British Airways Complaint - BA Online booking inconvenience and Customer Service
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 BA.com 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.