- British Airways – what a débâcle
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”Posted 4 years agonotmyrealnameSubscriber
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.Posted 4 years ago
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.Posted 4 years agodeadslowSubscriber
I flew back overnight from JFK on Friday night to LHR.Posted 4 years ago
I arrived at the airport at 6.30pm to find my 8.40pm flight was at least delayed by 2hours. Walked up to the check in and asked whether I could get on an earlier flight, hand luggage only, with a non changeable ticket. A bit of teeth sucking from the ticketing person….
Big smile from me, It would be great if I can get on, happy to go on wait list….She said oh I have 3 on list, not including you and only 2 seats left. Oh well thank you for checking I said, another big smile, hope the rest of your shift isn’t too chaotic with all the LHR disruption.
Sir, Let me just check again, phones the supervisor, and a boarding pass for the 7.30pm (an hour earlier!)pops out of the printer. RESULT! Another big smile and Have a Nice day.
got home Saturday morning 3 hours that I would have done. Thank you BA!CoyoteSubscriber
What deadslow said. I’ve had excess luggage charges waived through smiling and being nice. Sure you were pissed off but blowing up at the customer service staff is not a good idea. By all means make sure they understand the situation but the way to do it is remain as calm as possible and then complain after the event and seek recompense.Posted 4 years agonotmyrealnameSubscriber
I’ll echo what deadslow and Coyote have said, I’ve been amazed at how far out of their way BA staff will go to help passengers out when they’ve ran into problems at Heathrow. I’m not talking once or twice either but dozens of times when I’ve been dealing with them.Posted 4 years ago
I’d probably go as far as to say that I’ve only ever seen the staff be arsey with passengers once or twice and each time it was because the passenger was being a pain. Shouting and swearing at them won’t get you anywhere either, some of the BA staff can be a bit precious and will get the Police or airport security out to you if they think you’re being aggressive or abusive towards them.ransosSubscriber
It’s crap, but shit happens unfortunately whatever airline you use.
Yep. It’s why, if at all possible, I drive, take the train or boat when going abroad. Last week, I got to the Eurotunnel terminal at 9.15, was checked in automatically from my car numberplate, showed my passport, and we departed at 9.50.Posted 4 years agoCaptainFlashheartMember
As above, really.
On one flight home from IAD recently, I got a helpful alert text to tell me my 1030ish flight was delayed until 0100 the following morning. I was already in a cab en route to the airport, and resigned myself to a few beers in the lounge and a long wait.
Got to the gate, was greeted with, “Oh, I’m terribly sorry sir, but your flight has been delayed. Did you get a text?”
“Yes, I did, thanks. No need to worry, though, I’ll just take longer over dinner!”
BA, “Hold on a minute, sir….” (Five minutes passed) “Aisle or window, sir?”
“Sorry? I’ve already booked in to my usual seat.”
BA, “Yes, sir, but the earlier flight is a different plane, and I’ve got you a seat on that. And an upgrade to First”
Self – “Gosh, thank you, that’s wonderful”
BA, “Well, it’s such a refreshing change to have someone polite and friendly about a delay, rather than shouting and swearing at us. So, I thought I’d bend things a little for you. Can you get through security in 20 minutes? Have a nice flight!”
And, yes, I did write a note of thanks for that service, as I always do.Posted 4 years agocbSubscriber
Getting all Samuel L Jackson on the staff will rarely get you anywhere but I have real sympathy for the OP. I’d be pissed off after that chain of events.
CFH – nice little anecdote but totally irrelevant. Its very easy to be relaxed travelling in Club and on the company expense account – this was the OP’s holiday FFS.Posted 4 years agoCaptainFlashheartMember
cb, this was me coming home having been away from my family for a long period of time. I reckon that makes it just as important as a holiday.
Also, entirely relevant, as with others, above, as it’s a case of showing that being polite and civil to customer service staff gets you far more than calling them all James Blunts.Posted 4 years agokimbersSubscriber
we flew out to peru for our honeymoon a few years back
was just as snow chaos was starting so our plane was delayed by a day and connecting flight to peru from madrid missed
BA were pretty poor to be honest, we ended up an extra overnight at a hotel in madrid
it was just before xmas though and a lot of people would essentially be missing family xmas which was a shame, the BA staff at madrid were particularly grumpy, partly because a lot of very upset people were harassing them but we were polite and patient and still found them rude and unhelpful
still compared to bus and train journeys backpacking in peru it wasnt so badPosted 4 years ago
My initial anger has subsided considerably so I’ll clarify a couple of points.
Calling everyone the “c” word was actually saying “what an absolute shower of useless c*nts” when we landed at Heathrow and they had no ground crew and we had to wait.
Shouting at the guy at Heathrow was because we were queuing for the customer service desk. All of a sudden someone barged from the back of the queue and the BA staff member started to help him. Everyone in the queue started shouting that he had skipped the queue. The queue skipper said he was trying to catch a connection. I said we all were. The BA guy asked where we were going and he said the flight was gone. At that point I raised my voice and told him he was wrong and showed him my iPad with the live departures on the Heathrow site. At that point he pulled everyone out the queue for Geneva and got us all through. So in actual fact, losing my temper actually solved the problem. Had we stood there quietly there’s no way we would have made it.
It was disappointing that we were able to find out more about the flights using the internet than the BA staff were able to with direct access to their systems
Never mind, the weather and trails are amazing plus Hannah Barnes is here 8)Posted 4 years agokonabunnyMember
There is no reason ever to get angry with customer service staff.
That’s not true.Posted 4 years ago
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”ScottCheggMember
So in actual fact, losing my temper actually solved the problem. Had we stood there quietly there’s no way we would have made it.
There’s a million miles between being firm and assertive and shouting abuse like a lout.
One gets results; the other makes you look like a nobber.Posted 4 years agoCountZeroMember
To add insult to injury the rear drop-out has been crushed at some point. Knackered and i cant get the rear axle in.
When I’ve travelled with my bike, I got hold of a couple of bolt-through axles, and put those through the drop-outs, with nuts either side of the drop-out, done up tight, just to avoid any chance of the drop-outs getting crushed.Posted 4 years agoCool Lester SmoothMember
At least twice a year with a “delicate flower” roadbike in a soft bag for the last 5 or 6 years and not one problem with BA. I did once have a bag go missing on a weekend ski trip about 8 years ago but that was delivered to Morzine the following day.
I might be setting myself up for a fall here but I think they’re pretty good.Posted 4 years agoNZColSubscriber
Absolutely agree that getting all ar5ey isn’t really a solution. I particularly love it when there are weather ‘events’ and people are getting irate – its not exactly controllable !Posted 4 years ago
I use AirNZ a lot and they are exceptional. Emirates have also been superb, we were due to fly from NZ to Scotland to get married, for a number of reasons were had to cut things tight so were arriving the day before the wedding. We flew to Akl and the Emirates flight we were booked on was cancelled due to a plane problem. We tracked someone down and explained that we would miss our own wedding and could they help us out ! To be fair they asked for a bit of proof, i had to avert my eyes as my (now) wife showed them her dress and the booking info for the wedding reception etc. Next thing we were hot footed through security, onto a plane in First Class (and we had econ tickets) and boom on our way. The plane was rammed and the chap looking after us could not have been nicer. He said that there were 13 people already looking to fill 4 seats, they gave us 2. Nice work emirates and your champagne was lovely ! When my dad died I was in Akl for work, AirNZ let my wife drive to the airport and hand my passport and a bag of stuff to a flight crew member who then met me in Akl and i got on a flight to the UK – awesome service.zokesMember
I use AirNZ a lot and they are exceptional.
For what you say, they sound great, and I’ve heard other positive stories too, but my own experience has been that they were pretty rude and unhelpful at chch – being really arsey about the fact my bag was 2kg over, whereas my wife’s was 10 kg under (but also much much smaller). Apparently ‘it doesn’t work like that’ when I pointed out that together, we were well under the 40kg allowance we had between us. She seemed perplexed when I replied that it did indeed work ‘like that’ with most proper airlines I’ve flown with.
Trivial, yes, but not really any need, and all she succeeded in was ensuring I look at Qantas or Virgin first in future.
Then there was the booking of the flights… It took them four weeks to get my wife’s e-ticket sorted, whereas mine came straight away. I even had to send them a CC statement showing I had indeed paid! All perfectly pleasant sorting it out, but for a long time it looked like I’d be going alone. They never did come up with an explanation as to what went wrong, nor any compensation for the hours spent going round in circles on the phone.
Qantas and SIA, by comparison, have been faultless on the numerous times I’ve used themPosted 4 years agoNZColSubscriber
The AirNZ/Virgin tie up is rubbish actually, its annoying that you need a PHd to understand the rules for lounge access etc if you are on different variants of flights, i totally agree on that one. I’ve had similar baggage challenges with Qantas and Virgin Au, never with AirNZ – its a bit hit and miss i think !Posted 4 years ago
How much did it cost to get on your bike on with BA ? I cant info on the BA website for bikes. I’m going Glasgow via Heathrow / Geneva in a few months
Its free although it does use up your hold allowance but you could take the bike and a cabin bag and it won’t cost any extra.Posted 4 years agogribbleMember
I have been lucky flying with BA, always found them pretty good. Have taken bikes to the US twice, but always made sure we did not have to transfer to an internal flight, to try and avoid the additional hassle.
Sorry to hear about the damaged bike and inconvenience on holiday, but I am definitely in agreement re: being polite but firm, rather than rude – most people in the service industry want to help where possible, but sometimes the situation is hard to manage. I have worked in the service industry and know the front line feeling.
I did have an unfortunate experience recently where a BA (work flight) back from Chicago was delayed, by 24 hrs. I rang my 8 month pregnant wife from the lounge (as were allowed to use the BA club/1st lounge), all seemed ok. Got on the plane (by this time a day late), went to sleep. On arrival at Heathrow I turned my phone on and I received a text to say she was not going to be able to pick me up from the airport and then immediately after another saying she was in the delivery suite. By this time we were taxiing on the way to the terminal and I was right at the back of the plane. When we stopped I asked the stewardess if she could help me off the plane quickly and she was great – she rang ahead to the front and literally walked me through everyone and I was first off. Taxi to Guildford hospital £120, but at least I arrived only just after the event, rather than another hour in security etc.
Wrote to BA re: compensation and have got the standard fee due, which is €600 for a delayed international flight of over a certain time and distance (regulations are on the Internet). Would rather have been at the birth of my first child, but instead I have a small savings pot to start her off (that should buy her something ‘useful’ like a mountain bike).Posted 4 years ago
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