Old Oct 18, 2016, 7:57 PM
Beannie88 Beannie88 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1
Angry Worst customer service ever

My husband and I recently traveled to Spain for vacation from Oct.1 to Oct 7, 12016. Everything seemed perfect until the last minute flight back home. Our returning flight to Boston, USA from Madrid, Spain (Iberia, IB3164) had a one stop over at Heathrow airport in London, UK (British Airways, BA0239) that was scheduled to depart at 19:55 at Gate A10, Oct. 7, 2016. As our boarding pass clearly indicated the boarding time of 19:35 and we waited around the Gate A10 in terminal 5. As other Gates were on the same floor, we didn’t realize that Gate A10 was located in downstairs until 19:35. So we rushed downstairs to get ready for boarding. As all other airline’s boarding time (would start to board passengers from 19:35), it really didn’t occur to us that we would miss the flight. When we arrived at the gate, which was 5 min passed from the boarding time, two ground British airways crews who stood by at the gate A10 told us that the gate was closed at 19:35 and they wouldn’t let us to board on the airplane because there was no bus to take us to the airplane. Four other passengers who flew from Madrid, Spain also missed the flight. And then another passenger came by who also misunderstood boarding time.

Here are my complaints:
(1) Two ground crews (a gentleman and a lady) who stood by at the gate A10 were incredibly rude to us. They simply said, “We are late and there is no bus to take us to the airplane”. Even though there were still 20 min to the flight time. And then they told us that it was our fault that we missed the flight. Because other passengers were able to make it on time. I am not sure whether other passenger’s boarding tickets indicate boarding time of 19:35. And they also told us “Do not waste our time to express our anger to them and complain to Iberia”. They did not even try to reach out to anyone for any help to get us to the flight and did not show any empathy towards us because all along it was our fault. I do not believe it was our mistake as our boarding pass clearly indicated boarding time of 19:35. We were emotionally upset especially when we had to spend the night in London to catch the next flight to Boston. We never knew BA has different boarding system from the most of other airports: boarding time and gate closing time. Since it was our first time layover at Heathrow airport in London, it is simply unable to figure out the differences unless we are informed by others. So We got ourselves in hotel without getting any supports from nobody..
(2) Next day, we came back to airport at 8:30 to catch 11:15 flight to Boston (BA213) on Saturday Oct. 8, 2016. When we came to Gate A area in terminal 5, the flight information screen did not show any information on gate number for our flight. So we waited around the gate A area until 9:30. And then the flight information indicated “Will be Gate C area for BA213 flight to Boston at 11:15”. So we got on the transit bus to gate C area. When we got there, there was no information on Boston flight. When we approached to a ground crew at the nearby gate (where boarding to Mombai flight was in process), she asked us to wait until they finish boarding passengers. And then she checked her computer and told us that the gate was changed to B43. It was 10:00 am. On the way to B gate area, we bumped to three people who were all looking for gate information for the flight to Boston scheduled for 11:15 am. One of them told us that the gate changed from A to C and then to B. We were finally on board around 10:40ish and the gate was not closed by 10:55. Guess what! There were plenty passengers behind us after 10:55. Our boarding pass clearly indicated gate close time at 10:55.

Here are a few things to be recognized by British Airways (BA), Iberia and Heathrow airport;
(1) BA/Iberia should have informed better to other airlines/passengers that there is a gate closing time in addition to a boarding time and it should be clearly marked on the boarding pass.
(2) BA/Heathrow should have provided additional bus services for passengers (especially international) who may have missed their closing time due to unclear information on the boarding time and gate closing time.
(3) BA/Heathrow should have a better information system to inform passengers on gate information for the flight. We basically traveled from Gate A, B, and C to catch the flight.
(4) BA should retrained ground crew members how to serve customers. Their attitude was absolutely unacceptable.
I hope my story can educate international travelers how we should prepare for the travel/layover at Heathrow airport in London, UK via British Airways/Iberia.

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