Complain against Mr. John Lansley (Customer Service Manager, London Heathrow Airport)
On the 16th Oct 2010, I was travelling as a business class passenger with Singapore airlines, to board the flight SQ317 scheduled to depart at 11.55am from London Heathrow T3 to Singapore Changi Airport T3. As I was travelling as a business class passenger with Singapore Airlines, I expected the service to be impeccable. However my opinion was drastically changed by the encounter I had at SIA check in counter.
My family and I were at the check in counter at 1040am to check in for our flight back to Singapore. The trip in London was very enjoyable. We had 4 luggages and 4 boxes of chocolates which we intended to check in. The boxes of chocolates were meant for our family and friends as gifts back from London. We also had 4 cabin bags with us at the business check-in counter at that point of time.
As we had excessive baggages with us at that point of time, we were forced to decide immediately
if we wanted to check in the excessive baggages or to dispose them at SQ secure disposal bins. John Lansley, being the customer service manager of Singapore Airlines at London Heathrow Airport, demanded
that we decide at that point of time to dispose the chocolates or to pay for the excess baggages as he will close the check-in counter in few minutes time. We were made to weigh for each of our hand held luggage to check if they are of acceptable weights and constantly pressurized by John Lansley to dispose the chocolates at the SQ secured bins inside the check-in counter.
We felt that the SIA check-in staff, including John Lansley, wanted to keep the chocolates for themselves as they were aware of the items in the boxes. The disposal at the secured bins in the check-in counter was an excuse. As we had decided not to pay for the excessive baggages and felt their ill intentions, we wanted to dispose the chocolates at the trash bins in other parts of the airport. John Lansley demanded
that we dispose the chocolates at SQ secured bins and claimed that there were no
other trash bins in the airport. We felt compelled to leave the chocolates with the check-in counter as if the chocolates were not disposed at the check in counter, we will be denied
checking in onto the flight, and therefore reluctantly left the chocolates at the check-in counter.
As we saw other empty trash bins right at the front of the check-in counter, we demanded to have the chocolates back as we wanted to dispose the chocolates personally at the trash bins. The check-in officer relented. John Lansley threatened us that he will be waiting at the boarding gate to personally
check our cabin bags to “ensure that we do not carry excessive baggages”, or else, if he sees it, he will be charging us an amount of approximately GBP350. We proceeded to the trash bins to dispose the chocolates. He followed us to both of the trash bins to ensure that we disposed the chocolates. At the boarding gate, another SIA attendant weighed our hand carry bags and commented that they were instructed to check them.
I will like to pose the following questions to Singapore Airlines:
1)Does John Lansley have the right
to demand us to dispose the excessive baggages that we had? We have the ownership to the items we purchased but were denied
check-in unless we make a decision on either to pay for the excess weightage, or to dispose the chocolates into the SQ secured bins.
2)In addition, is it a necessity
to have the chocolates thrown right into the SQ secured bins and not any other trash bins available in the whole airport?
3)The threat by John Lansley that he will personally be at the boarding gate to check our cabin baggages and the action of following us to the trash bins to ensure that we disposed the items was demeaning
usand tarnished the good name
that Singapore Airlines had built over the years.
It is with utter disappointment that being a business class passenger, I had to undergo such demeaning treatment at the SIA check-in counter in Heathrow airport. We were not
given the due respect and it was evident that John Lansley was clearly unfit
for the role of a Customer Service Manager.