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To Fly. To Serve (notice) [data protection breach]

To Fly. To Serve (notice) [data protection breach]

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Old Nov 4, 17, 8:56 am
  #1  
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To Fly. To Serve (notice) [data protection breach]

Iím not sure if others from this forum were on BA1452 yesterday from Heathrow to Edinburgh, but I thought Iíd share some service shortcomings, a rather surprising tone from the Captain, and a particularly concerning data breach.

The flight was a little late due to weather disruptions, and just prior to boarding an announcement was made by the gate staff that no catering had been loaded, therefore no service would be offered onboard. I was in Club, so whilst itís disappointing, I figured itís not the end of the world on such a short flight.

Once boarding was complete and prior to pushing back, the Captain made an announcement to welcome us onboard and also to apologise and reiterate the catering issue. He then went on to say that ĎThe Companyí had made the decision to operate the flight without catering rather than cancel it, and then emphasised that this was ĎThe Companyísí decision Ė not the cabin crewís. He then reminded us that British Airways takes a zero tolerance policy toward abuse of itís crew. l was genuinely surprised at his tone and inference, and several others around me in the cabin seemed equally surprised.

Once we were airborne, to their credit the Cabin Crew managed to scramble together a limited bar service, offering water and juice to those down the back, with those of us up the front being offered ďWhat would you like to drink, and Iíll tell you if we have it.Ē.

As we disembarked in Edinburgh we were each handed a voucher. I assume it was offered to all passengers, as the crew were armed with wads of them. It was a '£5 refreshment voucher' for use in the terminal on the day. In my opinion it's a fairly poor service recovery for Club passengers in lieu of the service paid for, particularly when all you want to do is get out of the airport and on your way.

It was only upon closer inspection of the voucher that I noticed it had the first name and surname of a passenger, the flight number, and their PNR. It doesnít take a rocket scientist to access the booking with this information, not to mention much of the passengerís personal information, such as email address, phone number, BAEC membership number etc.

I donít know if they distributed the same voucher for everyone, or if each passenger was given a voucher with different passenger details, but itís a very worrying breach of data protection by the airline. I have no idea of knowing if another passenger on the flight was given a voucher with my details on it, but I would be particularly upset if BA mishandled my information in this way.

Iíve contacted Customer Services to highlight these issues and my concerns, and am not expecting a response any time soon, but figured the experience may be worthy of discussion on this board.
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Old Nov 4, 17, 9:05 am
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Thanks for sharing. Not BA’s finest hour. You weren’t the only FT’er on that service to be unhappy.
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Old Nov 4, 17, 9:12 am
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You should also contact the Information Commissioner about the potential data breach.

BA will take more notice of them asking questions than a mere customer.
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Old Nov 4, 17, 9:14 am
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But I suspect the toilets were working on this flight unlike on the later BA1454.

Could the data on the voucher be dummy data that is needed to print the voucher and then simply photocopied? I know those in CE on the later flight were given vouchers worth £10.
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Old Nov 4, 17, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
You should also contact the Information Commissioner about the potential data breach.

BA will take more notice of them asking questions than a mere customer.
Thanks UKtravelbear, I plan to do so next week as I think it's warranted, and agree that it may have significantly more clout.
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Old Nov 4, 17, 9:22 am
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Atrocious service and recovery really.
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Old Nov 4, 17, 9:40 am
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Assuming that there hadn't already been a riot on board regarding the lack of catering, totally unnecessary of the captain to presume that his/her passengers would act like hooligans on board. That captain needs to reflect on their customer service delivery during their next appraisal.
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Old Nov 4, 17, 9:42 am
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Unfortunate - you rather have to feel sorry for the poor crew who have to deal with the fallout caused by the chinless wonders behind the scenes, and who probably did their best under trying circumstances.

As for the Captain, that was unnecessarily antagonistic and patronising, and he really should know better.
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Old Nov 4, 17, 10:01 am
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Given the shambles that BA sadly has become I suspect the Captain knows from experience what responses might be expected from pax and acted pre-emptively. I've heard similar announcements before, although the last announcement I heard was more along the lines of "we're sorry and please don't take it out on the crew" rather than "we have a zero tolerance policy". I agree that the latter is unnecessary and a poor choice of words.

The OP's experience sounds very poor indeed. BA's idea service recovery is insulting and that tells you a lot about the management and corporate culture. Abysmal.
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Old Nov 4, 17, 10:01 am
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The context to this was the poor weather conditions yesterday, with a number of aircraft being turned around with last minute changes of routes, I think there were over 50 being handled at one stage.

The captain's announcement is indeed strange. The version that I have heard, and which sounds a lot better is "Please don't take it out on the crew, however by all means come to me at the end of the flight if you wish to discuss the matter further". There may have already been an incident when the captain made that PA perhaps.

For the vouchers, what happens is that they come out of FLY and are marked by passenger with their details. Now I don't know what happened here, but with presumably 160 vouchers to hand out, there would be 2 scenarions: either they used a dummy name to generate them (though one can imagine that financial controls would stop that idea), or it was a real person's name. In the latter case they would then have had to ask everyone to form an orderly line and then fish out the right boarding pass to the right person, however at the arrival airport most people are pretty keen to get home as quickly as possible. So (I'm guessing) expediency was used to hand out random cards to each passenger as they arrived. Not a great situation, the alternative - possibly better - is to have done nothing on the day and offer 2,000 Avios to anyone who complained. Alternatively to have done the line up but those who weren't bothered could go on their way.

As I say it isn't great but it probably represents what the staff at EDI could have done to help quickly, rather than some terrible and deliberate data breach.
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Old Nov 4, 17, 10:05 am
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If real personal vouchers then this is diabolical. The vouchers could’ve been arranged in the galley from the seating map (as no service was needed) and handed out individually to the correct passenger by one crew member
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Old Nov 4, 17, 10:23 am
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Originally Posted by mikeyfly View Post
If real personal vouchers then this is diabolical. The vouchers couldíve been arranged in the galley from the seating map (as no service was needed) and handed out individually to the correct passenger by one crew member
Very difficult to see how that could happen on arrival in EDI. Everyone is out of their seats fairly sharpish.

[And at LHR they were presumably faced with a decision to fly without the catering at the last moment].
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Old Nov 4, 17, 10:25 am
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I assumed the vouchers were loaded at LHR as it was known the catering wasn’t?
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Old Nov 4, 17, 10:26 am
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Originally Posted by mikeyfly View Post
I assumed the vouchers were loaded at LHR as it was known the catering wasnít?
You have a good deal of faith in BA's preparation.
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Old Nov 4, 17, 10:35 am
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How many passengers are going to take this golden five pound ticket and spend it in the airport before rushing off home?

One or two perhaps?

Total waste of time and effort really and also inadequate compensation for CE pax.
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