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Old Sep 14, 18, 4:14 am
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: UK & Switzerland
Programs: BA; LH; AF
Posts: 144
Missed flight in LIS - any recourse?

I'm pretty sure there is not, but I thought I'd ask just in case. I'm also venting, as I'm pretty annoyed at the situation.

I was due to be on BA503 yesterday (last BA LIS-LHR of the day). Arrived at the airport an hour and a bit before take off, online check-in and hand baggage only. Made my way to fast track (gold card, economy ticket), and the security guard refused me access, stating business class only. This is not the policy, GC get to use FT access, and I have done so on previous trips. I was sent to the regular security queue, where I then waited about 25 mins to get through.
Got through it and passport control, screens showing final call. Made it to the gate to be told the bus had just gone, flight was now closed, nothing they could do, sorry. Screen at the gate showed final call, not closed, and by my watch and phone I was there 22mins before stated departure time - policy at LIS is 20 mins. Dispatcher (outsourced, not BA) said it takes a minute or two for the screen to update, acknowledged I was there 20 mins before take-off, but since she had no more transport, there was nothing more that she could do. To make it worse, the dispatcher said I should have used Fast Track, and what a shame I missed the flight as I had been bumped to Club. When I explained that I had tried to use FT but was denied access - until now she had addressed me in English, greeting me by name when I got to the gate - she said I should have spoken to the security guard in Portuguese as not all of them speak English. At that point I switched to Portuguese, which I speak pretty fluently, and said that I had. She reacted with surprise, but went back to the "nothing I can do, you were a no show". I asked that, since I was there before the 20min deadline, that I be declared denied boarding, rather than no show, but she refused, and was not willing to continue the conversation. I rang GGL line and headed back landside - by the time I had got through immigration, still no answer on GGL line, and no BA staff that I could find. In all I waited on GGL line for 15mins for someone to pick up before ringing off to call my TA and rebook onto TAP for the same evening. Eventually got through to BA customer services, who logged it and promised to get back to me today. Got a call this morning from them to say that according to the airport's report, I arrived at the gate 19 minutes before take-off, and so was a no-show. I put forward my perspective, especially the acknowledgement by the dispatcher of the timing, but "that is not what the record shows, and you are not going to change the outcome of our investigation".
I guess I chalk it up to experience, but to say it's frustrating is an understatement.
RichP is offline