RANT - Downgraded at LHR T1

Old Oct 2, 08, 11:10 am
  #1  
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RANT - Downgraded at LHR T1

I have had my most disapointing day as a bmi customer today

as a gold card holder on a C fare

Firstly priority check -in was a bit of a cattle market before one of the agents stepped from behind her desk to inform eveyone that the desks were for biz class and gold card holders only - this reduced the queue in half!!

So i check one bag and engage the agent in conversation about the new star lounge in T1 - firstly she tells me im not permitted to use it (i remind her star gold can enter any lounge!) and after acknowledging this she is unable to tell me the location of the lounge and suggests i just go to the bmi lounge 'because ive been there before' !

this conversation has disracted me and its only when im walking away that i see that shes given me seat 18c!!!

i immediately return and and advise her that 1) im on a C fare and 2) ive prebooked seat 1C - this does not phase her and she shamelessly tells me in a loud voice that im on an economy fare and if i have a problem with that i should speak to the ticket desk for details of how to purchase an upgrade!

i wasnt angry - i was too stunned to be angry - i asked her to check again and she again advised me (and half of T1) that i was on a economy fare

i shook my head, booted up my laptop for the e-confirmation and went to the ticket desk who immediately confirmed i was on a C fare but the cabin was overbooked and i had been downgraded!!!

i asked the guy what criteria had been used to select the downgrades as surely not everyone in the cabin was BD gold - he said he didnt know but i should speak to the cashier for a refund of the difference in the C to Y (M actually) fare - this amounted to £41 - which i immediately declined reckoning that i would be pursuing an alternate avenue of compensation via DC themselves

to be fair to the agents in the DC lounge they were very helpful but explained that sometimes these things happen for operational reasons

of course get on the plane and there are 2 BA officers and 3 bmi crew sitting in the C cabin whihc consisted of 3 rows!!!

so FTers i presume my best avenue is a letter (or email which is best) to Donnington Hall detailing all of the above?

Is it appropriate to suggest what form and level of compensation you expect (personally id prefer miles than cash)?

What type of compensation would be normal under such circumstances?

Rant over - sorry to be so long winded - just felt genuinely let down today and i would be one of bmi's biggest flag wavers

on and BTW:
1 - flight delayed 30 mins to to air traffic issues
2 - aborted landing another 10 minutes
3 - delay in bags at arrivals another extra 10 mins

im going to have a pint!!!
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Old Oct 2, 08, 11:34 am
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Sorry to hear of such a bad experience davemcv .

I'd be interested to know how they justify giving deadheading crew priority over full fare paying passengers, not to mention shocking treatment of a Gold member.

I suggest an e-mail to customer relations followed up by a phone call to them.

Last edited by Tiger_lily; Oct 2, 08 at 11:41 am
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Old Oct 2, 08, 11:39 am
  #3  
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Always interesting in times like this - how close to departure were you checking in? Did you OLCI? Did you get the name of the rude check-in girl?

Regardless of what BD should be doing as a goodwill gesture for downgrading a Gold of all people, you should be entitled to the EU downgrade compensation - 75% of 'ticket price'. Some incredibly tedious reading on the BA forum if you fancy it with your pint:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=868617
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Old Oct 2, 08, 11:39 am
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you have my sympathy, and i wish you luck getting the miles. My trouble with them recently has been the other way.

Donnington Hall got both barrels fom me yesterday for refusing to credit me miles for a recent flight. I got op-upped from PE to Biz and when i sent in the boarding stub marked BUSINESS they said no miles because i was in an exempt class!!

Cheers
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Old Oct 2, 08, 11:55 am
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i was with the checkin agent almost exaclty 50 mins prior to scheduled departure

was too shocked to catch the name of the girl on the desk but did get the name of the ticket desk guy and the DC lounge guy
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Old Oct 2, 08, 12:03 pm
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Originally Posted by G-BOAC View Post
Regardless of what BD should be doing as a goodwill gesture for downgrading a Gold of all people, you should be entitled to the EU downgrade compensation - 75% of 'ticket price'. Some incredibly tedious reading on the BA forum if you fancy it with your pint:
It's only 75% on flights over 3500km. If the OP's flight was a UK domestic for example, or other route less than 1500km, the refund is only 30%.

Saying that, and it hasn't happened to me on bmi in many years, I still make a point of noting the cheapest economy fare available on flybmi.com at the time I'm booking a C ticket. Last time I asked for the difference in the two + tip and received it. The tip was the usual £50 bmi voucher.
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Old Oct 2, 08, 12:36 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by davemcv View Post
i was with the checkin agent almost exaclty 50 mins prior to scheduled departure
Had you OLCI'd?

Originally Posted by FlyingOnceMore View Post
It's only 75% on flights over 3500km. If the OP's flight was a UK domestic for example, or other route less than 1500km, the refund is only 30%.
Quite right Apologies - long day, etc. etc.!
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Old Oct 2, 08, 3:36 pm
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Sorry to go OT and the OP does have my sympathy, but may I ask you (OP) whether you are native English?
I will tell you why I ask, once you reply...
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Old Oct 2, 08, 3:43 pm
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Sorry to go OT and the OP does have my sympathy, but may I ask you (OP) whether you are native English?
I will tell you why I ask, once you reply...
Why? Do BMI discriminate against Glaswegians?
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Old Oct 2, 08, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo View Post
Why? Do BMI discriminate against Glaswegians?
I hope not - I would certainly expect all of Scotland to be included in a policy like that
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Old Oct 2, 08, 3:47 pm
  #11  
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My experience is that BMI discriminate against passengers - of duty crew have preference in seating. Opposite of BA where even a CSD will ask if it is OK to sit beside you in Business.

After a few middle seat trips on full C tickets I have now gone down to Blue from Gold and fly EI and also save approximately 200-300 pounds sterling per trip
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Old Oct 2, 08, 4:46 pm
  #12  
tht
 
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Originally Posted by db7 View Post
My experience is that BMI discriminate against passengers - of duty crew have preference in seating. Opposite of BA where even a CSD will ask if it is OK to sit beside you in Business.

After a few middle seat trips on full C tickets I have now gone down to Blue from Gold and fly EI and also save approximately 200-300 pounds sterling per trip
Oh it thought it was Crew class not business....

tht
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Old Oct 3, 08, 10:47 am
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So you book a C class ticket, check in on line, then they downgrade you to make room for staff????

That's bloody disgraceful!
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Old Oct 3, 08, 11:05 am
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Originally Posted by guitarplayer View Post
So you book a C class ticket, check in on line, then they downgrade you to make room for staff????

That's bloody disgraceful!
And not just bmi staff either!! What I can't understand it why the BA staff were in C too!
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Old Oct 3, 08, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Sorry to go OT and the OP does have my sympathy, but may I ask you (OP) whether you are native English?
I will tell you why I ask, once you reply...
English???

lol - im Irish (white Irish!)

Update - BD have conacted me to apologise for the inconvenience
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