British Airways Complaint - Lost Baggage
LONDON -- My daughter is in a 1-month study abroad program in South Africa (traveling from Los Angeles). She transferred at Heathrow (British Air) to South Africa. She arrived and her single bag (luggage) did not.
IT IS NOW 10 DAYS LATER...She is now 1/3 of her way through her study abroad program with NO BOOKS, NO PROPER CLOTHING (WINTER), NONE OF HER PERSONAL ITEMS....AND NO RESPONSE FROM ANYONE AT BRITISH AIR.
She is in classes most of the day and does not have easy access to transportation to re-purchase all she has lost (it is winter in South Africa). She also does not have the time to wait and find someone at British Air to help her.
As parents we have spent 3 hours daily trying to get a "live" body to speak to. British Air's website based luggage locator service is only updated when someone actually finds the luggage, versus minimally letting you know someone is actually working on the issue.
British Air (baggage service in South Africa) did give her a debit card with a value of about $70.00 (US), but it did NOT WORK when my daughter tried to purchase emergency items.
We have made over 50 calls, getting a live person 10 times (from the baggage department in London and South Africa and the Customer Service Department). From this we received 8 different stories ranging from "it’s likely to be on the next flight, to a more honest, "it will show up when it shows up". Most of the time the employees would tell us about their difficulties and how others have suffered (I am sorry, but I refuse to feel sorry for you because it is clear customer service is not a priority at this company, if it was they would have the resources and the will to help).
We were told 4 different times that someone would follow up and contact us. We have e-mailed 8 times to baggage and customer service (where they note that we are important and they will contact us). Though this entire fiasco, NOBODY HAS ONCE CALLED US (OR RESPONDED TO OUR E-MAILS) TO UPDATE US ON THE SITUATION.
RECOMMENDATION: Pack only what you can carry on, and if your baggage is lost..."it will show up when it shows up"
When calling the customer service department, we were switched to a reservation call center! The gentleman was very helpful, but he could not call the London baggage department (they are both departments of British Air). He gave us information we saw on the internet. He did send an internal computer message to the London unit and told them to update the automated luggage locator page (this is accessed on their website), AND to call us. Of course 36 hours later, none of this has occurred.
They do have an automated luggage locator service on their website, but nobody ever updates the information until the bag is delivered.
The baggage services unit will give you a debit card for inconveniences and for emergency purchases, but make sure it works (my daughter’s did not).
It is amazing that through all of our attempts to find one person to "step-up", take responsibility and follow through, we have not found that person, but I guess we still have 20 days to try.
NOTE: After reading similar horror stories at this site, my wife and I have decided to quit sending e-mails to BA or calling them. It appears that there is no customer service and they really do not care!!!