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Customer Service Have you had any problems with BA's Customer Service? Have BA employees treated you poorly?

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  #1  
Old 10-25-2011, 10:29 PM
scandinavian_traveller scandinavian_traveller is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 8
Default BA Rip off - BA sells me back my own seat - Disgraceful customer service

I booked a BA flight to scandinavia online from London to sweden. Somehow when I was paying the default times appeared on booking so instead of the 13 50 flight I got the 7 40am flight. Unlike SAS, BA charge the credit card immediately so I was stuck with an outbound flight that was not great. I also knew that BA wouldn't correct the mistake without asking for a 60 pounds change fee (ticket cost 120 pounds).

The way the online booking is presented is you can choose outbound and inbound flights separately. Because I was flying into London from New York day before my flight to sweden I decided to have a back up flight one way at 13 50 ( this cost 60 pounds same as the change fee) in case I missed my 7 40 am flight. I couldnt make my flight at 7 40 ( couldnt wake up at 4am) so caught the 13 50 flight and everything was good.

Day before my return flight, I was about to choose my seat when I found my return flight didnt exist because BA cancelled it when I was no show on 7 40 flight. I called BA and they would only give me my seat back if I paid them an additional 215 pounds!!...I was stranded and they were taking advantage...I was fuming!

I contacted BA customer service and they argued that because I agreed to terms and conditions of 7 40 flight I also agreed to fly flights in SEQUENCE. The fact that I had paid for a later flight and I had a misunderstanding and that I'm also a loyal frequent flier and a member of their executive club made no difference.

I just wanted some consideration from BA over a situation that was clearly a misunderstanding on my part..I'm a seasoned traveller and the booking sysytem gave impression of outbound and inbound flights not linked...they are priced separately and I was genuinely stranded so squeezing me for another 215 in addition to the intial 120 pound ticket and the 60 pound change was just outrageous....Am I being unreasonable?? I would appreciate some feedback because BA customer service are cold and pre-programmed in their response
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2011, 02:27 AM
Ombudsman Ombudsman is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 136
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Let me see if I can sort this out. You purchased two tickets. The first was a round-trip with the outbound flight LHR to ARN departing @ 0740 (AM) and the return at a later date and time. You then booked a one-way LHR to ARN departing 1350 (AM) as a backup.

Even though you may have paid three one-way fares since the return flight was booked on the same ticket as the early outbound when you missed that flight they automatically cancelled the return. This is pretty standard airline practice and although it doesn't make sense since it was not a true "round-trip" fare the airlines use this old rule to justify re-selling your return ticket to you at a higher cost.

Unfortunately there is not much you can do about what has already happened but remember for future trips if there is no difference in price booking the outbound and return separately versus together then book them on separate tickets for more flexibility in case you need ot cacncel.
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2011, 02:11 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,195
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I think the error you made was not contacting BA immediately you noticed that the first flight was not the correct time....if you contact them by phone immediately, they will generally correct this error without charge. Although distance selling regulations apply to internet purchases, they do not apply to fixed journey travel purchases. However, the seller should make efforts to correct obvious errors.

The intransigence that BA are showing now is due to another factor. Often, BA prices fares according to the market and it is common for people to buy return tickets, with no intention of travelling on one portion, as this is cheaper than one way tickets. All airlines use this very irritating approach, but you are very unlikely to make much headway with the phone staff. They are too junior and have no jurisdiction. I would write a detailed letter outlining the sequence of events to the Chief Executive and hope for the best.
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  #4  
Old 10-27-2011, 07:38 AM
scandinavian_traveller scandinavian_traveller is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 8
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Thanks for the replies.

Ombudsman, I agree withe everything you say. The point I was trying to get BA to understand was because I could book each leg separately for the same price, ticket wasn't a true return ticket. BA's response was one of indifference. Annoying pre-programmed responses.

I suppose I was looking for some kind gesture from BA to take into account I am a loyal frequent flyer that tried to do the right thing. I did try to catch 7 40 am flight even though it wasn't flight I wanted to catch. But day before I flew back to London from New York in the afternoon and had to go to hospital for family reasons so wasn't able to wake up at 4am next day to catch flight. I also catch the 13 50 flight regularly every few weeks for years with BA but BA wasn't bothered or interested in making any effort to look at my circumstances. I wanted to contact the BA Executive club to discuss my situation but there isn't anyway to do this - I was told all complaints get passed to some general complaints area. This is poor and another failing of the BA frequent flyer program.

jimworcs, thanks for your reply. I booked ticket at 2am so there was nobody I could call. Normally I would have called BA and have done so in the past but they charge for changes even if its correcting a mistake made online 30 seconds previously unlike other airlines like SAS that wait 24hrs. And I was travelling in then morning and realised the cost of the change was the same as the cost of a new one way ticket.

I'm disappointed that BA have no interest in my situation. I thought being a loyal frequent flyer counted for something with BA but its doesn't. Unfortunately BAs only concern is squeezing every penny they can from their customers any any cost. They are becoming a low cost airline and should rename themselves Screw'em Airlines.
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  #5  
Old 10-27-2011, 08:14 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,195
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I am surprised they charged you for an immediate error. I booked a flight to Washington, DC and the return was the wrong date. I called them as soon as realised and they corrected it for free. It was my understanding they did this if you contacted them within 24 hours. That was last year, so perhaps things have changed. I still think a letter and perhaps posting on their facebook might also prompt a repsonse.
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  #6  
Old 11-09-2011, 02:56 PM
scandinavian_traveller scandinavian_traveller is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 8
Default Very Poor BA Customer Service

Just wanted to update everyone on the where I ended up with this situation.

I have decided I am wasting my time expecting BA to appreciate any level of my loyalty and Frequent Flier status. Membership of the Executive club counts for nothing and the customer service is so poor that BA has descended to the lowest ranks of the low cost airlines.
If anyone has the misfortunate of dealing with Customer Relations person Sara Scullion, then you will have more satisfaction chewing a brick. Her 'couldn't care less' approach was quite shocking, particularly her 'do what you like I don't care' attitude.

As a final step, I decided to look into the terms and conditions around having to take the outbound flight to keep the return flight. Or flight sequencing as BA like to call it. I'm trying to understand if I pay a fare difference or pay the full one way fare to get home.

It's interesting to note to get to the section describing the terms of sequencing takes many steps. At the very bottom of the terms and condiions page you see when you buy a ticket is a link to 'general conditiions of carriage' then another link 'view the british airways conditions of carriage' then another link to 'tickets' then sub section 3c2.

BA gets zero marks for transparency.

I would like to get some feedback on the interpretation of terms and conditions below; do I pay a fare difference?

"3c2) Your ticket is no longer valid if you do not use all the coupons in the sequence provided in the ticket. Where you change your travel without our agreement and the price for the resulting transportation you intend to undertake is greater than the price originally paid, you will be requested to pay the difference in price. Failure to pay the price applicable to your revised transportation will result in refusal of carriage."

BA have not replied to my request for clarification

It's interesting to note booking two single one way tickets with BA is cheaper than booking a return tickets and the single tickets do not have the sequencing liability! This make no business sense which seems to be consistent with the way Customer Services works.

I've instructed my corporation to stop all business class flights from London to Mumbai. We are using a local carrier that's 30% cheaper. I always thought the extra premium was worth it because of service I thought BA was providing. I was very very wrong. I've also instructed the use of SAS for flights to scandinavia. They are very much more customer orientated. We will only use BA as a last resort airline for future bookings.

It's clear to me BA do not value me as a loyal customer. They are also indifferent to my loss of business. It will be interesting to see in the future if this business model of a complete disregard of a loyal customer base will lead the company to ruin in the way it would for any other badly run business.
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2012, 09:18 PM
liftruckman liftruckman is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2
Angry Robbing B***tards!

My wife booked and paid for seats with additional legroom on her visit to her son in Florida-the day before the flight we noticed that they had changed (STOLEN) the seat from her!

We booked seats with additional legroom because both of her parents suffer(ed) from strokes/mini-strokes-we did not begrudge the extra charge.

We do,however,resent being 'RIPPED OFF' by this PATHETIC airline,and we will, take legal action against them,should anything happen to my wife!!!!

As usual, automated replies from BA (B******* A***holes) NO phone calls, as promised!!!!

I will ensure that we will not fly with these THIEVES again and I will issue complaints to thier regulators and anyone else who will listen!

EXTREMELY UNHAPPY-THIS IS EVERYTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF ABOUT BRITAIN!!!!!
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  #8  
Old 03-22-2012, 10:54 PM
scandinavian_traveller scandinavian_traveller is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 8
Default BA customer service are shocking

Lifttruckman, I agree BA customer service is shocking. Way they treat their passengers is a disgrace. BA has descended to the cheap-couldn't-care-less cattle airline class of Ryanair and Easy Jet.

My suggestion is to make a claim through an online small claims courts suggested by jimworcs. I followed these steps and had a satisfactory outcome.

Good luck and fly anything other than BA. They need to realise it's a competitive world out there and customers will take their business elsewhere if BA continue to treat passengers way they do.
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  #9  
Old 03-23-2012, 12:19 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,195
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What has happened exactly? It sounds like you booked World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy).. is that correct? If they are now saying that the seats are no longer available and offering you standard World Traveller seats instead, then you are due a refund or a free transfer to another flight where you can secure the class of seats you chose originally.

If on the other hand, you are saying that you were able to book specific seats, but that these were not Premium Economy, just extra legroom within the main cabin, then you may have a battle on your hands. All airlines adopt the very annoying position that they are only guaranteeing you the flight, but the seat and even the timings of the flight are not guaranteed.

Your posting regarding your wife's known pre-existing condition that would be exacerbated by travelling in World Traveller Main Cabin is ill-advised. If you are considering litigation any lawyer will tell you that you have seriously undermined your case by posting this information. You are unlikely to prevail if you travelled in the knowledge that it was potentially unsafe for your wife to travel.

I too am frustrated by the deterioration in BA's customer service. They have stripped any degree of discretion from their customer service representatives, to the degree that it is like talking to a machine, in which they parrot back scripts from the computer screen in front of them, some of which bear little relationship to the problem being discussed. Perhaps not quite down to the Ryanair standard, but they have fallen far and fast.

Ironically, Easyjet are climbing back up the other way as they strive to capture business customers. I recently bought standard same day return tickets for a short business meeting. I was booked on the 8am flight outbound and back on the 7pm. My meeting finished early and I was able to get to the airport in time for the 4pm flight. Easyjet transferred me on to the earlier flight, no charge. That was on a standard ticket, not an enhanced business flexible ticket. It was simple, no hassle and I didn't have to beg... I was entitled to do it under their rules. It was a shock for a ticket that only cost 88 return in the first place. Perhaps there is hope that some of the hungrier upstarts will begin to compete on service and not join Ryanair in the race to the bottom.

Last edited by jimworcs; 03-23-2012 at 12:24 AM.
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  #10  
Old 03-23-2012, 08:21 AM
liftruckman liftruckman is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2
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This is me being cautious-my wife recently had a full medical,NO problems were found-she has NEVER suffered a stroke (mini or other) but I do not want her to suffer DVT or any other problems caused by BA attempting to maximise their profits!

We vote with our feet-I will ensure that we NEVER fly with this airline again!
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