Etihad thanked after allowing customers off taxiing aircraft to reach grandson's hospital bedside

Etihad thanked after allowing customers off taxiing aircraft to reach grandson's hospital bedside

A Bradford travel agent has thanked Etihad Airways’ “over and above” customer service after a flight returned to the gate to allow her customers to rush to their grandson’s hospital bedside.

Tragically the client’s grandson died the following day, but not before they were able to see him.

Travel Counsellor Becky Stephenson said in her 13 years in the job she had not encountered such good service from an airline.

Her customers – a couple on their way to Australia via Abu Dhabi from Manchester airport last Wednesday – were on an aircraft which had already began taxiing on the runway when they received a text asking them to rush to the hospital.

The couple managed to get the cabin crew’s attention before they spoke to the pilot who took the aircraft back to the gate.

The couple were able to get off the flight, their luggage was unloaded and they were taken back through the airport. Their car was collected from the car park and taken to arrivals so they could drive off straight away.

“I only heard about what had happened this week because I was away on an educational,” said Stephenson.

“I sent a message to Etihad’s sales manager to praise the staff and popped what had happened on Travel Gossip [a Facebook page], but I had no idea it would get so many likes and comments.

“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.

“They were on their way to Abu Dhabi so if they hadn’t been able to get off the plane they may not have made it back in time.

“I contacted them to give my condolences and they said they were going to contact Etihad as well.”

Stephenson said sharing the story on Twitter led to the cabin crew themselves receiving the message of thanks.

She said in her Facebook post that she was “so impressed” with Etihad and said agents deciding between two airlines for the same route “can be assured they will do all they can for your customers”.

Etihad said the customers can re-use their tickets for a future trip as they have family out in Australia.


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