In September I was served a premium economy meal on a BA flight from JFK that was so bad it choked me. After lengthy correspondence I gave up on both customer relations and their CEO, Keith Williams, and filed a County Court Claim against them. It reads -
When the booking was made BA had inflated their fares in the run up to a fare sale. That means the transaction breached the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 and possibly also Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006. In simple terms BA claimed that the fare quoted was ‘lowest available’ at a time when they knew it was nothing of the sort.
To compound the offence BA also failed miserably to live up their promise of service on the flights involved. I flew London (Heathrow) to Boston on 11 September 2015. Our outbound flight departure was delayed, which was a minor inconvenience compared to the abysmal service provided by BA during the return flight on 16 September 2015.
Because it was an overnight flight I booked a seat in World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) to get extra leg room and better cabin service. The BA description of World Traveller Plus reads - 'small, intimate cabins with expert, attentive service' along with 'delicious meals and full bar service'. The BA website goes on to promise, 'three-course meals crafted to perfectly match the time and duration of your flight' and, 'a premium dining experience, featuring high-quality ingredients, fine china and linen napkins.' What we actually got was the economy meal option served in china with metal cutlery.
The BA website also claims World Traveller Plus offers an enhanced entertainment package and more leg room, neither of which were apparent – in fact the entertainment package was identical to regular economy. We shared the cabin services and toilets with regular economy, the food was rubbish (in fact the food in Economy outbound was better) and the drinks trolley came round once. I suffered a serious choking fit after trying to eat a disgusting pasta meal that was part cooked/part reheated/part overheated and was then offered no further food until the ‘breakfast’ (a little cardboard box containing inedible snacks - identical to the economy breakfast) came round about six hours later. To falsely describe this as a ‘Premium’ service goes way beyond misleading into the area of fraud by misrepresentation.
I have contacted BA without success. In fact I referred both issues directly to BA’s CEO, Keith Williams. At the time of writing they had refused to refund the £181 overcharge and failed to respond to my complaints about service on the return flight.
Since that claim, which BA are contesting, they have also refused to honour a 20% offer on Avios points purchased with Tesco ClubCard vouchers and tried to bump up the fares on a pre-booked trip for my 65th birthday next February by £300. I'm getting nowhere fast on the Avios, they're just ignoring me. I have now cancelled the birthday trip and re-booked it with Virgin Atlantic but BA are still sending reminders and trying to bill me for the balance.
I've also got another interesting little tale about BA. In October I flew with them to the Cayman Islands on one of their ancient Boeing 767s - this is the same type used on the Calgary route that generated the recent 'Widower made to stand' story. I had an exit seat and was told that because the aircraft was being flown 'short-crewed' the passengers in the exit rows were responsible for evacuation. We then had a briefing that omitted the required visual check for hazards outside the aircraft, like fire, before opening the door. Next thing was the safety video crashed so we went back to the old-style pre-flight briefing. The plane was 25 years old and showing every day of it.
Good luck with your claim John. From what I understand, legal action often seems to be the only way to get BA Customer Relations to respond.