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How can British Airways get away with this behavior?

How can British Airways get away with this behavior?

Old Jul 1, 22, 11:30 am
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Dorowilson View Post
You were totally unrealistic when booking your flights and you cannot blame anyone else for that. Booking a 65min transfer time is asking for trouble at any time, let alone at a huge busy airport such as Heathrow during the well publicised post Covid problems we have at the moment. In normal times, I allow 3hrs transfer time when transiting through Dubai with Emirates, but even then on one occasion, I missed my connection and my baggage was delayed. I’m sorry for your difficulties. I know LHR and BA both are not at their most efficient at present but to maximise the chance of a successful easy journey, you need to minimise the likelihood of complications and customer service involvement and you did the opposite!
I find this more than a little harsh. Granted there is no way I would have done the same - but if this was a legitimate one PNR booking then, frankly if this was what was offered there should be some duty of care in the very likely event that it did not. You fly half way around the world and arrive in London three quarters of an hour late on a legitimate connection. If BA sells it - which I have checked and they do - it is totally unfair to hold the OP to blame in any measure. The last BA flight for the day left an hour later but that may very well have been full due to cancellations earlier on, The hotel situation is a nightmare. I looked for tonight (1st July) and there is nothing to be had The Holiday Inn Express at Windsor had one room left. If the hotels sell out then all the airline can do is tell you to find you own. I would imagine that with all these cancellations the stock of hotel rooms had been long depleted. That the hotel are clearly taking advantage of the situation by charging outrageous rates. That is legal but it is wrong none the less. The whole situation is a nightmare. As for the comments about the attitude of the staff - we all have our perceptions and these can be coloured by what is taking place around us. I was not there.

There are threads where I apply my 50% rule. If half of this tale is true, it is dreaful. In fact, I believe it totally as the instance is quite imaginable. Personally I do prefer grammar and punctuation so that I can understand clearly what has taken place. I prefer that there are no Capitals as I was alway told tha this was the net form of shouting, however I have read far worse here and that from people who call English their first language. Like all these incidents, when one cools down and is not in the nightmare, one can ba far more coherent. I can only wish the OP well on his stay in the USA and that his return home is far less catastrophic.
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Old Jul 1, 22, 11:37 am
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Dorowilson View Post
Yes, it may be technically possible to buy a ticket with a 65min connection at T5 but in these circumstances it’s hardly wise to put oneself in a position where one has to depend on customer services. It can take up to an hour to get off a plane at the moment at LHR as gate allocation and follow up services are so slow. It’s just common sense to minimise complications at the moment.
I hear you - however there is another little factor. Maybe he preferred not to get the 01.35 flight and preferred the 13.10 flight which is a far more civilised time? I would. What I would have done is to have done a stopover and booked a hotel. As the stopover would be less than 24 hours it would be allowed. I am sure that with hindsight he would have done the same. The hotel would have been booked before all these cancellations and possibly been at a reasonable rate. It's just a thought.
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Old Jul 1, 22, 11:48 am
  #63  
 
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My wife and I few in from JFK last December en route to NCL for Christmas. We had a choice of a 1 hour 10 minute connection at LHR or an 11 hour connection (on the basis that at the time there were only two BA flights a day to NCL) so we took the former, totally legal, connection. We landed early - but then ended up on a remote stand with no one to operate the steps, delays for buses, long queues and no e-gates at immigration , slow security etc. What should have been a brisk but perfectly reasonable connection became a mad, stressful dash through the airport to our connecting gate - only for BA to then delay the flight for an hour to allow other connecting passengers to make the flight. Rewind a couple of years prior and we were in a similar situation but with a three hour delay on our inbound from LAS where BA decided *not* to hold the last NCL flight and so we ended up landside at LHR, getting BA to protect our return flights so we could then head to Kings Cross to take the train north. My wife and I could have flown the following day but our teenage daughter had been rebooked for after the Christmas holiday. We clearly weren't going to leave her behind.

For those of us who travel a lot this is all second nature. We have a good idea of how to cope in these situations, what the options and alternatives might be, who to speak to, how to phrase things and use the correct terminology - but also when to realise that the best option is to take matters into one's own hands whether that be to rebook on a different airline, get a hotel, take the train etc. and then deal with BA at a later date. However, not everyone has the experience or the knowledge or the capacity to make those, often spur of the moment, decisions. It's particularly challenging if you're in an unfamiliar city, or don't speak the language fluently etc. For me, working out the logistics of ditching BA and taking the train to Newcastle was second nature: HEX to Paddington, tube to Kings Cross, LNER (or whoever it was at the time) to NCL. However, there were other passengers in the same queue as us for the BA desks for whom the thought of taking the train had never crossed their minds, was something they had no idea how to do, how to get to the station, how to book tickets etc. I know this sounds crazy but for a lot of people, especially here in the USA, they have never ever been on a train or a bus!

I think it's all too easy to look at the frequent IRROPS induced postings that we see on this forum and look at it from the benefit of our armchair, through our eyes, based on our experiences. I think at times we need to take a step back, step into the OP's shoes, and try and see things from their perspective, showing a little more empathy (and sympathy) with their situation at the precise moment they were in it. Last week was precisely that - last week. The here and now, the present is what the OP was trying to deal with.
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Old Jul 1, 22, 12:00 pm
  #64  
 
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As usual far too much OP bashing from most. I get it, the racism reference is perhaps OTT and has not been provided any facts per se.

However, I’m glad some have still picked up on how dreadful this really is by BA, particularly for travellers who may not be well-versed with all these things. Heck even the frequent OWE traveller gets stressed and often stuck in a seemingly endless “loop” with airlines in such situation.

I totally disagree with the blame hinging onto OP for having a short connection. Lots of people generally prefer short connections or often pay way more to fly economy in an inferior airline to go directly. It’s a legal connection that BA sold to them and for people who may not have lounge access etc or simply just want to “get there” may indeed wish to avail the privilege of a shorter connection and quicker arrival.

I just hope OP can take onboard the more constructive advice given here and I wish them a safe onward journey and that they can get back as much as possible from BA
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Old Jul 1, 22, 12:10 pm
  #65  
 
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Originally Posted by Dorowilson View Post
There has been lots of recent publicity about poor service, delays and problems at Heathrow, post Covid, particularly with British Airways. I would expect normal people to apply common sense and build in a bigger margin for error than usual when making their travel plans, just to minimise the chance of complications and the need for BA customer service intervention, especially when it’s purported to be so inadequate at present. It’s just a matter of being prudent and taking responsibility for the likely consequences of one’s own actions.
well, I am making an assumption here in a reply suggesting you shouldn’t make assumptions, but, indulge me…

The OP is travelling from BOM, where MY assumption is that there has been very much less widespread coverage of BA and Heathrow’s wows than there has been here. So perhaps it is wrong to assume that they are aware of it.

put it this way, I currently have no idea whether airports and airlines in India are similarly affected, based on my consumption of BBC / Channel 4 / The Times news. Or, in fact my reading of this forum.
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Old Jul 1, 22, 12:13 pm
  #66  
 
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Deleted - duplicate
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Old Jul 1, 22, 12:14 pm
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by Dorowilson View Post
Yes, it may be technically possible to buy a ticket with a 65min connection at T5 but in these circumstances it’s hardly wise to put oneself in a position where one has to depend on customer services. It can take up to an hour to get off a plane at the moment at LHR as gate allocation and follow up services are so slow. It’s just common sense to minimise complications at the moment.
Lucky to get a gate/stand! Flight back from GLA to LHR on Wednesday, took off late, ATC delayed landing, no connected stand available so dumped on the tarmac to await buses. 25 minute delay for buses. Ugh.
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Old Jul 1, 22, 12:48 pm
  #68  
 
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Originally Posted by Sharratt4 View Post
well, I am making an assumption here in a reply suggesting you shouldn’t make assumptions, but, indulge me…

The OP is travelling from BOM, where MY assumption is that there has been very much less widespread coverage of BA and Heathrow’s wows than there has been here. So perhaps it is wrong to assume that they are aware of it.

put it this way, I currently have no idea whether airports and airlines in India are similarly affected, based on my consumption of BBC / Channel 4 / The Times news. Or, in fact my reading of this forum.
There's also no mention of how long ago the trip was booked. I'm in the Seattle area, and my only knowledge of BA's total meltdown is because 4 out of 5 "trending" articles on FlyerTalk seem to involve BA! It's completely feasible that (a) the mess wasn't as bad at the time of booking, and (b) there is little or no news coverage elsewhere. We have enough articles about the problems with the major US airlines (including our hometown AS); the papers aren't going to waste space telling us about ongoing problems with foreign carriers.
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Old Jul 1, 22, 12:59 pm
  #69  
 
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I really do not follow this "but it was a minimum connection time ticket" so BA are to blame. Yes it was, and, yes they are. But it does not change the fact the OP was travelling halfway across the world without any clue about what to do if things go wrong, after conceding the connection was risky enough as it was.

As a matter of point; it is not unreasonable to to take precautions if things go wrong. Travel Insurance in case of delay? Home Insurance for flooding? Health Insurance for cancer? Mortgage Insurance for unemployment? All of these exist because things, occasionally, do not go to plan and the OP would have been better placed preparing for this than exclaiming BA were racist for not booking him into a hotel.

Originally Posted by Sharratt4 View Post
But what contingency planning is expected or reasonable?
Looking up hotel booking sites for the transit point. Looking up data plans for the transit point. Knowing when the next flight was, which - since it was next day - checking alternative routes once in Heathrow.

Originally Posted by Sharratt4 View Post
What back up plans should the OP have made?
None. They should have been aware of what to do if things go wrong. Rocking up at Heathrow on a risky connection and expecting the airline to fix it there and then is unreasonable with everything going on. Then paying USD 700 for a hotel when cheaper were both available and closer is ridiculous.

Originally Posted by Sharratt4 View Post
And in regards to expecting BA to open a new hotel block - of course not, but if that is what was required, it rather suggests that there were no rooms available as per the OPs version of events. You can't have it both ways, either there were cheaper hotel rooms available locally in which case why shouldn't BA be responsible for booking them for him or they weren't in which case an expensive alternative elsewhere is required.

Im really not here to argue however, so please don't read it with such a tone, we are all welcome to our own takes on things!.
Agreed, and I do respect your view! But, the bolding is mine; OP was wrong on this front and is now claiming to be out of pocket. What about their travel insurance? Did they not have any? Why when I - and others - looked for hotels did we see them available - both closer and cheaper?

Originally Posted by Sharratt4 View Post
Or...as a nuclear option, should BA be considering extending their London Airports MCTs temporarily given their operational "challenges" at the minute (
I fully agree and frankly 65 minutes - whilst legal on BA's point of view - its madness in today's climate. I believe the OP has a valid claim with BA on this; he was ultimately sold a ticket that half little chance of acting out as planned, but, having no sense of how to solve a problem should one arise - likely in 2022 - is on the OP.
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Old Jul 1, 22, 1:03 pm
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Just a few general points of observation from someone who works at AF ticketing at JFK:

Right now, there are very few seats available across the Atlantic. Like zilch. Most flight are overbooked. On all airlines. I understand many people booked their flights months ago. For the future, try to book connections (whether LHR,CDG,FRA) with a minimum of 3 hours.

The staff you encounter at the airport did not create this mess. But try to understand A) frontline are there to help you and B) under lots of stress daily so C) being polite to them will go a ways to getting a better outcome

One only needs to pick up a newspaper, go online or watch TV news for 2 minutes to realize this summer is going to yield several disastrous customer experience outcomes.

I truly sympathize with the OP but this is a perfect storm situation. Lots of blame to go around. I am at JFK 5 days a week with overtime everyday. Things are a mess. And for my summer vacation I decided to rent a car and drive to Canada. I understand in your case this is not possible.

Pack your patience!!
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Old Jul 1, 22, 1:32 pm
  #71  
 
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Originally Posted by ScienceTeacher View Post
I really do not follow this "but it was a minimum connection time ticket" so BA are to blame. Yes it was, and, yes they are. But it does not change the fact the OP was travelling halfway across the world without any clue about what to do if things go wrong, after conceding the connection was risky enough as it was.

As a matter of point; it is not unreasonable to to take precautions if things go wrong. Travel Insurance in case of delay? Home Insurance for flooding? Health Insurance for cancer? Mortgage Insurance for unemployment? All of these exist because things, occasionally, do not go to plan and the OP would have been better placed preparing for this than exclaiming BA were racist for not booking him into a hotel.



Looking up hotel booking sites for the transit point. Looking up data plans for the transit point. Knowing when the next flight was, which - since it was next day - checking alternative routes once in Heathrow.



None. They should have been aware of what to do if things go wrong. Rocking up at Heathrow on a risky connection and expecting the airline to fix it there and then is unreasonable with everything going on. Then paying USD 700 for a hotel when cheaper were both available and closer is ridiculous.



Agreed, and I do respect your view! But, the bolding is mine; OP was wrong on this front and is now claiming to be out of pocket. What about their travel insurance? Did they not have any? Why when I - and others - looked for hotels did we see them available - both closer and cheaper?



I fully agree and frankly 65 minutes - whilst legal on BA's point of view - its madness in today's climate. I believe the OP has a valid claim with BA on this; he was ultimately sold a ticket that half little chance of acting out as planned, but, having no sense of how to solve a problem should one arise - likely in 2022 - is on the OP.
TBF The OP doesn’t say he doesn’t have travel insurance and he did do as you suggest and went online and booked themselves a hotel.

whether $700 is reasonable or not can be debated, but regardless of price he is out of pocket because BA said…you’re on your own.

in deliberately not commenting on your bolder section…let’s not go down that rabbit hole again 😂
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Old Jul 1, 22, 2:04 pm
  #72  
 
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“ Right now, there are very few seats available across the Atlantic. Like zilch. Most flight are overbooked. On all airlines. I understand many people booked their flights months ago. For the future, try to book connections (whether LHR,CDG,FRA) with a minimum of 3 hours.”

good point , In the great scheme of things BA is no worse than most others ( possible exceptions QR ,EM FR ?) , I may have been lucky but 3 x TAL on BA in last 4 months all with connections thru LHR and no serous problems,, understandably we tend to hear about the problems rather than the sucesses.
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Old Jul 1, 22, 2:22 pm
  #73  
 
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I wouldn't book a 65 minutes connection at LHR at the best of times, never mind the current situation, never mind the scenario the OP describes. That flight from BOM is delayed pretty routinely and arrived at times that would have made the connection impossible on 4 out of the last 10 days. And of course that connecting flight is the *last* OneWorld flight of the day to JFK with the only later option being a VS flight which would also be a very close call (and sometimes impossible) given it would involve a terminal transfer. What I'm saying is that the chance of spending the night in London for this itinerary would always be well above most people's tolerance level even in normal circumstances. Then add the special circumstances and the outcome really can't be considered a particularly unusual one.

Now of course we can book any connection offered and say the airline is on the hook, but we also have to be realistic and have a plan B in that case and most importantly not react like the fairly unsurprising outcome is a major catastrophe and something the airline needs to move heaven and earth to remedy. Maybe in an ideal world they would. In the real world no airline would, no staffer would make you spending your night comfortably their personal priority. And for what it's worth, no BA staffer could have procured same day tickets to New York at 8 pm in the evening or a cheap hotel room in London last night. There just wasn't much to be done about that predicament, other than perhaps foresight to avoid this particular pickle in the 1st place.
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Old Jul 1, 22, 2:49 pm
  #74  
 
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For those lambasting the choice of a perfectly legal connection, consider this scenario…
Customer buys a ticket with a 2.5hr connection. The airline changes the schedule to be 65 mins instead. Perfectly legal, meets MCT. To change it would cost $500 as it would be voluntary, so they decline. Are you still angry that they left too short a connection?
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Old Jul 1, 22, 3:02 pm
  #75  
 
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BA did this to us, but circumstances slightly different.. and we were downgraded the following day to add insult to injury, but the hotel prices weren't astronomical, though we and others considered spending the night sleeping rough at the airport. We didn't identify any racist behaviour at the time. I think in the end, we stayed with friends.

Last edited by cmnmia; Jul 1, 22 at 3:06 pm Reason: I should add I'm not referring to same time period.
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