Enhanced compensation as First passenger?

Old Nov 26, 17, 3:35 am
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Enhanced compensation as First passenger?

Hi everyone! Long time listener, first time caller here! I would much appreciate any views on this issue from some of the more experienced hands...

I recently flew from LHR to LAS as a passenger in First (paid ticket, not miles). As the plane pushed back they discovered a severe mechanical problem which in short meant that we all sat on the plane for just over six hours at the gate whilst BA found us another aircraft. We were told that if we got off the plane we probably wouldn't have made it to Las Vegas that evening at all.

During this delay there was no alcohol served apart from the initial pre-flight champagne (for first 30 mins), because apparently they only carry a small number of duty paid bottles on board. They made the decision to serve dinner on the broken plane so that the crew would be able to rest (to meet their working hour limits) once we took off on the replacement aircraft. This was also with no alcohol whatsoever. The temperature on the whole plane was well over normal with it being particularly stifling towards the back of the aircraft and they had to open the doors to increase airflow. Many people in economy were very upset about it but thats not part of my own complaint. In fairness the crew and pilots were amazing in very difficult circumstances and this is not aimed at them.

Ultimately were bussed to the new aircraft once it was prepped and flew to Las Vegas arriving approx 7 hrs late.

I requested my EUR600 compensation (granted) and asked for additional compensation as a F passenger given the mechanical problems, the severe delay and in my opinion a real reduction of the quality of the experience. I view First dining as one of the nicest parts of the experience and this was completely ruined by their refusal to serve any booze at all.

Their response was to offer me 5k miles, upped to 10k miles after the first chat.

Should I be entitled to more? I just feel that 10k miles is measly in the circumstances given that the fault lays entirely at BAs door?

Any guidance would be really well appreciated. I have experienced really long delays before, but never as an F passenger.

Thanks!
LG
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Old Nov 26, 17, 3:40 am
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Stop being a greedy ....!

You got your legally entitled compensation, you got to your end destination safe and well.

Move on.
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Old Nov 26, 17, 3:44 am
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Like everyone else on the aeroplane, you are entitled to EUR600 for the delay - everyone was equally delayed - If anything , the economy passengers stuck in fairly cramped conditions were worse off than just a meal without alcohol

10k for the meal inconveniance seems quite reasonable
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Old Nov 26, 17, 4:08 am
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Originally Posted by lordgaino View Post
As the plane pushed back they discovered a severe mechanical problem which in short meant that we all sat on the plane for just over six hours at the gate whilst BA found us another aircraft. We were told that if we got off the plane we probably wouldn't have made it to Las Vegas that evening at all.
I broadly agree with the others on the compensation point. However I don't understand why you were kept onboard for that length of time if they knew you were going to have to deplane anyway. It sounds like that decision was driven by the calculation that if crew served the meal on the ground they could make it to LAS without going OOH. While I appreciate that for many (but certainly not all) passengers, getting to LAS that night would have been preferable to having to wait until next day, in my view that length of tarmac delay is simply unacceptable and indeed is not permitted in the US. Did they offer pax the opportunity to deplane if they wanted? I would sincerely hope so.

Welcome to Flyertalk by the way, lordgaino!
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Old Nov 26, 17, 4:09 am
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Thanks guys, I pretty much came to the same conclusion on the compensation.

Re: deplaning, they told us that if we chose to leave the aircraft then we would not be able to get back onto the new one.

We were told that keeping us on the plane was specifically to ensure we could get to LAS that night without having to cancel the flight (which in fairness was also my preference).
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Old Nov 26, 17, 4:21 am
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Personally I think it's a reasonable outcome in difficult circumstances and BA did well not to cancel the service altogether. So for me the offer of 600€ and 10k Avios for the meal issue seems about right, but I guess that's irrelevant, since you clearly feel it is not sufficient and you were the customer here. So sticking to the facts, 10k is these days a fairly high outcome from Customer Relations and you may struggle to get more. You do have potential lines of approach in terms of "not getting what I paid for", and you can perhaps have a look at the Consumer Rights Act thread in the forum's Dashboard. However "loss of customer enjoyment" is not recoverable in law, so the focus would have to be on "the contract was for wine with the meal and a luxurious flight experience and 10K doesn't cover the loss of these fundamental parts of the contract". Also there is some dispute as to whether the CRA would cover your situation at all, as the posted thread explains. In other words I think that you may struggle to get much more. I guess your other option would have been to have offloaded yourself and gone the next day for the full experience.

Welcome to Flyertalk lordgaino, and welcome to the BA board, I hope that we will see more of you here, hopefully in smoother circumstances.
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Old Nov 26, 17, 4:23 am
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The new aircraft would have been recatered so you would have been given an opportunity to eat your meal with wine, I don’t think BA will offer you anything more than they have already.
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Old Nov 26, 17, 4:24 am
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Given that F is fine on demand was that option not explicitly available? In other words were you told that there would be no good on the new plane until the ore Arrival service?
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Old Nov 26, 17, 4:24 am
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Another perspective is that by keeping everyone on board, they are under control and ready to board a replacement aircraft. Releasing the pax 'into the wild' creates the risk that people will get lost/strayed and separated from the luggage which is still in the aircraft hold ... you can envisage the roll-on issues of 'herding cats' and Security that could arise.

Extremely frustrating for you, though. I too have experienced 'dine on board on the ground' , albeit only for 3 hours or so, before we were disembarked to fly LGW-KIN the next day on a replacement aircraft.
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Old Nov 26, 17, 4:42 am
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I struggle to find any sympathy when you complain that the meal was 'completely ruined' just because there was no alcohol available.

10k miles does have a considerable value - they would cost you £175 to buy
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Old Nov 26, 17, 4:43 am
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
The new aircraft would have been recatered so you would have been given an opportunity to eat your meal with wine, I donít think BA will offer you anything more than they have already.
That would be my thoughts too - if you could get food and wine (which indeed is a huge part of the F experience) on the new plane than the compensation sounds good. But the OP says that they were told that the crew would be resting more on the new plane and not serving food so that changes things in my opinion.

Real shame that BA just didnít allow the crew to break the seals and satisfy their First customers - even if the plane was checked, the cost is a very small addition to what the delay cost the airline already.

Not sure if someone in BAís scheduling department wants to send a message to gamblers, but LAS really does have the worst of luck!
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Old Nov 26, 17, 4:45 am
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I think that the question of whether you should have received more or not is irrelevant because BA won't give it to you. I think that they have made their final offer, and by BA's current standards, it is not bad. If you think that this is less than it should have been (and indeed, some airlines would have perhaps been more generous, though others less so) then I'd recommend moving to a different airline as this is already BA on their more generous side.
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Old Nov 26, 17, 4:53 am
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Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
Another perspective is that by keeping everyone on board, they are under control and ready to board a replacement aircraft. Releasing the pax 'into the wild' creates the risk that people will get lost/strayed and separated from the luggage which is still in the aircraft hold ... you can envisage the roll-on issues of 'herding cats' and Security that could arise.
There is no security issue as pax can deplane back into departures and are still secure. Deplaning had to happen anyway as the aircraft was being swapped.

Thus the only issue is that releasing them early creates more risk that they'll not return to board the new aircraft in time, than does releasing them only when the new aircraft is ready. I can understand the logic of that when the delay is short, but I think that there gets to a point where that practice is unacceptable. In my view holding pax in the aircraft on the ground for 6 hours is simply too long and unacceptable - even if it is the most efficient solution for a majority of pax to get them there that night.

Leaving the compensation issue aside, I would like to understand what BA's SOP is in these situations, what drove the decision not to deplane when it became apparent a new aircraft was needed, and if BA has a time limit for keeping pax on the tarmac.
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Old Nov 26, 17, 4:56 am
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
There is no security issue as pax can deplane back into departures and are still secure. Deplaning had to happen anyway as the aircraft was being swapped.
The question is whether the return all checked luggage back to the warehouse and start again, or simply transfer the AKEs over to the new aircraft direct and fish out one or two exceptions if necessary. As soon as you have people in the wild you loose control of the checked baggage situation and it can become almost impossible to reconcile. No perfect answer unfortunately.
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Old Nov 26, 17, 5:04 am
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A few points, what was the date of your flight, I would be very surprised if the flight was “nearly 7 hours late arriving”, the crews duty would have already been 12.45 without a delay, taking a delay this long out of base wouldn’t be possible?
We would have to get permission from Customs to open the bars, was this applied for?
The aircraft would have been completely recatered as it would have been too difficult to just cater for the second meal as both meals and equipment are linked together in different ways.
Inflight a percentage of the crew would have been having extended rest, while impossible to offer a full service in the traveller cabins and to some extent in CW a staggered service could have been offered in First with the customers understanding and cooperation.
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