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British Airways

“We Were Treated With Contempt” British Airways Passengers Suffer Through 77-Hour Delay

“We Were Treated With Contempt” British Airways Passengers Suffer Through 77-Hour Delay
Jackie Reddy

British Airways has been criticized by passengers who suffered a 77-hour delay after their London-bound flight from Orlando was diverted to New York due to technical problems. It has been reported that, during their diversion, passengers weren’t offered accommodation and were left to sleep on the airport floor.

London-bound British Airways (BA) passengers have voiced their anger with the carrier for offering what has been described as “deplorable service” after they had to contend with a flight delay of nearly 80 hours, The Guardian reports.

While British Airways Flight BA2036 was initially meant to depart from Orlando on November 1st at 07:25 p.m. local time, its progress was hampered first by technical problems and then a later diversion to New York. The outlet reports that the flight, which was carrying over 100 passengers, didn’t touch down in London until November 4th, making it 77 hours overdue.

While passengers were offered accommodation during the delay in Orlando, during the course of the diversion to New York – which the outlet describes as being caused by a second “minor technical issue” –many travelers feel that they were not offered a reasonable level of care by the carrier.

It is reported that many were left to sleep on the floor of John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Speaking of her experience, passenger Ceri Todd, who has traveling with her children and husband, told the outlet, “There was a lack of leadership, a lack of strategy and there didn’t appear to be any plan in place for when things like this happen.”

Rosie Slater Watts, another passenger, added, “We were treated with contempt and like we didn’t matter. When we got on the aborted flight, the customer care manager advised us that they weren’t sure the aircraft had been fixed. No way would we ever use BA again.”

BA said that it was unable to source accommodation for passengers during the diversion to New York because of the city’s annual marathon.

In a statement, the carrier was quoted as saying, “We appreciate that this was an exhausting and frustrating experience for our customers, and we have apologized for the long delay to their flight. Customers were rebooked where possible and while there were limited hotel rooms available, our teams on the ground cared for customers in our first class lounge providing bedding, food and drinks to ensure they were comfortable during their stay.”

View Comments (6)


  1. Bear4Asian

    November 5, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Cared for customers I. Their First Class lounge. All or just Firsat Class?

  2. kkua

    November 7, 2018 at 8:17 am

    Silly idiotic passengers who cannot think out of the box… why not look for connecting flights instead? Use their partners to connect via BOS, PHL, ORD, CLT, etc… just don’t stay at JFK waiting for them to fix the plane.

  3. flying_geek

    November 7, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    there probably weren’t many without checked bags on a flight from MCO – and in general it probably isn’t a flight with a lot of frequent flyers. I can see why many would give waiting for a repair a chance. Also, in my experience agents have often significant difficulty rebooking if you are at an airport you aren’t supposed to be with a coupon already shown as used. I had that a that on occasion and it involved a bunch of supervisors and them calling backoffices to rebook in a case like that. You’d have a good chance to get a refund if you buy a ticket – but again, families on vacation coming from Orlando might be less inclined to risk that than you or I on a business trip

  4. N1120A

    November 8, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Sounds like lots of EU261 violations. Not only does BA have to pay base level compensation, but they owed a duty of care to passengers that includes feeding them and paying for appropriate accommodation. Also, how on earth is BA unable to find seats for people that would get them to London within 77 hours? That is madness.

  5. UncleDude

    November 9, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    I suspect this may be a fault of British Airways using LGW and LHR 777 fleets as 2 separate divisions for operations.

    They are also tight at LHR with replacement aircraft, at the moment due to 787 Engine problems.

    Not withstanding that, Being unable to get 350 passengers from One of the Worlds Major International Cities to another of the worlds Major International cities in under 24 hours with a choice of over 15 Airlines and 30 connection Points reeks of Incompetence or Penny Pinching.

    The JFK Station Manager should be fired. Or maybe use another of BA’s over-used policies and DownGrade him.

  6. J S

    November 13, 2018 at 8:22 am

    @kkua: a bit harsh, no? This sounds like a horrendous ordeal for a lot of people, including families with small children (which is to be expected since the origin was MCO).

    You–as a very experienced flyer–would have tried to get yourself rebooked. Even that might have been difficult at JFK since as @flying_geek points out, none of these pax had a ticket that showed JFK as an origin, destination or stopover.

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