You asked (Jan. 21 2012)
Viet Nam News received an email from a Russian citizen named Igor Poleshchuk, who complained about the service of a Vietnam airliner during his honeymoon in Viet Nam recently. Since his email was quite long, Viet Nam News would like to cite some parts for readers.
"…On October 23, 2011, I bought tickets for a flight on January 11, 2012, VN1523, from Ha Noi to Da Nang on Vietnam Airlines. To buy tickets I used the website www.vietnamairlines.com. During the purchasing process, the website didn't accept me credit card, so I used the credit card of my mother, Olga Poleshchuk.
On January 11, we arrived at the Noi Bai Airport and went to the registration desk. There were three employees to whom I showed my e-ticket. However, they didn't let me check-in for my flight. They didn't want to listen to any arguments. They asked for my credit card, which I did not have since it was my mother's. In the end, they didn't allow us to make our flight with our fairly purchased tickets.…I had to then buy new tickets at a higher price, only because my wife insisted.…Because of the employees at Vietnam Airlines, I've been charged for the following extra expenses:
1. VND7, 656,000 (US$360) for the new tickets
2. $55 as a penalty for not arriving at a booked hotel in Hoi An (from January 11-12)
3. $25 for one night at the Avid Airport Hotel
4. $10 for the taxi from the airport to the hotel and back.
…I hope to have your apologies, will be reimbursed the money for the above-mentioned expenses and the airlines' employees will be dealt with properly."
After receiving Igor's email, Viet Nam News immediately contacted Vietnam Airlines (VNA) for answers. VNA's staff received the complaint and promised to work on it.
Yesterday, Viet Nam News received an official response from a staff member at VNA's Branding and PR section stating that the company had already settled the problem with its customer. The staff said they reached the agreement that VNA would refund all the money for tickets originally booked online, plus the difference in prices of the new tickets. Besides the money of the online tickets, he will receive an additional VND2,510,000 ($116) as the differences of the two tickets he bought afterwards.
"We would like to reaffirm that these actions reflect VNA's goodwill towards its customers since it is irregular to our policy," said the VNA staff member.
He explained that due to VNA's policy to protect credit card holders, when customers purchase tickets by credit card, they must make sure that they are the card holders or have the holder accompany them when checking-in at the airport.
"This policy is noted on our website, which the customer did not notice while purchasing," he said, adding that the company had explained this to the customer already.
He said the company confirmed that the three staff members at the airport had followed regulations. He noted that other passengers should notice the airliner's policies when purchasing tickets online with credit cards.
We hope this helps.