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BA is Ruining my otherwise Happy Life - Honestly!
Posted by on

I live in Newcastle and work during the week in London. I have a lovely (paid for) home in Newcastle, three great lads who I am proud of and a wife who I love even more than the day I married her (and she me by the way!). I live in a nice flat when down in London and earn a very handsome salary. Oh – I also really enjoy my job as well.

By any and all accounts I should be the happiest man alive and have no issues or stress at all.
BUT... I HAVE to fly BA Newcastle – Heathrow return every single week. Incredible as it may seem, this casts an enormous cloud of unhappiness over my otherwise complete life.

Why? Well, okay I said I enjoy my job, BUT, it is grindingly hard – hence the high pay - and I put in at least 60 hours over Monday – Friday. This leaves me with a 48 hour weekend of which I spend about 16 sleeping and another 2 – 3 hours keeping my company accounts up to date. So I get about 30 hours a week ‘downtown’ to relax and enjoy myself.

Over the past 12 weeks, the Friday 18:10 hrs Shuttle from Heathrow to Newcastle has departed thus:
1 Flight cancelled (no reason) – bumped to the 21:00 hrs flight. That flight delayed (no reason) 2 ½ hours. Got home at 12:30 am
9 flights delayed over 40 minutes or more (worst 3 hours, best 45 minutes)
2 flights ‘on time’ (and in fairness I call ‘on time’ delayed less than 45 minutes)

My weekend hours ‘stolen’ by BA = approximately 34 in 12 weeks (i.e. more than a whole weekend in twelve just ‘lost’ due to operational incompetence and complacency)

Statistically, this means an 88.33% operational failure rate to depart according to schedule over a 12 week period. Who reading this would accept such an incredible failure to deliver if you were the MD of the company?

So “Complain” I hear you say. Well, at Terminal 5, I have learned now NOT to complain to BA ground staff. Why? Well, because these people were and are uniformly excellent in dealing with frustrated and angry passengers. They are fantastic at (at least seeming) to give a damn, and are genuinely apologetic and sympathetic. It is simply not possible nor is it appropriate to take it out on them. So, I refuse to play BAs game of ‘shooting the messengers’. They tell me themselves, they are ‘just the firewall’ and urge me to complain in writing. They ALL say that they constantly tell their managers how difficult it is for them – especially regarding the completely routine delays on all the domestic shuttle services and they get genuinely frightened on a Friday when they know full well what is going to happen. They tell me their comments to their managers are ignored, and that their managers NEVER ‘walk the patch’ unless they are shielded by lower order supervisors and then it is all a sham anyway.

They seem to despise and loathe the bumbling little man (with a really bad case of ‘little man syndrome’) who has an Irish accent and purports to be in charge. ‘Slash and slash and burn’ to cut costs is his rasion dentre they say. Well Mr. Walsh – any idiot can slash and burn to cut costs. Easy as taking candy from a baby. No skill or intelligence required. Now cut costs AND maintain a decent level of service – THAT’s hard. Too hard for WW and BA clearly.

I HATE flying BA. I HATE the complacency of the fools in charge. I HATE the patronising and lying little ‘customer services letter’ I receive when I do put my issues down in writing, and I HATE the monopoly this most loathsome of companies has on the slots available at Heathrow.

Feel better now.

I hope you do too reading this!
Thanks for listening...
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DigitalCommando on 06/28/2008:
Maybe you need a little trouble in your life to remind you how the rest of us live. I would think
that your perfect financial world should have enabled you to buy your own plane as well. In your resume of accomplishments, did you forgot to mention your ability to juggle 12 watermelons using only your lips?
Nohandle on 06/28/2008:
Golly Pete and Gee Wiz!! You just joined our happy little family today and so much remind me of some of our siblings. Welcome aboard. Where would you like my private jet to be hangered? Newcastle or London? Name your pleasure, whichever is most convenient for you.
DebtorBasher on 06/28/2008:
You need to get a job in Newcastle or move your family to London...problem solved...NEXT!!!
chris513 on 06/29/2008:
I live in a one bedroom apartment, by myself...I have no lads, only a few idiots that call themselves my friends who like to come over and drink all of my beer...I will trade you, if you would like....I'll even throw in a first round draft pick for next season...
BABAD on 06/30/2008:
To the four losers who replied to my post. You are just saying "I haven't got what you have therefore you shouldn't have it".

Sad specimens. Work harder and YOU can have it too!
Anonymous on 06/30/2008:
Well, that seems uncalled for.
chris513 on 06/30/2008:
BABAD, actually, I was really trying to trade you my friends for your lads....I wasn't saying "I haven't got what you have therefore you shouldn't have it."...just trying to make a friendly trade.
blimey_oreily on 12/02/2008:
It is great that you are a success in your career and that you have a wonderful family and paid house. I wish I could have it all, just like everyone else who left comments. We're just jealous - me included.

I hope BA starts getting its act together. They used to be one of the best airlines, but now sadly it is rapidly becoming one of the worst.

I recently sent the board of directors a letter complaining at their call centre in Latin America (where I live). I doubt they will do anything about it. However, I bcc'd the same complaint letter to a couple of national newspapers. Who knows, maybe if enough of us complain to national newspapers and the aviation watchdog (Air Transport Users' Council (AUC)). Google them and see what they can do for you. It is better than yelling at those who have no authority to actually do anything.

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British Airways oversells business class and tries to evade legal responsibilities.
Posted by on
3 months ago, I paid £3650 (approx $6387 USD) to British Airways to fly business class, full flat bed service from London UK to Cape Town SA. They decided not to provide me with the service that I had paid for, and have since lied and altered their story to avoid paying an acceptable refund.

On trying to complete an online check in 20 hours before departure, I received an error message saying that I couldn’t check in online and could only check in personally. This I did in good time and was surprised to be told that there wasn’t a seat available for check in and I had to wait for “seat allocation”. 20 minutes before take off, it was confirmed to me that “due to the malfunction of a first class seat”, that first class passenger had been downgraded to my seat and I was being downgraded. Being a late evening flight, it was left too late to make alternative arrangements.

The thing was, I had three colleagues flying first class and they confirmed that there were no unused seats in first class. I questioned this with the purser on board who modified the story to say that the first class seat would not recline and so was being used as a “crew rest seat”. My colleagues confirmed after the flight that all first class seats reclined, and all people in those seats enjoyed the “full hospitality” of first class. Staff member on a “jolly” perhaps, or just a lie to hide the overselling of business class?

Needless to say being a business class passenger with British Airways, a company I previously thought to be of good reputation, I didn’t expect to have any problems getting my money back for the leg of the journey they chose not to provide. This is very much not the case though. 3 months later, I am still battling with them.

Their first response was to only offer a handful of air miles as “compensation”. Their second response was to say they had “lost” my claim for refund / compensation. Their third response was to claim that they had a policy that prevented them from ever making a refund of greater value than 50% of the one-way portion of a flight. When asked to show the existence of this policy, they couldn’t.

They maintained their story that one seat in first class had failed, and despite the statements from my three first class colleagues, BA maintained that there was one empty (broken) seat in First Class. (Remember the purser on board confirmed it was not empty).

Two months into my claim against them, they suddenly switched their story to confirm that British Airways had oversold the business class cabin. I believe they changed their story because they could now try and limit their refund by using a European law designed to protect passengers! While they held on to their lies about first class seats being broken, they were confirming that the business class cabin was not technically oversold, because there were an equal number of business class seats and ticket holders for that class. If they held this position, they could not use the European law that exists to protect passengers from the practice of airlines overselling seats.

In the event that a flight is intentionally oversold by a European airline, EU law requires that they (1) provide a 75% refund (this level is set because of the length of flight), (2) Pay compensation (3) Call for volunteers prior to bumping and (4) provide compensation and refunds within 7 days. Since I was blocked from completing an online check in 20 hours before departure, it was clear that BA chose not to ask for volunteers to be offloaded. Their responses to a refund request were designed to hide their legal minimum responsibility to repay at least 75% in the event of overselling.

Finally, they paid 75% (to the penny) of the one-way flight portion less tax as a refund, claiming that this is all the law requires them to do and “that is the end of the matter”. This meant that they still charged me over £450 for a one-way flight – an economy ticket on that route is £250!

As a business class passenger, I did not pay the airline the minimum amount for the minimum service. I therefore did not expect British Airways to initially hide from their legal responsibilities and then twist European law to make the absolute minimum payment available, whilst not complying with any other element of that law – for example making the refund automatically within 7 days.

My advice to fellow business class passengers who need an airline they can rely on to keep their business commitments is to avoid British Airways. Their clear policy of overselling BA business class means that your seat is not guaranteed no matter what you pay. Their true regard for you as a business class passenger is clear if you try to get them to make a refund for choosing not providing a service that you have already paid for.
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Anonymous on 03/26/2006:
British Airways sucks, I have flown with them before and the service varies from country to country. If you are leaving from Germany to London then you get an English crew. This means you get the worst of the worst. I learned from the British that when we say “British” we are talking about the whole UK and everybody over their hates the “English” and after working with the Scottish, Welsh, Irish and the English I know what they are talking about. The only European airline that was worst then BA is Air France and that is the most scariest flight you will ever take in Europe. BA sold my business class ticket twice and the same thing happened to me. I am with you man! I will never fly BA again unless there is no other way out. The English and French run it, what else need be said?
Doe3001 on 04/04/2006:
If you paln to use an online travel agency like EXPEDIA, think again: These online travel agencies suck. I’m spreading my horrible experience I had with EXPEDIA. Pleas read my case to avoid being the next victim of EXPEDIA: and Good luck travelers;
Sick of BA on 01/04/2011:
We have great sympathy with the shoddy treatment this passanger received at the hands of British Airways. My wife on returning from Vancouver in a three day delayed flight in December had to fightto get her paid for Business class seat because BA was going to give all the business class seats to the flight attendants who wanted to get home. BA tried to make her sit in economy class so some attendnat could have her bsusiness class seat. after putting up a fuss they reluctantly put in in her business class seat. what a bunch of jerks!!!
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Should you Fly British Airways?
Posted by on
I should have arrived at the airport three hours early for my British Airways flight to Verona however when I got to Victoria station to take a 35 minute train to Gatwick airport, a water main had just exploded and flooded all the train tracks. I quickly jumped on another train going to East Croyden where I then got a replacement bus service to the airport. I could have still made my flight but 2 miles outside the airport the traffic completely stopped. When I finally got into the airport I had 20 minutes before my flight, but British Airways wouldn’t let me fly, which is understandable enough.

But the understanding stops there. British Airways then charged me a hefty £60 to change my flight to the next day. Hundreds of people missed their flight because of the transportation problems that was no fault of their own, but British Airways charged them all £60 to transfer their flight to the next day. However other airlines were a lot more understanding, like Easy Jet, which didn’t charge their customers anything.

I asked British airways, who are always advertising how much they understand their customers and care for them, where did they get the arbitrary charge of £60, why did they have to charge so much, and why did other airlines like Easy Jet not charge their customers anything? They wrote back in a cold robotic way and basically told me to piss off.
British Airways definitely made a lot of money that day. And I actually originally paid £20 more to fly with them because I bought into their brand and thought they were more reliable and understanding. But from my experience, and other people I have talked to since then about their negative experience with British Airways, I think those days are over and I think they need to change their brand song from the Flower Duet to John Lee Hookers ‘I need money’ song. At least I’m giving my money to Easy Jet next time.
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Ben There on 09/26/2011:
I find British Airways to be one of the better airlines in the air, but their ground staff is just horrible. The staff is rude and robotic, so I am not surprised that a low cost carrier like easyjet would have better customers service on the ground - of course easyjets in flight service of hawking products the whole flight can't even be compared to BA.
trmn8r on 09/26/2011:
When you didn't fly the day you were scheduled, that empty seat of yours did. That costs money. Your excuse is that the train was interrupted, which is pretty fair as far as excuses go. But it doesn't reimburse the airline.
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British Airways – Misleading its gold card holders
Posted on
Over the last year I have taken numerous business class flights on British Airways, renewing my Gold Card (1,500 points) along the way. When I reached 2,500 for the year I received in the mail a certificate for a free one-class upgrade for two to be used “on the next flight you book.” There is no fine print on the certificate or indication of any restrictions in its use.

I went ahead and booked flights for a trip for my wife and myself in World Traveler Plus online and then tried in vain to upgrade them to business class using the certificate (which said I should redeem it via the website.) I then called the reservations number for help; they were unable to and referred me to Customer Service, who referred me back to reservations. Eventually I established that the 2,500 point upgrade certificate is secretly restricted in the same way as using miles to upgrade – which, in the case of BA, means you can almost never upgrade to business class. (I have over one million miles in the BA Executive Club; I can never find flights I want on which I can use them.)

In the month we want to fly there are no seats at all available for upgrade - so much for the bold statement that I can use the certificate “on the next flight you book!”.

I told the agent I felt I felt I had been misled and asked to cancel the flights I had just booked online; I was told I would have to pay a substantial cancellation penalty. I suggested they might waive the fee for a gold card holder who spends thousands per year on BA tickets. Forget it, I was told. I emailed the CEO and received a standardized, meaningless response.

BA won’t be seeing me in future.
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trmn8r on 08/21/2011:
This is a very helpful post, but it does not surprise me.

Planes are flying close to full on many routes these days, so the availability of the few upgraded seats that are allotted is probably few and far between.

Is the program that you have to buy the ticket before you attempt to upgrade? If so, it sounds like a raw deal. Sounds like the moral is, only buy a ticket if you are sure to use it, with or without an upgrade.
Anonymous on 08/21/2011:
All the certificate says is use it on "the next flight you book" - whether booked for cash or miles. That is all it says. We booked for cash as award tickets were not available - as ususal. Before booking the flights I checked that business class seats were available on the flights we wanted and there were plently. They just won't make them available for the "use on your next flight" award. I wish BA said to book by calling rather than instructing me to use the website, as least I would not have wasted my money. When they treat loyal "gold card" customers this way I feel sorry for the occasional traveler who has a problem with BA. They don't deserve my business (or yours.)
Anonymous on 08/21/2011:
I am speculating as I'm not familiar with BA's FF program but does the upgrade open more seats on a different fare bucket?
If you have 1 million BA miles I'm sure you know you can redeem on any One World carrier. CX, QF, RJ, heck even AA flagship service is nice in F.
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Executive Club Misleading Customers Buying Flights
Posted by on
I'm new to using British Airways, the first time was last November when I bought two round trip tickets one for me and one for my boyfriend, the service was more than awesome on my way to London, on our way back, all I have to say disgusting! we sat about two seats in front of the back toilet and it had clogged and the whole flight smelled like poop! I kept asking my boyfriend if he had farted? but he kept on saying no, well later that flight we found out where the smell was coming from. I never complained about that as I didn't want to cause a huge thing I thought well things happen that is out of their range. Last night I tried booking a flight for my boyfriend through our executive club membership. On that page it said you can complete this booking using your airmiles if you only purchase 5,445 more miles for just $190 us dollars. I thought well great that is a great price for a roundtrip flight, and so I did. Well the miles didn't get added until this morning and when I went back to book the flight again, well guess what? maybe you know cause you are the main boss of this airline, but it wanted me to pay an extra $751 dollars extra and use my 25,000 miles. Do you feel like me now and think that this is just a rip off? cause I then went to the BA home and tried to book the flight without any miles and the total price for the flight was $851 us dollars. So tell me what is wrong with this picture? your company wants me to pay $751+190=$941 plus 25,000 miles or just pay $851 with no miles. So tell me which one would you pick? even my first grader would give me the right answer to be honest with you. So I called your company and asked for a refund and to cancel the transaction and they said oh I'm sorry mam but we can't do that! Oh really! well that is just great!

Because I happen to really like your company and was planning a wedding where many family members were going to fly from London to Denver and we taught of using BA but now I'm concern about your customer service. Is there anything you can help me with since you are the CEO of this great company
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Alain on 03/12/2011:
Maybe you should not use BA in your wedding plans.
getoverit on 03/12/2011:
I'm probably not as smart as your first grader when it comes to airline miles. But I know that airline fares bounce up and down (mostly up) all the time. What you were able to book one day isn't necessaily available the next. Things can even change from minute-to-minute. I've seen it.

btw - If you're hoping to actually communicate directly with the CEO of British Airways, your best bet might bo to try to contact him or her directly.
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Pointless cancellations
Posted by on
My partner and I were among those caught up in the farrago that ensued following a fall of snow in London last December.
The whole country knew snow was due to arrive during the day, but we were banking on the fact that our flight was early and that we would miss it. However, as we waited, the departure boards asked passengers to “refer to airline”: a bit disingenuous since BA is the only airline that flies from T5.
All flights after 10.00am had been cancelled. We were called forward to proceed through security to the departures lounge, where, 10 minutes later, our flight was also cancelled. It should be stressed at this point that non-BA flights from other non-BA terminals were still departing. Indeed, there was a TV screen showing BBC News 24 in the lounge. A reporter was speaking to a man in T5 who was complaining that his friend had just boarded a flight in T3, while his BA flight to the same place had just been cancelled. Shortly after, the BBC had a still picture of a BA plane on a runway in a blizzard. The caption read Heathrow T5. They were saying that BA had decided to cancel all flights after 10.00am because of the weather. Only there was no blizzard. No snow at all. None. And they also cancelled flights before 10.00, just for the record.
Neither of us was prepared to take BA and BAA up on their offer of re-booking and waiting for our luggage to be forwarded to our destination. Obviously, if you cancel flights when a runway is clear, you stand no chance of flying once there has actually been snow. The problem we anticipated with re-booking is that the flights are already full of pre-booked customers, and there was no guarantee of anything leaving for days to come.
My partner found alternative flights and soon we were booked on a flight from Birmingham the next day on Turkish Airlines neither of whom, thankfully, spit out their dummies at the mere suggestion of snow.
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Abuse of Authority
Posted by on

personal data: I am a white male Dutch-speaking Belgian citizen, 51 years old, medical doctor, professionally active in social security, married for 26 years, father of 2 bright children, not known with any problems with or convictions for drunkenness or aggressive behavior or in general, without any psychiatric disease in the past or the present.

For at least 15 years, I haven’t spoken French or English on a daily basis.


The safety instructions on the 747 are visually communicated through individual passenger screens by means of an animated picture.

I consider it always important to see them because every plane has its own intricacies, and it was the first time I flew with British Airways and on a 747.

There was absolutely nothing on my screen and several times I tried to get the attention of the crew member in my isle who was standing about 10 feet away.

Although he noticed me, he refused to respond, and kept looking in a different direction.

I was not able to see the safety instructions. Looking around me, I became aware I was not alone: from row 30 on many people had no instructions.

Later on, we accidentally overheard staff members and understood that they knew about the problem. The crew rebooted the system several times, without result: nobody beyond row 30 could watch any movie or listen to any radio station anymore. The equipment (run with Windows-software) was clearly malfunctioning.


I boarded well hydrated and was served a sparkling water and 15 cc of white wine. When the first serving of beverages was removed, [the crew member] asked if he could serve us in any way. I replied that I had absolutely nothing on my screen and that I disliked the obviously malfunctioning equipment, run by what I called "Microsoft Bulls_it".


Instead of being interested in my frustration, this person suddenly turned against me, accusing me of insulting him by swearing. I protested that I did not do such thing intentionally, and that swearing is by definition “to utter an oath or to utter profanity”, which I absolutely did not. In my understanding of the word and as an active Christian, swearing always implies God, and I did not say anything like that either.

He immediately stopped serving us and got to his superior, who told me again I was swearing, and I told him the same again: that I did not say something against God (or is Bill Gates God?) and I certainly did not intend to insult the person or swear knowingly against some crew member, and that as a foreigner, I did not understand why such a reaction was necessary.

Instead of leaving it that way, they involved the Flight Manager.

This lady rapidly and efficiently made things worse, even upsetting my wife and son: she used the same arguments, and I used mine. I told her I felt discriminated by race, nationality, culture and/or language, and because as a Flemish-speaking citizen, I could and should not now that what I said was considered or interpreted as swearing and/or an insult to the crew member.

The word "Bulls_it" or "S_it" is rather commonly used in Flanders, mostly pointing to a messy situation, action or product.

It seemed to me that she intentionally did not try to understand us, so I told her that if she continued accusing me of something I or we did not consider as wrongdoing, I would write a complaint, because her reaction was interpreted by me and by my family as absolutely obnoxious and out of boundaries. And I clearly explained her the essentials of what happened: the fact that I complained of failing equipment and thus safety.

Abuse of authority

The reaction of [the Flight Manager] seemed at the least impressively mean and furious: if I was to file a complaint to her management, she would report to the pilot that I was drunk and aggressive. And that was it, take it or leave it.

I was – with 15 cc of white wine - not drunk at all. Since I know my limits and no breath test has been taken, I felt and still feel falsely accused.

I also was not at all aggressive, I did not show any signs of aggressiveness at all, not shouting nor yelling, not naming nor cursing, not pointing nor making a fist, or whatever; I hold on to my arguments, and that was it.

It is my job to talk with people, to listen to their arguments, to judge if their claim for an allowance is acceptable and then arguing in writing and making up an official document. I'm not known for weak arguments, neither am I known for aggression. I'm rather assertive though.

I pointed out to [the Flight Manager] the difference between aggressive and assertive behavior, I repeated it several times, but with absolutely no result at all: she doesn't know or did not want to know the difference, I and we think.

My wife pointed out to me that "drunkenness and aggressive behavior" on a long-distance flight could imply a drop-off-stop, and that all costs would be mine. Of course that made me stop arguing and talking.


My son and wife received a glass of red wine, but I did not, because of my so called drunkenness, and for the next 7 hours, I didn't receive any attention or beverage, I left the plane completely dehydrated except for the cup of coffee with the 'breakfast'.

But worse of all, my son says that a cross was put behind my name on the passengers list. We all know that passenger lists are handed over to the US Homeland Security. I can’t and will not accept that a false accusation and/or misunderstanding can cost me the freedom and joy of traveling.


At least, I felt - and still feel - cornered and framed for the fact that I primarily tried to point out that the communication system was faltering, and that passengers were denied the essential safety instructions.

By framing me, I feel the staff was able to first divert the attention from a malfunctioning communication system to a so called “drunk and aggressive" passenger, and second to show loudly and clearly that anyone who dared to protest in the same way would undergo the same treatment and/or punishment.

By framing me, I'm very afraid I’m on a list now where I absolutely do not belong. I immediately contacted Homeland Security, because I felt and still feel extremely frustrated and insulted.

Post-traumatic side effects

I arrived at home with cardiovascular complaints (elevated blood pressure and heart rhythm disorders I never experienced before) and a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. There is a undeniable objective direct relationship between cause and effect, the latter being very unpleasant and discomforting.

Plan of action and request for indemnities

1/ [the crew member]

- knowingly denied essential safety instructions to some passengers of his isle
- willfully and intentionally misunderstood and/or misinterpreted and/or discriminated foreign passengers

is therefore unable and unapt for his job on international flights.

2/ [the Flight Manager]

- knowingly denied essential safety instructions to some passengers
- willfully and intentionally misunderstood and/or misinterpreted and/or discriminated foreign passengers
- gladly and swiftly used “revenge” in order to gain control over an incident, thus abusing her authority
- knowingly lied to her pilot, management and even worse, to the American Authorities, in spoken and/or written word, by calling a sober, alert and argumentative passenger “drunk and aggressive”, thus willingly and intentionally slandering, is therefore unable and unapt for the job: she should be given different responsibilities.

3/ My family and I expect [the Flight Manager] to apologize in writing


August 18th

on the 18th of July I send a complaint (by registered mail) about what happened on the flight BA0284 SFO --> LHR (read
I send the same text on the same date to the US Dept Homeland Security.
Until now, BA has excelled in not answering me. I think that is intentionally wrongdoing, which makes me feel like a 3rd class Titanic customer.
After one month I still feel victim of authority abuse, and I want at least an answer.

By the way: Singapore Airlines installes Linux, read


September 24th

The people @ British Airways customer support have the ultimate arrogance of neither answering a registered letter, nor reacting to a web-based email request. I can hardly believe it. [the crew member] goes untouched and un-blamed for what she decided free-willingly to do: accusing some foreigner of something that he did not do at all. May all BA personnel involved - sooner or later - be blamed for that, at least, because justice should prevail, even in Britain. May they once taste the bitterness such maltreatment leaves you with.

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Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
You used profanity in describing the malfunctioning screen. Maybe you used the term unintentionally but still the word came out of your mouth. How would you feel if I addressed your wife as looking like a sh**head? Or your children are nothing but fu**ing morons? Oh, please don't get upset because in my country we always talk like that. The crew member did nothing to provoke your use of profane language. I believe the response was proper.
Hugh_Jorgen on 11/13/2007:
You are splitting hairs trying to describe the difference between "assertive" and "aggressive" behaviour. No matter how you interpreted it, it should have been obvious the crew took it to be aggressive and threatening and you should have toned it down at that point. Aircraft are not the place to show your "alpha" personality these days.
Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
I can't resist this but the OP ought to be thankful that BA didn't lose his luggage.
warddw1526 on 11/13/2007:
Call it what you want, assertive or aggressive? You talk about the stress that this put on you, when you kept going at them. You did use profanity, whether intentional or not. You did continue to stir the pot and make it worse. Why does no one ever think, maybe I should sit here and be quiet??? AS you found out, most of the time, stirring the pot does nothing but make it worse for you.
warddw1526 on 11/13/2007:
Thanks for the comment Passing by. Now can anyone tell me how to coffee from my keyboard. I have not laughed so hard in a long time.
Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
I am a white male native Oklahoman US citizen, 36 years old, operations research analyst, single. My hobbies include cross-country cycling, golf and coming up with alternative Pythagorean theorem proofs. I've been known to have a drink or two or three or four... n+1. I do my best to empathize with all OPs but in this case I actually feel for the flight crew. YOU turned this minor incident into a battle which by the nature of flying today you cannot win. A simple sincere apology on your part was all that was needed to avoid this melodrama of your own creation. Flying sucks... Take a handfull of xanax and forget about it.

Great comments Ward, Hugh and Passingby!
Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
I suspect you are a very infrequent flyer that has learned very little from 9/11 about self control on a airline. Most informed travelers know better than to act out like you did. British Airways could have made things a lot worse for you if they felt your arrogant attitude and aggressiveness was out of line.
Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
Stew, you said you were a Native American? No you are a white boy? and went from 32 to 36 in less than a month? What's up with that?
Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
Morning Lidman! That may have been one of the other Stew's.
Slimjim on 11/13/2007:
More bizmath?
Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
Morning Super, You maybe right too.
Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
LOL, Slim...
bargod on 11/13/2007:
Got to side with everyone here, sounds like to OP created his own mess.
chris513 on 11/13/2007:
personal data: I am a white male English speaking American citizen of italian descent, 27 y/o, card dealer, professionally active in my local VFW, divorced, father of none that I know of (I had a blast in the military), I am a drunk, and I have no STDs...any takers?
rob.z on 11/13/2007:
Have you really read the complaint? Have you understood the tension between form and content? The man tried to point out a faltering system and he was cornered because he used a wrong word? Are you NUTs or something? Is safety on a plane second to what passengers say?
Brittains are xenofobic and eurofobic, that does not make them superior or something! Their fobia makes them inferior. And you who defend this inferior race and attitude, you prove the righteous intentions of the poor man.
capricornus on 11/13/2007:
Interesting: God Gates designs a Operating System that falters too many times but it may not be called anything but Superior, Thank You Father.
Well, it still is Sh*uperior Sh*t, as many and growing number of Linux Users experience.
If you think of Economy Flyers as being 3rd class, you are condemned to hell, because nobody on a flight should be treated as 3rd class, nobody should be punished for shouting out loud the truth, active but also passive security and comfort should be the first of all concerns.
Even as an infrequent and foreign flyer, I should be treated as a guest, not as an enemy.
But no, thank you, never BA again. The island next to my country is as foreign and a far away island as Tokolau, inhabited by WildeMan (like in WildeBeast).
Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
Capricornus, if your 1/10th as smart as you think you are you would remember that the "Island" next to you with the help of America saved and liberated your sorry butt's during WW2 when you were unable or unwilling to do it on your own. Instead of bashing the English try for a minute and stay on the subject. As for the movie not playing it was not the MS Software that was the problem, it was more than likely a DVD player made in China. So your crying should be about the junk the Chinese are dumping on us and not acting like a child by calling Bill Gates names.

Your arrogance and lack of self control caused your problems with BA not Bill Gates or the English.
Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
Amen, Superbowl!
Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
Capricornus,I have to agree with superbowl here because you ever write likw a drunk! You have offened me!
Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
Yeah capriconus.... We Americans didn't much care for the British attitude either and with the help of our good friends in France we were able to gain our independence from that little island next to your country. What does any of this have to do with BA? Beats me.

Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
Stew, "our good friends in France"? You have wounded me...

I thought we were the last of the Anti-French? Have you abandoned me once again to deal with the French alone? I shall carry the fight on alone!
Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
Will give high marks to the French for yesterday's comments. The new President of France told Chavez the President of Venezuela to "shut up" when he was bashing Bush and America again. Maybe there is hope for the French yet?
jktshff1 on 11/13/2007:
I really LMAO at this post. leave to a euro to go to such links over bulls**t! I have to agree with all.

Super: read the news, we like the French prez right now, just not the people
Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
The British and French own BA.

Super please remember Stew is of French Canadian descendents and is proud of that fact. We must not offened.
Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
Capricornus,I have to agree with superbowl here because you even write like a drunk! You have offened me!
Anonymous on 11/13/2007:
Jkt and Lid's, your 100% correct as usual. LOL
killerklown on 11/13/2007:
How do you say "I am a massive tool" in Dutch?
jktshff1 on 11/13/2007:
Capricornus has been recognized as a goat since Babylonian and Chaldean times. Usually, it is depicted as a goat with a fish tail, which might relate to a story about the god Pan. Pan, fleeing a monster called Typhon, jumped into the river Nile. The part of him that was below water turned into a fish, while the rest of him above water, stayed as a goat. bout that!!! explains a lot. LOL!!!
capricornus on 11/14/2007:
Superbowl et al

Have you really understood the writing and the complaint? Try to read and interpret it again.

The crew recognized the problem with the operating system, otherwise I could not have known they were in fact running a kind of Windows. They rebooted several times, with no result. The economy compartment starts at row30, and from row 30 on, most people did not have any safety instructions.
I don mind missing a film, I read books when flying, I read books when on vacation, flying is part of my vacation feeling. Other people were angry too, but by framing me, they were wise enough to close their mouth and eyes.
The better airway companies are switching to Linux-driven systems for the multimedia aboard: try to find out what thát means.

2/ I'm most of all complaining about the abuse of authority. Reporting me drunk at the pilot as punishment, and reporting me drunk as a lie, it is both far below standard, I presume. Thát's the essential wrong-doing, thát's the essence of this complaint. And there was no loss of control whatever, or is eloquence an offense ? If a flight manager with AirFrance or Lufthansa or United would have done it, I would have reported it too.

3/ If someone looks like a wildebeest, talks like a wildebeest, acts like a wildebeest and writes like a wildebeest, I certainly will call it a wildebeest, bashing or not. The fact that some people seem to be capable of writing one liners without having understood the essentials of a text indicates a underlying form of dyslexia with or without an attention deficit. The more bashing, the more misunderstanding is left between the above lines, the more anger and frustration it leaves, the more you make me turn away from the Anglo Saxon approach of life and human interaction.

Complaints are interesting for the involved parties: it is a freely offered chance for learning. Did BA learn something? They even failed to reply to a registered letter. Did you? I learned, as I do on this forum: to stay away. Goodbye and farewell.
Anonymous on 11/14/2007:
capricornus - Oh now don't be a baby. You seem like an interesting sort to me. I may not agree with you on this one but I enjoy your contributions and your 'tude'. Dissent and disagreement should never be confused with insult and harm which is what you did on your flight and in this comment section. Relax and join in the fun... You'll be glad you did.
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Horrible service + lost bags = never using BA again
Posted by on
DENVER, COLORADO -- On Friday 13th July I checked in at Paris CDG. I was travelling on a business class ticket to Salt Lake City via Heathrow and Denver. Upon arrival at the check in area I could only locate self-serve "real" person. I checked with an airport steward to verify that this is where I was supposed to check in since normally business class travelers get a "real" person to deal with. I was told to use a kiosk. There were no signs or anything else to indicate a separate check in area.

I used a kiosk and received my boarding cards. Then I proceeded through Passport Control to find the bag drop (which is after Passport Control at CDG). I was dismayed to find about 150 people waiting in line to check their baggage (for economy class). I spent several minutes working my way around the line just so I could get near the counters and see if there was a business class counter but there was not. When I asked a BA rep she told me the business counter was... back outside Passport Control in a different check in area. I was furious at the concept of having to go back outside but it still would be faster than waiting in the economy line so I made my way past the luggage carousels, through Passport Control, and eventually found the business class counter. I double checked to make sure I had not simply overlooked it before but there were no signs or any other indications to it. The counter was 50m down from the BA kiosk area.
Upon reaching the business class counter/bag drop I waited a few minutes while the BA rep processed three gentlemen in front of me, all the while speaking on her phone. When it was finally my turn, I checked in two bags (she was still on the phone). She put bright orange "Priority" tags on my bas, evidently to indicate that my business class luggage should receive special handling. All the while she was still on the phone. During the process I asked her to verify that my frequent flier number had made it onto the reservation; the ignored me or forgot about it. Eventually I got my claim tags and headed off to go through Passport Control (again!) so I could find the BA business lounge.
Arriving at the lounge I approached the reception desk to check in and dealt with a man that at first wouldn't speak any English, apparently just intending to check me into the lounge. When I asked him about my frequent flier number and presented him my frequent flier card, it was evident that he didn't speak English very well at all, nor could he operate the computer because he told me that my FF number wasn't in the computer...nor could he put it in! Disgusted, I resolved to deal with the FF number at Heathrow. Meanwhile I was astonished that I was met at that counter with someone that couldn't communicate in English...even though it was a UK based airline and I was flying to the UK!

Upon arrival at Heathrow I made my way to the business lounge and was able to verify that my FF number had in fact been on the reservation.
The 9hr flight to Denver was uneventful. The aircraft was older and the seat did not meet my expectations for business class but the staff were nice so I figured that may be I had seen the end of troubles for this day and that the rest of my journey would be better.

I was wrong.

Upon arrival at Denver I was dismayed to find that only one of the two bags I checked in at CDG had made it to the USA, despite having those nice pretty orange "Priority" tags. Furthermore I was confused as to why one bag would make it and the other wouldn't, but that's an impossible mystery to solve.
Interestingly enough, there were about 10 to 15 other people on my flight who also had bags that did not arrive, and yet the luggage carousel delivered about 30 bags that nobody claimed! Was BA just randomly sending bags around the world?

I went to the luggage service counter to file a report and was presented a photocopied form with my name already on it. Amazing technology BA has that can tell them--in advance of my arrival--that a bag has been lost, and yet they can't actually just get my bag on the plane. I re-checked my other suitcase with the BA attendant (having cleared US Customs) and made my way to the gate for my final flight (a United flight purchased through BA).

Upon arrival in Salt Lake City a few hours later I discovered--you guessed it--my second suitcase was lost. I checked in two bags at Paris CDG only to have them lost (separately!) before I got home.

Again I spent a few minutes of quality time at the luggage desk, filing a second report. United Airlines, however, managed to find my bag the next morning and it was delivered to my home that afternoon.
BA, however, still has not located my other suitcase and it's now the third day since my flight home. Their online tracer service perpetually reports "no information available" and I can find no place on their site to communicate with a real live person.

There is a page for filing a claim for lost luggage but it only applies to UK & Ireland residents. After stumbling around the website I eventually found a link titled something like "online claim form for lost luggage--USA residents" but it wasn't even a claim form, just a link to a generic customer service inquiry form.
I did call the 800 number for lost luggage but it simply duplicates the online tracer and does NOT give any opportunity to connect with a real live person.

My employer informed me last night that I will be flying back to London either Tuesday or Wednesday. I suppose there is a chance I can collect the bag myself at Heathrow but I'm really skeptical about this, assuming at this point that I'll never see the bag again, nor will I ever receive compensation for the lost bag and it's contents.

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User Replies:
yoke on 07/16/2007:
Why would BA have an English speaking person in France? Do they have someone that speaks every language in every airport they fly to?
3477starwars on 07/16/2007:
Good Luck!!!

Based on their track record...flying with BA through Heathrow sounds like a scary proposition. We are still waiting for anyone to get back to us on my daughters bag, but again, IT’S ONLY BEEN 16 DAYS!!!!
Leif on 07/16/2007:
Yoke: two things...
First, as I stated in my original post, it's a UK airline flying to the UK. I wasn't flying from Pakistan to Burma.
Second, English is the international language of trade, and more importantly for this discussion, aviation. Don't fault me that my native tongue just happens to be the international language of business.
Anonymous on 07/16/2007:
Leif, first you are right English is the international language of trade and I have never been anywhere in the world where they didn't have English speaking people.

BA sucks, they are the most rude unhelpful people I ever flue with and will never use that airline again. Now they have merged with Air France and that is a very scary, lame bunch! They lost my bags coming and going, but they gave me a little overnight bag with a T-Shirt, tooth bunch, sawing kit and a condom (a colored one - green) go figure?

I don't think you will ever see your bags again. Next time try Lufthansa or Singapore. Both are very good airlines and Singapore has the best service of any airline I have ever flown and I have been on a lot.
yoke on 07/16/2007:
Leif, I was just asking a question. We never had the problem with communication with SAS.
Leif on 07/17/2007:
You won't believe this...FedEx brought my suitcase this morning. Good luck to the rest of you.
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British Airways - How can they expect to have customers without service?
Posted by on
Please tell me if I am over reacting - at the start of this debacle 2 months ago I just wanted an apology & assurance, now I am insulted & forced to change airlines as being igored is a constant reminder......

Dear Madam / Sir,

My partner & I were returning from a week’s vacation in Tenerife Saturday night & had such an affronting experience, we felt it right that we bring it to your attention.

We were booked on the 20.20 flight from TFS to LGW. My better half was connecting to MAN & myself DAL via IAH.

At 16.00 I called the airport to check the flight departure time & they told me that the flight was delayed approx 1 hour. As an earlier flight on BA was scheduled, I asked if we could change bookings to avoid missing my am connection to Texas if the delay proved longer than expected but was informed that the earlier flight was fully booked. I offered to pay to upgrade to club or 1st but again, no seats were available. Fair enough – the early bird gets the worm. But when I called at 6pm our flight was now scheduled to leave 2 hours late. To be safe I double checked by calling the UK BA desk & as the actual plane had yet not left Gatwick on it’s 4 hour plus trip to TFS & would need an hours turnaround time on arrival, the time delay would have to be in excess of the latest 2 hour quote. At 19.00 I called back just to make sure that we did not need to check in until 1 hour prior to the now updated 23.20 departure & thank heavens I did, as they told me only when prompted, that check-in was closing in 50 mins. Scot & I left for the airport immediately & after a 20 min queue successfully checked in with minutes to spare for a 3 1/2 hour further forced wait in the airport! On the bright side, the check in lady managed to get my other half & me two seats together. Again I tried to pay or use miles to upgrade to club or 1st given the increasing hardship of the trip but the flight had none so unfortunately this also meant no lounge access to lessen the blow on the other end.

Though the flight was now 3+ hours delayed, no inconvenience or dining vouchers were offered. We solaced ourselves with the fact that we would get a warm meal when we boarded our BA plane which has always in my experience been worth waiting for. But no, not this time. Not only was the plane the exact opposite that I expect from BA, an XL 737cramped bus with wings, but the only entrée offered was pork – not a Jewish preference – never before have I taken a trip where pork was the only option! So a 4 hour trip with a meal had now become a 10 hour one with an angry tummy to say the least. And lucky us, another rapidly approaching leg to go with an ever diminishing gap between.

But still we were trying to look on the bright side – The Corpse’s Bride was the movie. But it began with no offer of headphones & after the stewards had started handing them out 15 mins into the movie, what was the point? Not that they actually ever got round to offering us any! And to add to the blackening mood the back row seat I was assigned dripped a smelly liquid substance on my head the whole trip. Condensation would have been more bearable but this had a nasty odor that I carried on my head & shirt the next 15+ hours of my journey.

The flight was originally due to land at 00.30 & as my connection was not until 9.30, I had reserved a room at the Renaissance Gatwick a month prior for a few hours good rest before my 7.30am check in to the States. But now with a predicted 4:00 arrival, after collecting bags & taking a taxi as the shuttle does not operate 24 hours, the 120 pound room rate would now cost 130 pounds for an hours sleep! But we had missed the cancellation time at 16.00 due to an impossible quoted arrival time at LGW from BA so pay we must. Though the flight made up 45 mins in the air, after having to shuttle from the south terminal to the north & wait for baggage (the shortest wait for luggage was 45 mins after landing), We checked into our 130 pound room at 5.30am, for ones hours sleep before the 2nd leg began.

In the end my journey from TFS to DAL took 25 hours. (Continental was the 2nd leg & it was uneventful & perfect thank goodness) but without the much valued nights sleep, dinner & piece of mind that is granted from booking with what is meant to be the best. It would have been a different story if the following service issues were not forced upon us:

The delay time given was inaccurate & the BA staff knew so. If the plane has not left the UK & was not scheduled to do so until 6pm, how could it possibly return from TFS-LGW prior to 11pm? (The plane actually left at 6.19pm) If the staff had been informed or cared to be so, we could at least not have thrown 130 pounds out of the window on top of the nightmare forced wait at Tenerife South Airport & the service that followed.
Check in by 7.50pm for a flight now scheduled for 3 ½ + hours later? This is terrible customer service. Why not keep some check-in attendants on & not make a plane full of customers tired, sore & grumpy? Surely they have to be at the boarding gate on departure anyway? And not telling the customer that check in would be closed at 7.50pm regardless of when the plane would leave – possibly disastrous!
Not providing any inconvenience or dining vouchers for a 3 ½ delay? And then only offering a pork sausage meal on board = tired, hungry & discriminatory to a significant subset of the population. This added insult to injury.
I book BA for the comfort & reliability it offers me – but there was next to no comfort, no sleep, no options & no customer service to mention. The plane was old & cramped with overhead bins duct taped down & the dripping was the closest to Chinese torture I ever want to get. You advertise your high standards & you make a commitment in doing so.

Although Scot & I are British citizens by birth, we work out of the States where most of our travel occurs. Combined we fly 200 times + a year. BA was in my opinion the BEST European airline but in all the flights we have taken in the last year, this was the poorest & most disappointing. We have taken the time to let you know where we think you dropped the ball & in return would like to hear from you. Time & ease are our most valued commodities & hence why we do not fly charter. The experience we got on January 7th was below our lowest expectations of any scheduled airline or for that matter charter. It was a nightmare that erased the tranquility of the vacation.

Finally, this is the first letter of complaint that we have ever sent to an airline. Given our travel schedule, hopefully this will further validate our unhappiness & help bring your bar back to where it once was. And in time with your assurance, maybe we will fly BA again.

Yours sincerely & wearily, Sarah Slomovic

Finally, if you are reviewing this email within 24 hours as you claim - how come you have not called, emailed or written 50+ days after my 1st complaint. NOTHING no one word from my weekly email & letter contacts. Don't insult me further - take out the patronizing lies:

"This is an automated message to confirm receipt of your email to British Airways Customer Relations.
Your email is important to us and we will reply to you as soon as possible. While you are waiting for your reply, it is not necessary to re-send your email or send a follow-up communication.
We are responding to emails in the order in which they are received. Our normal business hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 6:30pm. Any emails received outside of these hours will be reviewed the following working day.

British Airways Customer Relations"

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BA's confusing web sites re: extra baggage
Posted by on
Here is a letter I recently wrote to the BA station chief in Moscow regarding their totally confusing web site messages as well as their incompetent Russian subcontractor Estline>. To date I have heard nothing> There does not seem to be a sense of urgency with BA. Well, wait until they find out what the legal ramifications are!!!!

The Letter:
On October 7th I was booked to fly from Moscow to London and onward to Boston. Since I frequently buy books in Russia I had my usual large number of 15 bags. Over the past twenty years I have on at least 40 occasions paid for 12 to 16 overweight bags. This trip was supposed to be no exception.

I prepaid on line for 10 bags fully preparing to pay extra at the airport for the 4 remaining bags. I noted that the BA British website only allows for prepayment of 10 bags although it does not mention any specific limit of bags allowed to be checked at the airport. The US site states that a passenger may check up to 20 bags.

Unfortunately BA has hired Estline to service its customers at Domodedovo airport. I have has some rather negative experiences in the past with this outfit. The main complaint is that its employees are politely ignorant of rules and rule changes.

October 7th was no different. A Miss Erolinova ? [Unfortunately I do not have immediately at hand her exact name: about 5’ 6” tall, blond hair, roundish face working as a cashier in BA booth at airport across from the check-in counter] who was supposed to represent Estline stated categorically that I could not check in the extra four bags showing me some typed copy outlining the regulation which she said came from the BA website. I had never seen this regulation before. Her comment is simply not true as your site says nothing about the inability to check more than 10 bags [+ one free bag per passenger]. She refused to discuss the matter further.

When I asked her for advice she simply said ‘Go to BA cargo.’ She was, however, unaware of the BA notice that its cargo division no longer dealt with individual passengers and they now have to hire a freight forwarder. In fact I don’t think she knew was the latter actually was.

There was no compromise, no helping hand but simply an adamant refusal to allow any additional bags. When I told her I had only a few months ago checked 15 bags she stated that was impossible because she had been working at the airport for two years and nothing like that ever happened. I asked her to check the BA database where she would find that I have regularly over the last twenty [20!!!] years checked more than 10 bags. She refused.

I then asked her to let the 4 bags go through but to make a note on my passenger file-record that I had been warned that for future travel only 10 bags may be allowed. Again she refused. I then asked her to send the bags ahead as unaccompanied luggage from the BA Moscow office to the BA office in Boston. She refused saying that was ‘illegal.’ [How could that be???!!!]

In the end, I had to leave the bags with Left Luggage [Kamera khraneniia] for a sum of 790 rubles a day. The claim tag number is 3285 and the receipt number for monies paid [tovarnyi chek] for the first day is 3285. [KX000023039]

Now here is what I want you to do:

At the very least, go and retrieve the bags so that the bill does not accumulate. I then want you to send these bags to me in Boston. You may balk and protest but I state that it is YOUR fault the bags are still in Moscow. Also
1] Estline was singularly uncooperative and ignorant of BA site comments and totally unsympathetic to a customer’s urgent needs. Ms certainly needs a refresher course on how to deal fairly and sympathetically with BA’s paying passengers.
2] Your site instructions are confusing and contradictory especially in light of your acceptance over the years including 2010 of all my additional bags [until Oct. 7th]

Please consider this a most URGENT matter. Not only does Left Luggage have three my bags of very valuable books I need for my research, it also has my suitcase with eyeglasses and prescription pills I desperately need. I cannot return to Russia for at least three months and certainly I, nor does BA, wish to face a baggage charge of over $2,100 PER MONTH!!!

Lastly, I have been flying BA to Russia since 1980. Is there not any BA commitment to honorably serving your passengers? Should you not be making some compromising gesture that would ensure continued loyalty particularly when I feel this mess is a result of your misleading and ever changing baggage policy.


Dr. Phil Clendenning,
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User Replies:
MRM on 10/13/2010:
Not to judge but that is a lot of baggage!
Ben There on 10/13/2010:
Unfortunately the BA website does indeed show that you can check just 10 extra bags. In the past you may have been able to check 15, but in the past you could also get 2 free bags and now you just get one.

I wish you and your books the best of luck. I wonder (and doubt) if BA will fulfill you request of going to a storage facility, claiming you left bags without the claim tag, paying the expensive storage fee and shipping them to you. You might want to see if a friend in Moscow can pick them up and keep them for you to save you money.
msnanny on 10/13/2010:
I understand that they made exceptions for you in the past (or perhaps the rules have changed) but honestly, can't you see how it could be problematic if every passenger tried to board with 15 bags? 15 bags is more like freight and should be treated as such. Good luck though, hope it works out for you.
InuKun on 11/24/2010:
Sorry dude, but in this case, she is correct. It's considered freight when you ship that many bags at once, which requires that it be done with a known shipper, which in turn requires that the shipping company hired must have visited your premises in Russia at least a month prior to the first shipment to ensure you are a legitimate entity.

My suggestion would be to transfer the bags to UPS, DHL or FedEx in Moscow and have them ship the bags to you. Sure, it'll cost money, but at least you'll not have to hold them in storage until you are next there.
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