On 25th January 2013 my husband, Trevor and I set off from Heathrow on our trip of a lifetime, a Readers’ Offers cruise around the Galapagos, costing us just under £9000. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be and I set out below the problems that befell us. Just as the plane to Madrid moved from its stand at Heathrow, my husband said he felt unwell and I called for assistance from the flight attendants. My husband lost consciousness for a few minutes, an ambulance was called and three paramedics boarded the plane and then decided he needed to go to hospital. So off we went to Hillingdon Hospital in the ambulance thinking our holiday was over but more importantly worrying about Trevor’s health. After a couple of hours in A&E and several tests, including ECGs, blood and a neurological test, the doctor could find nothing wrong and pronounced Trevor fit to fly. So we called a taxi and made our way back to Terminal 5 and British Airways Customer Services, where a very nice man spent a long time rebooking our flights. The first flight was to Madrid that very afternoon and the second flight to Quito on Saturday at about 12.25 pm. It would mean we would lose the first day of our holiday, a city tour of Quito, but we were happy to be going at all! While the flights were being booked we queried where our luggage was and would it reach the Madrid flight. The Customer Service man assured us it would but for our own peace of mind telephoned the Baggage Department who verified that the luggage would be on the same flight as us. As we were going to be in Madrid overnight we were warned that we would have to reclaim our luggage in Madrid (as it was booked through to Quito) and were told to go to the Iberian Customer Service desk in the Baggage Hall (Terminal 4S). When we arrived at Madrid, we checked the baggage carousel and then went to the said desk and asked for our luggage. The agent said it would take about 20 minutes to arrive at the desk but then she checked on her computer and said it was still in London. She reassured us it would be with us in time for the flight to Quito as there were six flights from London to Heathrow in that time. She gave us two bags of toiletries and directed us to the hotel buses where she said we would be taken to a hotel with a room for the night. After a night in the Ibis Hotel in Madrid, we arrived back at Madrid airport at 9.25 in good time for our onward journey and we went straight to Customer Service in Terminal 4 to enquire about our luggage. The agent spent some time on the telephone and on her computer and then said she did not know where our luggage was at all. We then went to the British Airways desk in the hope of finding someone with a better command of English but got the same answer. This lady gave us two telephone numbers of British Airways in London for us to ring to enquire about our luggage. Both numbers were unobtainable and out of date! We then rang Readers’ Offers to ask if we journeyed to Quito and the luggage did not reach us by the time we left Quito on Sunday morning to join the cruise ship, what chance was there of our luggage reaching us. The answer was negative. There was a further flight to Baltra, in the Galapagos, from Quito but there was a strict weight limit of 18 kg per person and two unattended bags would never be allowed on the flight. We still had to ascertain if our luggage had left Heathrow and was airborne. So we telephoned our son in the UK who telephoned British Airways but they would not speak to him and said we would have to telephone ourselves. He texted the telephone number to us and we rang Baggage Handling who told us our bags were still at Heathrow. By now we only had about 30 minutes to go before our flight was called. We still had not gone through Security and Customs etc. My prescription medication was in my lost luggage and there was no time left to buy the essential clothing we needed for a 10-day cruise. The thought of going on a cruise with only the clothes we stood up in horrified us. We knew we would get to Quito after the shops were shut and the next day was a Sunday and the shops do not open on Sundays. The cruise ship was a small vessel with only a shop selling souvenirs etc but not underwear, nightwear, shoes etc. So we felt we had no choice but to return to London where we picked up the luggage from the Baggage Hall and returned home. We hold British Airways and their agents responsible for putting us into this position by their lack of care at both Heathrow and Madrid and have complained to them stating the Montreal Convention, Article 19. They have replied that it was our decision to abort the journey, so they say they are not liable and sent us, in the first instance, £100 of e-vouchers, after more emails and phone calls this has gone up to £200. We asked about a refund on the unused Quito flights and they said our travel agent would have to apply on our behalf as they had paid physically for the flights. The Readers Offers Customer Service Manager has told us that we are only entitled to the taxes on the flights and she is in the process of trying to get a refund of that for us. We know it was our decision to abort our holiday but we made this decision because of the catalogue of errors made by BA and their agents, Our travel insurance does not include curtailment of trip due to baggage delay, only flight delay. The latest email from BA today states "the gesture of goodwill we have offered is appropriate and we will not be increasing it. I am sorry to disappoint you." We are not disappointed by this arrogant attitude, we are angry that they can dismiss their mistakes so easily. We had trust in British Airways but they have let us down – massively.