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CosmoCosmo Apr 30, 19 4:38 am

Unpleasant experience with BA call centre
Hi. This is my first post. Wish it wasn't about this! I've booked Club World GLA to MCO next year, via LGW with my 11 year old. I spoke to an agent a few weeks ago to change the time of the first connection and explained that I'm disabled, although I'm usually mobile. He told me to call back on the Executive Club number once I received an email to confirm the booking change and I'd be able to select our seats free of charge and add any other assistance. (I think it's pretty rubbish that even in flying in business class that BA charge extra for seat selection, but that's another thread!).

I called today to request seats. I spoke to a male agent who was so rude. He told me I could only request a seat if I was using a wheelchair. I said that's not what the first agent told me. He then asked me why I would require assistance. I said I'd require being close to a bathroom in an aisle seat, and he then said - this is the bit that has made me so angry and upset! - that I am not disabled! I told him that I have the higher rates of daily living and mobility PIP and a blue badge and it wasn't up to him to tell me whether I have disabilities or not. He was really horrible and refused to help. I asked to speak to a manager and he refused. I asked again and he agreed to get someone to call me back and then hung up!

I'm waiting for a callback, but in the meantime came to the forum and found the link to the CAA guidance for passengers for hidden disabilities. Virgin and several other airlines have been brilliant in accommodating me since I became disabled, I'm quite shocked at this interaction with BA. If I don't hear back, I'll try contacting the special assistance helpline. Just wondered if this was typical of anyone else's experience at all?

CosmoCosmo May 1, 19 3:32 am

Update - I didn't receive the promised callback. I tweeted to BA and they responded very quickly and have sorted everything out, assuring me that the original agent and their manager would receive feedback about this. Looks like contacting BA via social media is probably the most efficient way!

rollthere May 1, 19 12:28 pm

Hi Cosmo and welcome to the forum. For the life of me I don't understand the BA policy of paying for seat selection even in the premium cabins unless you have quite a high one world status. Even worse is the BA policy to have bassinet reserved seats at virtually every bulkhead in the aircraft in every class of service. Even as a disabled traveler with Emerald status they will not reassign bulkhead seating to me. Needless to say that the BA disabled seating policy leaves a lot to be desired.

I'm glad you found out what what I've realized and headed directly to twitter. Every airline that I've dealt with directly on Twitter has been remarkably responsive. I rarely call or email when I run into issues anymore and just had directly to twitter. Glad to hear that it's worked out for you and wish you an enjoyable trip. Please come back to the forum with any questions as most of us here have been through pretty much every situation imaginable!

CosmoCosmo May 2, 19 2:13 am

Thanks rollthere :) Yes, I agree the position for a bassinet is frustrating, for me, it excludes the rest of the bulkhead seats as I don't want to be near a baby or small child. I'll definitely head for Twitter in future! I'm sure I'll be back here with more questions.

GregLeg May 8, 19 9:26 am

Does BA have a dedicated disability line? I know Delta and United do, and I always just call those numbers immediately after booking to make sure our seating arrangements will work for my wife. For our next major trip, BA is a likely choice due to flight availability, but not if they're going to be difficult to work with.

CosmoCosmo May 8, 19 10:35 am

Hi GregLeg. Yes, BA do have a specific line to request assistance and if you require mobility assistance you can add it to your booking online. My experience was via the Exec Club line, as that's what the person I'd spoken to earlier told me to use. In future, I think I'd go straight to the assistance line! It was all sorted out very well once I got on to Twitter too. Based on this, it hasn't put me off BA.

Kremmen Jul 11, 19 10:27 pm

Originally Posted by CosmoCosmo (Post 31079912)
Yes, BA do have a specific line to request assistance and if you require mobility assistance you can add it to your booking online.

Even then, things that should be easy can be quite hard. If two people are flying on one PNR and one has marked themselves as a wheelchair user, both can select seats for free. However, if the two people are on separate PNRs (e.g. both have booked the same route using their own frequent flyer miles), BA apparently has no easy way to connect those two bookings and give both passengers the ability to select seats.

They can do it, but be prepared for some lengthy phone calls if you're ever in this situation.

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