Newbie here...looking for some advice please

Old Aug 29, 13, 7:53 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 4
Newbie here...looking for some advice please

Hi everyone

I have been a long time lurker on these forums, but have only just registered so that I could post this thread.

My wife and I are not frequent flyers by any means, but we usually take around 3 holidays a year, often long hall to the USA, are BAEC members, and almost always tend to use BA.

Recently, on a flight back from home, something happened that really annoyed me and I have decided to do something about it and fire off an email to BA. I just thought I would ask all you guys your opinions, as being regular travellers I am sure you encounter such incidents all the time.

I have posted below a copy of what I have sent, please let me know what you think.

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to you to express my concern regarding an incident that occurred on our recent flight home from Las Vegas to London Heathrow

On boarding the flight and taking our seats, I noticed a woman who had boarded the plane and was commenting to other passengers and staff that she needed room for her legs.

Hearing this my first thought was 'maybe you should not be flying if you have a medical issue with your legs' or 'maybe if you require that much room you should pay for World Traveller Plus or Club Class seating'

As a 6 foot 3 inch tall person myself, I know it can be very uncomfortable sometimes, especially on long haul flights, but unfortunately I cannot afford such luxuries as Premium Economy or Club Class travel, so I just have to put up with it.

Now, after an hour or so into the flight I once again heard this lady complaining to the cabin crew. Some discussions then took place and i then heard them say that they were going to move the lady to another cabin to make her comfortable.

This is what has made me extremely angry.

How can this be allowed to happen?, and how can British Airways think this is fair?

Firstly, it is completely unfair to other passengers such as myself, and I am sure many other 'tall' people on the flight, who no doubt would love to travel in more comfort, but are happy to accept that we have NO RIGHT to an upgrade as we have not paid for one.

Secondly, how is this fair to all those Premium Economy/Club Class passengers who have legitimately paid, what I am sure is a rather large sum of money, to travel in those cabins?. I know I would not be happy if I had paid thousands of pounds, only to find that someone else be allowed to travel in the same cabin for free.

The point is this woman had NO GOOD REASON to be upgraded, and for want of a better phrase 'was just trying it on', and your cabin crew should not have bowed to her demands so easily. It simply is not fair to other paying customers.

My wife and I consider ourselves to be loyal British Airways customers. We have always been happy with the service you provide and have flown with you many times in the past, and will be again in the future (as you can see from my Executive Club number I have a further 4 flights booked this year), but what happened on this flight has left what can only be described as 'a very bad taste in the mouth', and we shall definitely be looking at alternate carriers in the future.

Could somebody please respond to this email as I would like an explanation as to why this was allowed to happen and how you consider this fair and just treatment to your other passengers.

Regards'
mdkdue is offline  
Old Aug 29, 13, 8:01 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Manchester but from Yorkshire better known as Gods country
Programs: BA Gold, , Sandals plat
Posts: 723
Totally agree but this happens with all airlines. I also hate the able bodied people who book wheel chair assistance to jump the queues. On my last flight to Denver one person came on board in a wheel but had no difficulty walking around throughout the flight, until we landed then back into the chair and tin past the queue to the front of the immigration hall whereafter she collected her bags and walked out of the airport
PJSMITH0 is online now  
Old Aug 29, 13, 8:01 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 196
I understand your complaint, however, you never know what else might have been said to the cabin crew to change cabin (if indeed that is what happened).

I'm not sure things are always as they seem.
sammy..uk is offline  
Old Aug 29, 13, 8:05 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Far east, CT18!
Programs: BAEC & others
Posts: 92
Quite honestly, move on and forget about it. Don't waste your time and BA's discussing the matter. People get upgraded all of the time and one day I hope it will be your turn.
Old Coaster is offline  
Old Aug 29, 13, 8:06 am
  #5  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 40,687
Welcome mdkdue

Originally Posted by mdkdue View Post
Hi everyone

I have been a long time lurker on these forums, but have only just registered so that I could post this thread.
Welcome mdkdue, welcome to Flyertalk, welcome to the British Airways board, and thank you for your post. It is good to see you taking the plunge, and I hope we see plenty more of you from here on. Welcome on board.

I am a regular traveller, and I can't think of a single example that matches this. I've very, very rarely seen people shifted into CW mid flight, and in so far as I find out there is usually a good reason (one that springs to mind was that her seat neighbour, to whom she had no connection, died in flight). My experience is that BA is particularly robust with sob-sob stories, for all the reasons you mention, if anything they may upgrade someone next to a complainer to stop them being caught in the cross fire.

It is also possible that she actually paid for a higher grade seat (either in the cabin or in the next cabin up) but at the last moment she was denied what she paid for - and yet there is an empty seat in the upscale area. Irrops cause this, but of course we are unlikely to know the whole story.

However it can happen at the captain's discretion, and there was (is?) a scheme where people can pay to upgrade on board. I'd also say that I don't see travel as relativist: it's about how you and your partner travel rather than factoring in everyone around you. I'm lucky to get a lot of upgrades, I got a great one yesterday getting to Toronto from T5, but on those days that I see an infrequent traveller getting an upgrade I can only wish them well.

Now clearly you are a careful traveller in terms of affordability, so I can see how this may rankle, and it may be interesting to see what BA reply - I suspect it won't have any specifics in it and you will get a more general reply.

However this is where this forum is so, so, so useful! I would be most surprised, if after reading around here a bit and learning some of the tricks of the trade, that you and your wife can't also travel CW from time to time. With a few Avios and a few Sales lined up it can often be cheaper that WT. You just need to have a few ducks in a row.

Good luck, and welcome again.
corporate-wage-slave is offline  
Old Aug 29, 13, 8:21 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Welcome mdkdue, welcome to Flyertalk, welcome to the British Airways board, and thank you for your post. It is good to see you taking the plunge, and I hope we see plenty more of you from here on. Welcome on board.
Many thanks for the warm welcome and your feedback.

I just felt this needed to be highlighted to BA. As I said in my email, I could hear everything that was said between this lady and the crew, so I know she definitely got an upgrade just through complaining about needing space for her legs...I am 99% certain she didn't have to pay a penny for it.

Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
However this is where this forum is so, so, so useful! I would be most surprised, if after reading around here a bit and learning some of the tricks of the trade, that you and your wife can't also travel CW from time to time. With a few Avios and a few Sales lined up it can often be cheaper that WT. You just need to have a few ducks in a row.
Funny you should say that!, just yesterday I managed to bag a couple of very reasonable WT+ flights to JFK and have subsequently upgraded myself and my wife to CW, its outbound only, but hey, its still a big deal for us!

As you can imagine we are both very much looking forward to it, my wife couldn't believe it when I told her she could get a Spa treatment in the Lounge!
mdkdue is offline  
Old Aug 29, 13, 9:06 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: LCY
Programs: BAEC Gold, HHonors Gold
Posts: 1,162
Originally Posted by PJSMITH0 View Post
On my last flight to Denver one person came on board in a wheel but had no difficulty walking around throughout the flight, until we landed then back into the chair and tin past the queue to the front of the immigration hall whereafter she collected her bags and walked out of the airport
There are legitimate medical conditions that would make this possible.
GadgetGal is offline  
Old Aug 29, 13, 9:15 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: LCY
Programs: BAEC Gold, HHonors Gold
Posts: 1,162
To reply to the OP, I would say just move on. Maybe she was "trying it on" but people get upgraded for all sorts of reasons and this occasion didn't affect you directly
GadgetGal is offline  
Old Aug 29, 13, 9:38 am
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Argentina
Programs: BAEC/IB
Posts: 37,769
I've seen this behaviour before on other airlines. I witnessed AF cabin crew sternly telling a lady if she didn't stop complaining about her seat in Y she would have to leave the aircraft before they shut the door. Many people get upgraded without you even knowing it and for various reasons.....a case of what you don't know won't hurt you.

I'm very surprised you're allowing such an insignificant event as this bother you to such an extent that you are threatening never to fly BA again.....that's all a bit over the top.
HIDDY is offline  
Old Aug 29, 13, 9:42 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: BOS
Programs: BA Silver, Mucci
Posts: 5,266
In years gone by I have seen several tall men upgraded on board after complaining about needing more legroom. It rankled a little, but I wouldn't have dreamt of complaining to BA about it. Maybe I should have asked to be upgraded because I needed more butt room!

As for the wheelchair issue, the easiest and fastest way to provide assistance to passengers who need it is to stick 'em in a wheelchair and push them around. Plenty of people who can move around the plane quite easily are brought to the plane in wheelchairs because they need some assistance.
HilFly is offline  
Old Sep 2, 13, 5:02 am
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 4
Got a response today..

'Thank you for taking the time to contact us about your recent experience with British Airways. I am sorry you did not receive the high level of service you expect from us. I understand why you are dissatisfied. Please accept my apologies.

We are determined to provide the highest possible level of service to our customers. This includes your contact with us before and after you travel, as well as during your journey. Your feedback is vital to us because it means we can identify which areas must be improved as a priority.
As a genuine gesture of goodwill towards the problems you had, I have added 10,000 Avios to your Executive Club account. Please accept them with my compliments

Once again, I am sorry you have been so disappointed. I do hope we can welcome you on board again soon.'


So, 10,000 Avios, I am happy with that, was worth sending the email in the end...

Regards
mdkdue is offline  
Old Sep 2, 13, 5:11 am
  #12  
nux
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Programs: BA Gold, QF WP
Posts: 12,551
Originally Posted by mdkdue View Post
Got a response today..

So, 10,000 Avios, I am happy with that, was worth sending the email in the end...
I am appalled that BA has given you 10,000 avios for no good reason, based solely on you observing and assuming something happened.

Perhaps I should write in to BA to 'complain' about your treatment by BA and hope for compensation of my own.
Just need to modify your original email slightly, as in essence it is the same complaint:

Originally Posted by mdkdue View Post
The point is this person had NO GOOD REASON to receive 10k avios, and for want of a better phrase 'was just trying it on', and your CS agent should not have bowed to her demands so easily. It simply is not fair to other paying customers.

what happened in this thread has left what can only be described as 'a very bad taste in the mouth', and we shall definitely be looking at alternate carriers in the future.

Could somebody please respond to this email as I would like an explanation as to why this was allowed to happen and how you consider this fair and just treatment to your other passengers.
nux is offline  
Old Sep 2, 13, 5:16 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: London
Programs: BA Silver, Starbucks Gold (free syrup, don't knock it), My John Lewis (free coffee and cake!)
Posts: 733
Originally Posted by mdkdue View Post
Got a response today..

'Thank you for taking the time to contact us about your recent experience with British Airways. I am sorry you did not receive the high level of service you expect from us. I understand why you are dissatisfied. Please accept my apologies.

We are determined to provide the highest possible level of service to our customers. This includes your contact with us before and after you travel, as well as during your journey. Your feedback is vital to us because it means we can identify which areas must be improved as a priority.
As a genuine gesture of goodwill towards the problems you had, I have added 10,000 Avios to your Executive Club account. Please accept them with my compliments

Once again, I am sorry you have been so disappointed. I do hope we can welcome you on board again soon.'


So, 10,000 Avios, I am happy with that, was worth sending the email in the end...

Regards
Oh good lord... No disrespect to you mdkdue, but frankly if that's the threshhold standard for handing out Avios, I might as well chance my arm and put in a complaint that I was 'severely inconvenienced' last friday on my flight to BHD, because I thought the departure board read gate '8D' whereas in fact it was '80' - meaning that I had to run, LITERALLY RUN, out of the T1 domestic lounge in order to get my flight, and then endure the disapproving stares of other passengers for being last on. Surely the combination of mental and physical distress there has to be worth 20,000 haribos, no?
ratechaser is offline  
Old Sep 2, 13, 5:24 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Herts, UK
Programs: BAEC Gold, HH Diamond.
Posts: 2,856
Originally Posted by mdkdue View Post
Got a response today..

'Thank you for taking the time to contact us about your recent experience with British Airways. I am sorry you did not receive the high level of service you expect from us. I understand why you are dissatisfied. Please accept my apologies.

We are determined to provide the highest possible level of service to our customers. This includes your contact with us before and after you travel, as well as during your journey. Your feedback is vital to us because it means we can identify which areas must be improved as a priority.
As a genuine gesture of goodwill towards the problems you had, I have added 10,000 Avios to your Executive Club account. Please accept them with my compliments

Once again, I am sorry you have been so disappointed. I do hope we can welcome you on board again soon.'


So, 10,000 Avios, I am happy with that, was worth sending the email in the end...

Regards
great stuff, that's just paid (your avios) for your upgrades to JFK!

Also, If you can keep an eye out for the sales and book WT+ you will have a good chance of getting a silver card with a few USA trips a year
stewaran is offline  
Old Sep 2, 13, 5:38 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 870
To be fair to the OP, on his own admission, he is not a frequent flyer and the perceived unjustified upgrade of a fellow passenger may have seemed an issue to him which to many on here, would be a non-event.

Good luck to him I say, although I do tend to agree with others that the offering of 10,000 Avios for such a situation was at best a strange decision.
passy777 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread