LHR Flounge Customer Service Chaos

Old Aug 10, 22, 2:21 pm
  #46  
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The other point that I should add is that I have another (in fact, many other) LHR/BHD bookings, in Clue Europe, for future dates. That's my regular commute and when I can, I book long in advance, often getting fairly low CE fares. So when BA staff asserted that they could not book me onto EI or Flybe, nor could they book me on BA's own LHR/BHD flight (which had availability but is not available for public sale), I asked if they could simply change the date on any of my future LHR/BHD bookings to today. BA staff then called ticketing, gave one of those PNRs to ticketing, and BA staff then told me that they could indeed reissue one of my other future bookings to put me on today's BA LHR/BHD at a cost to me of around 281 (comprising change fee and difference in fare) but could not do the invol change to which I was entitled, onto the same BA LHR/BHD today, as that flight was not available for public sale. Can there be any greater evidence of sheer profiteering on the part of BA?
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Old Aug 10, 22, 2:26 pm
  #47  
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That probably would have been a sensible way forward, but I suggested that (and just about everything else that came into my head - see my post above on reissuing an existing ticket) and BA staff asserted that the claim would be rejected. Of course those staff aren't involved in that process and there's always MCOL etc. but having had nine BA EC261 claims over the last month or so (all from BHD/LCY/BHD or BHD/LHR/BHD cancellations), together with two much delayed baggage and one damaged baggage, my patience for incurring more expenditure and waiting endlessly for yet another BA denial, followed by MCOL, is fairly low.
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Old Aug 10, 22, 2:35 pm
  #48  
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Originally Posted by southsquare View Post
waiting endlessly for yet another BA denial, followed by MCOL, is fairly low.
I would urge you not to wait. Send in the compaint, indicate on it that you require a reply within 2 weeks. Make a screenshot of that, Day 15 send LBA by registered mail, can be a paragraph long. Day 28 action MCOL.
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Old Aug 10, 22, 2:50 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by southsquare View Post
The other point that I should add is that I have another (in fact, many other) LHR/BHD bookings, in Clue Europe, for future dates. That's my regular commute and when I can, I book long in advance, often getting fairly low CE fares. So when BA staff asserted that they could not book me onto EI or Flybe, nor could they book me on BA's own LHR/BHD flight (which had availability but is not available for public sale), I asked if they could simply change the date on any of my future LHR/BHD bookings to today. BA staff then called ticketing, gave one of those PNRs to ticketing, and BA staff then told me that they could indeed reissue one of my other future bookings to put me on today's BA LHR/BHD at a cost to me of around 281 (comprising change fee and difference in fare) but could not do the invol change to which I was entitled, onto the same BA LHR/BHD today, as that flight was not available for public sale. Can there be any greater evidence of sheer profiteering on the part of BA?
Regular route for me also but I usually book at pretty late notice. Travel usually at least once every 2 weeks.

Ive decided to use EZY to and from LGW next week, mainly down to price BA and EI was approaching 600 in ET compared to 120 on EZY.

I dont mind paying a little more to fly BA and it would have suited me better being a GCH and having meetings in Paddington, but the difference right now and stories like this make it a no brainer really. At least EZY can probably re-book using the app.
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Old Aug 10, 22, 5:10 pm
  #50  
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
There is a serious issue with BA staff. Unfortunately there are some very stupid ignorant BA ground staff. As was rightly noted, the OP was not looking for publicly available seats, and was were in an invol rebooking situation so rebooking on the late BA flight should have been straightforward.

If I sound rather blunt and rude, it is because I am fed up with people like this at BA. Sadly it seems they managed to somehow remain over the last few years when really they should have been booted out a long time ago.
The late Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge (Colin Marshall) was a very good business acquaintance of my dad. There was an issue at work that involved my dad having to make a quick return trip back from our holiday. There was a problem on this short pond hop to blighty and then back to our holiday. I think it was a simple matter that they hadn't allowed him (as a GCH) on an earlier flight which would have got him back to the beach faster. Dad raised it with Colin when we got back and the reply he got was that Colin was constantly trying to get people in the company to use their common sense in situations like that. Sadly he then likened BA to a super tanker and said turning one of those was easier.
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Old Aug 10, 22, 7:23 pm
  #51  
 
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My sympathies to the OP - this sounds like a replay of our appalling experience in the CCR on 30 June recounted in an earlier thread.
With the benefit of a "cooling off" period, my advice to anyone venting on this forum is "don't just get mad, get even" and indeed to follow Mr.Walsh's widely reported exhortation from the 2016 Capital Markets Day slide: "Show me the (expletive beginning with letter six of alphabet) money!" *

* IAG Capital Markets Day 2016
(Page 6 post 83 et al.)

Last edited by Bullswood; Aug 10, 22 at 8:04 pm
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Old Aug 10, 22, 7:30 pm
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by Jimmie76 View Post
The late Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge (Colin Marshall) was a very good business acquaintance of my dad. There was an issue at work that involved my dad having to make a quick return trip back from our holiday. There was a problem on this short pond hop to blighty and then back to our holiday. I think it was a simple matter that they hadn't allowed him (as a GCH) on an earlier flight which would have got him back to the beach faster. Dad raised it with Colin when we got back and the reply he got was that Colin was constantly trying to get people in the company to use their common sense in situations like that. Sadly he then likened BA to a super tanker and said turning one of those was easier.
Since you raise the memory of a better BA under the late and IMHO, great, Colin Marshall, you may find this of interest, in particular the comment that "when business conditions got tough..we did not take meat cleavers to our product".

https://hbr.org/1995/11/competing-on...colin-marshall
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Last edited by Bullswood; Aug 10, 22 at 7:59 pm
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Old Aug 10, 22, 8:40 pm
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by southsquare View Post
With respect, this misses the point completely. There were publicly available seats on EI and Flybe, and there was also availability - specifically for invol changes (if one believes the reason BA gave for ceasing public sale) on two BA BHD/LHR flights.
With respect, you will find most carriers (not just BA) have had their capacity restricted at the request of Heathrow Airport Ltd until at least 15AUG. The most frustrating thing about this imposed restriction is that availability still shows in booking sites and on airline/travel agent GDS. To the untrained it does look as though you can secure availability. The fact is as soon as you try to take what appears to be an available seat, the reservation will be denied and the payment process part of the transaction system fails/errors out and you cannot complete the reservation. IROPS are still governed by the same 'ghost' availability.... no seats is no seats however you choose to spin it so I dont think screenshots is going to get you very far.... they won't have been of special hidden inventory. That simply does not exist.

I've lost count over how many customers I've dealt with in recent weeks who've insisted they know best and that I'm effectively lieing to them when I've tried to explain I cannot book them onto a ex LHR departure to a Euro destination until Tuesday next week due to the capacity restrictions. When met with the inevitable ' but I can book it on-line' response, I've happily waited while they've tried to complete the reservation.... so far nobody I've encountered has managed to secure a new or rebooked ex LHR reservation to Euro destinations over the restriction period. BA, EI, KL, IB, TK, TP are the ones I've encountered recently and thry all have the same restrictions imposed on new reservations ex LHR before 15AUG.

Regardless to all of this however, there is absolutely no call for the way in which you or others were treated. If anything there would be more reason to ensure the service was spot in when breaking the news you'll be travelling from another airport. I guess for 20k pa you need to ask yourself whether BA are you going to be attracting those who genuinely care or have compassion in delivering that message. That should not be your problem however and it's a common reoccurring theme now where it unfortunately is a passengers problem when they get stranded at LHR at the moment. The airport should be avoided like the plague regardless as to whether originating there or connecting via/to another city. Their systems people and processes are creaking under the pressure of summer demand. Low tenure and inexperience are exacerbating the problem to a level where it's now unfit for purpose. My feeling is this isn't going to go away in September either.
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Old Aug 10, 22, 9:41 pm
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by 1Aturnleft View Post
With respect, you will find most carriers (not just BA) have had their capacity restricted at the request of Heathrow Airport Ltd until at least 15AUG. The most frustrating thing about this imposed restriction is that availability still shows in booking sites and on airline/travel agent GDS. To the untrained it does look as though you can secure availability. The fact is as soon as you try to take what appears to be an available seat, the reservation will be denied and the payment process part of the transaction system fails/errors out and you cannot complete the reservation. IROPS are still governed by the same 'ghost' availability.... no seats is no seats however you choose to spin it so I dont think screenshots is going to get you very far.... they won't have been of special hidden inventory. That simply does not exist.

I've lost count over how many customers I've dealt with in recent weeks who've insisted they know best and that I'm effectively lieing to them when I've tried to explain I cannot book them onto a ex LHR departure to a Euro destination until Tuesday next week due to the capacity restrictions. When met with the inevitable ' but I can book it on-line' response, I've happily waited while they've tried to complete the reservation.... so far nobody I've encountered has managed to secure a new or rebooked ex LHR reservation to Euro destinations over the restriction period. BA, EI, KL, IB, TK, TP are the ones I've encountered recently and thry all have the same restrictions imposed on new reservations ex LHR before 15AUG.
How then should the BA staff "work around" the booking? Is this really an issue of "computer says no" or quite simply they haven't been taught how to override the system in case of IRROPS without it being treated as a "new sale"?
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Old Aug 11, 22, 2:37 am
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by ermis177 View Post
What makes this incident extremely poor is the fact that this was the F lounge at Heathrow. Imagine the service you will receive if you dont have access to F lounge or even worse if you are not at Heathrow. My recent delay experience at Gatwick where nobody could do anything apart from the panacea advise to call BA made me realise how bad customer service can be.
Yeah and good luck getting through to someone in a reasonable amount of time if you're not cut-off first because they're too busy to take new calls.
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Old Aug 11, 22, 2:57 am
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by xxxxx View Post
The main issue is that ALL ticketing staff have been removed from the terminal. There used to be a ticket agent in the First lounge. The person sat there now would have no knowledge of ticketing at all.
In contrast the KLM Crown Non Schengen Lounge at AMS has 4 customer service desk (with chairs so you can sit down and have a civilised discussion) which I assume can also handle ticketing issues.
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Old Aug 11, 22, 3:05 am
  #57  
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Originally Posted by MaxFlyer View Post
In contrast the KLM Crown Non Schengen Lounge at AMS has 4 customer service desk (with chairs so you can sit down and have a civilised discussion) which I assume can also handle ticketing issues.
Yes. KLM's agents there have full ticketing abilities and can make future bookings for you if you happen to have the time spare. The worst bit: they can ticket BA flights there, which BA staff in LHR cannot do.
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Old Aug 11, 22, 4:09 am
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by MaxFlyer View Post
In contrast the KLM Crown Non Schengen Lounge at AMS has 4 customer service desk (with chairs so you can sit down and have a civilised discussion) which I assume can also handle ticketing issues.
One thing I have noticed about American Airlines, for example, is their lounge staff seem to have a lot more power, flexibility and training in case of issues. For example, when my girlfriend and I misconnected at JFK in June (weather related so "such is life") the lounge agent spent a long time trying to work through options to get us back to Tel Aviv as quickly as possible, hampered apparently by lack of 2 Business Class seats between JFK and Europe.

In the end he managed to re-book us on a direct flight with El Al leaving later that evening. This was a BA ticket, we were next due to take a BA flight but I said to the other half we would likely be better trying to get AA to sort it instead of leaving the AA terminal and going to the BA terminal check in.

And we were even invited to go and sit in the lounge while he was working through the ticketing and once done he said we could stay as long as we liked.

Can you imagine that happening in a BA Lounge? But why does it not?

BONDY
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Old Aug 11, 22, 4:36 am
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Originally Posted by BONDY View Post
One thing I have noticed about American Airlines, for example, is their lounge staff seem to have a lot more power, flexibility and training in case of issues. For example, when my girlfriend and I misconnected at JFK in June (weather related so "such is life") the lounge agent spent a long time trying to work through options to get us back to Tel Aviv as quickly as possible, hampered apparently by lack of 2 Business Class seats between JFK and Europe.

In the end he managed to re-book us on a direct flight with El Al leaving later that evening. This was a BA ticket, we were next due to take a BA flight but I said to the other half we would likely be better trying to get AA to sort it instead of leaving the AA terminal and going to the BA terminal check in.

And we were even invited to go and sit in the lounge while he was working through the ticketing and once done he said we could stay as long as we liked.

Can you imagine that happening in a BA Lounge? But why does it not?

BONDY
the AA lounge agents especially in key cities like JFK LAX SFO ORD and MIA are usually very senior and very experienced with all ticketing issues. that was one of the value props in getting a club membership when i started traveling in the early 2000s for work--in the event of irrops i knew i could just go to the lounge and thats why they are called AAngels.

less so today but vastly beyond anything a BA agent can do anymore. even pre-covid it was annoying to be in the Flounge and have some ticketing issue resolved only to be sent upstairs to the J lounge to have payment taken. now the ryanair-ification of ticketing services is complete, it is entirely unacceptable given the premiums we pay to fly BA. at least Ryanair even have (had?) one or two devoted ticketing/payment counters at STN!
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Old Aug 11, 22, 5:52 am
  #60  
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Originally Posted by southsquare View Post
Meanwhile, my more immediate concern is for the elderly lady who had been wheeled to the side of the Flounge Customer Service area sometime before i got there at about 7.30am and, by the time I left the Flounge at around 11.30am, abandoned. No one had checked on her for close to 4 hours There's every possibility that again, BA will forget to get her to this evening's flight (if, by then, she hasn't succumbed to exhaustion and dehydration, both of which are more immediate risks) and leave her there until someone finds her at Flounge closing time late tonight.
You did not call any form of assistance ? Police or 111 ?
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