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COMPLAINT: Is it just British Airways or the Airline Industry?

 
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  #1  
Old Mar 21, 2012, 3:03 AM
cedangeles cedangeles is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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My husband purchased Travelers Plus tickets (IAD-LHR-BCN-LHR-IAD) from British Airways and used his points to upgrade our seats to Club Class.
We made it up to Barcelona but on March 5, we were late checking in by 10 minutes for our return trip. The Iberia staff refused to check us in even though the plane hadn't left so we missed our flight from Barcelona to London, and, therefore, our connection from London to Washington, DC. At the Barcelona airport, there was no British Airways staff to help us. The Iberia staff all claimed they had no authority to help but gave us BA phone numbers in London and the US. They refused our plea to use their phone. Thank God for my husband's IPhone. BA told him that our unused tickets were considered void. We had to purchase new tickets (they charged us $5,000 for two one-way economy seats on BA instead of offering us a cheaper alternative) in order to get home. Pressed for time, we also didnít have computer access so we couldnít shop around for cheaper tickets. I hate to think what would have happened if my husband didnít have the money to buy those tickets!
Once we made it home, my husband called BA to clarify their policies about missing flights and possible refunds of points, taxes, etc. He was told nothing else could be done and was advised to purchase travel insurance. I am not sure it would cover missed flights.
I am appalled at the deterioration of customer service of British Airways. Their flights are usually more expensive than the rest of the airlines. My husband has been a loyal customer for years. And yet, not an ounce of concern or desire to help was shown by any of the BA or Iberia staff.
We have been traveling for years, using different airlines. I donít think we are the first to miss our flights due to one reason or another. Whatever reason we had, we were told, was not important Ė missing a flight was considered a no-show. Of course, if it had been corporate travel, it would have been a different story. In the past, airlines accommodated passengers under the same conditions, whether traveling in economy or otherwise.
Because of this experience, I will reconsider flying again with BA or Iberia in the future. I am truly disappointed in the way we have been treated. We were both unwell the day we missed our flights and the Iberia Airlines staff who were supposed to represent BA were just as indifferent. What has the airline industry come to - just a money-gouging machine?
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  #2  
Old Mar 21, 2012, 9:17 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

You are right, airlines are increasingly hostile to any problems encountered by travellers and see it as a money making opportunity. It is often random whether you find A sympathetic customer service rep... You may have had more luck in
London where they had reps, but perhaps not. BA and Iberia are both part of the same airline company (IAG), so their handling in Spain is handled entirely by Iberia. One of the disadvantages for the customer of these groupings is that you cannot speak to anyone who actually works for the company when there is a problem, and they hide behind the "sorry, there is nothing we can do, it's BA Policy as if they don't work for the same company. In reality, they do.

However, you are entitled to your taxes abck. This is taken directly from BA's website

Quote:
Government, authority and airport charges

These are included in the price of your ticket and are levied by airport operators, governments, or other authorities.

Some airports may levy local taxes, fees or charges against passengers upon arrival or departure. These are not included in the price of your ticket and should be paid locally.

Government and/or airport taxes are refundable, however some countries will apply a Value Added Tax, Sales Tax or equivalent, which will only be refunded on fully flexible tickets.
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 12:32 PM
cedangeles cedangeles is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2

Thank you for your reply. I have sent a letter of complaint to BA Customer Relations. Hopefully, they will refund the taxes.

The BA representative my husband spoke to advised him to get travel insurance the next time he flies. What I'd like to know is if travel insurance covers missed flights. The provisions are not very clear at all.
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 3:58 PM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 745

The only problem here, is you were late and aren't taking responsibility for your own mistake. When you show up after the check in time is closed, the computers won't allow changes. You can't check in. Those at the gate on standby (and in the computer as such) are then given the empty seats. So you may have seen the plane still there, but because you were late your seats were gone.

So because you were late, the airline assumes you aren't interested in flying, and cancels the rest of the travel legs.

Travel insurance would have been a big help here. I'm surprised that someone who claims to travel a lot, would not have known this.
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 6:23 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

My trvael ins covers missed flights if reason was traffic jam, delayed train, etc. sleeping in isnt covered!
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  #6  
Old Mar 22, 2012, 4:46 PM
stonecold_1981 stonecold_1981 is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 124

And I think BA is one of the few airlines (that I've experienced) that cancels the ticket immediately for no show. Most airlines do offer to book you on a later flight if you showed up in a reasonable timeframe (late but reasonably late).
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Old Mar 26, 2012, 3:03 PM
Not asking much Not asking much is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1

If someone knows how can you put this as a new topic.


I have been trying to contact Iberia to change a flight booking. They provide 2 numbers and once dialled you get a message saying you are in a queue and need to wait max 4 minutes. 10 minutes later no answer. Trying now for 1 hour

My other half just got through finally and was told they needed to transfer her to a different department, put her on hold and then cut her off.

update, she just got through again so I am typing this live

They are asking for flight dates times passenger names, telling them.....

Told we need to dial a different number....

807 11 71 11.

Thaats the number we have been trying , now they say that we cant ring the number they have provided because our phone wont allow it.

apparently we booked through and agent and now we must either call 807 11 71 11. which we cant get through or we have to call a number in germany as thats where the agency is based???????

doing that now , cant get through

I appreciate that some phones dont go to premium numbers but we have already paid them for a flight so I would have tought they would let us speak to them.

Hung up now and still have flights to change.

If no one has suggested it before i would advise DO NOT USE THESE MONKEYS!!!!!!

(before anyone chips in, no we didnt pay peanuts)
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british airways, customer service, iberia airlines, missed flight


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