British Airways – a customer service nightmare

So I emailed the CEO of British Airways and got a reply; it’s at the bottom of this post. I’ve also tried contacting Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert guy, and BBC’s Watchdog, because there seems to be some kind of media curtain preventing this from being talked about. I guess it’s World Cup and Wimbledon time, so who cares about people stranded on holiday without their luggage?

I’ve also heard about people in far worse situations than us: cyclists on biking holidays who’d paid extra to ship their bikes and been left without them; people who’ve flown to Bogota to go travelling round Colombia (surly an amazing place to be right now thanks to James Rodriguez and friends) who’ve missed internal connecting flights; people meant to be going to weddings left without expensive suits and dresses; and many more besides. The people affected by this are, sadly, legion, and they’re all massively upset with British Airways.

Onto the actual blogpost…
This was always likely to be our last holiday as a couple, before we became a family; it might have been booked a few months before we got pregnant, but we knew we were trying and there was a sense that this would be a last jaunt together. Growing up by the sea, with parents who weren’t big travelers, means holidays have always felt like the ultimate luxury to me. I didn’t go abroad until I was 25.

So I’m rubbish at holidays; Emma has to do all the arrangements, and I find it difficult to relax and switch off, which is hard on her because she loves travelling and unwinding. We’ve managed to go abroad only a handful of times in the 13 years we’ve been together: long weekends in Barcelona and Morzine; a short honeymoon in New York; a week each in Andalucia, Ibiza, and Sardinia.

This trip to Sweden wasn’t quite a city break or a rural retreat; we’d be half an hour outside Stockholm, in a cabin next to water, and we’d spend the days walking, running, bike riding, and reading, with perhaps one day in Stockholm itself. We knew the weather would be changeable, so we’d packed accordingly; jeans, jumpers, waterproofs and trainers as well as shorts, suncream, and t-shirts. But this flexible, bulky packing was OK, because we were flying with British Airways and thus could take a bag each.

Except that we were flying with British Airways, so they lost our bags. Because that’s what they do these days.

I’m hesitant to say our holiday has been ruined, because that sounds dramatic, but it has been ruined. Em is 20 weeks pregnant, and her entire wearable wardrobe is in her bag. Her running kit is in her bag, along with a legion of skincare products because her hormones are currently crazy and she needs more stuff than usual.

But it’s OK, because this is British Airways, and they’ve got a good reputation for customer service, haven’t they?

If ‘customer service’ starts and stops with a generous baggage allowance and a cheese and ham sandwich during your flight, then yes, they’ve got that locked down. If it stretches to solving your customers’ problems, that you have caused, then no. This holiday has been an absolute customer service nightmare for British Airways, and here’s why.

They let flights take off when they knew people’s luggage wasn’t aboard
If we’d known our bags weren’t aboard and that there was a problem, we’d not have flown, as simple as that. Emma’s pregnant, we were only going away for a few days, and we knew that Sweden in changeable conditions without your stuff would be difficult to deal with. It wouldn’t have been worth the hassle. But BA never communicated that our bags weren’t onboard. Apparently other people had seen baggage chaos at Terminal 5 due to conveyor belts not working, but we’d checked in quite early, at a working belt with no queues, and seen no problem at all.

Lack of proactive communication
To be fair, we knew about the mess before most people on our flight because Em got a text message saying one of our bags hadn’t travelled with us when we landed. Yay for contact details and mobile roaming. But that’s the ONLY contact we’ve had. No follow-up message to reassure us that steps are being taken, no apology, nothing. It’s easy to bulk send text messages; I’ve arranged it at work. So why aren’t BA doing it?

Not responding to emails
Obviously they’re going to be receiving a lot right now, but BA are a massive, multi-billion pound company with an international reputation; surely responding to customer queries and complaints via email in a timely manner – 24 hours, I’d say – is a key performance indicator? We emailed on Thursday evening as soon as we got to out destination. It’s now Saturday night, 48 hours later, and we’ve had no reply.

Useless telephone helpline
If you’re not answering emails, you can at least answer the phone. Can’t you? No; BA’s automated 0844 ‘choose your own adventure’ phone line is sifting people into a 45-minute queue. People who are on mobile phones, abroad. We literally can’t afford to sit and wait that long.

Sending the same generic responses to everyone tweeting at them
With no response via email and phone, we resorted to social media. And we got a response, but it was the same generic “we’re doing everything we can” response as everyone else in the same predicament got. Useful. (We’ve seen no one tweet at BA that they’re grateful to have got their bags back, by the way; and we’ve been checking.)

Failure to provide guidance as to what constitutes ‘essentials’
We’ve been referred to a generic webpage about ‘essentials’ that BA are happy to reimburse for. Except that they don’t details what ‘essentials’ are; toiletries and clothes, we assume, but what about data roaming and international call charges? And how much clothing? I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt on the plane, because it was 23 degrees in London the day we left. It’s 16 degrees in Sweden. We’ve got no washing machine in our cabin. The light jacket I’ve got with me isn’t waterproof. But at least I’ve got a jacket; Em’s was packed. The BA website gives no guidance about this, not even an upper limit on what they’ll reimburse.

Continued to let flights go before they’d adequately fixed the problem, thus compounding the issue for everyone already affected by increasing their own workload
This is hopefully pretty self-explanatory; not only are they adding more people to the problem, they’re making the problem more difficult to solve, and therefore worse for everyone, by doing so.

Supplied disinformation, or worse, no information at all
We were told our bags would be on flights later that day, and given times. But we’ve heard nothing since, and the online system just repeatedly says “tracing continues”. Are our bags at the airport in Stockholm? Are they in Heathrow? We have no idea, and presumably neither does anyone else.


Still no sign of bags or anything beyond a generic social media response. So I’ve emailed Keith Williams (, the CEO of British Airways, because maybe he’ll reply more willingly than his staff. This is what I’ve said:

Dear Mr Williams,

Due to yet another baggage cock-up at Terminal 5, my wife and I have been left without our bags for several days, which has ruined our holiday. As no one at your company appears to be responding to emails, giving useful information via social media, or sorting out the 45-minute queue on your customer service ‘help’ line (that, as we’re abroad on mobile phones, we’re loathe to sit and pay for), I thought I’d email you.

Details of the complete failure of your organisation’s customer service can be found here:

Several hundred people have already read this. I’m doing my best to make that several thousand; not just for my wife and I, but for everyone else who has been left feeling let down and neglected by your organisation. As CEO it is your responsibility to set the ethos, values, and spirit of British Airways. Right now I feel quite strongly that you have failed at this.

Yours frustratedly,

Nick Southall

I got a reply from the “chairman’s office” at BA (I’m skeptical; it reads like bog-standard customer service text). This is it:

“Dear Mr Southall,

Thank you for your e-mail to Keith regarding the baggage system failures on
the 26th June, as part of his Executive correspondence team he has asked me
to respond on his behalf.

Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience the delay to you baggage
is causing. The baggage team, with help from our engineers and cargo
handlers, are doing all they can to reflight disrupted bags as soon as
possible. The baggage system is currently running at normal capacity to
manage today’s flights but we are still unable to use Terminal 5’s systems
in the way we would like to speed up the repatriation process and are
having to invoke a manual process to reload disrupted bags and this is
slower than using the automated system. Unfortunately this means the
tracking system (World Tracer) takes longer to update customer baggage
information. Heathrow Airport continue to work with the IT engineers to
fully restore the automated system.

We are prioritising bags in order of age and by the next available flight.
Once your bag has been reallocated a flight the details should appear on
World Tracer. However, due to the manual processing, some bags are being
delivered without World Tracer updating. These bags are being loaded
directly onto flight containers and World Tracer will be updated once they
reach Stockholm. You can check World Tracer via this link with the baggage
reference you have been provided with

Should you need to purchase essential items during your trip please do so.
To ensure we can process your claim as quickly as possible, please keep all
receipts and submit them as directed on our baggage compensation claim form
where we will seek to reimburse you as quickly as possible. Please use this
link to submit your claim:

I appreciate you feel our handling of this situation has fallen short of
your expectations. I can assure you we are working continuously to reunite
our customers with their bags.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Kemp
Chairman’s Office Executive”

There is very little in there which isn’t just repeating information we’ve already found inadequate on BA’s website.


30 responses to “British Airways – a customer service nightmare

  1. Seen this on Twitter, retweeted and shared on Facebook. Hope you get your stuff back soon…

  2. The same issue occurred to us on June 5th of 2014. We have yet to recieve a response from BA. Good luck. I have submitted the claim he refers to, but we were told on the day ours got lost, they lost another 37,000 bags. How long is it going to take to get through that? Plus if they have to pay everyone what they owe us, they will be bankrupt.

  3. We are living the same BA customer service nightmare. My daughter arrived home to Toronto from Edinburgh via Heathrow June 28th on a BA flight without luggage. She is 14 years old and was traveling alone. BA only had 2 agents available to write up baggage delay claims at Pearson International Airport. They would not let her leave to file a claim online and she ended up waiting 4 hours to file her claim. Apparently there is a big class action lawsuit in the US against BA for disproportionate volumes of lost baggage. The US court found that the 1500 dollar limitation of liability clause did not bind BA given that it had acted reckelssly. Not sure if the case is fully litigated yet but I would be on the lookout for similar cases in the future.

  4. Pingback: Bob | Sick Mouthy

  5. 6 weeks on and our claim has still not been processed – we were one of the many that had travelled with BA to attend a wedding, in the best hotel in Bellagio, Lake Como. The whole weekend was a celebration – most of which was spent in our travelling clothes. We got an outfit for the wedding – we wanted something nice – it was a posh do after all, but if I say the cheapest pair of knickers I could find were EURO 25 – and that was in the sale – you can imagine how much we spent just on wedding outfits – and as you know, we had no clear guidance on how much we would be able to claim. This on top of the money we had spent on our original outfits – which we never got to wear.

    So we paid for the stuff on our credit card – and now we’ve had to clear that credit card – and still no compensation. No communication whatsoever – the system for uploading the receipts didn’t work – thank God I waited 60 mins on hold with customer relations to check, so I could email them through to be uploaded properly.

    So, 6 weeks have passed and so to chase them up. You ring customer services and the automated service hangs up on you – without telling you they are hanging up. That really helps the situation.

    All this after the lie after lie after lie at the start of this whole fiasco.

    Has anyone had their claim paid yet??

    • Hi Joanne, thanks for posting your story, and I really hope you can get reimbursed soon.

      We’ve been very fortunate and have already been reimbursed; we got paid via BACS on Monday of this week. I have no doubt that the stink I kicked up here, on Twitter, and by emailing the CEO would have helped expedite our claim.

      Like you, though, we had awful trouble with BA’s online systems and phone systems, and ended up having to email photos of receipts to BA directly.

      I really hope you get it sorted out soon.

  6. How awful for all of you!! I on the other hand have complained about the cleanliness of the plane we were on , last week as it was filthy. Someone had left the contents of their nose on the side panels and the screens were covered with bits of food! As well as general dirt that was around for months I think..! I emailed at the weekend and as yet not had a response. Looks like it will along time receiving a response….

  7. What a shambles BA. For an airline with such heritage and loyalty they have really let us down as a family. We were due to fly to Nairobi, Kenya on 20th August ’14, but there was a technical problem with the plane which they couldn’t fix so they cancelled the flight, so the next day we eventually left Heathrow 28 hours later than planned. Since we returned from Kenya I reported our concerns to losing a whole day of our family holiday and Im now in a rather mixed up CRM system which means they ignore you for weeks or they reply to other members of your family on email and ignore your original request to make a complaint. So to be clear all I have done so far is create a case because I want to complain about the delay and customer service on the day of the original scheduled flight. I did this on 2nd September, today is 26th and I’ve not yet spoken with someone but I have now been complaining about the poor customer service since reporting the case. Its all going now where and they cant tell me when they can address the issues. Pulling my hair out!
    What next I dont know, twitter gets a small response from them, but only for someone to DM you and apologise.
    They really need to sort their CS out as its damaging them.

  8. Disgraceful- this is the complain letter I have just taken an hour out of my day that I don’t have to spare in order to write:

    I was booked on this flight from Manchester via Heathrow to Geneva last Monday along with my 21-month old son. Firstly, I booked this flight using my Avios miles in order to take advantage of the added comforts that flying business class would provide to me when travelling with my 21 month old son- how wrong could I have been.
    I turned up at Manchester Airport to0 check in for this 15.25 flight at 2pm, only to be told that the flight was delayed meaning I would miss my connecting flight and that instead I would have to re-queue in order to change my connecting flight. This seemed simple enough.
    What was not simple however, was the then proceeding @ HOURS and 15 MINUTES in which I stood in a queue with a 21 months old child in order to change this flight because seemingly, only one person out of five check-in desks was trained to change flights.
    When, an hour and 3/4 in to my queuing, I had to visit the toilets in order to change my son’s nappy (which I did advise to the supervisor of this queue), I returned only to find a person who had not even been in this very queue but instead queuing for the desk next to me, was now being served in front of me, I was, as I am sure you can imagine, incensed to say the least, something which I communicated to the supervisor.
    Eventually, I was served, and advised that because I had been queuing for such a length of time, I would probably be ‘more comfortable’ changing flights to a 17.20 departure rather than this one which was due to depart at 16.50. I agreed to this, although now, in retrospect, I believe that I was offered this alternative because, given that once I had checked-in and passed security I had to go straight to the gate to even catch this flight, because BA knew that I did not have a chance of making the earlier flight- hence advising me for your own benefit rather than mine.
    I was also, at this point give a £10 voucher to use either before or after check-in for refreshments. This, given that I had at this point been queuing for 2 ¼ hours was simply adding insult to injury. As someone who works in customer service training- I, to be frank, found this to be quite incredulous. When, pray tell was I expected to use it? Wouldn’t a better approach have been to give me the voucher at the beginning of my 2 ¼ hour wait, advise me to go to the coffee shop directly opposite the BA desks and that someone would come and get me (out of the three people stood ‘supervising’ the queue) and my 21 month old son when it was time to check-in, rather than leaving me standing in a queue for 2 ¼ hours?? Also, given that my business class flight would have entitled me to access the BA Lounge anyway, should I have had any time to use it, what was the point of this ridiculous token gesture??
    I then arrived at Heathrow where, given this later flight, I was given no opportunity to make use of the BA lounge facilities (the main reason I had booked these flights in the first place- effectively, by this point, I had spent five hours in an airport with a toddler and only forty minutes flying).
    I then arrived in Geneva, not at 20.15 as my original flight was intended to do, but somewhere close to 11pm. Upon arrival at baggage reclaim, my baggage was nowhere in sight. After waiting twenty minuted for my non-existent baggage, I then attended the office for missing baggage where I was told that my baggage had missed the flight and would not arrive until the following day. My baggage contained a large suitcase containing everything needed for my 21-months old son, as well as my son’s car seat as I was due to hire a car. Once I had filled out the pre-requisite forms in order to have my baggage delivered to me the next day, I then, by this time at 11.30 at night in a deserted Geneva airport, proceeded to car hire.
    I now believe, that upon checking me in, the BA staff would have had an indication, as they had with other passengers who they advised accordingly, that my baggage might miss the connecting flight. This, for a woman travelling alone with a 21-month old child, is a COMPLETELY unacceptable risk to take, and had I been advised accordingly, would have altered my travel plans accordingly.
    Due to my delay with my lost baggage, by the time I arrived at the car hire at circa 11.40pm, it was shut. I was now, thanks to BA, completely stranded at Geneva airport with a 21-month old child and no baggage.
    During this time, BA also, very kindly, emailed me to let me know that my baggage would not be arriving until the next day, when it would arrive on the 9.15 am flight.. Fantastic, and an email that I discovered once I had checked in to a local hotel costing £160 SFR at 12.30 am than night, – the only option left to me given the way BA had conducted themselves over the course of the day.
    The next morning, along with my very tired 21-month old son, I duly arrived at the airport to claim my baggage and visit the now open car hire counter.
    Unfortunately however, my ‘baggage’ which BA had promised to deliver on the 9.15 am flight consisted solely of my child’s car seat. My suitcase containing everything from nappies to medicine for my child, was nowhere to be seen. The baggage handling department thought that it ‘might’ turn up at some point that day, but that so far, they had no record of it.
    The only further way in which I managed to make contact with BA (who made no further attempt to contact me)was via Tweets, but as I have now read online, my situation seems to be regrettably, all too common when it comes to BA’s approach to customer service.
    My baggage eventually turned up on Thursday 9th October- a full 72 hours from when I had last encountered it at Manchester airport, at which point, given that I was due to return on Saturday 11th October (not with British Airways-thanks God) I ase4kd for it to be returned to my home.
    I was in Geneva and subsequently Chamonix for meetings-several of which I had to cancel in order to take the time to buy basic provisions such as clothing, nappies, medicine etc. for my son- absolutely unacceptable. I also work remotely, and given that my laptop charger was also in my suitcase, I have been unable to work and therefore generate an income during my time away.

    All in all, this has to be the WORST customer experience that I have ever encountered. You pride yourselves on being the ‘world’s favourite airline’, but for me you are very far from it.

  9. I also encountered the same problem.
    We landed in las vegas on a 3 day stopover before ongoing flights.
    Ba kindly left one of our bags at Gatwick,
    we asked the lady at the carousel had all the baggage come through she wasn’t sure .give another 15 mins.
    We went back 15 mins later to be told yes all bags were through so we asked what happens now as a bag hasn’t arrived, her reply just go through that door I’m busy ive a virgin flight coming in.
    we go out of the baggage hall .nothing no one from ba just a baggage recheck , so we find an information desk ask for help get sent to 24 no explanation just go to 24 , eventually we find 24 its another carousel and we find an office for service air who represent ba , my wife tells a woman our problem she replys there’s no one here from ba at the moment. my wife replys we will wait then the girl then mutters under her breath ( you’ll have a long wait) , at hearing this i go and find some staff from the airport and ask for help , we go back to the office and speak to another lady she says , i don’t work for ba i work for service air its ba’s problem (getting really mad now ).
    The airport staff then makes a radio call and is informed to go to the baggage recheck where we had originally come from.
    get get there only to have to deal with 2 of the most smug uncaring individuals I’ve ever had the misfortune of meeting. After finding out our name was on a list and they knew our luggage was left behind we enquired when it would be coming as we were only around for 3 days , reply 24-48 hours .ok for our peace of mind can you confirm. ” no” 24 -48 hours ok we said if thats the case what do I do about clothes for 2 days .answer 50 dollars on c/ card take it or leave it .
    we asked to speak to a manager told she’s busy . We insisted on seeing a manager told ok but it will be an hour .
    We waited she came her response “i work for service air not ba its their policy not ours you will have to take it up with them.
    we asked could she please contact Gatwick and find out when our bags were coming , answer they won’t tell me .we insisted that she tried. , she went off. We waited by this time we had been dealing with this problem for over 4 hrs we decided to go to our hotel but before we left we asked could the manager please contact us you have our mobile no email address and name of our hotel .you guessed no contact .2 days later we got a txt from ba your bags are with the courier this was 9.30 am , our luggage arrived at 6.30 pm , good old ba in transit our bag had been damaged .
    fast forward to now after several phone calls the lady in customer services has just informed me that ba don’t compensate you for ruining your holiday and they don’t do letters of apology either ‘ nice of them’ .
    never again Britain’favourite , really. !

  10. I find it frustrating there is no alternative to making contact other than with the generic box with the original reference to a complaint as its now 3 months since my original complaint about compensation for our delayed flight from LA to Heathrow

    • Jonathan Spence

      Their twitter CS team are way more responsive and will resolve your issues. I too struggled with their onsite case reporting of complaints and then reverted to twitter to highlight the issues I was having. To be fair BA jumped straight on to my issues and actually agreed to call me to discuss.
      Eventually got everything resolved with refund, avios and e-voucher.
      Twitter is the most effective.

    • this is the way they operate it they replay is going to be very vague and not to the point

  11. I have had to have an emergency eye operation so am unable to fly to the USA this coming Friday. I am having such difficulty dealing with Customer Services, hanging on the telephone for ages, being given incorrect information, advice, incorrect email addresses, promises of return calls which do not happen. I have not left the house because I shall miss the promised call, where BA promised to deal with my request. I just need to change our booking which is allowed!
    Such inefficiency is hard to believe from one of the world’s major airlines.
    I live in hope

  12. I was traveling with three others on BA from Prague to Charlotte NC on December 23rd with a 75 minute transfer time in terminal 5. Our plane from Prague had to circle 18 minutes and when we landed we had to wait another 15 before someone showed up at the gate to open the airway. We ran…literally ran…to the transfer desk because we could not (for some reason) print our second boarding pass prior to takeoff from Prague so we had to go to the transfer desk. The woman at the desk, very nonchalantly said…”I think the gate is closing” she called first on her cell then on the regular phone to the gate and sure enough…it has closed. Another couple was also on the same connection but not traveling with us. She told the gate “I have 6 people who were late from Prague” but that didn’t matter. We were standing at the transfer desk 30 minutes before the plane was scheduled to leave but the gate was already closed? So she sent us to the BA reps to rebook…they were clueless as to how to get us to Charlotte. Additionally, the desk agent continued to receive personal texts on his phone (he made a joke about his GoT ringtone)…finally we suggested routing us through Atlanta…which was on Delta. Rather than him making the arrangments or calling Delta, we all had to get out of line and walk to the Delta counter to rebook. We should have arrive in Charlotte on the original flight at 5:30 pm but due to many delays, it was 1:30 when we arrive. Alas, no luggage arrived for any of us who had to rebook with Delta. Delta has been wonderful in helping with the luggage and have now declared it officially lost even though they never touched the luggage. BA said the last time the luggage was scanned was in Prague but they have no clue what happened afterwards and now it’s a Delta “problem”…as their customer service person said. My husband went to Twitter and the BA facebook page and he got an immediate response from a PR person…but nothing in terms of concessions. If you look at the EU laws covering airlines, passengers are entitled to compensation if a flight is missed or delayed due to some fault with the airline. So we are pursing …and as my husband told the BA pr rep…it’s not the lost luggage and missed flights…it’s the overall attitude of “we could care less” that has really bothered us. Six people lost their luggage….for the four of us traveling together…we had been gone for two weeks so ALL of our winter belongings and personel items were packed…plus Christmas presents. Shame on you British Airways… I told them…we chose to fly BA because we thought it might be nicer than a US airline…WRONG WRONG WRONG!

  13. Carlo Rossetti

    I strongly recommend that you guys team up together and sue BA (if necessary go to an European Court should you not get a satisfactory result in the UK). There is a normative which was passed at European level (and the law says it supersedes any UK law – full stop) which can be enforced. Clearly at the highest level of BA someone is pulling the strings and is intertwined with influential power, but this ends in the UK hence I suggest you team up and then go public with thee results. Today you don’t need BBC anymore, even Facebook and the net can deliver a blow to them! Good Luck!

  14. It would seem that British Airways are a totally irresponsible organisation who care nothing for their passengers.
    We have just returned from a fourteen day cruise on the Queen Victoria this was to be a celebration of my wife’s 90th birthday we were catching an early flight so had to be at the airport at 5.30am only to be told that the pilot was in Scotland so the flight was delayed three hours I am disabled so both my wife and I were in wheelchairs just left without any Information as to what was happening.
    Someone finally came to get us when the last call was being given so we were last on the plane.
    When we finally arrived in Rome thee hours late after waiting by the luggage traveller several more hours we were told our luggage was lost.
    Then more time being taken through security to post our complaint.
    We finally arrived on the ship at 10pm so our first days Holliday was lost.
    We were told daily by the Purser that our luggage would be with us the next day in firstly in Rome this did not happen then it was La Spezia then Monte Carlo and so on until at our last but one destination Venice I was told our luggage was there but I would have to collect it myself at my expense.
    Cunard would not help me I pointed out that we would be in Trieste the next day and be flying from Venice so could i pick it up then this they agreed to but again said they would not help even though they had several representatives at the airport.
    We could not make any direct contact with British Airways as the Purser said his office was private passengers were not allowed in.
    I did try by mobile without success.
    We were finally able to retrieve our lost luggage in Venice on the last day of our Holliday but had to spend more than ten hours getting to and in the airport with both Cunard and British Airways blaming each other.
    So our fourteen days Holliday was now reduced to twelve making the whole episode very expensive (we had booked a balcony suite as a special treat) and traumatic for a couple our age.
    This constant stress caused my wife great distress and made her quite ill so ruined the whole Holliday for us we had very little clothing so my wife could not dress up for the formal evenings.
    Cunard were largely unhelpful and just gave us twenty five US Dollars each.
    I did phone to ask for a disposable razor this was refused.
    My advice would be to avoid both British Airways and Cunard because if you have a problem you are on your own with no help from either of these vast companies.


  15. similar experience here with BA – they let us fly from Manchester to Bologna knowing the luggage would not be loaded as there was yet another fault at Heathrow T5. We got our luggage 5 days later and I am now trawling through the incomprehensible online “customer services” web-forms and non-existent email and phone addresses – to no avail – impossible to get hold of them…

  16. unfortunatly nobody can do anything about it,their respose is alwaysvague no direct to the point,they will never admid of wrong doingsending complaints is wothless like dump it in the gargage the only thing to do is STOP FLYING BRISH AIR they dont care about you or me ect.

  17. Looks as if BA have learnt nothing over past years as they left our luggage at LHR 9th Sept and can’t locate it Canada as of yet (13th Sept) found this “We aim for perfection, but when something goes wrong we’ll pull out all the stops to resolve the situation as quickly and painlessly as possible” on their website and wonder if Keith Williams understands it?

  18. BA seems to be deliberating dodging to deal with their responsibilities by passing issues off as someone else’s. I bought a return ticket from British Airways for London Accra London transiting in Madrid through BA’s Iberia partnership. My experience leads me to believe that BA cannot really be bothered about customer satisfaction or customer feedback and they are not in the business of serving the customer but themselves. If at all possible from now on I would choose not/never to travel with them.
    The first leg of the journey was uneventfully although the level of service in the Iberia leg was less than desirable.
    The main issue I faced was that the Iberia flight from Accra was delayed leading to cancellation of my flight from Madrid on the evening of 3rd September 2014.
    For me as a first time passenger through Madrid operated on behalf of BA I thought things would be handled in the usual or at least what I expected to be the so called BA standards which I must stress has fallen drastically in the last 10 years. BA is no longer the well respected all round quality airline service provider, it seems to be operating at levels similar to some of the commonly known budget airlines which is so very disappointing.
    I digress, my issue is that this trip was planned so that my young man would be back home in time to resume school the following day after the summer holiday which didn’t happen as we were forced to sleep overnight in Madrid and travel onward to London the following day leading us to loose one day – of work on my part as a mother and a day of school for the young man (my son) this was distressing but there was nothing we could do about it. one may say that at least we were home safely which is beside the case.
    The BA staff and their representatives at Madrid airport were very rude and unhelpful. It appeared that this was a regular occurrence and they could not see why I or other passengers asked many questions neither did they care whether we were distressed or stranded. What a shame – there was utter lack of customer assistance or care (very appalling).
    I have contacted BA severally with no response on their website since arriving home. Again made more contacts via BA on their website, to which there was no response after a long while (4-6months).
    So in July this year I started making phone calls which were intentionally made to keep you on hold for as long as one hour or more and then when I got through to speak with a person they advised me to go to their website to lodge my complaint.
    I persisted and I would like to get a resolve to this matter as I know that I am entitled to a compensation as per EU Directive which BA is determined to dodge, as firstly I have been informed by several BA customer service assistants that the part of my journey that attracts the compensation was operated by Iberia and not BA although I paid BA a full and final settlement for the cost of my travel to BA and not Iberia. Equally Iberia insists that they did not sell any ticket to me hence they have not contract with me and they cannot help me. In fact, I have just come off the telephone after speaking with Iberia customer service (0203 6843774).
    These big companies seem to be breaking the law repeatedly and they are allowed to go scot free!
    I would be grateful if someone could help me out to get the compensation and apology that is due me. At least an acknowledgement and some semblance of respect for the customer would be worth while.
    I even tried to get Watch dog to help me but I am yet to hear from them.
    Is BA above the law? If so that explains that silence if not then please someone out there help!!!
    My next steps will be to write to CEO and the chair of BA , I think BA’s behaviour is disgraceful to say the least.

  19. It is happening to me right now. I have lost my luggage for 22 days now and BA is very unhelpful. Paul Kemp actually told me that it is not BA’s responsibility if a passenger took it from the luggage belt, which should not have happened because it is a delayed bag, so it would never have had the chance to get on any luggage belt.

  20. I have been a victim of careless attitude of British Airways. I had purchased a British Airways ticket for my son from India to US in June 2013 using my debit card through the site. Due to the visa problem I had to cancel the ticket in Aug. 2013. After cancellation BA gave me the confirmation on 18th Aug. 2013 that ticket has been cancelled and refund after necessary deduction shall be deposited to my card within few days. In spite of my repeated reminders and showing them the proof of non receipt of the money to my account, BA has kept on telling that the money has been refunded as per their record. After lot of persuasion, BA office in Gurgaon, India, verbally and through mails have been giving different dates and different transaction numbers for the same refund. Initially they informed that refund was processed manually and it might have taken time. Now I have shifted my residence, totally stopped taking any ticket from BA for my son or my family. However British Airways. a real shameless, organisation, has never acted to provide me satisfactory answer or gave me my refund till date. Now more than two years has passed. I have been writing to BA but I get typical same answer that from their side refund has been processed, However they have not provided me any proof of successful transaction of the payment to my account.

  21. Flew to Milan on September 9th 2015. Put in claim for delayed baggage and didn’t hear a word just the usual email generic quotes. Sent all copied receipts with LETTER and still no joy. Have sent another letter. I think BA are totally inept at dealing with customers. If I hear one more time how they are receiving an unusualy high volume of mail and phone calls I will scream.
    Like another commentator, we too were at the Grand hotel Serbelloni Bellagio Lake Como for a wedding. Desperate shop in Milan for something to wear. Not easy when you are in seventies and no longer a size 4.
    The whole thing was handled so badly. There are over 10 flights a day to Milan and yet they couldn’t put our luggage on one of them. No help at airport until eventually the custom officers helped us..Handed a letter that told us our luggage was not on flight and given a tracing number which may as well have been a passage from a book as every time we got through they told us they had not lost our luggage but they did not know exactly where it was. WELL I could have told them….in Heathrow. We had flown down from Aberdeen and they had not put it on our flight due to a hiccup in their baggage area that day. It is a hop and a skip to Milan(which has 2 airports) so we contemplated trying to return to London and find it ourselves.
    Our vacation was ruined, my travelling partner had arrived from the USA to stay and go to the reception…a long way to come, and staying in one of the top hotels in Italy we had paid a heck of a lot for this Hotel. Needless to say she has told all her American friends about BA and they will have lost customers ..but do they care. Embarasing to be going down to dinner and breakfast in travelling clothes. My delayed expensive and beautiful outfit is now hanging in my closet, probably at my age never to be worn again.
    I can see by the other comments in 2014 that this is a normal behavior pattern for BA. Maybe with my age they hope I might pass on before they have to reply or recompense me. My solicitors are aware of this claim now.
    The reply to Mr Southwall from Paul Kemp is just as ambiguous as all the drivel we have on email and phone calls. I am beginning to wonder do they ever pay out. OR are we living in a dream world. Gosh I wish the CEO would actually get from behind his desk and address these problems.
    I thought that under the European law that Every airline had to reply within 30 days.

  22. Ihave been looking for flights to Thailand and have been looking at differant airlines . I want to know why British airlines want to charge £900 pound more for a single flight Thai airlines£460 condor£432 and so on so why doe,s BBA WANT £1400 ITS A RIP OFF MA LOCK

  23. Reading your post made me chuckle. My husband has flown with BA 10 times this year (long haul – 3 connections each time). BA have lost his luggage on 9 out of the 10 flights. Their customer service is abysmal. What I can never understand is why people are surprised? As with all service companies they weigh the cost of providing good service; against the potential compensation payouts of bad service, and plump for the latter. Every time. It’s called business.

  24. In August my bag was lost by BA after taking a Swiss Air flight from Zurich, Switzerland to London Heathrow and then BA flight from there to Leeds. I submitted a form on arrival to Leeds, and was told my bag would be delivered to the hotel probably later that night but certainly by early morning. My late arrival time and location meant I was unable to shop for replacement items except for a 20 minute dash round Sainsburys (Sainsburys-own knickers are not to be recommended, I can now tell you|). The bag didn’t arrive that night or the following morning as promised.

    Due to misinformation about it’s likely arrival I didn’t buy additional clothes from Sainsburys aside from the underwear. I did not enjoy spending 2 days attending client meetings and internal meetings, dinners and lunches all in the same suit. My summer suit and formal shoes looked really great when out in the British cold weather and rain with the rest of my colleagues for a curry, and smelled wonderful the next morning. Fortunately I had happened to buy a small camisole in Heathrow, which wasn’t exactly work appropriate but with a jacket kept on it sufficed and allowed me to change out of my poor work shirt.

    On my last day I went to visit a client before leaving for the airport. I was carrying the items I had bought in my Sainsbury’s carrier bag because of course I have no luggage. Not very professional! I then couldn’t return with many of the items since they were liquid and I had nothing to put them in in order to check them into the hold!!!!!

    I called multiple times about my bag whilst near Leeds, at that time they had literally no idea where my bag was, which was worrying. I returned to my home near London and had given up ever seeing my bag again, then out of the blue several days later it appeared on my doorstep. The delivery driver said he couldn’t call me to tell me, as they had lost my phone number. (Bear in mind I had spoken to people on many occasions, so how they could not have checked they had a phone number and then passed this on I can’t imagine). A couple of weeks later I completed the on-line form for lost & delayed luggage claims and heard nothing.

    I’ve just called again and was given this number: 03444930785. It took 10 min on hold but I did speak with someone. They had replied to my original form submission, but to a different email address (now not in use) rather than the one I had given in my form. They had emailed me on receipt of the form originally, to the correct email address so have apologised for this error. Apparently I needed to have quoted the claim number which is a 10 digit or character code such as LBABA00000.

    I have been informed that they are now processing my claim and will refund the Sainsbury’s shop as well as offer some level of compensation.

    I know it might sound trivial, but I work in a sales role. To turn up and meet a client weairing crumpled clothes smelling of curry, or a flimsy camisole and carrying my belongings in a shopping bag simply isn’t good enough. It was uncomfortable and embarassing!! I am very interested to see how much longer it takes for my claim to be processed and what level of compensation is offered.

    Does anyone have any advice on what to expect in terms of compensation?

    • Quick update – I chased up my claim having heard nothing. I then recently received a message saying the reference number (which I’d been given at the airport) was incorrect (months after submitting the details, not cool).
      Anyway I wrote back saying I was extremely frustrated with their system and could someone call me to discuss, as I’ve quoted the number I’ve been given. I had sent them the receipt for the items I purchased whilst away from home without my bags. They subsequently wrote back saying they are refunding me that money, and the money hit my bank yesterday. Sadly no compensation, and given that the bags were missing presumed lost forever for A WEEK it’s not a gleaming example of customer service, but at least a refund for my expenses has been delivered eventually.

      • i feel really sorry for all the people flyimg British air.they just dont care about you,me and everybody else it is a shame!!!! consolation



  25. I have had some really shocking experiences with this company and after one extremely bad one I made a call to the customer relations department, I was at the end of my tether as they were so very unhelpful and said I was going to contact the Chairman of the company….The Customer relations assistant I was speaking with said that there was no point in doing that as in the customer relations department, which was in Newcastle they were all friends and nothing got through to the chairman if they didn’t want it too..
    I have never been able to forget this comment and it was on that day that I really knew that I was dealing with a monster when I dealt with BA.. They seem to care NOTHING AT ALL about their customers…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s