us to see how my wife is doing. Let's see if they even filed the incident report. Never again! Lost vacation and injured wife on our second honeymoon what a nightmare.
WORST AIRLINE EVER BOARDED... PLEASE AVOID THIS AIRLINE. The airlines staff at Bogota (El Dorado airport) are the unethical and not friendly at all. My flight to MDE was cancelled due to weather conditions and I requested to return my baggage and they confirmed that they found it and asked me to come back in an hour. When I came back they told to keep me waiting and they keep on telling that the baggage is missing and they have no clue where it is and they made us wait for 7 hours in the airport and my whole trip in MDE got cancelled which resulted in thousands of dollars and the airport staff keep in changing their words to make you leave the airport and they asked me to come back next say to help me and I got so pissed off I took my ticket for extra $300 back to LA as I did not feel safe at all in Bogota airport with Avianca Customer staff. UNETHICAL/WORST AIRLINES AND STAFF. PLEASE AVOID THIS AIRLINES...
Juma **. Complaint: Rude attitude and unprofessional. I booked a business class ticket with Avianca airlines. When I arrived at Boston airport Avianca counter 84, Juma ** asked for me and my husband’s passports along with my green card and my green card extension letter. We gave all the documents to her and waited for about 5 minutes. She held my green card and told me that I could not travel because my green card was expired. I told her that I have the extension letter. She called the Miami department to confirm whether I can continue to fly. And the answer I was told was no! I was so confused and nervous and didn’t understand why I couldn’t fly? We were given no explanation except that my green card said it was expired.
I had a valid visa for Guatemala in my passport granted directly by the consulate general of Providence, Rhode Island. But Juma did not even ask us if we had a valid visa to enter Guatemala. Once she realized her mistake, Juma continued to rudely explain that it was our fault to not mention that we had a valid visa. At that point, I was extremely panicked and just wanted her to continue processing our boarding passes and baggage as our boarding time was in about 20 minutes.
I said, “Please move on and continue checking us in.” Juma was not understanding at all and took offense with my language. I did not say anything inappropriate, but she was very unprofessional. Juma even said repeatedly “You don’t talk to me like that.” She didn’t even realize that I was a business class customer until the very end. I hope she can be taught how to appropriately talk to customers. The correct questions must be asked, assumptions can never be made, and customers that are unrightfully panicked are not being rude. I was rightfully frustrated and panicked at the thought that I could not go on my vacation, which I have spent a fortune on. Please forward my criticism to Juma and take the necessary corrective action to elevate her level of service. Thank you.
I had a flight for October 7, 2018 at 4am and had arrived the airport at around 2am. All passengers with destinations to Honduras were not allowed to board the plane because of flooding in Honduras, yet all other passengers got in. They couldn't schedule another flight at the airport and provided use the call center phone number to call and schedule a new itinerary. A simple request has become just an inconvenience for me. Every time I called they were accusing me of not showing up for a flight that left on time and arrived on time and every single time I had to explain that I was not allowed to board the plane by an Avianca representative at the check in line. And every time the call center representative would verify my story and would continue to help me and give me excuses to not help me. None of the representatives knew what was going on.
After three calls to Avianca I finally I was able to speak with Patricia, whom, like every other representative had verified my story, and offered to get a flight ticket "at no charge". She offered me two choices, a flight on Monday October 8 that had an overnight layover of over 12 in Guatemala or a perfect looking flight on Wednesday October 10. Two hours later... I picked the Monday October 8 flight because I need to get to Honduras as soon as possible. I asked for a hotel accommodation for the inconvenience that this has caused me and my family and because this was not my original intent of flight. Getting and sustaining a job in Central America is hard as it is and I needed to get there as soon as possible so that I don't lose my job, I was about burst into tears at this point. Avianca does not put the effort to accommodate their passengers.
Two hours later... At the airport Avianca claimed that the reason why they were not letting us board the plane was because there was weather issues in Honduras. There were no weather issues in the United States, there were no weather issues in El Salvador, and there were no weather issues in Guatemala. They should have allowed us to board the plane. Now, instead of being about 300 miles away from Honduras, I am still 3500 miles away from home. At this point Patricia transferred me to the "Supervisor" Beatrice ** to see if we would get some accommodations for me. All Beatrice did for two hours was blame me for being late and missing my flight. I was not late. It was excuse after excuse coming from Beatrice ** towards me.
30 minutes later...Eventually, they asked me to put a claim with customer service. I was transferred back to Patricia and she was working on submitting the claim and getting me a hotel and meal voucher when suddenly the call ended. Two hours later... I never got a call back from Patricia, which is very unprofessional. Therefore I was forced to called back and ended up speaking with Wendy **, whom, once again verified all my information and my entire story all over again. Wendy ** was a broken record, repeating the same line over and over again.
"I apologize for the inconvenience, unfortunately in this case, as I have mentioned before the accommodations requested are not available because it was a weather issue." - Wendy Hernandez. Any questions asked, she would respond with the same version of that line. I wasted over six hours of my time to be treated this badly. Unacceptable, no other airline has treated me this badly. Never again will I recommend Avianca, nor will I fly with them.
Avianca has been an horrible experience from start to end. My flight was going to be: Boston - El Salvador - Panama. Flight from Boston got delayed (3+ hours) so missed my connection. I got a hotel, and new flights to Panama with another layover in San Jose (because direct flight was fully booked). The flight from El Salvador got delayed which resulted in missing the connection (which was made by Avianca) to Panama. A trip of only 6 hours resulted in a 2 day trip full of disappointments and frustrations. Never again.
About 2 weeks ago my mom and I went on a trip to El Salvador and the service was very very dissatisfying. From the way the flight attendants serve, they don't make one feel at ease to ask questions or comments and the bathrooms were very dirty and lacked hygiene. They never come to ask if everything is okay or if you need something they just walk right past you. I think that for the price paid they should be able to give much better customer service.
I went to El Salvador with my husband and we get the worse customer service we ever see. The flight attendants were so rude, very nasty attitude and making fun when the customer were asking for different drinks. The price that we pay with Avianca for non stop flight is not cheap. And we don’t mind to pay the price but we also deserve a good customer service! I called customer service and they didn't even ask me my name or my flight number. At least they must be pretend that they want to help??? And then I send a message on FB. And I gave them my information. But they told me that the only way they can do something is if I have those two girls name. REALLY!!! You should train your employees better and focused on good service instead of a free blanket and pillow!!!
I fly multiple airlines a year. I've NEVER had an experience like I did with Avianca flying to/from Colombia. This was by far MY WORST EXPERIENCE EVER! Firstly, all 4 of my flights were delayed. CheapOair informed me of the first delay, but Avianca NEVER contacted me about any flight changes. I arrived into Cartagena 8 hrs after my expected time because my connection from Bogota had to be changed as well due to the delay. I wish this was the biggest problem I had.
The worst part was when I showed up in Bogota 4.5 hrs before take-off to JFK and was informed that the plane was overbooked. Why wasn't I informed about this by email/phone before I showed up to the airport? Most other airlines that this happens for, you are informed in advance and at least compensated for the inconvenience. I bought a ticket for a flight, was confirmed by email, and I wanted that flight. I was also told that ALL passengers scheduled to be seated had checked in already. BS. There's no way everyone checked in already with 4.5 hrs before take-off.
Avianca did not offer any compensation and instead wanted me to take a flight with 2 layovers arriving much later to my final destination, while I specifically paid $300 more to have a direct flight back to JFK. The attendant never apologized, said there was nothing else he could do, and then proceeded to speak to another attendant about me. I asked for a manager, and he was not helpful either. They offered a flight for 3 pm the next day, but I had to be back much sooner. In all honesty, if they offered $600 in airline credit, I would have disliked it, but would have accepted it. I felt undervalued, disrespected, displeased. Terrible company standards.
We had a terrible experience with Avianca. We booked our flights in May to travel in August from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado in Peru. We tried to check in the night before travelling but the website was advising us to go to the check in desk to complete it. When we arrived there they said that our seats had been assigned to someone else for two reasons: first of all apparently we bought our tickets in overbooking and secondly our seats were assigned to someone else as the day before a flight was cancelled. When we asked how we could know that we bought our tickets in overbooking, as it wasn't mentioned anywhere, they confirmed that there was no way to know but we should have guessed it as the price was lower than normal?? How is it possible for us to know if it was our first time travelling that route??
They kept us waiting for two hours in case someone decided to postpone their flight and of course it didn't happen. We called INDICOPI, which is an association to protect travellers and they said that it would have taken 30 days to do anything?? Avianca offered to book the next available flight which was the day after but we had to be in Puerto Maldonado the same day, no other options, so we had to take a taxi (9 hours and $650!!!) to reach our destination on time. We asked for a refund and Avianca advised us to go to their headquarter in the city centre of Cusco. We took a taxi and once arrived in the main office they told us that it wasn't possible for us to ask for a refund there but that we should have forwarded the request through the website. I travelled all over the world and never had anything like this, I would definite fraud paying for something that you don't get.
And what was really frustrating was that they were considering it as normal, the operator was not even looking at our eyes when talking, nobody cared about the three of us and the other 5 passengers that were in the same situation. I would strongly advise not to travel with this company, it totally ruined our trip and costed us $650 extra to reach our destination. Avianca, be ashamed of yourself and close down!!!
In my 30 years of traveling with different airlines I have never came across with such a terrible customer service. Last year (2017) they left me stranded in Bogota and Cartagena for 48 hours due to Pilot's strike without compensating me a single cent. Tomorrow, I am traveling with my family to Spain for holidays and they just canceled the flight with less than 24 hours notice. We lost our connections and Avianca Reps are just terrible assigning us to other flights. The "system" automatically assigned us 5 different flights. We are a family of 7. This is just absurd. Don't fly with Avianca.
This is the most sorriest Airlines in the world. I told my wife if she ever booked a flight with them again I would divorce her. We have been waiting on a refund for 3 months now and every time I call they give me a different answer every single time. You mean to tell me a big corporation like this can’t just hit a key on the computer and send the refund. I'm so disappointed with this company so I’m writing this to warn all people to please find different airlines to fly. You will thank me later.
We flew with Avianca from Aruba to Guatemala City via Bogota and San Jose. Short flights with two stops on the way, all of them with Avianca. We checked in one suitcase in Aruba: a beautiful new suitcase, protected with a colorful cloth cover. When we landed in Guatemala City, the cover was gone, and the suitcase was totally broken - holes in its side, missing wheels. Of course we contacted the airline right away - after we rushed to buy a new suitcase, because we still had a long trip waiting and the old suitcase was unusable.
After some annoying communications - we were asked to fill the same form several times, had to send in photos of the ruined suitcase several times, and half the emails we sent were rejected by the company's server - we finally got a compensation offer that let us choose between several options. We chose a refund for the new suitcase through our credit card. We got one last email from them, telling us the case number and promising they'll take care of it within 15 days - and that's it. They haven't sent any further message. Of course they did not refund anything. They've stopped answering emails. We live at the other end of the world, but we're considering suing them - customer service can't get any worse than that.
I want to start by saying this is possibly one of the worst airlines I have ever flown with and I have been traveling the past 10 years, 3/4 times a year. May 25, 2018 I was set to depart from JFK at 10:20 am with my best friend, we arrived at JFK at 8:45 am and was through TSA by 9:00 am. As we approached the gate we noticed it was a small area that was already overcrowded, so we went to grab some food and sit on the opposite side. As the time began winding down we realized we hadn't heard any announcement and got up to walk over and ensure boarding hadn't began.
It was about 35 minutes to departure and we were told we could not board the flight because boarding begins 1 hour prior to. We asked why our names hadn't been called and the women stated she called our emergency contacts as that was the procedure. I am unsure why they wouldn't call the actual passenger, but as I looked out the window the plane was still there and one of the girls was closing the door as the other told us we had to rebook. We could not understand such a thing and as a frequent traveler of Jet Blue, American Airlines and Delta I was appalled by their attitudes and unwillingness to help us.
The three women stood there with the worst attitudes and one said, "Oh well you have to go upstairs and re-book, pick up your luggage and go upstairs to figure it out with them." It took everything in me not to curse them to the high heavens as there was no compassion, no empathy, nothing! As someone who works in customer service, my job is to ensure I do all I can especially when people are spending their hard earned money. My best friend began to cry because she was overly frustrated by this treatment!
As we went upstairs to rebook the women at the counter was closing up. We explained our issue and she stated "her shift was over the booth is closed, call customer service." I honestly could not believe this was the staff responsible for helping people when all anyone did was be rude and disrespectful. We sat on the floor and proceeded to call customer service. We had to call 4 separate times as we would keep being connected to people who stated they could not understand our accents.
We speak English from New York. There is no accent!!! When we finally got someone who understood us that rep advised us we would have to pay 400$, 200 per ticket to re-book and this is about when I lost it. I demanded to speak to a supervisor and was connected to Valentina who was like our savior. After 3 hours (no exaggeration) of being on the phone, not only did she over apologize for the disgusting treatment of the entire staff at JFK she got us re-booked at no additional cost, unfortunately for the next day as that was the only next flight available. We were super grateful for her understanding and support and I even left a compliment for her as she was true representation of customer service.
Not only did we lose money on our accommodation, cab rides to airport, car service for our landing we lost a night of our well deserved vacation. It is beyond me an airline would hire people who treat others in a disrespectful rude manner. I would caution those who are sucked in by the cheap flights to really consider paying a little more with the more popular airlines as they seem to genuinely care more from my experience. I was beyond frustrated that I paid hundreds of dollars to travel with a company like this and would encounter not one, not two, but 5 of the most disgusting customer service people ever.
They simply do not deserve to deal with the public and should consider another department within the company where they do not have to look people in the face as if their disgusted and then treat them so poorly. What sucks is after we got to our destination and dealt with the staff in San Salvador and Costa Rica they were amazing and very sweet but I could not shake the experience I had at JFK. Not to mention none of the other flights we took boarded an hour before departure and actually on our way back a couple had a hard time during security check and was able to board 20 minutes prior to us leaving. I truly hope this review helps others and I will actually be escalating this up to a supervisor or management there, as I feel some kind of acknowledgment is due to us.
I asked for a refund because of political strife in my destination country that caused my humanitarian trip to be cancelled. The customer service rep in English was friendly and advised me to put in a refund request with Avianca's refund department which I thought would be a black hole of bureaucracy. However, after a week of limbo, they granted my refund. I was very pleased with this interaction and although the refund process could be clearer and they could have contacted me regarding my refund status/when it was authorized, their customer service was good and I ultimately was able to get a refund. I appreciated their understanding for something that was out of my control.
Avoid Avianca at all costs, or it will cost you, dearly. I booked a flight from San Salvador to San Jose, Costa Rica. When I arrived for my flight, the Avianca agent told me I could not board my plane without an exit ticket from Costa Rica. This is total BS - Costa Rica does not require an exit ticket, check the embassy website - this is Avianca forcing you to book an overpriced ticket and swindle you out of money. I bit the bullet and purchased a $450 ticket to fly me home to San Francisco later that month.
Nearing the end of my travels, I received word that my grandmother was dying. I called Avianca to change my ticket to Dallas to be with family. They told me my only options would be business class, or to take flight paths lasting over 40 hours (both would cost me well over $1000). I opted to cancel my ticket for a $150 fee, with a promise that I would get a refund after I submitted my refund request online. Of course, the agent is unable to process anything related to the refund over the phone, can't even give me a confirmation number for the reservation cancellation...
After returning to Texas and in the middle of helping for funeral arrangements, I attempt to input my refund request on the website. I take the time to enter all of my details (they even ask you for a death certificate!! What an invasion of privacy...) and click submit, and of course the website does not respond. I try on 2 different computers/browsers, and on my iPhone - no option works.
I call Avianca customer service to ask if they can help me, of course not, they just very condescendingly repeat over and over again that I have to input the request online. I then get transferred to web support, who also cannot help me, but they give me the following email address firstname.lastname@example.org. I am told to email and explain my situation and give my credit card number (because everyone loves emailing their credit card number...) and just cross my fingers that they will process the request. Not gonna hold my breath on getting my $300 back...DO NOT FLY AVIANCA. They will swindle you out of money with no remorse. Thieves.
To say that Avianca has bad customer service is a gross understatement. Avianca has no customer service. Website has a terrible user interface and is very glitchy and frequently goes down. Attempted to cancel a reservation for a flight from Costa Rica to USA within 24 hours and they would not cancel it even though it is US Department of transportation LAW to do so!!! They follow their own set of Colombian rules and don’t care about US laws. I spent five hours on the phone with various customer service reps and supervisors. All of them had bad attitudes and spoke very broken English. I even incorporated the assistance of an employee of the US Department of Transportation Consumer Complaints Department.
Avianca was so belligerent they would not budge and conform with US Law even when contacted by an employee of the US DOT on my behalf! I will be disputing the fee on my credit card for this reservation and have already filed an official complaint with the US DOT. Luckily I have a very pissed off and baffled government employee on my side so I hope Avianca gets a big fine for this! If you use Avianca, you’re crazy and have very low expectations from your airline provider. Every other airline is 100% better at customer service.
Due to pilots' strike in November my flights were changed and I requested a refund which 60 days later they indicated that my tickets numbers were changed which made my refund invalid so I request a new refund and they both were rejected against the other. So I filed a complaint and they are working in the case so if you are in the same situation file a complaint here http://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer.
It would be hard to overstate how terrible Avianca is. I have been traveling for 45 years and never had to go through even one of the experiences this airliner put me through, let alone all of them in one trip. I’ll try to be brief but if you don’t have time to read the following, my advice is, DO NOT FLY AVIANCA. YOU’LL BE VERY SORRY IF YOU DO. In November I bought a ticket to go to Roatan via San Salvador. I took my time choosing the exact flights, with one day in San Salvador each way so I could meet with people I was slated to interview. Just before the holidays, in late December, I received an email from Avianca letting me know that my flight had changed. With the new flight, I no longer had a day in San Salvador. Worse yet, the first flight back, from Roatan, arrived in San Salvador after the second flight, from San Salvador to Chicago, left.
After looking at the email three times to make sure I was reading it correctly, I called Avianca. I spent at least 10 hours (no exaggeration!) on hold for the next three days, trying to resolve this before I left for the holidays. On the third day, after hours on hold, I finally reached a representative who asked me to call again because she couldn’t hear me well. I refused. It took another 1.5 hours before she found another set of flights that worked for me. Sometime later, I got another email. They changed my flight again in the same way! Another series of phone calls and being on hold eventually got me another flight. Then it happened again! Eventually I made it to Roatan. The night before I was to fly back, I tried to check in online but couldn’t.
When I arrived in the airport I learned that they didn’t have my name. I showed my itinerary, at which point the representative told me my tickets were with United so I had to pay for my bag. She read to me the phone number of my supposed emergency contact, from an area code I didn’t recognize. It became clear that they had someone else under my itinerary’s reference number. The rep had to call the company to figure things out. Thirty minutes later, she told me they would send me on another flight to Chicago via Washington DC that day.
I told her I was meeting people in San Salvador and needed to be there that night. Another 30 minutes on the phone. I’d have to stay in San Salvador for two nights in that case. I made the flight at the last minute and ended up in San Salvador for an additional night, where I couldn’t get any money out of the ATM’s because I was supposed to be back in the states. I filed a complaint and asked for reimbursement. The automatic response promised I’d hear back within 7-10 days. It’s been over two weeks and, of course, I haven’t heard a word from them.
Made the request for a refund almost 5 months ago and still keep being told just to "wait longer". Multiple calls, e-mails and filed complaints has still not resolved this. Such a shame since I've flown with Avianca and the actual flight experience was good. Flight attendants were friendly, seats fairly comfy and free movies. However, I will never book with them again due to this refund experience.
I am an "Elite" Status Avianca customer. Think that means anything to them - NOT. I travel LAX - AXM 4-5 times a year. I can count on 1 hand the number of times my luggage has NOT been lost. My luggage is tagged "Priority" think that means anything NOT. Then trying to contact baggage claim is a horrible waste of time. Don't bother. They WILL lie to you at every opportunity. Just sit back as calmly as you can as your luggage will eventually be delivered even if it's at 2:45 am when it was supposed to arrive by noon 3 days after you arrived.
I am writing this complaint based on my personal experience traveling from Medellin to Washington DC. I was traveling under medical conditions due to a recent surgery and AVIANCA was aware of the situation and agreed to put me in a flight that was going to take 6 hours to reach my destination. However they started to break the contract leaving from Medellin with a delay of 1:30 hours. Of course I lost my connecting flight in Bogota. And without any consideration to my condition (traveling in a wheelchair and unable to move by myself, AVIANCA representatives gave me new boarding passes to El SALVADOR (no to Washington). They did not consult with me, nor take in account my health condition.
AVIANCA sent me to El Salvador where I was expected to take another flight to Washington. But when we were ready to depart from Bogota, and doors were closed, we receive an announce from the Captain, who said that AVIANCA realized that one of the flight attendants couldn't flight, because his schedule was completed. Of course we have to wait for one replacement another hour and a half. I lost again my connecting flight in San Salvador to Washington.
After three hours waiting in the airport of El Salvador. They took me in a bus to a hotel in the City of San Salvador, located one hour from the airport. I was put in hotel room, without any assistance, without any company. It was a nightmare that night in that hotel because I was unable to move by myself. The following day I was taken again in a bus to the airport at 5 in the morning and finally I reached my destination 33 hours after my departure instead of 6 hours later. According to representatives of Avianca oversold tickets without any consideration with the passengers like me that have special needs and have bought the airfare with much anticipation.
Booked a flight from BOG Bogotá to IAD Washington Dulles for June 2017, no issues beyond the normal Avianca hassles and annoyances. Had to change next flight, appalled at $300 change fee but it had to be done, no problem as far as I know. Flight had to be postponed yet again, cancelled flight online and requested refund online, as instructed by Avianca rep; due to unknown flight date and not willing to cough up yet another $300, this would cost me $175 - erroneously thinking “better lose $175 and get full refund of original ticket plus $125 out of the original $300 change fee” rather than a total addition of $600 for flight changes. Hahaha. Riiight. Suddenly I’m in a twilight zone of nothingness.
It is now February 2018. Have called Avianca countless times and every time they come up with more utter nonsense to not issue my refund. Their policy changed. Now you have to wait 30 business days. You have to wait till the first of the next month. Why? Because your request cannot be processed until then. Then you have to wait until you can talk to a (non-existent) supervisor who may be able to expedite your refund request. Expedite? I requested this refund four months ago. There’s nothing to expedite, I would like to know why it has not been processed. I always have to call back next day, next morning, next Monday, mañana, later. Then you have to wait until the next year as policies are changing again and nobody knows what the new policies are.
Then I must wait until February. Why? Because your request cannot be processed. Well, why has it still not been processed? Why hasn’t it begun to be processed after more than four months? This airline relies on peoples’ frustration to avoid giving people their rightful refunds - they keep all these funds in some account earning interest for Avianca while we lesser humans kill ourselves paying interest to our credit cards. My utmost fury is at all employees and their customer disservice, who just cannot and will not do anything, who put far more effort into denying you any semblance of service instead of doing anything at all; who leave you on hold for hours at a time, who overcharge you for everything, who do squat, who leave paying customers hopelessly and helplessly hanging and ignore them all.
At all employees in general as they sift through my personal belongings, dump my stuff on tables and drop it on floors, toss and destroy my luggage, steal my lighters and my tiny stylus flashlights, grope between my legs, take so long to do anything at all you miss your flight and then have the gall to charge you $300 for changing your flight. They really do need to crash, burn, and rot. Like others I have flown Avianca out of necessity but at this point I will take a boat before I ever use this airline again. A boat probably wouldn’t take as long and would be far more relaxing.
Updated on 04/10/2018: Left a review here over two months ago regarding Avianca refusing to issue my refund for a flight cancelled in September 2017, had not realized I specifically need to demand a refund - numerous times. When I called in October 2017 to request my refund for a flight canceled a month before, I was instructed to process my refund request online. Many phone calls and much frustration later, in February 2018, my refund was finally authorized. I was told I had to wait six weeks to see my refund. Why? This company had my money for four months after my refund request and still forces me to jump through hoops to get my money back. It is now well into April 2018. I still have not received my refund.
Began calling yet again over a week ago and rep claimed he did not understand why my refund had not yet been issued and that he would file a report to expedite the issue. Here we go again with expediting - there is nothing that needs to be expedited but everything that should have been done months ago. It’s been more than a week. Two days after my phone call the website shows that my refund has been accepted. But IT STILL HAS NOT BEEN ISSUED. Flight service is fine and airline staff has been acceptable.
Airport staff is horrendous, gropes your body without advising you, sifts through your dirty underwear with disgusting thoroughness going as far as holding them up to the light; steals lighters, tablet styluses, nail scissors, empty aluminum water bottles with regularity despite all these items being carefully selected to comply with international safety regulations, and my carrying printouts that the items I am carrying are in fact permitted. Nothing should ever be left to any employees’ discretion, this invariably leads to tremendous abuses of perceived power.
After being on hold for close to a half hour I was just informed again that my refund should be processed within 10 business days (just as it was five business days ago) and that the rep would expedite my refund. I am so tired and fed up with this crap. Avianca has owed me more than US $700 for more than six months. That’s a lot of money. They are in no hurry to pay it back for services not rendered. I will make efforts to never, ever fly with this airline again.
My wife traveling with wheelchair assistance lost 2 connections flight. One to Bogota, and one to El Salvador. She was coming back to Washington, DC. She had a surgery to her leg so she was not supposed to be seat for too long. We requested a business class seat for this reason. She was on the airports and airplane for more than 12 hours. She has to spend an overnight to El Salvador, we lost medical appointments that we had the next day. Avianca refused to take any responsibility for the all thing. Avianca was not able to tell me what was going to happen to my wife once in El Salvador in wheelchair. I called several times they kept me in the phone holding for hours. It is ridiculous that a company can keep doing business with this bad service.
3 adults and 2 minors vacationed to El Salvador for a couple of weeks round trip from JFK on December vacation. Non-stop flights. Called to confirm return a few hours before, and pre checked. At the San Salvador airport the flight got canceled last minute. Got in contact with a call center and the only return flight was till December 27. A 3 week wait. Other options were to other airports with long wait and stops. Had to wait one more week and came back to DC and had to drive 7 hrs back to NY. The kids end up missing 10 days of school. We could not go back to work. It hurt our budget.
This was the worst experience I’ve ever had when traveling. My wife travel on a suppose non-stop flight and she had to travel to San Pedro Zula, Honduras and change planes. Terrible, terrible!! This is not fair at all and someone should do something about it. They steal from people and do not care. I’m considering not using this airline. Airline TACA had way better service. TACA would hold passengers on hotels and transport them in the next couple of days. It's not the customer fault that the flights gets cancelled. We all pay a lot of money. Hope there were other options to San Salvador with better prices.
I bought 2 tickets 2 months ago and I call 24 hrs before departure and the flight doesn’t exist and never told me about it or let me know about changes until I called. Terrible experience. Didn’t give any options. Supervisor doesn’t exist. I request name of supervisor and never got their name. They said no supervisor at that time. They offer flights next day with more hours and many stops like a bus. This airline should not exist. The worst. It is my first time and the last time.
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