BA199 flight from hell

Old May 26, 13, 9:25 am
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BA199 flight from hell

I figured I'd complain about this here, hoping at the very least, someone from BA reads this and helps passengers out on this.

I was on BA199, a very full flight scheduled to leave heathrow for Mumbai at 945pm. Monitors showed a delay of half an hour, which was very reasonable given the many cancelations earlier given what happened at heathrow.

However, post boarding, we sat on the plane with the door closed till 2am. Communication from the crew was terrible. Essentially, they had to unload some bags, allegedly took some bags off that they weren't supposed to, and then reloaded them on. That delay meant the BA crew would have worked more than they were allowed to so they couldn't fly.. Also the delays with baggage and I'm guessing with the BA crew figuring stuff out, we had missed this time to leave heathrow given flight rules.

Ground staff came on, and the absurd options they have people were, at 2am to stay on board till 5am until the airport opens and then wait in the airport till 1230 on may 24 when the flight was rescheduled. The second choice was to go to a hotel in central london ( on our own with no transport) and returning in time for the flat. As you can see both options were absurd. Why BA could not offer accommodation near the airport befuddles me, and seemed like a ploy to save money by encouraging people to wait on a plane - note by this time we had been sitting on the plane for 4 hours already and expected to stay on for an additional 3 hours.

The next day our flight ended up being delayed by over an hour, thanks to, you got it, more baggage issues. Nonetheless happy to say we made it out. Unfortunately, there were a lot if US passengers that had an even more trying ordeal given the amount of time they'd spent making that journey. Reaching Mumbai at 3am instead of 11am the previous day isn't exactly fun.

I'm hoping BA investigates this. On the positive, the staff on the new crew for the new flight went out of their way to make people happy.
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Old May 26, 13, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by deeman View Post
Why BA could not offer accommodation near the airport befuddles me, and seemed like a ploy to save money by encouraging people to wait on a plane.
Is it possible that all heathrow hotels were full with the numerous cancellations on Friday?
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Old May 26, 13, 9:31 am
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Doesn't sound a nice experience at all and I hope you've relayed your thoughts to customer relations.

Using terms like flight from hell is inappropriate considering what happened lately. I'd much rather have your experience (although I'd not be happy) than be on an aircraft with engine issues of the sort that happened Friday.
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Old May 26, 13, 9:33 am
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Originally Posted by andset1191 View Post
Is it possible that all heathrow hotels were full with the numerous cancellations on Friday?
The IHG and Hilton hotels were certainly showing as full when I looked on Friday.
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Old May 26, 13, 9:34 am
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I'm sorry to hear about your problems. Things like this do occur and it can be a horrible experience. Putting people in Central London is nothing new, especially during bad weather when multiple delays, and can be a nightmare if you get an early check in the following day.

I would suggest you make a more formal complaint rather than post it here. While we get to hear about the experience I doubt you will get much done and would recommend a letter to BA if you feel strongly about the matter. I'm not sure what you'll get out of it but more chance of a result I would have thought.

Last edited by vibrex; May 26, 13 at 9:45 am Reason: Typo
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Old May 26, 13, 9:37 am
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Already complained. Post is not for me. Fortunately I live in London so was able to go home for a quick nap and I was also fortunate to have access to the lounge etc.

I'm just trying to raise the issue further on the off chance that helps people that wouldn't know where to begin where to complain.
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Old May 26, 13, 9:39 am
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And apologies for the title, perhaps the moderator could change it to something less dramatic!
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Old May 26, 13, 9:45 am
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Is public transportation available from LHR to central London at 2-3 am or would people have to take taxis? That could cost about the same as a hotel room.

Were people leaving the aircraft processed back into England by immigration and customs? I guess some passengers would be forced to stay at the airport by visa rules.
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Old May 26, 13, 9:53 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Were people leaving the aircraft processed back into England by immigration and customs? I guess some passengers would be forced to stay at the airport by visa rules.
Would Immigration and Customs actually be open at these times though?
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Old May 26, 13, 9:57 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Is public transportation available from LHR to central London at 2-3 am or would people have to take taxis? That could cost about the same as a hotel room.
There's a (pretty good) night bus, but it's not ideal after being on a plane for hours.
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Old May 26, 13, 10:04 am
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Interesting read with the building up of suspense and all but you leave us hanging at the end!
What did you finally do, just stay on board?
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Old May 26, 13, 10:21 am
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Originally Posted by deeman View Post
Already complained. Post is not for me. Fortunately I live in London so was able to go home for a quick nap and I was also fortunate to have access to the lounge etc.

I'm just trying to raise the issue further on the off chance that helps people that wouldn't know where to begin where to complain.
Oh that's good, as I said I don't know how you will get on. I have complained before and just ended up with Avios.
Yes you were lucky you could go home, I've done the tube to Central London before only to have the train break down in the cold weather on the way in the following day!

Yes it's good to hear about peoples experiences.
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Old May 26, 13, 10:26 am
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Have to say that depending on class of travel, staying on board is actually not a bad option! Definitely would do so in F, possibly in J.
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Old May 26, 13, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by BOH View Post
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Were people leaving the aircraft processed back into England by immigration and customs? I guess some passengers would be forced to stay at the airport by visa rules.
Would Immigration and Customs actually be open at these times though?
Immigration are present and on duty 24/7 at LHR
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Old May 26, 13, 11:19 am
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EU261 is made for this.

What on earth were BA doing telling people to make their own way to central London?

If that is where the hotels were, they needed to arrange coaches for the pax, to go there.

Sounds like a very poorly handled event, on the face of it.
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