British Airways Complaint - BA's confusing web sites re: extra baggage
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!!!!
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 [up 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