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A Feather in Etihad’s Cap and a 1st in Recent Airline History

In a recent survey, Emirates airlines was declared the best airline in the world but it was Etihad airlines which recently made headlines and displayed an immense level of customer care, setting the bar up very high for all other airlines in the world, when a plane was turned around at Manchester Airport to allow an elderly couple to visit their dying grandson.

On March 30, the couple was preparing to set off for Australia via Abu Dhabi. Just as they were switching off their mobile phones, they found a missed call from their son-in-law. Upon enquiring, they found out that their grandson was in a critical condition in the hospital.

“They were taxiing on the runway when they got the text message saying their grandson was in intensive care and they needed to get there,” said Becky Stephenson, the couple’s travel agent. They found out their grandson’s condition only after they had boarded the flight.

The airline’s crew was apprised of the situation. Understanding the gravity of the situation, the crew immediately informed the captain of the plane. Without further ado, the captain turned the plane around back to the boarding gate. The crew collected the couple’s baggage in the meanwhile and assisted them back to the airport.

According to Travel Weekly, the couple’s car was collected from the car park and taken to arrivals so they could drive off straight away. In short, they were assisted in every possible way.

The flight resumed course after the couple got off the plane. The grandson, unfortunately, died the following day, on March 31.

“It was such a sad thing that happened to my clients, but it was lovely that Etihad was able to help in the way they did,” Stephenson said.

According to Stephenson, this whole incident was “very unusual”. Becky Stephenson is a Bradford based travel agent and has worked in the travel business for 25 years. Never had she come across in her whole career any airline going out of their way to facilitate their customers like Etihad did in this recent incident.

She said she has not heard of an airline going “above and beyond with their customer service” in such a way.

“I’m just really grateful that my customers could get back to see him,” she said.

“My customers were so grateful that staff were very helpful and they were taken care of.”

The couple has been told that they could use the ticket on a different date, Stephenson added, but “my customers are not thinking of when they’re flying back out again.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Network.

With the recent incident of a passenger being literally ‘dragged off’ a United Airlines plane, this act of Etihad airlines is like a breeze of fresh air and restores our faith in the airline industry.

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