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BA Masterclass in Mis-managing IRROPS (LGW-JFK)

BA Masterclass in Mis-managing IRROPS (LGW-JFK)

Old Apr 26, 17, 4:06 pm
  #1  
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BA Masterclass in Mis-managing IRROPS (LGW-JFK)

Second post in BA today, and I've only successfully flown one segment with them this year.

LGW-JFK on 4/26. I connected from Heathrow, and while still at LHR I begged them to let me on the direct LHR-JFK, or better yet, book me on LHR-LAX (since LAX was my final destination), as the flight was already showing a 30 minute delay. No dice. Absolutely refused.

So I trekked over to to LGW, by which time we were pushing an hour delay. Enjoyed the new First lounge profusely, as the restaurant staff were excellent.

On the other hand, the Customer Service staff completely abandoned their post. There was one German guy who kept asking increasingly technical questions about the supposed maintenance problems on the plane, and I'm sure was being annoying, but still. Once our flight got delayed ~2.5 hours I was going to miss my connection, and there was no-one there to rebook it, as the Customer Relations staff had all (3 of them) decamped. Poor form. Furthermore, the delays were dribbled out 30 minutes at a time, always late, and with no useful information.

About 3.5 hours after our scheduled departure, they canceled the flight, but were clear that "every passenger would be provided assistance and a hotel room". It took nearly an hour to arrange to escort pax to customs, where at least three people were giving conflicting instructions and I had to stand in line twice ("If you have a valid UK entry stamp from earlier today, you can use the UK citizens line even if you're on a US passport" -- Hah!).

At the BA checkin desk, they had just 2-3 people to handle all the disruption arrangements for a nearly full 777. They also had 4 ticketing agents, 3 of them those who had abandoned post at the lounge earlier (which is why I assume they abandoned their posts and didn't simply go off shift).

The Customer Service staff doing ticketing took over 20 minutes of convincing to book me on a direct flight to LAX vs. LHR-JFK-LAX. Even though going LHR-JFK-LAX on their proposed flights would have meant a downgrade from Business to Coach on the AA segment. Also, my original AA issued ticket has another segment LAX-SMF, they refused to rebook that segment (AA had broken the ticket into two PNRs at some point due to scheduling issues).

Finally, after nearly 8 hours at LGW, and after about 20-25 people had been provided with hotel rooms (although people had been waiting in line in excess of an hour at this point for rooms), it was announced that no more rooms were available, and people were responsible for booking their own rooms and making their own travel arrangements to LHR (as everyone or almost everyone was rebooked on flights from LHR).

I would have thought after thus alienating their customers, the BA staff would have ceased to cause damage. Of course, they didn't. The announcement then went around that there were no more rooms, except for business class passengers, at which point I think that a riot was imminent. The worst? Not only did they do their best to incite a riot, but they did so for no purpose -- there were no more rooms available for business class passengers.

Oh, also, no handouts were given re: EU261, no refreshments were provided, and when I asked for about the third time for a voucher, I was begrudgingly given 5 pounds. Fortunately, that bought two beers, so I was able to enjoy a cold one while watching BA's masterclass in mismanagement.

I could write more: the crying, the yelling, the wailing. But I'll leave this whole disgraceful episode with the fact BA left a woman in her 20s traveling with an elder relative in her (60-80s), fully alone, with no help pushing the wheelchair, no means of transport and nowhere to stay for the night, crying in the middle of the terminal.
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Old Apr 26, 17, 4:11 pm
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Sounds like a nightmare. Hopefully everyone is ok.

@BA: the whole of London has run out of hotel rooms? Surely not.
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Old Apr 26, 17, 4:15 pm
  #3  
 
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Sounds dreadful.

Hope you have a smoother day tomorrow.
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Old Apr 26, 17, 4:16 pm
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Summary: Flight gets cancelled, rebooking and hotel reservations is a bit of a mess.
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Old Apr 26, 17, 4:16 pm
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Originally Posted by QXflyer View Post
Sounds like a nightmare. Hopefully everyone is ok.

@BA: the whole of London has run out of hotel rooms? Surely not.
Sheraton at Heathrow was a couple hundred pound.
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Old Apr 26, 17, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by krispy84 View Post
Summary: Flight gets cancelled, rebooking and hotel reservations is a bit of a mess.
And it takes so long that my normally taciturn rear end found time to type it all up.

Edit: Actually, I want to address this a moment. I travel a lot: intercontinental several times a month, usually. This was really, really bad. As I travel more, events that prompt a FT post from me are more and more rare. Travel disruptions are frequent, and to be expected. This was something else.

I am know fan of people who go into petty histrionics over minor inconvenience, and I'm more than willing to see both sides to most airline complaints. This was really disgraceful. This was a through contempt by BA for it's customers.

Last edited by WhIteSidE; Apr 26, 17 at 4:28 pm
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Old Apr 26, 17, 4:18 pm
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Originally Posted by WhIteSidE View Post
Sheraton at Heathrow was a couple hundred pound.
This is, unfortunately, more than LCCs are willing to spend on a hotel room in the event of IRROPS.

Fingers crossed you have better luck tomorrow.
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Old Apr 26, 17, 4:23 pm
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Originally Posted by WhIteSidE View Post
And it takes so long that my normally taciturn rear end found time to type it all up.
I sympathise and can related to the frustration you will be feeling living the situation. I suppose my point was that this sort of thing happens numerous times daily around the world and we all end up managing somehow.
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Old Apr 26, 17, 4:23 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by lost_in_translation View Post
This is, unfortunately, more than LCCs are willing to spend on a hotel room in the event of IRROPS.

Fingers crossed you have better luck tomorrow.
Hang on. BA is a full-service airline.

Oh.
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Old Apr 26, 17, 4:24 pm
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Originally Posted by WhIteSidE View Post
LGW-JFK on 4/26. I connected from Heathrow, and while still at LHR I begged them to let me on the direct LHR-JFK, or better yet, book me on LHR-LAX (since LAX was my final destination), as the flight was already showing a 30 minute delay. No dice. Absolutely refused.
You could presumably have booked xxx-LHR-LAX originally if you had wanted to? One is left assuming you booked xxx-LHR LGW-JFK-LAX on the basis of price. Seems reasonable not to make a change at LHR on the basis of a 30 minutes delay.
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Old Apr 26, 17, 4:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Mixbury View Post
You could presumably have booked xxx-LHR-LAX originally if you had wanted to? One is left assuming you booked xxx-LHR LGW-JFK-LAX on the basis of price. Seems reasonable not to make a change at LHR on the basis of a 30 minutes delay.
Actually no. Priced out virtually identically. I wanted to try the new lounge at LGW, and force a short-check from CAI so I could be sure of getting my laptop back for the long haul to the US. That'll learn me.
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Old Apr 26, 17, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by WhIteSidE View Post
Actually no. Priced out virtually identically. I wanted to try the new lounge at LGW, and force a short-check from CAI so I could be sure of getting my laptop back for the long haul to the US. That'll learn me.
Actually no to the assumption. Actually yes to the presumption.
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Old Apr 26, 17, 4:32 pm
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I would also add that I don't think it's reasonable to expect BA to rebook the second segment ex-LAX that is on a fully AA PNR.
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Old Apr 26, 17, 4:32 pm
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Also a masterclass from FT in how to respond to a perfectly understandable vent; post 4 'it's no big deal' and post 10 'you only have yourself to blame'. I hope we don't get to armchair lawyer disputes, 'that's what insurance is for' or 'QR J>>BA F' too quickly or my drinking game will lead to serious liver damage
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Old Apr 26, 17, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by rather_be_on_a_griffin View Post
post 4 'it's no big deal'
Correction: My attempt at a précis of a very long first post.
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