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COMPLAINT: Insulting customer service

 
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Old Jul 28, 2016, 8:59 PM
shobbsy shobbsy is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
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I am writing to complain about the very poor treatment my family and I received from BA/Iberia staff on our recent trip to Mallorca.
Our young son, Peter is just 3 months old and this was to be his first family holiday. And as you can imagine, as new, first-time parents, my wife and I were very much looking forward to a bit of rest and relaxation after the sleeplessness of Peter’s early weeks.
But, nervous of how our young son would take to air travel, we wanted to make sure our trip was as easy as possible. That’s why we decided to pay a little more and fly with BA and enjoy the extra level of service this investment promised.
And all went well until our return flight. We arrived at Palma Airport in good time for our return flight on Saturday 11th June – the 17.40 service to LHR BA7051). We had checked-in online and allowed ourselves at least an hour and a half to drop our bags and clear security.
In the departures hall we found the check-in boards which informed us that we needed to check-in at Iberia desks 56-59. We made our way to the desk, a little surprised we would be returning on an Iberia flight, but not terribly worried – after all BA & Iberia are the same company now.
At the check-in desks, obviously branded with Iberia livery, we were confronted by a huge queue which we joined. It moved slowly and time was ticking until boarding so I asked one of the Iberia staff if we were in the right place and alerted them to my concerns that we might miss our flight. I also made it clear we had already checked in and were only looking to drop our hold bags. I was told, rather bluntly that we would have to continue to queue. Which we did, nerves starting to rise. Poor little Peter was tired and fractious, but we were managing to keep him calm.
When we finally made it to the desk we were told that we had been queuing in the wrong place. That, despite the Iberia Livery and the fact that the check-in boards had clearly said desks 56-59 (we were at desk 56) this was check-in for Veuling only. I was sent to desk 52 which was marked as business class only. Here we were told that we were too late to board our flight and would not be allowed to fly. In short, we had missed our flight home entirely because of incorrect information given both by your airline’s departures boards and by Iberia staff.
By now, Peter was approaching a full melt down and we, his parents, were desperate for help. It was getting late on Saturday night. We had all of our baggage, a howling 3 month old baby and nowhere to go. But far from the support or assistance that we had previously assumed we were ensuring when we booked our flights from BA, we were told that it was our fault we had missed the plane and that there was no chance of us getting moved onto another flight that day. It was also made very clear to us that we would have to buy another set of tickets. And we were told that it was impossible that the check-in boards had told us to queue in the wrong place. We were sent to the Iberia ticket office.
By this point my wife was on the verge of tears as we asked the staff for help or support. We pointed out that through no fault of ours we were stuck in Palma airport with an exhausted 3 month old baby. The woman in the ticket office told us our child was “nothing special” and that “we had been in the wrong line” and that even if we wanted to buy a ticket we couldn’t get one until Monday – two days later.
Finally we had to give up, hire a car and child seat and leave the airport to find alternative accommodations where we could settle our son and try to find another way home.
When we managed to get somewhere safe and online we bought new tickets home for Mon13 June – again the Iberia 17.40 service to LHR (Flight#).
Two days later we returned to the airport. We had been forced to pay for car hire, two extra flights and I was a day late for my return to work. All because of poor information and incorrect advice from your staff and service.
Imagine our surprise to find the check-in board once again telling us to check-in at desks 56-59! There we met other UK travellers who had queued up only to be told they too were in the wrong line! Once again the correct check-in desk was desk 52 (still marked Business Class only). Once again there was no bag drop. Once again online check-in was entirely redundant.
I asked the Iberia staff member at the desk if he could explain why this service was regularly misdirected to travellers. He told us that it happened every day. And every day people missed their flights because of it. I recorded that conversation on my phone and this will be made available. Also find photographs of the ‘wrong’ desks clearly branded with Iberia Livery, as well as photographs on the check-in information boards clearly directing traveller to the wrong place.
In total the very poor service given, apparently daily, to your customers at Palma airport cost me more than £400 in extra flights and additional car hire. It cost me a day’s work and required the rescheduling of an important business meeting. It also led to my wife and 3 month old baby being insulted and lied to by aggressive and unkind staff.
In short this is not the service that I expected or paid for when I chose to fly BA. And I shall not be doing it again.
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