BA OLCI misreporting baggage allowance

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Old Oct 27, 18, 6:00 pm
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BA OLCI misreporting baggage allowance

Last weekend I flew ZRH->LCY in CE and LCY->ZRH in economy. On checking in for the return flight, it clearly said both my companion and I had an allowance of 2 bags (which I thought a bit odd for an economy ticket but put it down to BAEC gold status), and I selected one bag for one of us from the drop down, and checked in. On the strength of this, we spent 30 quid on some contact lens fluid. At checkin at LCY the checkin staff informed me that the ticket was HBO and therefore they wouldn't accept the bag for checkin unless we paid 60 quid for an additional bag allowance (despite the fact OLCI had told us otherwise). She seemed to find this quite amusing and said several pax had had the same issue that day. No amount of arguing would budge her. Apparently the drop down menu is "for the benefit of the airline and not for the benefit of passengers". I asked to speak to a supervisor who said, despite wearing BA uniform, that as he didn't work for BA, there was no one who did work for BA in the airport, and no way to contact anyone from BA, that he could not do anything. So we chucked the fluid.

So, firstly, do not rely on what OLCI says your baggage allowance is.

Secondly, a question: is OLCI giving misleading baggage allowance a well known "feature"?

I'm now always going to select "Don't know" for how many bags I am going to check in at OLCI, as I don't see why I should be helpful to BA if it's only for their planning and not my benefit.

And yes I have complained, as much about the attitude of the check in staff as the 30 quid lost.
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Old Oct 27, 18, 8:42 pm
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Did you book a HBO fare?
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Old Oct 27, 18, 9:28 pm
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Originally Posted by bigjono View Post
Did you book a HBO fare?
depending on the one world status level, some customers receive free checked in baggage with hand baggage only fares. I received a checked in bag for free on Iberia with baec gold, but it seems that baec gold donít receive any extra allowance on BA flights. Itís confusing, but HBO only fare with a baec membership means hand baggage only.
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Old Oct 27, 18, 10:08 pm
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Originally Posted by bigjono View Post
Did you book a HBO fare?
Yes I booked an HBO fare. So yes, per the ticket, I was not entitled to check luggage, as the check-in agent pointed out while chuckling to herself. However, OLCI said I had an allowance of 2 bags and I'd forgotten exactly what I booked (I have about 6-7 open BA bookings at once) and foolishly I believed the bit that said "Allowance: 2 checked bags" or similar, not remembering whether I'd booked a different economy return or whether this was due to being BAEC gold (as per Geerat's response, sometimes you do get an allowance with BAEC gold on HBO fares). It seems it was due to a bug in OLCI.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 12:07 am
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LGW tried to charge me for checking a bag yesterday despite having paid £30 to add a checked bag to a HBO fare. The agent was really quite rude and insistent that I had to pay £50 until I could find the confirmation email in my inbox.

Moral of the story is that their systems are terrible!
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Old Oct 28, 18, 12:18 am
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Originally Posted by cameramaker View Post
LGW tried to charge me for checking a bag yesterday despite having paid £30 to add a checked bag to a HBO fare. The agent was really quite rude and insistent that I had to pay £50 until I could find the confirmation email in my inbox.

Moral of the story is that their systems are terrible!
maybe the confirmation landed straight in the compromised data pile, along with 300,000 peopleís credit card details _
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Old Oct 28, 18, 1:23 am
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Originally Posted by abligh View Post
Yes I booked an HBO fare. So yes, per the ticket, I was not entitled to check luggage, as the check-in agent pointed out while chuckling to herself. However, OLCI said I had an allowance of 2 bags and I'd forgotten exactly what I booked (I have about 6-7 open BA bookings at once) and foolishly I believed the bit that said "Allowance: 2 checked bags" or similar, not remembering whether I'd booked a different economy return or whether this was due to being BAEC gold (as per Geerat's response, sometimes you do get an allowance with BAEC gold on HBO fares). It seems it was due to a bug in OLCI.
I seem to recall that BA have in the past refunded baggage fees if MMB or the App version of it incorrectly states that there is a baggage allowance. There is also a fairly slick refund process for the opposite, where MMB/App says no checked baggage and in fact that was paid for or is included in status. It's a particular issue with AA bookings since some agents don't recognise BAEC status as being equivalent to AA's frequent flyer cards. Generally speaking it's best not to get into an argument on this, pay the fee and claim back later - this tends to be fairly swift at least for BAEC members. In the OP's case, they should send in a copy of the screen print in MMB, had they actually paid the fee (which appears not to have happened).

However there is a possible complication here - from what I can see this is OLCI rather than MMB at fault here, it would have been interesting to know what the Baggage line showed directly below the fllght details area. Usually OLCI would generate a baggage payment process if there was an excess over the MMB allowance, so it may be that MMB was wrong too, but given BA's IT it would perhaps be unwise to make assumptions. If MMB was wrong and stated an allowance, then a refund on the baggage fee would be appropriate. If MMB was correct and stated HBO, but OLCI didn't generate the payment page, then the OP could at least claim the delta between the OLCI fee and the airport version, so £5 or 5€ for the first bag, hypothetically.

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Oct 28, 18 at 9:56 am Reason: glaring typo
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Old Oct 28, 18, 1:54 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
...then the OP could at least claim the delta between the OLCI fee and the airport version...
I see c-w-s has been using MMB for options trading again!
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Old Oct 28, 18, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
However their is a possible complication here - from what I can see this is OLCI rather than MMB at fault here, it would have been interesting to know what the Baggage line showed directly below the fllght details area. Usually OLCI would generate a baggage payment process if there was an excess over the MMB allowance, so it may be that MMB was wrong too, but given BA's IT it would perhaps be unwise to make assumptions. If MMB was wrong and stated an allowance, then a refund on the baggage fee would be appropriate. If MMB was correct and stated HBO, but OLCI didn't generate the payment page, then the OP could at least claim the delta between the OLCI fee and the airport version, so £5 or 5Ä for the first bag, hypothetically.
I'm afraid I don't recall what MMB said (in retrospect I could have gone to MMB while in the check-in area and looked). And of course I didn't actually take a screenshot of OLCI at the time as I had no idea it would be challenged. The check-in email didn't mention baggage allowance as such (which would have avoided the issue), but did say:
  • If you are travelling with hand baggage only and have printed your boarding pass, you can go straight to security provided your destination doesn't require a documentation check at the airport.
  • If you have printed your boarding pass and are travelling with checked baggage, go to a bag drop desk.
which at least admits the possibility of checking in baggage. I suspect that's a generic footer.

In the event, not knowing whether the fee would be refunded, we just chucked the contact lens fluid and subsequently wrote BA a stroppy complaint. We'll see how that goes.
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Old Nov 2, 18, 7:35 pm
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Just to round this one off, I got an apology and am promised a refund for the £30 we spent on contact lens fluid, which is better than nothing.
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