Best way to make a complaint?

Old Apr 3, 17, 7:09 pm
  #1  
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Best way to make a complaint?

Flew LGW-MCO last week in economy (I was paying, for 5, not the company!), had a pretty bad experience.

Was my first flight since re-qualifying as silver, so used the club checking desk which took forever as they've not really got themselves sorted since the terminal switch. Had checked in online, having booked 15 J & K and 16 J & K as there were five of us including the baby, and got boarding passes for those seats. I needed to checking the car seats and buggy, hence the trip to the desk. Went to oversize luggage and noticed we'd been issued boarding cards in row 34!

Went back and queried it and got told it was due to change of aircraft, and row 15 didn't exist. We hadn't even been told, they just moved us and issued new ones without even mentioning it. If we'd had hand baggage only we wouldn't have known till the gate.

Fair enough, change of aircraft = people needed to be moved, but we lost our pre booked seats (with bassinet) and got shoved at the back. I spoke to the duty manager who was useless, couldn't explain why we had lost our bassinet and why they didn't just move us back to 16 J, K and 17 J, K which were the equivalent seats?? There were exactly the same number of bassinet seats on the flight (I counted) but the people in row 15 were moved into empty seats without bassinets, it happened to 2 other couples with babies too, with the people in the bassinet seats having no need to be there, they were just booked into row 16. Some moved (for couples with one baby), but we couldn't get 4 seats and crew could do nothing as they can't force able bodied people with no children to move seat.

Then we took off to find that the inflight entertainment didn't work from row 33 backwards, couldn't even watch the sky map. It makes 9 hours with small children feel like double that.

Then they told me we hadn't prebooked kids meals! Most likely related to the seat move, thankfully I had the original boarding cards and had to prove to the cabin manager that I had booked them before they magically find them. No apology then either

All in all, a pretty disastrous flight, my wife has sworn to never fly BA again, which is a shame they've always served me well when flying solo, but with a family they were a disaster.
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Old Apr 4, 17, 7:05 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by elrao View Post
Flew LGW-MCO last week in economy (I was paying, for 5, not the company!), had a pretty bad experience.

Was my first flight since re-qualifying as silver, so used the club checking desk which took forever as they've not really got themselves sorted since the terminal switch. Had checked in online, having booked 15 J & K and 16 J & K as there were five of us including the baby, and got boarding passes for those seats. I needed to checking the car seats and buggy, hence the trip to the desk. Went to oversize luggage and noticed we'd been issued boarding cards in row 34!

Went back and queried it and got told it was due to change of aircraft, and row 15 didn't exist. We hadn't even been told, they just moved us and issued new ones without even mentioning it. If we'd had hand baggage only we wouldn't have known till the gate.

Fair enough, change of aircraft = people needed to be moved, but we lost our pre booked seats (with bassinet) and got shoved at the back. I spoke to the duty manager who was useless, couldn't explain why we had lost our bassinet and why they didn't just move us back to 16 J, K and 17 J, K which were the equivalent seats?? There were exactly the same number of bassinet seats on the flight (I counted) but the people in row 15 were moved into empty seats without bassinets, it happened to 2 other couples with babies too, with the people in the bassinet seats having no need to be there, they were just booked into row 16. Some moved (for couples with one baby), but we couldn't get 4 seats and crew could do nothing as they can't force able bodied people with no children to move seat.

Then we took off to find that the inflight entertainment didn't work from row 33 backwards, couldn't even watch the sky map. It makes 9 hours with small children feel like double that.

Then they told me we hadn't prebooked kids meals! Most likely related to the seat move, thankfully I had the original boarding cards and had to prove to the cabin manager that I had booked them before they magically find them. No apology then either

All in all, a pretty disastrous flight, my wife has sworn to never fly BA again, which is a shame they've always served me well when flying solo, but with a family they were a disaster.
What a story of "don't cairways". The first route is the 'complain about your flight' on ba.com. But I have to warn you that they are not even replying to my wife's complaint now despite promising to do so on the 'phone 3 weeks ago. It seems that BA really don't care about complaints or their public image anymore, just get out of complaints with minimum or no cost. And ultimately ignore them, most will simply give up which is what the airline wants.
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Old Apr 4, 17, 7:34 am
  #3  
 
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The OP's experience sounds pretty miserable. I would say the best way to complain is by contacting BA Customer Services- I advise that you do so in any event. Whilst my personal experience of them years ago was that they were very good, the general view now seems to be that Customer Services are less helpful now than in the past. Indeed, my last interaction, which was to comment on BoB (commenting- not seeking Avios or money) got a completely off point cut and paste response- which was very annoying. So don't get your hopes up.
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Old Apr 4, 17, 7:57 am
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Your wife has got it right. I would vote with my wallet as pursuing BA will only infuriate you further.
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Old Apr 4, 17, 8:23 am
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I suspect pursing it is just going to lead to more frustration
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Old Apr 4, 17, 8:38 am
  #6  
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The seat fee you should get refunded, so apply for that via the online link under Our Seating Policy in BA.com.

For the customer service side, which amounts to the aircraft switch and no IFE, then by all means complain via the webform. Before you do it, you may want to assess how many Avios would repair the damage. You are unlikely to be offered this, I would guess about 4k Avios per passenger will be offered, or a duty free voucher alternative perhaps. If this is insufficient your two choices are to reluctantly accept (and possibly use another airline next time) or to pursue BA for your original assessment, either via MCOL, CEDR or your credit card. There is more information about these options in the EC261 thread in the BA Forum Dashboard (though this isn't an EC261 case, the pursuit method is pretty similar).
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Old Apr 4, 17, 8:44 am
  #7  
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Nowadays, there is unfortunately no good way to complain. Ba Is totally uninterested in our feedback. Forget the incident and continue flying with them or forget the incident and stop flying with them are basically your two options.
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Old Apr 4, 17, 9:23 am
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I'd echo the points above. It sounds like a really frustrating experience, amplified when travelling with a baby and with others (especially if you had recommended BA yourself).

When I was travelling with 2 babies under 2, BA delivered some failings as well and demonstrating a "don't care" attitude, which feels even worse when, as a parent, you like to be in control of the situation with your baby.

Complaining will make you more frustrated - you'll complain, BA will either dismiss your complaint or send you a cut & paste response which will make you feel angry... I very much doubt that you will get what you want, which might be a call from someone who is genuinely interested, can make sure it doesn't happen again and who can apologise with real empathy, sending you a hamper in the process... sadly it just won't happen in the current environment
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Old Apr 4, 17, 10:16 am
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In all sincerity, I wouldn't bother.
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Old Apr 4, 17, 12:41 pm
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Sorry to read of your poor experience.

I would edit your above post as appropriate and then paste it into the complaint form on ba.com to Customer Relations, request some compensation and then move on quickly.

The advice from those above is sound.

Hopefully you will receive an apology and some Avios, in addition to the refund of the seat fees. Five people were inconvenienced and not one, so make this clear.

You may receive nothing, which is why I would not spend too long on the complaint or dwell on the unfortunate situation.

Perhaps try AA for your next westbound flight?
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Old Apr 4, 17, 3:04 pm
  #11  
 
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elrao - that sounds absolutely rotten. Not the start you want for a holiday.

FWIW, even with your young kids it might be worth looking at doing EI from DUB in future. You get the pre-clearance, the product in Y is perfectly fine (or so I'm told by friends with families who do an annual MCO trip) and even though you won't get TPs or use your silver card, you will still get Avios off it.

Alternatively, my friends also recommend Virgin from LGW (one's just moved his business over there after a couple of low par BA flights too many).

Hope you get something from your complaint, but from what people here are saying I wouldn't hold your breath.

1F
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Old Apr 4, 17, 3:25 pm
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The Curse of the LGW airframe swap, but this time in Spades! Really feeling sorry for the OP in the way this turned out, but it's typical of BA's offhand attitude to pax these days:
  • Don't tell you about the significant change to your booking.
  • Fail to apply a bit of common sense in respect of the bassinet seating.
  • Will undoubtedly give you a cut/paste response citing 'operational reasons' without thinking about what impact it had on your party.
  • Will vaguely wave a voucher as 'compensation'

I have given up choosing 'ideal' CW seats ex-LGW, and just go for those that are largely immune from airframe changes

Advice? As already noted by C-W-S, claim a refund on seat selection fees, and complain about the IFE and lack of bassinet on the webform. And then fly with a better airline in future
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Old Apr 4, 17, 3:46 pm
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
Nowadays, there is unfortunately no good way to complain. Ba Is totally uninterested in our feedback. Forget the incident and continue flying with them or forget the incident and stop flying with them are basically your two options.
+1
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Old Apr 4, 17, 4:20 pm
  #14  
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Thanks for all the replies, I didn't pay for the seat selection (free with a baby / silver card anyway). They handed out forms on the plane which my wife and I both completed (I noted all 4 BAEC numbers on mine), will also fill out the online form when I get home on Thursday.

just hope the flight tomorrow isn't as bad, it is already 40 mins delayed and I haven't even checked in yet. Oh - I couldn't actually get seats together on this flight anyway as the whole of row 16 (behind the bassinet) is pre booked, and with the 2-3-2 configuration of row 15, with 4 bassinets, I couldn't book 4 across and someone had already booked the seats behind the bassinet in row 26!

We usually fly Virgin as a family and they are a lot more family friendly.
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Old Apr 4, 17, 4:55 pm
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Sorry to hear of your difficulties OP, I hope you've otherwise had a good holiday, although I suspect not given your on here finding about hwo to complain; I suspect this implies it has tarnished the experience. Hopefully you will have a safe and comfortable flight home and hopefully that delay will disappear.
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