My flight was overbooked and I was placed on standby at the airport although I had been trying to check-in online without success since the previous evening and arrived in plenty of time for my flight. I was finally given a seat at the gate however when I boarded the plane there was already someone in that seat. I was advised by ground crew staff that I would need to de-board and depart on a flight the following day however a disagreement ensued between the cabin services director and the ground crew staff member as the director stated that she had seats available in a higher class. This was looked into but passengers arriving at the last minute then claimed those seats. The director then advised me that I had two options, to come off the plane and travel the following day or spend part of my flight sitting in a cabin crew rest seat and a small part in a jump seat (used by crew only for take off and landing) when the crew needed to take their breaks. She estimated that I would be in the jump seat for roughly 2.5 hours. I asked her if I would be entitled to some compensation for this and she said that this would be reasonable given that the airlines would be obligated to compensate me were I to come off the plane and have my travel plans delayed until the following day. I then reluctantly agreed as I had family plans and trusted (mistakenly) that BA would compensate me for this strange arrangement.
A few hours into the flight I was asked to vacate the seat for the crew breaks and while sitting in the jump seat I enquired about when I would be able to return to the other seat. A flight attendant showed me the break schedule and I then learned that I would have to use the jump seat for close to 5 hours and not 2.5 as I had been told. I spent the first hour in a jump seat between the toilet and the kitchen which was quite unpleasant due to the smells, traffic through the area which resulted in me getting bumped into a few times by crew and queries by passengers who kept mistaking me for crew.
A flight attendant then suggested that I move to another jump seat as they said I might be warmer there. I wasn't cold but I suspected they thought I would be a bit more out of the way and I was hopeful this would be the case too. I then sat in a seat facing other passengers a few feet away which was quite awkward although not as much traffic moving around me. There was really much for me to do as I had no in flight entertainment and not adequate light to read. And after another hour I became so uncomfortable in the hard seat that I had to stand or walk around for most of the remaining few hours until I could sit back in the other seat. By the time I arrived at the end of this 10 hour flight my neck and back were pretty stiff and sore. My luggage also didn't make it but I was so glad to be off the plane I didn't even care that much and BA did give me a $50 voucher for that.
The cabin services director informed me that she was going to put in a complaint on my behalf and also spoke to ground crew and informed them of my journey and that I needed to be given an upgrade on the way back. They seemed unsure about this but said they'd look into it. The director said that I should hear from someone in the next week. When I didn't hear from anyone after I week I phoned and was informed that someone was looking into it and they would get back to me before I was to return home to London. The day before I was to fly back I still had not heard anything so I contacted them again. Someone phoned and left a message informing me that they were going to compensate me by giving me an upgrade to from Economy to World Traveller Plus (a bit more leg room) on the way back.
I phoned back and spoke with someone else stating that this compensation did not seem adequate given my extremely uncomfortable flight experience, being mislead about the time in the jump seat, not really having a seat at all on this flight and being led to believe I'd be entitled to similar compensation as I would have if I had gotten off the flight. I added that had I known it would have been so uncomfortable I probably would have gotten off the flight. She said that she would pass this on and someone would get back to me. I asked her if someone could please email me if they don't reach me by phone as I was busy with family on my last day of the visit and then travelling the next day.
I received a phone message again from from the first person who had contacted me who said he would try me again or email me. I returned to London and after a week of receiving no email I wrote to them again and said that things still hadn't been resolved and if I don't hear from someone in the next week or so I will get some legal advice. About 3 or 4 weeks later I heard from a third person who said that she understood I was offered an upgrade and a refund in fares and was not satisfied with this however there was nothing more they could do. I responded and informed her that at no point was I offered a refund (which I would have been completely satisfied with). A few weeks passed and no response so I wrote again. I received a phone call from her another couple of weeks later and she stated that I was not entitled to a refund as I had accepted the flight arrangements offered. I emphasised that I had been given false information by BA staff and subjected to a highly unusual and uncomfortable fight experience however she repeated that I agreed to the flight. Appalling.