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Asking for Supervisor's name leads to "Final Notice"?

Asking for Supervisor's name leads to "Final Notice"?

Old Jul 20, 15, 12:14 am
  #1  
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Asking for Supervisor's name leads to "Final Notice"?

Would appreciate some advice from BA regulars ... late last week I was flying from a continental airport where BA is handled by a contractor, via LHR to the US. I am OW Emerald and was flying on a Business Class ticket.

I noticed that the check-in agent appeared to be fumbling somewhat and after a while he handed me the Europe-LHR boarding pass but not my onward BP for a LHR-USA flight on American Airlines.

When asked about it, he simply said that the "system" does not issue a BP and I should get it in LHR. Knowing what a tedious procedure it is to change terminals at LHR from T5 to T3 and keeping in mind my short connection, I requested for a supervisor.

At first he claimed that there was no supervisor. However, when I persisted in talking to one, if need be at least over the phone, suddenly a supervisor could be found. When he came, I explained to him that I flew exactly the same route / airlines six weeks ago and at that time there was no problem in getting all BPs when checking in for the first flight at the same airport.

The supervisor said, without batting an eyelid and without checking anything, it was a system issue and he could do nothing. At this point I gently suggested that may be someone else can try checking me in and since he was the supervisor, may be he himself could check me in.

To this astonishingly he responded that he handles check-in for seven airlines and he is not familiar with the BA system.

At this point, I gave up but asked for his name; he only gave me his first name and refused to give me a surname.

Next thing I know, he goes behind the counter, opens a cupboard and hands me this notice!

I was absolutely flabbergasted because I had in no way "threatened, abused or insulted" the BA staff. Nor was there any prior 'warning' of any kind, contrary to what the message stated. I had merely asked for the Supervisor's name, including his surname.

Anyway, at this point I decided not to utter another word and walked away. Boarded the flight without any further incident and upon arrival at LHR/T3, presented myself to the AA transfer desk.

The agent there issued my onward boarding passes without any fuss whatsoever; when i asked him why the European station could not issue the onward boarding passes, he of course did not know but guessed that the check-in agent entered the old, now invalid expiry date on my green card and not the renewed date which was attached with a sticker.

Anyway, I am back home but am still seething at the unprovoked insult even after a few days. After 30+ years of flying BA long haul, very often in premium cabins, this is the first time that I have encountered anything remotely like this.

While I have a good mind to complain, I am afraid that I will just get a canned, nonsense reply at best. Also, considering how arrogant many airlines have become now, I cannot even rule out BA continuing to be nasty.

So what do you think I should do? Swallow it and move on? Or write to complain and if so to which e-mail address?
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Old Jul 20, 15, 12:24 am
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Well there's a phone number on the notice you got. You could start off there. Sending e-mails to BA is a bit of a waste of time, it gets handled by a copy/paste brigade, which will just return a canned response.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 12:38 am
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Cool, thanks for sharing this document! Its existence was revealed circa 2002, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...ritish-airways , but I think this is the first time we've seen a full picture of a BA "yellow card" in real life.

I appreciate the "PLEASE NOW CALM DOWN AND ACT IN A SENSIBLE MANNER SO THAT OUR STAFF CAN DEAL WITH YOUR PROBLEM" text which seems like it would have the opposite of the desired effect on an angry pax. I also appreciate that they have catered a document at a European outstation which refers to UK law. Fascinating.

What outcome exactly would you like from BA? What do you plan to do if you don't get the outcome you want?
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Old Jul 20, 15, 2:19 am
  #4  
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A five post meta discussion was removed so that we can return to the topic. SchottFly clearly aired this issue here because he/she is looking for our constructive feedback.

Originally Posted by SchrottFly View Post
So what do you think I should do? Swallow it and move on? Or write to complain and if so to which e-mail address?
Your assistance is appreciated.

Prospero
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Old Jul 20, 15, 2:34 am
  #5  
 
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Well as you are. It happy the way you have been dealt with, there's no harm in reporting it to BA. You won't need the surname of the supervisor, the first name and station name will suffice. Either do it online. Write in, which might be better, call Customer Relations, as sometimes it is easier to talk to a human than writing it all up.

Since I don't know how check in systems work and don't know the procedure, I don't know why they couldn't issue you with the onward BP on a oneworld carrier if it is all one booking.
But then again I had the same happen to me in the past.
I nowadays check in online whenever I can to secure the seat of my choice and even if I can't print them online, I just get them at the point of transfer.
This is far from ideal, I know, but it's just one of these things.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 2:47 am
  #6  
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Indeed just write to complain. They will investigate, ask the people involved and make a note of it. If no one else ever complained, it will likely be your word against that manager (I assume his perception of the discussion is different from yours), but if you are the tenth to say the same something will probably happen.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 2:58 am
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Or will writing a letter a letter to a newspaper e.g. The Times help?

Not sure which UK newspapers will be sympathetic, but might get a better response than the copy-paste brigade.

Attach the notice for newspaper's publication - at least I think its newsworthy. Might even get a column if you're lucky.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 3:13 am
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I have had the none issuance of a BP numerous times, from outstations, and it is usually down to system limitations, or issues generating the BP..

However I would never tell someone how to do there job, or say it worked before, this only gets staffs backs up... and hence why they felt threatened by someone being very argumentative.
In the end it takes 2minutes to get a connecting BP, so not sure why people get so het up about it...

I dont see why this is newsworthy, man argues with Staff and gets a letter to calm dowm, maybe one for the daily fail or the scum,the scam, the sun.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 3:17 am
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Originally Posted by atmorris View Post
I dont see why this is newsworthy, man argues with Staff and gets a letter to calm dowm, maybe one for the daily fail or the scum,the scam, the sun.
Not sure what are standards like in the UK, but this letter did already attract some comments "...?" "CX/HX should try slapping customers with a [simplified Chinese] version of this letter here".
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Old Jul 20, 15, 3:34 am
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Without knowing how the check in staff saw it, the notice may have been disproportionate, but I guess we'll never know on that. It might have been possible to print your connecting flight BP previously, but who knows if there was some transient problem preventing them doing the same on this occasion? There could be an operational reason why the check-in agent appeared to be fumbling, other than the assumption of ineptitude or "can't be bothered" attitude.

By all means outline your concerns, but I don't expect there to be much mileage in that due to it being one person's word against another. Given this sort of thing is likely to colour your experience in future, and the well documented capacity for things to go wrong when connecting (especially between terminals) at LHR, are there any direct options at your disposal with other carriers?
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Old Jul 20, 15, 3:56 am
  #11  
 
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The last time I connected onto AA off of a BA flight I had the same issue with getting a boarding pass. I don't think this is an isolated incident in that regard. The contract staff in some stations will obviously deal with many airlines - and many different booking systems and ticket types. If you have successfully got boarding passes for this routing at the station before then it suggests either a training issue - or even a system issue which they weren't able to overcome themselves. As for the issue of the warning some people react to stress in different ways - it appears that the supervisor was fairly defensive (this may not have been your doing) and wanted to avoid all possible confrontation over an issue.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 4:11 am
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This would annoy me no end, but unless you have any witnesses who are willing to speak up on your behalf, or unless this staff member has a record of complaints, nothing will happen. I'd still raise a complaint though.

Its one of those situations where someone can hide their incompetencies through abuse of their role, and there's very little you can do without it.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 4:18 am
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Originally Posted by Paralytic View Post
Its one of those situations where someone can hide their incompetencies through abuse of their role, and there's very little you can do without it.
This is exactly my thinking. The 'final notice' was just a cover for a situation that perhaps the supervisor did not know how to address. In any event, provided that the version of events is true and accurate, I would 100% complain. If anything than to make myself feel better for such piffle.

H
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Old Jul 20, 15, 4:54 am
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Without having witnessed the interaction it is hard to provide judgement on the best course of action. It sounds like the local operator got a bit frustrated and handed out the notice to try and end the matter. If however you think they may have lodged something against your name (which I doubt) then I would write to BA to explain that the notice was inappropriate and handed out in a desperate measure to make up for IT difficulties without any prior warning being given.

As far as the issuance of onward boarding passes is concerned I continue to find it very hit and miss. No problem with BA-BA connections which I had on Saturday, but definitely a problem with AA-BA connection which I had earlier in the month. There the Flagship AA check-in desk at LAX for a LAX-JFK AA flight were unable to issue the boarding pass for my onward flight from JFK-LHR with BA (same ticket, same booking reference). Tried again at the Flagship lounge at LAX and they were also unable to issue the BA boarding pass due to IT difficulties. I was unable to grab it on the BA app either as it did not recognise that we had checked in for the initial AA flight - so definitely some systems issues still in place here which we have experienced on and off for several years!

Just like trying to upgrade an existing booking online that does not involve London as the start or end point has been an IT issue for years. Anything that e.g. starts in LIS, TXL, OSL, DUB, ZRH etc. and connects through to long haul cannot show an upgrade price on the BA website. Get tired of having to phone up my "local BA office" to find out the price and issue the upgrade.

The frustrations here arise I suspect primarily from continued failings in communications between IT systems then compounded by poor human communication.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 5:09 am
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Sadly this is the same in all walks of life.

Expressing any form of dissatisfaction with a company's service sends them into defensive mode.

For example any attempt to question the security process at LHR will inevitably result in the "we don't have to be threatened by people like you" routine.
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