British Airways - Page 3

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1.0 out of 5, based on 6 ratings and
156 reviews & complaints.
Company Profile
British Airways
75-20 Astoria Blvd
Jackson Heights, NY 11370
1-800-545-7644 (ph)
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BA Ex Club Policy: Win Some Lose Some
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

JAMAICA, NEW YORK -- This is what I was told when I attempted to have BA honor their promise that when I joined the Ex. Club my miles for my upcoming Business class trip would be credited to my account. When I discovered that they did not apply my miles they responded that I just went over the time period to contact them about their mistake. After about an hour on the phone and emails back and forth over a month's time I finally said that I could not stay a customer with an airline that treats their (at least this one) customers so dishonestly.

Their reply from Supervisor Mr. ** was "You win some and you lose some." I could not believe he actually said that to me so he repeated it several times more. I did email CEO Keith Williams. For some reason I am not expecting a reply from him. Have you received this kind of disrespect from your conversations with them?

Should you Fly British Airways?
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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.

British Airways – Misleading its gold card holders
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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 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.

Executive Club Misleading Customers Buying Flights
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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 air miles if you only purchase 5,445 more miles for just $190 us dollars. I thought well great that is a great price for a round trip 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 'coz 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? 'Coz 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 ma'am 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 thought of using BA but now I'm concerned about your customer service. Is there anything you can help me with since you are the CEO of this great company?

Pointless cancellations
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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.

British Airways and UK, a nightmare
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We are a couple with terrible experience with British Airways, in general with UK as well. We booked our flight and hotel together on British Airways website. Huge mistake! We wish to warn others against it, so here are the details of our nightmare.

• First of all, UK treats all as criminals and terrorists. Just for a 3-nights vacation you have to go through an extremely complicated enormous gigantic amount of paper-work and a sky-high fee (non-refundable), then they look down under their nose and turn down, as if a ”Royalty” is looking down at some “low-life”. So every time they are making lots and lots of money at our expense, but we get practically nothing other than torture and insult.
• 4-star hotels on the British Airways website are not really 4-star, they are rather worth a 2-star.
• These hotels charge sky-high amount of money per night, however they provide some stinky, stuffy, closet-size tiny rooms with matchbox-size bathroom, no bathtub, no refrigerator, no minibar, no internet, no elevator, no concierge, no air-conditioning!
• Carpets would be stained and worn-out. Walls and furnitures would be chipped and 200 years old.
• The customers pay 10 times as much, then the hotel would put the customers in the basement on arrival.
• A “full-breakfast-included” reservation would be denied. Even though the customers have already pre-paid their one year's salary's worth charge for full breakfast, they would get just coffee and juice as “breakfast” and would be forced to pay around 25 British pounds (around 40 USA dollars) for that!!!
• They should come to Scandinavia or Germany to learn what actual “breakfast” means, learn numerous varieties of cheese, meat, dairy-products, bread, cereals, egg-preparations and greens can be served in breakfast, which UK probably never heard of.
• Here comes the most scandalous part. British Airways has made their reservation cancellation/alteration policy is as brutal as possible. It's almost impossible. Again a sky-high charge, again one year's salary down the drain. And we are from frying pan to fire. Once you make the reservation, you are doomed to hell, no way out, so British Airways can laugh all the way to the bank. While most of the flight+hotel booking website has a “totally free cancellation” policy!

Additional baggage
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I recently travelled from London Heathrow to Wellington with BA/Qantas. I made numerous phone calls ahead of my check in to make arrangements for additional baggage of one snowboard. Both BA and Qantas advised that once I checked in on line I would have the options to purchase a, the additional bag with BA at a 20% discount and b, the additional weight with Qantas. Once on line check in opened I was able to complete the process with Qantas and printed all relevant paper work. Unfortunately the BA on line check in did not give me the option so I was unable to book ahead and get the discount. On arrival at heathrow the BA customer service helper advised I could request a refund on the 20% rate as the on line option did not work. As I had to process the additional baggage I now had to join the long queue. Once at the front I explained the situation and that my flight through to Sydney was with BA and the final leg between Sydney and Wellington was with Qantas. I showed them all paper work for the Qantas baggage. The lady went to seek advice and returned to advise me that she could not check my bags in all the way to Wellington (despite my paperwork for Qantas). To cut a long story short I was advised to collect my baggage in Sydney and check it in to the final leg. At Sydney I was denied entry at immigration as I did not have time to make the connecting flight also, I did not have an entry Visa. I was tired, stressed and humiliated to be turned away! Qantas very much saved the day and the connections counter were very helpful spending time with me (clearly I was exhausted from the long haul flight) and they recovered my bags and got the checked in. They commented that BA should have accepted my paper work and that at the very least they could check the bags all the way and Qantas would have dealt with any problems/additional bag queries/other questions direct with me. I have complained twice and received an apology via email which I appreciate but no refund on the 20% baggage cost or anything else to compensate me for time and stress. Long haul travel alone is tiring and difficult enough without this poor advice. I am very unhappy with the response.

Selling half-way ticket for a baby!!!
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JACKSONVILLE, UNITED STATES -- I would NEVER travel with British Airways again!
It is one thing when they tell you, infant bassinets are given out on first-come, first-serve basis when you try to reserve one ahead of time, and then when you get to airport they say they're out because people checked them out online!!!

Also another when they tell you on BA's web page, that an extra baggage costs $60, but then at the airport charge you $165 w/the excuse that there is a charge for the 2nd part of the trip!!! NOT mentioned on the web anything regarding flights w/ a stop!!! Not a fair way to do business, is it?!

But the worse was that they told us at London airport, that our infant baby doesn't have a ticket from London to home!!! How do they sell a half-way ticket to an infant travelling with her mom?!!!

Unfortunately, the second part of the trip was sold to us through BMI. If BA partners w/ another ailine and provides "service" through them, I believe BA should be held responsible for the "service" or Lack Of provided by that partner. When BMI was told that the ticket for the infant was purchased through BA and they need to resolve the issue with them. The response was that BA CANNOT do anything about it and that we had to pay another 168 pounds for the baby in addition to the money we had paid for her ticket!!!

Very disappointing and UNacceptable. That last thing one needs when travelling a very long distance (22 hours of travelling) is to hear your baby doesn't have a ticket to continue travelling with you and you have not enough Cash or Credit Card on you and they don't even accept you providing the Credit Card number (your forgot at home).

To be fair, after calling BA's 800 and being transferred to some "Breaze" airline or so (due to high volume of calls), they couldn't help after trying for about 20 minutes or so trying to figure out what had happened. We were transferred to a manager who in turn transferred us to back to BA and after about 50 minutes or more on the phone, they finally resolved the issue.

That was after our mom started feeling sick and almost fainted and mother of the baby crying her eyes out for more than an hour. EVEN worse part was the way to be treated at the airport counter. Where staff are supposed to be helpful & not act like they couldn't care less and they're there to torment you and act like "highway robbers".

Seriously?!!! At least pretend you care to help by calling to see how this could happen when the baby was added to the itinerary!

We don't care if we strand you!
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I recently flew BA to England and while there learned of their threatened walkout by cabin crew for the 20, 21 and 22 of March. My return date was amongst them. I checked their website daily to see if my flight was cancelled, and it said that overseas flights were still going - mine was amongst the list that were.

Less than a week before the threatened strike, I was informed my flight was cancelled and I would have to make my own arrangements to get home. They would give me my money back (which wouldn't have got me to the runway at Heathrow, let alone to North America) or I could take my flight any time within 365 days (subhect to availability).

There were NO seats available on any flight home until at least the end of the month so we would either have to stay an unknown length of time or fly back on a different airline at about six times the cost of our BA flight - neither of which we could afford.

As an alternative, they would fly us to an airport they served nearest our destination (it is 500km away and we had to pay our way the rest of the way!!!) The travel agent found one of these flights which we took as it was the least expensive alternative. It meant we had to leave several days early but we had no choice because there were only four seats left and nothing at all until the end of the month.

British Airways leaves you stranded and don't care whether you get home or not or how much it will cost you. Morally, if not legally, they have a responsibility to get the people they have stranded to their destinations when they agreed to or as soon as possible afterwards even if it means booking them on competing airlines, which I understand is often done in North America when these situations occur.

I will NEVER fly BA again and will tell anyone I can about my experience.

BA Online booking inconvenience and Customer Service
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HARMONDSWORTH, WEST DRAYTON, MIDDLESEX, ENGLAND -- In August 2009, being faced with a travel emergency, I had to hastily and at the absolute last moment make a round trip booking from Boston to Cape Town via London. Since I have been a loyal British Airways customer and executive club member for over 25 years, I turned to their website and bought the very expensive $2.300 round trip. I was confident that the airline would look after me as they always have done in the past. Even though I had to make this booking as quickly as possible, I carefully read and reviewed all of the steps of the online process. In the past I have been able to make changes for a nominal fee or even cancel my booking if needed. Once I had paid, I felt confident that all would be well. On my return home to Portland, Maine, I logged on to as usual, accessed my booking and attempted to make the changes to my dates that were now necessary. All the choices were grayed out and unavailable. I contacted BA in the U.S. by phone and was told that I was not allowed to make any changes online and would have to drive to Boston to make the changes in person at Logan International Airport. I drove the two and a half hours to Boston and presented myself to their customer service agent. He informed me that any change or future changes would incur a fee of $270. Although courteous, he could not give me more information on my booking and why BA would not allow me to make changes online apart from some confusing explanation about credit card fraud in South Africa… I hold a Visa card and U.S. bank account and made my original booking in the U.S. Unfortunately I had to pay the $275 along with the extra costs of having to drive to Boston.

I have since contacted BA customer service politely inquiring about this booking and explaining all the difficulties I have experienced. After I had written several detailed emails to them, they have simply dismissed my concerns and stated that in their opinion, the matter is now closed. The reply to my email did not even contain the representative's last name. This behavior is impertinent, discourteous and underhanded. I have supported this company for so many years and it is very sad that it has sunk to such depths. Their staff is obviously not trained sufficiently and seem uninterested in both their job and their customers. After so many years as a loyal customer I am utterly disappointed. What BA probably fails to understand is that it is their loyal customers who keep them in business. I will never fly BA again and from now on offer my business to companies who know how to treat their customers in all aspects. Etihad Airways and Emirates will now be my airlines of choice to and from Africa.

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