BA have just screwed up big time, totally ruining our holiday. Unbelievable as it may sound, our experience was as follows:
Being retired, we had saved up for the holiday and special four day treat of a luxury room in the Frankfurt Hilton. While it is accepted there was some bad weather on the scheduled departure date (28/03/16). Many flights to Frankfurt went to schedule, BA could have done more to get its customers to their destination on the day. The abysmal performance of BA in handling our travel completely ruined our holiday. The stress of the cancellation and delays were bad enough, as seniors to be left at Frankfurt with no luggage or proper customer assistance was enough to give my wife and I, a heart attack. Added to this was my worry at the consequences BA losing my important medication.
We were not alone with these problems arriving at Frankfurt. Significant anger was shown by the majority of passengers who struggled to comprehend what was happening to them. The reputation of BA and how they treat customers was extremely low.
From the disaster you have made of our holiday, we will never entrust our travel arrangements to you again
1.1 Travelling to the airport we receive a text message at 09:24 to say flight BA0908 is cancelled. The text informs us we have been provisionally booked on BA0902 the following day (29/03/16).
1.2 We return home.
1.3 Back home we tried to rebook the flight using “Manage my Booking” on BA.com website. Numerous attempts to book a different flight failed, resulting in message “unexplained error”. Faced with being unable to resolve this, we decided our only option was to accept the 07:05 BA0902 booking for the following day (29/03/16).
2.1 Up at 03:00am arrived at Heathrow T5 at 05:00. Check-in documents state departure is from gate C65. Waiting with other passengers at gate C65 is becomes obvious that something is wrong. Enquiries discover the flight is not at C65, it is gate A8. All waiting passengers then rush back from C terminal to A where they started. While waiting at gate A8, BA announce the cabin crew are being sought and the flight will be delayed until all members of staff have arrived
2.2 At this point BA ask for volunteers to check their cabs luggage in at the gate to relieve pressure on internal storage. To try and help, we checked our cabin luggage in as requested.
2.3 Boarding finally complete and ready to depart, the Flight Deck announce that a passenger is unwell and will be leaving the aircraft. This will result in further delays while their luggage is located and removed from the aircraft.
2.4 Passenger issue dealt with, the aircraft is pushed back from the stand. After a short delay the Flight Deck announce that one of the engines is defective and will not start. This will result in delays while engineers are consulted. The aircraft is then towed to a remote standing area. Some time later the Flight Deck announce that the aircraft has a faulty fuel control valve and cannot be repaired for the flight. A change of aircraft will need to happen but there are problems locating another Boeing 767, necessary to accommodate all the passengers. The Flight Deck inform us that the faulty part is the cost of a small house and BA does not carry spares. A member of the cabin crew inform us that the faulty aircraft is 30 years old, inferring the problem is related to the age of the aircraft. With serious delays now evident, the Flight Deck ask for passengers who do not wish to travel, to come forward. The tone of this announcement is friendly. The numbers of leavers are established and are insufficient to allow the flight to continue on a smaller aircraft. Flight Deck now announce any passengers leaving the aircraft are taking themselves off flight and will not get a refund. There is a noticeable change of tone in the second announcement. Cabin crew decide to serve a drink and roll.
2.5 After what seems like another couple of hours waiting for another aircraft to be found, buses finally arrived to transport us. With passengers finally seated on the replacement aircraft, Flight Deck announce there are problems reconciling the passenger numbers. Frantic activity then follows by BA staff up and down the aircraft with passenger lists. It is clear to everyone that there is a problem that staff are struggling to deal with. A seat by seat check is then made of every passenger. To our surprise we are told that our names do not appear on the passenger list. We are reassured by cabin crew that everything is in order.
2.6 The aircraft finally takes off. The atmosphere among passengers was not a happy one and reflected what was considered to be unacceptable performance by BA staff in handling the situation. By now it was obvious to us that the cabin crew were weary and embarrassed with the situation. Many passengers were also victims of flight cancellation the previous day. This 07:05 flight finally landed at Frankfurt at 13:35.
2.7. Waiting for 45 minutes at the baggage carousel it became clear that our, and other passengers baggage was missing and had not arrived with the flight.
2.8 After locating and arriving at the British Airways desk in Frankfurt, only one check-in desk was manned. We had to join the long queue and wait approx 45 minutes to be attended. On handing over the two baggage receipt tags (no’s 013120 and 017684, we were told our luggage was still in London and would be sent over on a later flight. Incident reference FRABA86401 was issued.
2.9 Being stranded at a strange airport without our luggage and unsure how to deal with the situation, our first thoughts were to try and return to Heathrow . The response from BA was that we would have to buy another tick at additional cost.
3.0 Fortunately located in the city centre we had to purchase essential toiletries and emergency items as there was no indication if or when we would receive our cases.
3.1 At 16:28 we receive a text message from Worldtracer to say one bag (tag ref 013120) was en-route from London. No reference was made to our second bag (017684), (the one we handed over to the airline staff at the gate). All online enquiries only showed the original one bag checked in at arrival at Heathrow. As this bag contained important medication, we made several frantic calls to the BA Missing Baggage people at Frankfurt at considerable cost.
3.2 At 22:15 the first bag (ref: 013120) arrived at our hotel. Our other bag (ref:017684) containing vital medication arrived the following day.
3.3 So distraught and upset by the whole experience, we cancelled all our scheduled plans and activities in Frankfurt. The time spent in the hotel recovering from the ordeal left one day for sightseeing.
Although we were thanked for our patience, no-one apologised for the unacceptable service. A telephone call, text or e-mail with an apology and a token gesture of goodwill would have been much appreciated to lessen the pain and disappointment. You are quick to communicate with offers for us to spend more money, less so when things go wrong. For a moment we thought we were the cast in a movie called Carry On Flying. Not willing to experience anything like this this future, we have decided never to fly again, certainly not with BA. Hard as it may seem, this is a true account of how we were treated by British Airways. It also raises serious questions about the competence of them to operate an airline service.
We suggest your slogan should be British Airways Takes No Care of You.
Ray & Estilla Collington