By all rights, I should LOVE Brtiish Airways.
I fly BA several times a year round trip, from IAD to TLS, via LHR.
The reservation system is satisfactory. The scheduling fits my needs to a 'T'. The planes are as comfortable as I can expect. The BA airport staff is super (although the Heathrow Staff leaves much to be desired). The on-board crews are just wonderful. The food is decent. I feel safe with BA. They are generally on-time. And, I can accept their high prices.
So, what is not to like?
In fact, why do I HATE British Airways?
Because British Airways does not give a shit about its passengers.
BA loses my baggage about 25 to 30 percent of the time.
Actually, I understand and accept that my bags will be delayed on occasion.
My connection in LHR only gives me a maximum of 65 minutes to make the flight to TLS. And that is when everything goes perfectly.
If we arrive late or are delayed in a gate assignment, or when it takes a little longer to get off the flight from IAD, I have to RUN to try to make the next plane. Most times I am sweaty and out-of-breath when I reach the gate. And even then, I don't always make it. Fortunately, there is another flight 5 hours later. But, that's life. I stroll Heathrow, do some shopping and wait out the delay. No big deal!
So, I really, really, truly understand and accept that my bags will be delayed on occasion and I am relaxed about that.
However, it is how BA handles the lost/delayed baggage situation that INFURIATES me and prompts me to swear off BA forever.
Because BA absolutely does not give a shit about its passengers in this regard.
To say that they could not care less is a gross understatement.
First, they send an e-mail or text message notifying me about the delayed bag, AFTER I have already determined that my bag has not arrived. Duh!
But at least they're communicating, so how can one be pissed at that.
Here is where the system breaks down.
Then, they contract out their lost baggage problem to an outfit that cares even less than they do. Dour, pissed off, unsmiling automatons, who profess to know NOTHING about EVERYTHING, dutifully collect your information and file a report. These dunces then inform you that everything will be done to reunite me with my baggage as soon as humanly possible. Ask when, where, who and how, and you get the idiot treatment, until you are shooed from the line so that they can deal with the next victim.
Now the fun begins. There is NO WAY to contact BA regarding lost baggage. BA provides a convenient webpage, which merely assures you that your report is on-file. BA provides you with a phone number, open from 0700 to 2300, 7 days a week, that goes unanswered for an indeterminable time. (By the way, have you ever tried to call the BA Executive Club, another outfit that does all in its power to avoid communication?). BA will send an email that delivery of your bags is important to them and that they are working as hard as humanly possible to get them to you. BA will do EVERYTHING but keep you informed with real, critical, useful information...and, of course, accomplish the REAL objective, get your bags to you in a timely manner.
Now, my bags were dutifully weighed and checked in when I got my boarding pass at IAD. My bags were issued a bar-coded tag which told the baggage handling staff just how the bags were to be routed to make my initial flight and connecting flight. Because of the short time between flights, my bags were specifically identified with a tag with a purple 'X' reading SHORT. As I said, I KNOW the connection is short and I marvel at the process that gets my bag to TLS at the same time I do, most of the time.
In short, no pun intended, I understand that the bags sometimes do not make my last flight.
Now, FedEX, DHL and even the Royal Mail and other reputable parcel delivery outfits also put bar-codes on their parcels. They know, in real time, where almost every parcel and envelope in their system is at any time.
So, why do I have to sit hours and days wondering what is happening to my bags?. Why do I lack the means to track my bags? Why doesn't BA answer the phone in a reasonable time? Why doesn't doesn't BA make an effective stab to keep me informed as to their super-human efforts to get my bags to me? Why do I have to wait up to x days for my bags to arrive, when they actually arrive at TLS just 5 hours after I do? Why do I have to twiddle my thumbs NOT doing the things I came to Toulouse to do. Why do I have the time to write this bitch letter?
All because BA does not give a shit about its passengers and their misplaced luggage.
Kind of disappointing, isn't it, that an outfit who claims that it is world-class, actually is third-world class.