British Airways – what a débâcle

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  • British Airways – what a débâcle
  • globalti
    Member

    Commiserations. This is why I always try to avoid relying on back-to-back connections when flying around Africa – got marooned in Addis once for similar reasons. Ground crew don’t give a flying flip what happens to you.

    Oh, and well done with the French accents!

    -m-
    Member

    Unfortunately I suspect that BA will take the view that they got you to Geneva so their responsibility extends to paying for a few odds and ends until your stuff arrives.

    Clearly that’s no help to you. Everything seemed to have gone into meltdown after Friday afternoon with lots of people stranded (I was lucky; was waiting to fly back to the UK from Mexico but our plane left Heathrow a couple of hours before the fire so we made it back OK). Given that you made it to Geneva you’re one of the “lucky” ones, although that’s not actually the case when your holiday is stuffed up.

    Fingers crossed your bike + kit arrives promptly.

    mulv1976
    Member

    Have you got insurance? Similar happened to some mates of mine last year so they hired bikes and bought all the gear they needed. The insurance coughed up for the lot when they got back

    There are one or two here that sneeringly suggest BA, when anybody tells of their woes with a “budget” airline. I only wish this had happened to them instead of the OP. Commiserations though – hope you get some kind of compensation. Best to write everything down now (I suppose you just have 🙂 ) and try and get yourself some recompense in time. Have a good holiday despite the shitty start. 🙂

    STATO
    Member

    There are one or two here that sneeringly suggest BA, when anybody tells of their woes with a “budget” airline.

    While ive never done that, my experience with budgets airlines suggests that in the same situation budget staff would have flatly denied the existance of the other flights the OP managed to get on, even when waved in their face. Of course each flight/crew/staff is different, just the smaller airlines tend to go ‘wrong’ in more spectacular style when they do.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    I’ll caveat this by saying I fly BA a lot and they’ve always been OK but yesterday was an absolute disaster…

    Sorry for the long rant…

    We were heading to Geneva yesterday from Glasgow via Heathrow. We get to Glasgow, check in and arrive at our gate for a 10:30 flight. The plane we’re supposed to be on arrives but then they announce that because of the fire at Heathrow the day before, the pilot has worked too many hours and can’t fly us down and we’ll be delayed until 5:20 meaning we will miss our connection to Geneva. I was pretty calm and expected BA to sort us out…

    We queued for an hour and a half at their customer service desk. When we got to the front we were told that the only flight to Geneva last night was full. We could go to Heathrow and hope for a no show or go home and come back to the airport on Sunday. We were willing to take the gamble so we agreed to go to Heathrow.

    We sat back down and out of curiosity I tried to book seats on the Heathrow to Geneva flight and they were available. Back up to the customer service desk to highlight this to them. Lots of red faces and half-arsed apologies but they booked us on the flight. They can’t give us a food voucher because the printer isn’t working.

    So now were set to go to Heathrow at 5:20pm then on to Geneva at 7:50pm…

    10 minutes before we’re due to leave Glasgow a woman comes on the tannoy and announces the flight won’t go because they haven’t got a flight crew. Mass riot erupts. They then decide to merge our flight with another to Heathrow so we all have to be checked into this new flight. Eventually we get on board…flights delayed for about 20 minutes as they can’t find two passengers…we eventually take off about 6:15pm.

    We land at Heathrow about 7:15pm giving us about 35 minutes to catch our connection. Through out the flight we were promised there would be a dedicated team of staff helping those of us with connections and they new where/when we were going. The plane taxis to the gate but there’s no ground crew available. Its a 15 minute wait during which time I called everyone the “c” word

    We eventually get to the terminal at 7:40pm and we sprint for the security gate. We get knocked backed there and sent to the BA desk where this alleged team were supposed to be waiting…2 out of 3 desks open, some bumbling idiot from BA trying to placate people and dozens of people waiting in a queue.

    We ask about the Geneva flight and were told its gone and there’s nothing they can do. I go on the Heathrow website and check the live departures and I can see its delayed. People start skipping the queue and I lose the rag big style. I’m screaming at the guy telling him our flight hasn’t left yet. He then checks and discovers we’re right, gets us boarding passes and we make the flight which is running about 2 hours late. We’re assured our bags will be transferred…

    So we arrive in Geneva and discover my bike never left Glasgow and my case is still in London. I’m now in morzine with no clothes or bike. I can’t even hire one because all my riding gear isnt here.

    Absolute shower of useless quarter-wits from start to finish. Short of the plane crashing, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong at every point of the journey.

    That’s the first two days of our week long holiday ruined. I’m assuming I can claim some kind of compensation from BA or is that way too much to expect???

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    That was the reason for having faith in BA. At least they have alternative flights. Had it been easy jet from Edinburgh, they would have very little to offer as an alternative

    saleem
    Member

    I’ve stopped flying with BA as nothing but problems.

    project
    Member

    I have my own private jet and pilot ……

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    Arse. That us properly crap for you OP.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    BoardinBob – Member

    That was the reason for having faith in BA. At least they have alternative flights. Had it been easy jet from Edinburgh, they would have very little to offer as an alternative

    But on the other hand, simpler plans… I had a wee look at BA from Glasgow but I stress out enough about luggage/bikes getting lost or trashed on one flight let alone two.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    OP sorrt to hear about the troubles. BA are good, miles better than the budget airlines and not more expensive I’d you book in advance and have check in bags (free with BA).

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    BA **** us over good & proper when the volcanic ash thing was going on – I’ll do my best not to fly with them again

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    And you don’t think that “calling everyone on board the c-word” and “screaming at the man behind the desk” had anything to do with you getting to Geneva sans-bike?

    I work for a different airline but my experience is that if there’s no ground crew there’s little that can be done. The aircraft cannot be parked without electronic guidance (there’s less than 1m wingtip clearance on some stands) and even if it could be driven on, without someone to chock it no one else will go near.

    Heathrow apparently suffered three concurrent emergency situations on Friday which led to a huge number of aircraft diverting. The diverted aircraft hold your crew for the next flights, who are out of sequence and in the wrong place. What do you expect BA to do? Sprinkle some magic pixie dust and get some new aeroplanes to Glasgow? Or give the bus driver a 5 minute crash course and ask him to fly you to London?

    MoseyMTB
    Member

    Whilst I agree it’s a terrible situation for you I don’t see how calling ‘everybody’ the C word helped at all?!

    It’s not as if they knew a plane would catch fire.

    Shit happens so make the bet of a bad situation.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    There are one or two here that sneeringly suggest BA, when anybody tells of their woes with a “budget” airline.

    BA have bent over backwards to help me when things go bad, with the details above I wouldn’t expect any airline to get my bags with me with all those problems. Bags will follow, one of the problems with flying.

    lazyboy
    Member

    Well seems like as long as they say “we have good customer service” then that,s all they need to do now days. The amount of times I have heard “customer service is important to us” and then there is nothing we can do.

    we were told that the only flight to Geneva last night was full.

    not quite true or just can’t be bothered.

    We ask about the Geneva flight and were told its gone and there’s nothing they can do.

    again not true, This is typical of customer service give the customer some b.s and hope they go away.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    Bike finally turned up at 1:30am. To add insult to injury the rear drop-out has been crushed at some point. Knackered and i cant get the rear axle in. Someone has opened the bag at some point. I had cable tied the bars to the top tube but they had all been cut off. Theyve also unscrewed the rear axle then tried to force it back in as theyve caught the wheel bag in the axle. 100% wasnt like that when i packed it. The bikes a month old. Absolutely raging.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Not good Bob, but time to hit the sack and leave it till the morning. Get on to your insurance company to give them the heads up and head down a bike shop after breakfast. Nothing much you can do while you’re on holiday, try and file it away and enjoy your holiday.

    TooTall
    Member

    Why not shout and insult a few more people? I’m sure it will make you feel better.

    chewkw
    Member

    I avoid flying from Heathrow completely because the security wants to “probe” me … 😆

    I never encountered a single problem with BA domestic flights but then the flight crews could do with cutting down their lard intake.

    However, if there is fire somewhere down the chain then the delay is inevitable which can be a pain in the backside. It does not help if the ground crews do not have up to date information.

    🙂

    wrightyson
    Member

    I think ill drive with my bike in the van after reading that…

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    wrightyson – Member
    I think ill drive with my bike in the van after reading that…

    In comparison I have flown 3 times with bike I reckon in the UK with Easyjet and BA, both OK no issues BA got me back after the Fluid Bomb scare closed Heathrow on the same day I was scheduled to and everything made it in one piece.

    It’s a risk we take, 95% of the time a well packed bike will be fine, once you describe running down the terminal then you luggage is not leaving. Always fly with clean pants and sock in your hand luggage 🙂

    legend
    Member

    I used to always fly out from Glasgow to Geneva going through Heathrow (BA), Luton (Easyjet), Brussels (Sabena RIP) or Amsterdam (KLM). The only one I didn’t have issues with at some point are the (now dead) Sabena flights, which were incredibly efficient (half hour transfer time in Brussels and the bikes made it no problem)

    Have now driven out (still from Glasgow) every year since 2005 and wouldn’t go back to flying. So much easier to protect the bike, carry spares, carry tools, carry a spare bike even. I still shudder at the memory of my DH bike arriving with the front end hanging out of the freshly destroyed bag and a massive dent in the downtube of a previous machine!

    Premier Icon steveh
    Subscriber

    Get on to the airline about your bike now, take lots of photos. Easyjet damaged a bike of mine in transit once and after a couple of letters to try and fob me off paid up for the damage. They are liable despite what they say to begin with.

    globalti
    Member

    This is the reason why I haven’t used BA in 24 years of business travel. From Manchester I’ve always got to transit somewhere in Europe and I’d rather use CDG, Frankfurt, Schiphol, Brussells or Zurich any day.

    -m-
    Member

    I’d rather use CDG

    😯

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    It’s crap, but shit happens unfortunately whatever airline you use.

    However, if you have a tight connection, your bike will ALWAYS miss it. Large items seem to need longer connecting times. Also, I wouldn’t opt for a two-leg flight if I had an alternative. I’d have driven or got the train from Glasgow.

    People start skipping the queue and I lose the rag big style. I’m screaming at the guy telling him our flight hasn’t left yet.

    If you’re one of these scream at the service staff types, with a sense of entitlement as big as your ego, then you really need to learn to chill the **** out. Nothing’s perfect, you’re always at risk of delays or cock ups whenever you use ANY kind of service, so you just have to take it on the chin I’m afraid.

    I’ve been delayed plenty of times but I’ve never screamed at anyone. Sometimes people make their own trouble.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    Up to 4am trying to bodge a repair using what tools i had and some cutlery from the kitchen. Bike shop across the road let me use their vice at 7am so big shout out for DSV in Morzine.

    For those moaning at me for losing my temper, i was perfectly calm up to a point. The fire was outwith their conrol and the legal working hours for the pilot are fine. After that point though it descended into incompetence and lies

    A) Sending our cabin crew back down to london on earlier flights and having none available for our delayed flight = incompetence
    B) telling us there were no seats available on the later geneva flight yet i was able to book them myself through the BA app on my phone = incompetence and/or lies
    C) Having no ground crew waiting at heathrow = incompetence
    D) Telling us we’d have a dedcated connections team to help = lies
    E) Useless team on the ground at heathrow who were adamant our flight had left = incompetent and/or lies
    F) bags lost in transit and damaged = incompetent

    Im a patient guy and appreciate it was difficult for everyone but there was a point that diplomacy no longer worked. Hulk smash.

    Never mind, todays riding was awesome

    robdob
    Member

    Well I’m glad the nasty man had a nice day on his push bike after shouting at another human being like they were dog excrement on his shoe.
    I’m glad I’m out of the service industries now. Putting up with selfish, foul-mouthed, ignorant little twerps like you for 12 years who think they can behave how they like just because they have handed me a few coins.

    What you don’t realise is that every person who acts like you will ALWAYS be treated like crap once they reach the tantrum stage like you did. The staff will make it look like they are doing everything for you, and make sure that they, on the surface, play by the company rules, but will make sure your experience from then on is as miserable as they can make it. Treat someone like dirt and expect it back.

    I’ve seen my staff in tears, drinking heavily, quitting their jobs because of the way some people treat customer service staff.

    If you’d have come in my airport acting like that I’d have called the police, and you certainly would not have been flying off to your little cycling holiday.

    wrightyson
    Member

    It’s a blessing that you’ve ^^ left the industry then. If bb was calling folk the c word to their faces or at the desk then yes he deserved no help, but it does sound like he had a pretty crap experience, especially re the damaged bike. Perhaps one of your ex staff damaged it accidentally on purpose 🙄

    That’s all terribly unfortunate BB, but let’s not forget here that what actually caused all of this was Heathrow being closed due to a fire on an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787. A combination of an airport which is always at 99% capacity, and an aeroplane that has had a somewhat less than glittering introduction to service.
    Sure, BA could have handled it better but their operation was in tatters all over the world at that point.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    What you don’t realise is that every person who acts like you will ALWAYS be treated like crap once they reach the tantrum stage like you did.

    Epic fail for you. I was perfectly calm and reasonable for the first 5 hours. After that it was lies and bullshit every step of the way from BA and the ground staff. There was a point where the nice guy routine no longer worked and the only way to get something done was brutal honesty. As I told the bumbling fool at Heathrow, all I heard all day was excuses but now it was time for answers. The fact I could go on my iPad and find out more about the flights highlights how useless they were.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    The Wrong Trousers – Member
    That’s all terribly unfortunate BB, but let’s not forget here that what actually caused all of this

    As above, the fire and the legality of the working hours were completely understandable but when we had a 5 hour delay and they sent our cabin crew away, that’s just pisspoor customer service and lying to us and assuring everyone the flight would leave is weak

    Best call them all c**** then. FFS.

    robdob nails it for me.

    jekkyl
    Member

    How’s your bike bob, any lasting damage?

    konabunny
    Member

    Budget airlines dont have the same transit problems because they usually don’t offer transit.

    All airlines can be patchy but it’s the incredible snootiness and arrogance of BA that gets my goat. They’re no better than a zillion other first world airlines.

    zokes
    Member

    Epic fail for you.

    Nope, epic fail for you. Your bike, your holiday, etc…

    Robdob nails it.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    A) Sending our cabin crew back down to london on earlier flights and having none available for our delayed flight = incompetence
    B) telling us there were no seats available on the later geneva flight yet i was able to book them myself through the BA app on my phone = incompetence and/or lies
    C) Having no ground crew waiting at heathrow = incompetence
    D) Telling us we’d have a dedcated connections team to help = lies
    E) Useless team on the ground at heathrow who were adamant our flight had left = incompetent and/or lies
    F) bags lost in transit and damaged = incompetent

    A)Sent Crew home so they could get home
    B)When it’s going mad like that the flights come and go as they try and reroute half of the flights through everywhere – cock up/balls up
    C)Heathrows issue out of BA control, BA have the planes Heathrow have the ground crew
    D)Fair point maybe they were busy dealing with everyone else by that stage
    E)Information provided to them?
    F)Nothing to do with BA once it goes down the line it’s the ground crew provided by the airport.
    This will be what they say about it when you write and complain. Chill out and enjoy the holiday, posting rants on here is not the best way to enjoy a holiday.
    Swearing at people trying to do their job in difficult circumstances is very low. Once you stop ranting I hope you see that. It’s not the single persons fault and they have been dealing with people all day trying to sort out their problems based on the guidelines they have been given. Dropping that sort of language in public is unacceptable.

    Premier Icon Ben_mw
    Subscriber

    A) Sending our cabin crew back down to london on earlier flights and having none available for our delayed flight = incompetence

    Pretty sure that Cabin Crew have legal working hours that can’t be exceeded as well as the Pilots.
    Don’t fly with BA much as most of the flights I want to take into Germany etc are better served direct from Manchester by Lufthansa, however, when I have flown BA they have always been fine. I’ve just jinxed my trip to Frankfurt via London next week though haven’t I!

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    it’s the incredible snootiness and arrogance of BA that gets my goat.

    One woman was inconsolable at Glasgow. She’d already been delayed 24 hours and was now going to miss her sons wedding in Boston. She told the BA staff this and they replied “Everyone’s got their own sob story”

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Im a patient guy

    No, you’re not!

    Premier Icon notmyrealname
    Subscriber

    Pretty sure that Cabin Crew have legal working hours that can’t be exceeded as well as the Pilots.

    They do. I’m of sure of the exact times but once crews are over their hours they can’t fly and in some cases after delays they will divert and land at another airport while a replacement crew is found.

    Premier Icon Woody
    Subscriber

    BB put it behind you and enjoy the rest of your holiday and ignore those above who have criticised you getting ‘upset’, as in reality they would probably have a hissy fit if they got full cream in their skinny latte 😉

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    One thing I try* NEVER to do is get pissy with customer service staff. Especially when they have to deal with hundreds of screaming arseholes.

    There is no reason ever to get angry with customer service staff. All you are doing is turning a difficult situation into an awful one, for no benefit. Someone has a difficult job to do because of things outside of their control, and you have absolutely NO excuse to make them feel worse just because you are upset. That’s absoultely unacceptable.

    * I once got cross with someone on the ticket desk at a station – I forget why, but the rules were daft for something.

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