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03/11/2015 ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES, Heathrow : Ethiopian Airlines extort money, promise refund but don't!
At the Heathrow boarding gate, for my Ethiopian Airline flight from London to Cape Town on 22 July 2014, I was asked to pay 30 pounds for excess cabin luggage.

I had carefully read and checked the cabin baggage restrictions, as I always do to ensure I do not have excess baggage, or am at least prepared for the charges; and I had very carefully packed my luggage to comply with the policy. In fact I am so used to the miscommunication from and within large businesses that I had even printed out the baggage policy from the airlines website.

Despite all my precautions, Mr Chong (see photo), the official at the gate, was completely unimpressed and disinterested in his own company policy which I waved in his face; so I coughed up the 30 in the knowledge that I was in for fight with the airline when I got back home.

Soon after my return (on 30th July) I wrote a letter to Ethiopian Customer Relations complaining about the extortionist tactics; and 11 days later received a response from a Mr Tariku Banbojie, who apologised and offered to refund the 30. He wanted my address and contact details to send a cheque, which I sent by reply.

Despite the offer I didn't receive a cent and wrote no less than 6 further emails, over the months that followed. On 18 May 2015 (9 months later!!!) Mr Banbojie wrote back asking (once again) for my address and contact details!!! 3 emails later and still nothing ... Then on 26 June 2015, Mr Banbojie wanted my bank account IBAN number and SWIFT code, explaining that the refund would be effected by bank transfer; which I provided by reply the same day. Three months later (October 2015) and I'm still waiting ...

Clearly Ethiopian Airlines are a bunch of thieves: a) they decided to station an employee with weighing scale at the boarding gate (not at the baggage check-in) to deliberately 'catch-out' customers. b) the employee did not even know their baggage policy and had obviously been given instructions to apply some other 'rules' indiscriminately c) they imposed a fee, clearly not compliant with their own policy, d) they apologised for this (so presumably admitting the mistake), e) yet made the customer service 'process' arduous and a further burden on the customer.

CONCLUSION: This is what I would call the systemic 'structural inequality' that enables the exploitative practises of bad businesses; and which Ethiopian Airlines abuses to take advantage of customers.

  Complainant: tredmag | Estimated Cost to Customer: 2,100.00

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