On Saturday 23 March 2013, I boarded my scheduled flight BA0057 from Heathrow to Johannesburg with the idea of holiday still excited in my mind. The plane took off and about 3 hours in the pilot come on asking if there are any doctors on board. Heard nothing about this again. About another 2 hours in noticed the flight had turned around on the flight tracker and the pilot come on informing us that we were diverting to Barcelona, at this stage we were over Egypt somewhere.
We landed in Barcelona and medics came and took the crew member who was ill (burst appendix) off the plane, and we were told that we are going to either spend the night in Barcelona or continue our trip to Johannesburg. Now I feel no ill or malice towards this poor person who got ill and I sincerely hope that they have made a full recovery. We sat on the run way for 3 hours, during which crew came around an offered a tiny plastic cup, which was more like a shot of water to everyone. Lack of information was simply appalling. Eventually the pilot came on and said that we were now returning to London Heathrow. WTF!
Land in Heathrow and of course, it's a complete shambles and no staff knows what is going on, we are eventually ushered to a desk to which I then queue for another hour and half to try and resolve an issue with a connecting flight I was scheduled to catch from Johannesburg that day. Needless to say, I was forced to cough up another £70 for a new ticket for my connecting flight the next day. Our flight is re-scheduled to take off at 11am. I am meant to be in South Africa by now but instead I’m queuing in Heathrow!
2nd flight takes off fine and without incident and I land in South Africa at midnight, get a hotel room (courtesy of BA) for and prepare to sleep for 3 hours before I need to be awake to catch my onwards flight. During all this time I've probably only slept about 2 hours in 30 or so hours!
I make my destination all fine and a few days later receive an email from BA apologising for the delay and blah blah...and then (here it comes, the insulting slap in the face!) BA is prepared to offer me a paltry £35 evoucher for my troubles!!!! £35!! You must be joking, that doesn’t even cover half of my expenses I had to pay out of pocket, and also, I don’t fly nearly often enough to use evoucher! What do they want me to do? By a model plane from the BA shop???
I reply to their email and lodge a formal complaint and state all the reasons why I am unhappy with their lack of service and why I feel that I am entitled to better compensation, to which I get a snotty reply from a one Sachin Chavan, who tell me that after reading through my complaint again, they are STILL only prepared to offer me a £35 evoucher. I again reply and complain that their so called "Award Winning Service" is insulting, and clearly not good enough. I have yet to hear a reply. I have gone on twitter and posted directly to their twitter feed and tagged @British_Airways, informing them of the issues, and even supplied my case number.....and yet I am still waiting to hear back from anyone at BA.
I am at my wits end with the disgusting lack of service from a company that brags they are proudly British! I will NEVER fly BA again, in fact I would rather take a 16 hour flight via Abu Dhabi or another Middle Eastern Country on a much comfier airline that actually offers proper service that a shorted 10 hour flight with unprofessional British Airways and their incompetent staff!
Tomorrow I will be complaining to the Civil Aviation Authority about this case.