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A distressing embarrassment on BA249 LHR-GIG

A distressing embarrassment on BA249 LHR-GIG

Old Sep 8, 19, 8:58 am
  #1  
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A distressing embarrassment on BA249 LHR-GIG

I write in order to seek your collective opinions on what I should do following one of the most distressing experiences of my life.

i flew in LHR-GIG yesterday, flights booked into WT+, (WT £100 each way centenary offer fare and then upgraded with a voucher) having had to change to flying 2 days earlier due to Monday’s pilot strike. Unfortunately, in the week before the flight I was diagnosed with a condition that means during a symptom flare, I need to use the toilet 10-15 times a day often with very little notice. I was unsure whether to continue with my holiday plans, but spoke initially to the GGL team and then to the accessibility team, who reassured me that it wouldn’t be a problem, they’d provide me with a sunflower lanyard to indicate to the CC that I had a hidden disability and then they would brief the CC of the issue to allow me to use any toilet if needed. reassured I continued with my plans, and even brought chocolates ready to give at the end of flight to thank them for being so fab as has been my experience of the majority of CC previously. Separately and unbeknownst to me until I have spoken to them both after the flight, two of my friends, one CC and a manager also sent messages to the CSD to ensure that it had been briefed and that I was looked after.

Unfortunately, about 90 minutes into the flight, I needed to use the facilities at the rush, not wishing to cause too much of a fuss, I initially proceeded aft to the WT toilets (787 so no toilets in WT+, but it was just after the initial food Service and the queue was 8 deep, and despite having a sunflower lanyard, no CC were available to assist (they were in the galley which was not easy to get too

In desperation, I went to use the CW toilet with the reassurance I had my sunflower lanyard given to me by BA and the CC would know. Sadly I was mistaken, I got shouted at as soon as I stepped through the curtain by a member of CC telling me to go use the economy toilet. Twice I tried to explain to him in a calm manner and two further times he shouted at me to go and use the economy toilet until I eventually had to raise my voice and effectively tell the whole cabin of my condition.

Whilst he then stepped aside in order to allow me to use the toilet, albeit without acknowledgement, it was then too late, and I had a n accident.

Extremely distressed by the situation, I ended up going to the back of the plane and breaking down in tears by the aft door, eventually being consoled by one to the WT CC, who in fairness apologised for what happened and said he would “have a word”. Sadly j had the remainder 10 hours of the flight in soiled clothes.

There were a few other issues such as not being offered a PDB, (the CC offered one to the lady sat next to me looked at me, my lanyard and moved on), poor food and a footrest that didn’t work, oh and my condition being labelled on MMB as developmental impairment (this is certainly isn’t), but this obviously are nothing compared to what happened.

i contacted CR, who have written back this morning saying “they don’t understand how distressing it was”, but they’ve put a Space Available upgrade voucher for my return flight (currently showing J=0 and offered to cover the cost of dry cleaning for my clothes which I have discarded.

i called them today to discuss it further, was told this was the maximum they can offer for an in-flight issue, that I can use the upgrade in the next 12 months (which I’m struggling to use the upgrade vouchers I have anyway) and that it was discussed with a manager before it the response was issued.

Constructive thoughts gratefully received.






Last edited by navylad; Sep 8, 19 at 4:03 pm
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:10 am
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That sounds very distressing and I can only apologise for what happened onboard.
Did you speak to the CSD and if so did they say that they were informed of you travelling and your needs?
When it comes to complaining, personally I don’t like when numerous complaints are added together even though they maybe true to paint a picture of how bad a flight has been, to me it sounds like fishing for more compensation.
I would just stick to your condition and how this was handled.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:13 am
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Perhaps you should not have flown. Being refused entry to the CW bathrooms is not the real issue here. It's the fact that you need to go within 15 minutes or suffer an accident, and being allowed access would have made little difference if those toilets were also occupied for the 15 minute window you are limited to.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:13 am
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Also my cousin has Crohn's and I know how quickly her needs can change, I would get ones of these cards.
https://www.bladderandbowel.org/help...ant-wait-card/
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:14 am
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I cannot imagine personally how distressing this incident would be, so I can only offer sympathy in this case. I hope your return will be a positive flight

However, what are you actually seeking? Additional 'compensation' over and above a space available upgrade?

That being said, if you are struggling to use existing upgrade vouchers, then you (like me) will probably have more Avios than you can realistically use. Therefore we are left with cash. How much cash would you expect?
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by BrianWBrazil View Post
Perhaps you should not have flown. Being refused entry to the CW bathrooms is not the real issue here. It's the fact that you need to go within 15 minutes or suffer an accident, and being allowed access would have made little difference if those toilets were also occupied for the 15 minute window you are limited to.
hindsight is a great thing and that, as I said was my initial thoughts until I had spoken to the accessibility team who reassured me that it wouldn't be an issue.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:17 am
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What did the CSD say when you raised the issue with them?
did you ask the line of pax at the Y toilet if they'd allow you to pass them, or check toilets in other parts of the cabin?

Given the circumstances and your other thread on the matter I don't think choosing to travel was the best choice.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:21 am
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That is shocking. I have a sub total colectomy and so I fully sympathise.

I tend to tell the crew as I board that I may need to use the loo quickly (although at other times I may not go at all). Their response is variable. I used to have a toilet card, but mostly I just ask people to let me go first and in 30 years I have never had anyone refuse (at all loos- not just on planes).
BA are not good with this type of illness if contacting them in advance.

I would send in other detailed complaint, I would also want to know how they intend to ensure that others are not put in this position again.

You must not let it control your life, you are quite right to travel etc.

Last edited by Barnaby100; Sep 8, 19 at 9:26 am
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:21 am
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That’s extremely poor from BA. I have family members who have autoimmune conditions and physical disabilities and it impacts their approach to travel. To get the reassurance you were given be ripped away is worse than them saying up front that they’ll ignore you.

And having been struck by severe food poisoning on a 3 hour CX flight (wheelchair to the medical centre in HKG, IV fluids and 3 days stuck in hotel room afterwards) I can partly relate to the stress of just seeing a queue for toilets when you know it’s a question of when rather than if.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
Also my cousin has Crohn's and I know how quickly her needs can change, I would get ones of these cards.
https://www.bladderandbowel.org/help...ant-wait-card/
Thanks CIHY, I already have a similar card on order from a charity that looks specifically after this condition, but, unsurprisingly given I was diagnosed 4 days before the flight, I didn't receive it in time and had hoped the sunflower lanyard would have done the same. Agree with your point about the other things that happened on the flight, I haven't mentioned these to CR.

Originally Posted by rossmacd View Post
I cannot imagine personally how distressing this incident would be, so I can only offer sympathy in this case. I hope your return will be a positive flight

However, what are you actually seeking? Additional 'compensation' over and above a space available upgrade?

That being said, if you are struggling to use existing upgrade vouchers, then you (like me) will probably have more Avios than you can realistically use. Therefore we are left with cash. How much cash would you expect?
Actually, what I asked CR for was to allow me to cut short the holiday by 2 days and fly back in J in comfort where there is availability, have been told this is not possible as they are only able to deal with issues after an event. A further upgrade voucher, avios and even cash aren't particularly what I am looking for, I mainly just want a through plan in place so that I can stop worrying about my flight home and hopefully some lessons actually learnt from an organisation that has breached the Equalities Act.

Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
What did the CSD say when you raised the issue with them?
did you ask the line of pax at the Y toilet if they'd allow you to pass them, or check toilets in other parts of the cabin?

Given the circumstances and your other thread on the matter I don't think choosing to travel was the best choice.
Other than at boarding, I didn't get to speak to the CSD, I had spoken to the WT CC as I said, who was great to be honest in helping to calm me down, but the CSD was back in club and there was no-way I wanted to go there, I just wanted the ground to swallow me up quite frankly, I tried to sleep and just pray that we landed as soon as possible.

Last edited by navylad; Sep 8, 19 at 9:28 am
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:26 am
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You say that you spoke to the GGL team and they and a couple of other people wrote to the CSD, what did the CSD say when you spoke to them?
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:32 am
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Sorry you have edited your post since I posted.
I know hindsight is a great thing but personally I would have spoken to the CSD to ensure they knew were you were seated and all crew were aware of your needs.
Saying that I would have come and spoken to you anyway if I had been informed.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:32 am
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
You say that you spoke to the GGL team and they and a couple of other people wrote to the CSD, what did the CSD say when you spoke to them?
I was greater by the CSD on boarding, but it wasn't mentioned and at the time, there was a bit of fuss with the lady sat next to me who had her bag out over the floor, didn't speak english and we needed to push back, so I didn't raise it. My fault of course in that aspect.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:48 am
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Yes it would have been better if you had but if the CSD had been contacted prior to the flight there has been very poor communication.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:56 am
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I can nowhere near imagine how embarrassing it was for you but first of all thank you for sharing and being so open, and I really hope you won’t refrain from traveling in the future!

Whilst I really can’t help with the issue, it is a fit to so many other negative stories we read here in the forum; but I guess when the management is mostly concerned about cost cutting you’ll end up as an employee doing only the necessary.

D

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