Written on: 23/08/2004 by saralee (1 review written)
Poor service, unfairness between Chinese citizens and U.S. citizens, harassment
I bought a confirmed round trip ticket between Shanghai and Los Angeles two months before my planned trip.
I tried confirm my ticket the day before my flight coming back from china. The representative told me that my seat was cancelled because I didn't confirm 72 hours ahead of time. The only way is to upgrade from economy class to business class for addition 7200 yen which is approximate 900 dollars. I stated when I bought the ticket, it was a confirmed ticket. I said I was never told about the policy. When I left U.S., I didn't confirm my ticket, and I had no problem check-in. The ticket counter at U.S. never said anything about different policy flying back from China.
I called comments and complain department first. The lady helped me was very nice, but she said there is nothing she can do for me. She told me that the computer system was set this way, she couldn't change it. I asked for her manager, and the lady said even the manager couldn't help me. I asked her to transfer me to a department that can help me. She gave me a phone number to administration office, but she couldn't transfer me, I had to call on my own.
I got through to administration office. The man I spoke to seemed nice at first. He gave me a manager's name at airport, and told me to ask for him when I check in. I told him that China Eastern made the mistake, as a representative of the company, how can he ask me to run around, he should be the person take care of the issue. He agreed with me and he said he would try to help me, but he had to make some phone calls, he would call me back. Four hours later, he still hadn't called me back. So I called him. He said that he couldn't do anything; he gave me an additional person's name to ask for when I check in. Then he started to ask me personal questions such as how long I have been to US, what I do for a living, etc. He even mentioned we had to meet to get the issue resolved. I got upset and told him I will try to resolve the issue myself when I check in. He acted like I am asking him a personal favour. The questions he asked were inappropriate. He is definitely lack of professionalism.
Later at night, he called me back saying that he got hold of the manager at the airport, and he would help me. During the conversation, he asked me whether I married an American or Chinese.
I did eventually got my seat at economy class half hour before take off. I spent approximate 4 hours on the telephone, and worried about the ticket the whole day before I left China.
While I was on the plane, I talked to another Chinese lady who is also a U.S. citizen and told her about my experience. She told me that she didn't confirm her and her son's ticket either, but they still let them on the plane. She told me since I have U.S. passport, I should've come to the airport straight, and the company usually treats foreigner nicers. Since I speak Chinese, argue with the reprehensive on the phone is waste of time.
It is sad that I have to be a foreigner to be treated fair in a country I was born. It is disappointing that China Eastern provide international flights, but can not provide international standard of service. It is upsetting for me as a customer to take the harassment of one individual when I should be enjoying my vacation.
One good point came out of my whole experience is, before I landed in Los Angeles, the air hostess mentioned about the 72 hours confirmation policy for round trip passengers. Maybe one less passenger has to go through what I have to go through.