Advice please on plane incident

Old May 7, 19, 4:14 am
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Advice please on plane incident

Hi,

I was hopeful of some advice.

On a recent flight with my family from Orlando we boarded the plane and settled down. My son said his seat smelt funny but I thought nothing of it. A few minutes later he taps me on the shoulder and gives me a bag with sick in. I thought he had just been sick but he says he pulled it out of the seat pocket. I looked in the seat pocket and there was indeed sick in it. I took the sick off him and called over the stewardess who was mortified but as the plane was about to taxi she couldn't help me clean up.

I got read of the sick and when I came back to the seat I could see there was another sick bag on the floor which had wipes that had obviously been used to clean up sick. I explored the seat some more and his table was splattered with sick also. I started to clean up but the plane was taking off so we had to sit in the seat whilst it took off. By the time the stewardess came back over I was cleaning it all up myself. There was no other seats to move into so we were stuck there for the night flight. Naturally my kids and wife were worried the whole time about catching a bug.

I spoke to the Customer Services person who noted everything down and was very apologetic. When back in UK I fully expected an apology from BA for not cleaning the seat but nothing. I had to phone and eventually they found the report and the CS person said as a goodwill gesture he would give me 10,000 air miles. I don't want air miles, I have too many air miles. He offered the air miles to my son as well which is pointless. What really got me was that no one actually said sorry. I harassed them a bit on Twitter and someone said they would write directly to my son to apologise, this was OK in my book and should have bought the matter to a close. Again there was no sorry in the letter.. just some nonsense about investing in specialist cleaning equipment (like checking if a seat pocket is dirty?).

So the advice I am after is that BA have not actually said sorry. No acknowledgment at all that they did not clean the seat. The wording is all very particular, 'I am sure this experience was distressing', ' I understand it was upsetting', but no actual sorry. Is there any way I can make this happen? Has anyone actually got BA to say sorry? I checked to take the dispute to CEDR but they do not cover this type of incident.

I have not accepted the airmiles, nor will I. I won't be flying with them again after the next flight which is already paid for (which I asked if they would let me cancel and waive the fees .... they said no!).

Cheers
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Old May 7, 19, 4:28 am
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I guess I have three points. The first is that the whole experience is indeed disgusting and unacceptable and as youíll find from any search, cleanliness issues on ba are way less exceptional than should be.

The second is trying to understand the issue. You say that cws was extremely apologetic then that nobody said sorry. Iím not really following unless thatís really a question of word. You also complain the avios were offered to your son which is pointless but it actually strikes me as entirely right: he was the one with unacceptably dirty seat so he should be the one compensated for it. And agreed that when there are no other free seats (especially as I assume you wanted to travel together) not much else can be done onboard (note I had a case a few weeks ago with something that looked like some blood on the carpet and I also had to clean it myself because of boarding/take off so I do sympathise).

third what do you actually want. You said you want someone to say sorry and they said they will write to your son to say that so does it not close the case from your point of view? Or do you want something else but then do tell us what and we should collectively be able to tell you if itís something you might get if you ask but if you say ĎI want someone to say sorryí donít be surprised that is the resolution they propose.

again none of it changes how unpleasant the situation certainly was for your son.
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Old May 7, 19, 4:31 am
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Clearly a screw-up by BA here and you deserve a much better response. However, given the state of BA's customer service these days, my advice would be to take the avios and put it down to bad luck. I think they're offering you 20k (10k for you and 10k for your son?), which is a street value of around £200. Personally I'd take that rather than spend more time, stress and energy getting agitated about it. Possibly push for 10k for each passenger in your party (since it ruined the travel experience for all of you), but I wouldn't bother taking it further.
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Old May 7, 19, 4:36 am
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Welcome to the BA forum, and welcome to Flyertalk avb123, I'm sorry you had to go through this, but thank you for taking the time to give this post.

I am a bit surprised about what you said about CEDR, it would be good if you could expand on that a bit more. But the other options open to you are MCOL and with it the Consumer Rights Act, there is some information on this in the BA Forum Dashboard.

But a good starting point - which I think you have to some extent shared above - is to clarify exactly what you are looking for, what would draw a line over the incident. Specify that, and use the tools open to you to progress towards that goal
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Old May 7, 19, 4:43 am
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Sorry, yes, let me clarify

- The staff on plane were apologetic as they couldn't avoid the fact that the seats clearly hadn't been cleaned (even superficially).
- The plane was completely full, so I sat in the dirty seat and gave my boy mine.
- I was expecting an apology when we got back and I had to chase it
- When I spoke to the customer service team in maybe 2 minutes he offered 10,000 air miles as a good will gesture
- When I said no he immediately offered it to my son too
- The impression I got was he just wanted it done and closed
- There was no sorry in the letter, it was completely generic response talking about cleaning processes, equipment etc. You wouldn't have known it was relating to our experience other than the name and address.

I guess really I expected when back a letter from BA personal to our situation. Maybe my expectations are to high.
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Old May 7, 19, 5:22 am
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Originally Posted by avb123 View Post
I guess really I expected when back a letter from BA personal to our situation. Maybe my expectations are to high.
In which case I would construct a case for how this would be resolved to your satisfaction, write to BA on those lines, give them 2 weeks to reply. MCOL/CRA will probably require a monetary value to be attached to this. Then if you feel strongly about this, follow the MCOL/CRA process to get BA to accept your resolution proposal. There is a process in place for this, but it requires certain steps to be done. The fact that a low-to-medium Avios offer has been made is a factor in BA's favour, equally if that offer has no value for you (bearing in mind it can be used for getting wine, hotels, car hire and so on) then that's a good reason for seeking alternative remedies.

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Old May 7, 19, 5:34 am
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Is saying sorry an admission of guilt? Therefore the points offered are a "goodwill gesture" and the letters just PR flannel?
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Old May 7, 19, 5:38 am
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The people at the top, lead by Alex Cruz donít care, it is much more important to save costs than have clean aircraft.
Perhaps tweet some newspaper journalists, including the Financial Times.
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Old May 7, 19, 6:05 am
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Rule No. 1.....Never say sorry, it admits liability.
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Old May 7, 19, 6:11 am
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Please do not take this the wrong way, but you appear not to have noticed this when you sat down - in which case it is entirely possible that the crew missed this on inspection. I was trying to think how that could happen. That said, that is disgusting. The smell alone is vile. I assure you that had I been there, the other passengers would have been moved and the area would have been cleaned as thoroughly as possible ( by me if necessary). The area would have been sprayed with air freshener and we would have done the best possible. I'd be mortified.

That said, I do think that BA are trying to make an effort. Like the others, I'm not sure what they can do unless you think that you should have your money back?
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Old May 7, 19, 6:14 am
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I thought they carried spare seat covers/cushions?
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Old May 7, 19, 6:17 am
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Originally Posted by LTN Phobia View Post
I thought they carried spare seat covers/cushions?
They have done in the past.
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Old May 7, 19, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by TheOldMan View Post
Rule No. 1.....Never say sorry, it admits liability.
Does it? I know this is sometimes thought to be true and I admit I am no lawyer so happily welcome corrections, but for England & Wales it would seem that Section 2 of the Compensation Act 2006 explicitly says the opposite.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/29/section/2

2 Apologies, offers of treatment or other redress

An apology, an offer of treatment or other redress, shall not of itself amount to an admission of negligence or breach of statutory duty.
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Old May 7, 19, 6:38 am
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE View Post
That said, I do think that BA are trying to make an effort. Like the others, I'm not sure what they can do unless you think that you should have your money back?
Assuming that it was correctly logged by the CSD (to avoid carpetbagging passengers making up a similar story in future) and therefore checked by CS, I think with something this disgusting, dangerous (others in the past here have spoken about the serious biohazard which vomit represents) and thankfully exceptional, BA should be doing 100k miles and / or a space-available upgrade for father and son on a future flight / or a high-value BA voucher for future flights along with a sincere written apology. Anything less than that is pitiful and BA should be ashamed to send a boilerplate email back to a customer in this situation. I say boilerplate because I have read those identical sentences in an email back to me from BA before!
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Old May 7, 19, 7:07 am
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I felt nauseous just reading your experience. I don't think I would have been able to stay in the seat.

I think in your shoes, I would be requesting a refund for that leg. It's hideous, and a probable failure on cleaning staff -- surely back pockets are part of the procedure!
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