Friday, June 22, 2007

British Airways: The biggest shambles this side of the Atlantic

Update: My flight has now been delayed until 22:03 since writing this article. It gets better. How they managed to estimate that time to the minute is beyond me. If BA were as good at arriving on time as they are at calculating how long their flights are delayed for we would be sorted.

So I am sitting here in Glasgow Airport (yeh that would be Glasgow, Scotland) waiting for my British Airways flight, which was due to depart at 19:40. However, much to my disgust it has been delayed to 21:20. Now it is not unusual for flights to be delayed, however this is the sixth time I have flown BA in the last 6 months and guess what? Every single flight has been delayed both going out and coming back.

The first time I was like "Well, ok. Every airline has flight delays, even BA!". Then the next time I was "Oh, hmm this is really not good of BA, they're usually so reliable". The third time my demeanor slowly degraded "This is really unacceptable, I can't believe an airline like BA can get it wrong so often". And today? Well I'm fuming. I am beyond angry at this steaming pile of the proverbial that calls itself our national airline.

Due to BA I am instead sitting in Glasgow Airport's below par canteen for dinner instead of having a home cooked meal. Because of BA I am relegated to sneaking into my house in the middle of the night and tip toeing up to bed whilst the rest of my family sleep, instead of being able to be welcomed home at a decent hour. I am honestly disgusted.

It is not like I have not used other airlines. I have flown on Ryanair, EasyJet and Iberia in the last 6 months and none of them have been delayed. How can BA claim it is a "superior" airline to Ryanair and EasyJet when it can't even get the basics right? I mean seriously, on two previous occasions with BA they even managed to lose my flight details even though we had booked the flight and had evidence of doing so!

Just to round the picture off when you actually do get on the flight the food is diabolical, at least on EasyJet and Ryanair you pay for what you get. In all honesty BA are a sham, a complete disaster. They are worse than EasyJet and Ryanair. In fact I would go as far as saying they are perpetuating false advertising with their marketing campaigns that attempt to place them as a "quality" airline.

The funny thing is if you tell someone who actually works for BA this, the first thing they do is blame the ground stuff at BAA. Now I'm sure that the ground staff are equally incompetent, but for heaven's sake the problem has to be corrected somewhere in the chain. Personally, I'm of the view now that there is no compelling reason to chose BA over a budget airline like Ryanair or EasyJet. BA are quite simply awful, and unfortunately for them the leather seats don't make up for it.


Hani said...

Just be grateful they havent managed to lose your luggage yet, then proceed to leave it out in the rain for days so it arrives (8 days later) completely soaked.

I'm never, EVER flying BA, not even if I was paid to.

Graeme Rocher said...

Indeed. I am sadly completely of the same view. They really have become a complete shower of shite.

make-life-simple said...

My mother has had the same experience as you... Delayed... She complained, and got a voucher. Used voucher for another flight, they then lost luggage for eight days... Got compensation and another voucher... Used voucher for another flight and was delayed for 48 hours. The question is should she continue using these vouches... It seams to me she is stuck in a infinite loop with ba..

Do complain and get your voucher...

Anonymous said...

As one of the ex 161 employees of British Airways Glasgow after being made redundant let me assure you the staff sympathise with you regards to your missing luggage and delays. The regions have been treated like crap and handed over so many problems to the handling agent Aviance who would not be able to provide a good performance even if they were capable of it. The regions are seen as insignificant by most airlines Ba being the major offender. The Staff are not to blame so give them a break and demand to speak to a Ba manager. The delays and baggage problems are a major problem so take hand baggage whenever you can and travel with another airline that will treat you with dignity if you are from Scotland or North or Mid England!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Just a few days ago I flew BA London to Paris for a weekend. When I arrived in Paris I and 30 others on my flight found that our bags had stayed in London. The baggage services in Paris - themselves fed up with the situation - told us that this had been going on for months with BA, especially with flights from heathrow, and that thousands of mishandled bags were piled up in terminals at Heathrow and that some people had to wait months for BA to locate their bags. Depending on who I spoke to I was told that the reason was: increased security measures, a faulty luggage belt at T4, a strike by luggage handlers, poor weather conditions or a combination of all of the above. So why don't the other airlines have the same problems??? ON my return to Heathrow they still had not located my bag and I spoke to a BA worker at the baggage services there who said that even BA employees were fed up with the situation and that BA had completely lost the plot. I did eventually get my bag back after a few days but am so disgusted with the way I was treated and with BA's blatant lack of respect and care for their customers that I will NEVER fly BA again. Why are they getting away with this???

lindsky said...

British Airways, they should be
called Shite Airways, its true,they
are useless, I have been trying to
get a response to my complaints for
months, wherever I send copies to
by e-mail or fax, they have even
now lowered thier standards even more by saying they have not received any correspondence from me, and telephoning them, thats something else, 40 minutes I was
hanging on for the other day just
listening to worn out taped music.
For what its worth does anyone have
the name and address of the CEO of
BA ??
Unfortunately we have a flight booking in hand with BA, I would love to cancel, but it will cost us
a lot of money, but in future like
many others it appears we will fly
with other airlines.
British Airways you are a total
waste of space.

Anonymous said...

I have had major issues with BA customer service. They say one thing do something. No consistent policy. I was promised my refund by their customer serive, received a call saying it will happen and then nothing happened. It is almost 10 months since the incident. What is the best number/contact for them- customer relations, customer service or what!!

Bonnie said...


A check for a lost and damaged suitcase was issued in my name for my daughter who lives in Scotland, but I cannot cash the check because my daughters address is on it.

I have tried to get someone/anyone at BA to tell if they know the details about the check and how to get another one issued.

Today BA's great customer service people at their baggage handling toll free department put me on hold 3 times and cut me off 3 times. WOW. Great customer service, huh?

Finally I got someone who tells me BA only communicates with customers via letter or fax. I guess that is so they dont appear stupid on the phone as well.

So, long story short, now going on 5 months with no information, no one who cares, no updates on how to resolve the issue, and no interest in keeping their customers happy.

Thanks BA for a half a**ed job.

Anselm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
laurence dot pilbeam at gmail dot com said...

1)My parents were due to fly out from Heathrow to visit me in the Cayman Islands, BA then diverted the flight to Nassau in the Bahamas saying they had a 'shortage of aircraft' and dumped my elderly parents there, refusing to assist with a hotel, or onward journey, saying that they could complete the journey to cayman on the next BA Flight, four days later (They were only due to stay for ten, so with travelling time this was effectively half of the holiday). My parents had to pay to fly with American Airlines to complete a journey they had already paid BA for. BA initially stated they didn't have to pay any compensation as my parents had declined the flight which was offered 4 days later, and flatly refused to pay for the hotel in Nassau. Eventually the threat of legal action and some media interest made them grudgingly give up some flight coupons, but to a lesser value than the cost of the AA flights and hotels.

2)My son flew for the first time on his own we requested an escort from from check in to the aircraft, when he arrived at the airport nobody was available to assist, leaving my son to negotiate Heathrow Airport on his own, desk staff were totally indifferent, no apology offered.

3)Having no other choice I sent all my wordly belongings on BA World Cargo when I moved from the Cayman Islands back to the UK, they were shipped on the 1st of August to London, where BA managed somehow to then ship them to BRAZIL where they remain to this day, BA have stated it's difficult to get my stuff back
because their operation in Brazil is "difficult to communicate with" (actual words used!). At the time of writing they have had my belongings six weeks (for one 12 hour flight) and are unable to say when my stuff will be returned, no apologies offered.


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