BA overbooked and made me loose all toiletries

Old Jun 9, 11, 12:44 pm
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BA overbooked and made me loose all toiletries

Hi all,

I am looking for advice regarding this incident:
June 2011 from LHR to Geneva
I arrived at the airport (LHR) 1hr and 45 minutes before departure. At the check-in, they told me that the flight was overbooked and I had to wait until they close check-in to see if there was any seat left for me.

When the check-in was closed they told me that there was no seat BUT i could rush to the gate and wait there in case some of these passengers did not turn up. However they could not check my luggage in as I was not assured a seat, therefore they suggested that I take all my luggages with me through security.

This was done with a 'panic mode on' and stupidly I did not think about all the items security confiscates from hand-luggages.

So at security I lost all my toiletries, perfumes, the full catastrophe. Items that I plan to send through check-in but was forced by BA to take them with my hand-luggages.

I begged security to let me go back out and they said that was not possible.

At the gate they told me that there was a seat for me so I did travel as scheduled minus my personal items. And just for the record there were at least four empty seats in the plane.

What shall I do? I feel I need them to pay for my perfumes and apologise. It's a textbook case of how a corporation can ruin the tranquility of an individual because of their greed (and incompetence).

please advise,

thanks in advance,

blix
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Old Jun 9, 11, 12:52 pm
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I have no answer to the OP but this incident clearly is a reminder to always check in online 24h before departure.

However I have a vague memory that OLCI might be closed if the flight is oversold.
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Old Jun 9, 11, 12:54 pm
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BA will probably argue that the issue with your personal items is none of their business. However, if you were booked on that flight, they should have checked you in regardless and dealt with the wait-listing airside, just like any other normal airline at any other normal airport.

Personally, in your situation I would insist on either being checked in or rebooked (i.e. normal standards of professionalism from the check in staff). I'm not interested in being messed around and usually insist on certainty, either way.
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Old Jun 9, 11, 1:03 pm
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I could be wrong, but I think as BA gave you the option to rush to the gate to see if any passengers no showed, then you made that choice. As such they may say they're not responsible for items in your hand luggage you were required to give up.

However, I think it might be worth writing to customer relations to see what they say. They will then be able to investigate all the details surrounding this.
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Old Jun 9, 11, 1:05 pm
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Welcome to FlyerTalk, blix

Write a polite letter to or call BA Customer Relations and explain the problems you faced as a result of the overbooking situation. The fact that you were inconvenienced - held back at check in until after the flight closed and not offered an option to check baggage is something CR should be able to resolve with you. It was not your fault BA overbooked the flight.

I'd recommend avoiding the greed and incompetence comments. In reality, it is the passenger's responsibility to ensure the contents of his/her luggage complies with the security guidelines.

Good luck
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Old Jun 9, 11, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Prospero View Post
Write a polite letter to or call BA Customer Relations and explain the problems you faced as a result of the overbooking situation.
Indeed....the most obvious thing to do I would have thought.
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Old Jun 9, 11, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Prospero View Post
In reality, it is the passenger's responsibility to ensure the contents of his/her luggage complies with the security guidelines.

Good luck
But isn't the problem that the OP was denied to check luggage and was therefore more or less forced to take a bag (intented as checked luggage) through security?

One thing I don't understand, can the check in agent really print a boarding card without an assigned seat?
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Old Jun 9, 11, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by sunrisegirl View Post
I could be wrong, but I think as BA gave you the option to rush to the gate to see if any passengers no showed, then you made that choice. As such they may say they're not responsible for items in your hand luggage you were required to give up.

However, I think it might be worth writing to customer relations to see what they say. They will then be able to investigate all the details surrounding this.
Fair enough, but in such circumstances would it not be usual practice to offer a gentle reminder about hand baggage security requirements?
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Old Jun 9, 11, 1:54 pm
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Welcome to FT Blix.

BA are not going to pay for your toiletries, let it go.
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Old Jun 9, 11, 2:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Lobengula View Post
But isn't the problem that the OP was denied to check luggage and was therefore more or less forced to take a bag (intented as checked luggage) through security?

One thing I don't understand, can the check in agent really print a boarding card without an assigned seat?
to the OP.
welcome to Flyertalk

im curious......... were you not given the option of a later flight and checking bags in? Geneva is one of those destinations that has multiple daily flights

cs
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Old Jun 9, 11, 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Lobengula View Post
One thing I don't understand, can the check in agent really print a boarding card without an assigned seat?
I have experienced this in long and distant past back in the days when BA operated out of T1. At check-in I was handed a BP without a recorded seat assignment; this was later exchanged at the gate for a BP with a recorded seat assignment. Flight uneventful; end of mini adventure.
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Old Jun 9, 11, 2:12 pm
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No harm in trying for compensation. I must admit I struggle to understand the pro-BA view on this issue. If BA is willing to reap the rewards of selling more seats than actually exist, equity dictates they take it on the chin when problems occur. Quid pro quo. Were you rights under the EU directive mentioned clearly when you were told you had no guarantee of a seat?
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Old Jun 9, 11, 2:18 pm
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How much were your toiletries worth?
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Old Jun 9, 11, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Lobengula View Post
One thing I don't understand, can the check in agent really print a boarding card without an assigned seat?
Most places/airlines allow for the printing of waitlsted boarding cards with no seat printed.

I feel sorry for the OP and support the recommendation to write a polite letter but sadly the truth is that (s)he is getting the worst of both worlds. Had you been denied boarding, you would have been entitled to compensation, but since you flew and accepted to go through security there is no obvious entitlement in your case. In your letter, I recommend that you emphasise the fact that you were denied the right to check luggage because of the issue (in effect, while it is true that you were given 'a' choice, your choice was between not flying on this flight or potentially flying but without your luggage entitlement, in other words, none of the options proposed corresponded to you full contractual entitlement) and hope for the best. I also recommend that you be fairly explicit about what you lost at security although it would have been ideal to get a statement from them on this. Good luck!
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Old Jun 9, 11, 2:22 pm
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Originally Posted by blix View Post
So at security I lost all my toiletries, perfumes, the full catastrophe. Items that I plan to send through check-in but was forced by BA to take them with my hand-luggages.
Most such items fall within the 100ml limit, in particular higher priced items such as perfumes as beauty creams tend to be sold in small containers and should be allowed through.
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