Have you been abused by British Airways?

Legal Advice

Crooks and Low Life Scum

Pre-booked a seat at a price for a friend, and on check-in, seat was not available. Demanded a refund, and one idiot told me the payment will be made to refund the money, and they were sorry for the inconvenience.

Later, and much later some other moron informs me that it will now not be refunded, because they decided not to.

Complained again, and now have a fourth reference case number issued. Not a single reply.

These people mug you in every way possible.

Pathetic. Shambles. Disgraceful

I S Bhandal
BA does not give a shit about its passengers

By all rights, I should LOVE British 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.

That's why.

Kind of disappointing, isn't it, that an outfit who claims that it is world-class, actually is third-world class.


Toulouse, France
The worst!!!

BA is really the worst airlines to travel in. I cannot make any changes to my online booking! When I call their inefficient customer care service no one picks up. For the cost of their ticket, they ought to be giving a lot more. This is really the limit!

Downgraded – a victim of BA’s policy of 'load maximization'

What is more serious, to cheat someone out of a large sum or to cheat numerous people out of small amounts?

I was downgraded against my will (BA009, 30.12.14) due to BA’s aggressive overselling of seats and my repeated demands for compensation produced no results. Whilst I can accept changes to my flight due to technical reasons or force majeure, I deeply resent being the victim of BA’s policy of 'load maximization' at the expense of the customer and expect fair compensation (The rules on passengers' rights known as EC261 apply as well as Regulation (EC) 261/2004).

British Airways’ business model is based on aggressive overbooking of flights in order to maximize their load factor, which could be viewed as a reasonable attempt to enhance profitability. Regrettably, this leads to passengers being denied boarding or downgrading. These situations are governed by various rules and regulations, which outline procedures and compensation levels. BA’s business model does not foresee adequate compensation for its bounced passengers, in the knowledge that passengers will not pursue their claims since lawyer fees will exceed any compensation. It seems that the airline, as a matter of policy, does not ask for volunteers to surrender their reservations against compensation and instead of compensating 75% of the ticket cost pays only a standard GBP 75 with no further recourse for additional compensation.

If you ever get 'bounced' insist on immediate, full compensation because you will never obtain anything after your flight, regardless of what you are being told by the airline staff.

Rene Neef
BA employee can have lost items without any responsibility

I lost my phone at the business lounge. When I told an aircrew about the lost phone as soon as I got into the airplane, somebody called the lounge. Luckily, I was told that my lost phone was found at the lounge and my name will be attached to the phone. However, the aircrew said that I have to make a claim through the lost and found office to receive the phone. When I made claim through the lost and found office, they said the phone was not received. I learned from the BA customer office that BA contract out the lost and found business. BA said they are not responsible for my lost phone even though BA employee found it and informed me that it was found. As you can guess, the lost and found would not be responsible, either. It means technically, BA employee can have any lost items without any responsibility.

I now understand why the Heathrow airport got a nickname 'Thiefrow'.  Obviously, this system has something wrong and should be fixed by law I think but I do not know how.

Hyungchul Kim
BA Never Again

British Air is terrible. just last week , they lose my Mac Laptop... and when I tried to talk to customer service in terminal 5, the jerk working there try to have security take me away instead of dealing and helping with my situation. 


BA (Best Avoided)
To this airline, all passengers are a major inconvenience, between, them taking your payment and dumping you off at your destination.

Such is the arrogance of the airline, you must demonstrate to them, that it is a privilege for YOU to fly with them.

In other words, 'you have not had a good time, unless you have been completely ripped off'.


Trying to use my child to extort an extra 200 GBP

I've long been a frequent flyer with a competitor to BA, but after several recent poor experiences, I decided to try BA for a flight at Christmas with my son. While BA has very high advance seat reservation charges, part of my decision to buy was their guarantee that they would accommodate parents travelling with children 5 days before the flight with seating together at no extra charge. The website  is here:

As it is the holidays, this was a very serious consideration for my purchase.

I've now spent the better part of two days on the phone with British Airways customer service, even going as far yesterday to wait on hold for over an hour to speak to a supervisor, and they are flatly refusing to honor this request.

The reasons I have been given:

1) I was initially told that this was because my son was 6, not 5 years old, I pointed to them very clearly that nowhere was this stated on their website.

2) I was then told this was due to the fact the seat was booked via a travel agent. Nowhere on the website does the caveat exist that reserved seats with children can only be secured if the seats were booked directly on

Regardless of where the seat was purchased, the birthday and age of my son is clearly labelled in the online record, showing 2008 as his birth year.

I feel it is shameful behavior of British Airways to refuse to honour a seating request as guaranteed on their website, given the extra cost of buying these seats in advance will cost a further 200 GBP above what is already a small fortune to travel during the holidays. Further, the lack of response from their customer service, despite repeated calls, time on hold, and sending emails to their customer service website, has been truly appalling. I feel like I've been misled, cheated, and duped in an effort of BA to extort further cash, using my son as a tool.

It is truly shameful and disgusting behavior. I have filed a false advertising complaint with the British ASA.

Online check-in error and lack of essential information: could not fly

I checked in online but there was an 'error' when printing out my boarding pass so I was prompted to get a print-out at the airport. However when I got there they would not print it out stating that I had missed a check-in cut off time by two minutes.

When I bought the tickets AND when I was managing my booking online there was no indication of a 35 minute cut off. I was mortified. If they had clearly indicated this essential fact when booking/checking in I would have happily complied; even if the flight I was schedule to take was only an hour long. 

They would not let me fly, tried to sell me another ticket which was three times the price of the original, and were extremely rude.

So disappointed BA: NEVER AGAIN

Booking & paying in advance for seats leads you in simply losing your money...

I would like to share an interesting experience. On Feb 1, 2014 we have booked our flight to Miami.  

On Feb 16th, 2014 we have paid to select seats on the plane London-Miami-London. We had the pre-selected seats on the way to Miami but BA failed to deliver on the way back (i.e. Miami to London). Even worst, we have been seated separately where places were left, read: between strangers, no window, and no aisle and as a result no comfort and no sleep. When clients are paying 6 months in advance to ensure proper seating’s, this is not acceptable.

At the airport the BA agents claimed the problem was due to the schedule change. I showed the agents the related communication and regarding the change 'if you've reserved a Main Cabin Extra or Preferred seat or have pre-ordered a meal, we have reconfirmed those requests for you on the new flight number'.

I filed my complaint since 5 weeks and I have not heard back and, obviously, I have not been reimbursed.

In a nutshell: it is like if you walk in a shop, pay for the good and then the merchant looks at you with a smile and tells you 'you paid but the product has already been sold – thank you and get lost'…

I will now send an e-mail to all BA executives!

Eric Hubert
Ridiculous Wait Times

Even when I call BA silver line, wait times exceed 45 minutes in the US. This is ridiculous as no one has 45 min during the day to wait. How poor and uncaring can BA be? Every time you call they say they are experiencing long wait times and they urge you to go on line. If the matter could be resolved on line, why would I call them anyway. And after 45 min, sometimes they transfer you to another agent. The agents are rude and grumpy (Get another job if you don't like what you do). The club world product is 15+ years old and so outdated. Coupled with poor ground and phone service, this miserable airline is best avoided.

Hopelessly poor service
Dear British Airways, I suggest you remove the word 'British' from your name. Just 'Airways' describes far more accurately the quality of your shabby airline and why drag the rest of us in Britain down with you? I don't think there are many British companies who could mess up as badly as you did. Flight BA8737 from Frankfurt to London City was delayed due to bad weather so by the time we were eventually diverted to Gatwick, landing one and a half hours late at 22:17 it might have been obvious to you that everyone was a tad frustrated? For us to then remain on the tarmac waiting for stairs and a bus for one and a quarter hours suggests you either didn't ask for them or Gatwick staff considered your request non-priority. To add further insult we were kept waiting in the bus outside the terminal because to quote one of your own staff 'security didn't know we were coming'. As I say, perhaps your pretending to be the 'airline of Britain' is meant to hide how dreadfully sub-standard and dilatory your service is. Ironically we had flown out of Frankfurt where efficiency, organisation and service is a by-word. I had to take a further two train rides and two taxi rides before arriving at home at 02:30 some 4 hours late. There was an older gentleman who would have been able to get home to Weybridge but your debacle meant he missed his last train. There was a German family with young children who were with me until 00:40 at Victoria. You have shamed the name you carry and should be suitably ashamed as a result.

David Allsopp
London Gatwick
Worst Experience Ever

British Airways was overbooked so they cancelled our tickets on day of travel. We have been travelling for so many years with many other airlines but this is the first time it has happened to us. Very difficult to reach their customer service hotline to claim a refund on our Best Western hotel reservation. I will never travel by British Airways again.

Aparna Rajesh
Cary, NC
Lost bag, no customer service
Lost a very important bag. Customer service is worthless. Absolutely worthless. No help at all. I'm screwed big time.

Ruined a weekend getaway!
Booked a 3pm Friday flight to get away to Rome with the wife. Boarded late, sat metres from the gate for 2 hours with a paltry cup of water, was eventually allowed back into the terminal and boarded onto a new plane which landed 4 hours late! Have been chasing compensation but being ignored!

British Airways = Bloody Awful (and that's being generous!)

After my suitcase was delayed for 3 days on a 5 day trip to Rome, British Airways have done nothing but make my life a misery. They gave me no money at the airport to buy essential items and I cannot get hold of anyone to get reimbursed for the items I had to buy.

I've sent numerous emails to executives, airports, customer relations (although I could think of much better titles that would fit that 'service'). After writing on their facebook page and being told they cannot help only the team on twitter can deal with problems who are available 24/7, I registered for a twitter account and tweeted numerous times to get no reply.

Their phone lines... well, I might as well just throw my money down the drain, as they never pick up and actually cut you off after saying lines are busy and to call back at a more convenient time... what times of day are more convenient?! I would ring then & maybe not have to waste more of my own money!!

They are a complete and utter disgrace! I have received nothing but a completely disgusting 'service' from this so called 'superior' airline.

Any ideas of how I can get my money back?!?!

British Airways is terrible!

I'm in Heathrow Airport. Just arrived from San Francisco, waiting for my connecting flight to Milan, which of course, is late.

Just few considerations regarding the 10 hours San Francisco - London flight: 1) Very full, fairly old and slightly dirty plane 2) Entertainment system in my economy seat was the size of a telephone 3) It was broken anyways 4) I asked if any of the hostess could fix it, indeed they couldn't. 6) Food was terrible. Really terrible.

I'm a frequent flyer with Cathay Pacific and Emirates, I flew Lufthansa, Qantas, Asiana, Dragon Air, Alitalia,  etc. in the past and I have to say, British Airways has been definitely the worst so far.

I hope my connecting flight to be boarding soon, it is already more than 1 hour late.


Enrico R
Heathrow Airport
Baggage SNAFU-The Story Continues

British Airways was responsible for bringing out 2 bags back from a lovely trip to Italy on July 8. They did not arrive on our incoming flight, and, since BA has always been a joy in the past, we were not worried. July 12, we received a text indicating that the bags were located and on their way home. Since then, we have had 10 days of lying, obfuscation, and misinformation. BA customer service will not respond, despite repeated requests through the Executive Club website. We have been told everything from 'Your bags are in Houston, to Your bags are in Milan, to We do not know where your bags are. No one can connect us with a problem solver. SITA, the BA baggage tracking site, indicates that our bags are in Chicago, but calls to the BA Baggage center prove that this information is questionable. I am most disappointed in BA's customer service and lack of response to what is to me a very serious problem. The flights were lovely, the flight attendants fabulous, but the baggage handling and tracking site and BA customer service are inept at best and malicious at worst. Finally today, Sagar, at the BA call center in India, was truthful enough to tell me, 'We really cannot solve your problem and we cannot put you in touch with anyone who can'. While that was no help, his honesty was a breath of fresh air. Finally, after posting on social media, a problem solver from BA got in touch with me.  Shortly after, on the 21st, a woman from IAH contacted me to tell me that my bags were in Houston (in fact, had been there since the 13th of July).  She asked if I wanted them flown to DFW.  I emphatically told her that I did not want my bags on a plane, please ship them.  Well, it is now July 25th, no bags, her number does not work, and my problem solver says he is disappointed and will send my information to the head office at JFK.  I would LOVE to post that they had positively solved the problem, and will when I finally get my bags back.

I lost an unmarked cell phone with no data capability at a midnight race on the 12th, in a park where there were about 1500 people. My phone was returned to me within 3 days. I find it amazing that BA cannot locate my triple tagged luggage which has been repeatedly scanned into their system, had identifiers and contents listed online, and has not been out of airline custody in 13 days.

Betty White
Stephenville, TX
Miserable series of events
My own personal reasons for finding this wonderful website:

1.  On a business trip to London from Los Angeles (10 hours plus), I was downgraded from Business Class to Economy because of British Airways overbooking.  

2.  No apology or even sympathy from the BA staff, just a feeling that I was an inconvenience to them. 

3.  On the return flight, the BA baggage system was down.  I was told my luggage probably wouldn't arrive the same time as I but that I would probably have my luggage within 24 hours after arriving in Chicago.  

4.  42 hours later and still no sign of luggage.  Many phone calls to BA in which I had to wait 20 minutes to speak to a person, and of course, on one of those I was disconnected and had to wait another 20 minutes to speak to a rep who had no record of anything I had just discussed with the first rep.  

5.  Received an e-mail confirming my luggage had arrived at O'Hare airport.  Received a second e-mail saying it hadn't arrived but would a few hours later.  Received a third e-mail saying it won't arrive until late tonight.  

6.  Customer service line no longer working.  Outgoing message advises, 'call back later.'  

Douglas Wood
Chicago, Illinois
British Airways don't carry longboards
Another testimonial about how bad British Airways are...A couple weeks ago  I was visiting California and I bought this beautiful surfboard that I was hoping to bring back to France with me on the airplane - It never occurred to me  that an airline that accepts skis, musical instruments and many more voluminous packages would refuse to take on longboards. But it did happen. So BA takes surfboards tailored for midgets (max1.90m length) but they don't accept longboards. The last time i used BA was to go skiing and they managed to lose our skis from London - so we had to rent a snowboard and a pair of skis for half of our trip in the mountains and then BA refused to pay the rental fees in the end. Now for me the price to send my surfboard via freight companies such as DHL or Fedex will cost me over 700$....which is a no go for me. So I have to sell my surfboard in San Francisco now. All this because of British Airways.....

Will never fly British Airways

I booked a flight from Fresno, Ca to Barcelona Spain and All the airlines gave me my seat number BUT British Airways said I had to pay 86 dollars for my wife and I (in 70's) or wait until 24 hours before flight and then they said we may not sit together.  HOW stupid and Greedy?  If they have seats with some advantage such as more leg room then let people pay for that but give me my seat in economy so I  can sit next to my wife.  Anyway I cancelled my flight with them and took another airline that ended up saving me 500 dollars in airport taxes.  Yep British Airways sucks.

Robert R. Watts

I called 10 times in one week. each time i was holding or at least 15 minutes. no answer. absolutely no answer. Very very annoying. I'm astonished that such a huge company cant get their people to answer a damn phone call.

We fall into BA trap

My story can be listened on:

Jorma Heikkila
BA Catastrophe

Regarding a flight from PHL to London, Heathrow. We packed our bags and got to the airport. When we arrived at the gate we realized that the plane was delayed due to what we were told was 'wind going against the path of the plane'. The plane was delayed an hour, and then another hour, and this continued until 1 AM. The captain finally came on and notified us that the plane engine was broken. He told us that in an hour he would let us know whether the flight would be cancelled. At 2 AM, we were told that the flight was cancelled and that we would have to take a flight the next day. All this while, we were not served any food or water while we waited for 4 hours until a passenger requested it. At 2 AM, we were told that we could either go home, or be put in a hotel room in Philadelphia. My family opted to be put in a hotel room. Since it was 2 AM, the airport was shut down, so to retrieve our checked luggage, we had to walk 2 miles from our terminal to baggage claim, OUTSIDE. It was uncomfortable and inconvenient, especially since I was travelling with children. Next, we took the airport shuttle to a hotel in center city Philadelphia. When we got there, there was only one check in center because the hotel was understaffed, so it took us 2 hours to get into our hotel room. By the time we fell asleep, it was 5 AM. The next morning, I called a number given to us to get an update on our rescheduled flight. The man that I talked to told us that the flight was rescheduled for 6 pm that night. We got to the airport at 2 pm, at the luggage cart machine was broken, and none of the airport staff were assisting. We got in line to check in to the flight at about 4 pm, and were notified at the CHECK IN COUNTER, and were told the only way we could get to London that day was to take a shuttle to JFK and catch a flight there. We cancelled our flight and went home. The check in counter staff were so rude and it was the worst 24 hours of my life. I hate British Airways they should be disbanded!


I was downgraded from category C to category W in my fight from London to Calgary.

My complete fight was from Madrid to Calgary and I was not informed of anything until the fight was about to take off.

The manager of this fight threatened to me saying if I did not accept the downgrading, she was not able to offer to me any hotel until next fight.

I am a frequent traveller of One World and I am very disappointed with the treatment I received.

Obviously not in London
BA will take your money and run

I was coming back to Australia from Munich. I had booked a World Traveller Plus fare. 24 hours before the flight from Munich, I tried to check-in online, but the site would not allow me. When I arrived at Heathrow with 4 hours to spare, I was told I was downgraded to economy, there was no other option offered. I was given a £75 'sorry' credit card, and was told that I have to make a complaint on the BA site. I made this complaint two weeks ago, had an automated response with a case number generated, then nothing. I phone the local BA contact number a week later, I was told that they will look into this and get back to me within 48 hours. Another week has passed, still no response. Phoned again today, I was told I will be refunded in the next 30 days, but I was not told by how much. And I was told that it is an internal matter and there is no way I can find out. I have seen on your website that some people have been given a ridiculous small compensation. That is just a rip off. They are overbooking, and I am paying the cost. I travelled frequently, this has not happened to me before. Interesting how I get no responses from BA customer response, but when I posted on their facebook just now, my post was gone within 5 minutes!

Wendy Tan
They sold us bogus tickets

Me and my family were going to Dallas from Helsinki on March 2013. We had bought tickets via net. We needed to change flight at Heathrow, London. Both flights were operated by BA and they were sold us as a packet. We were first timers, but we thought that 95 minutes should be enough to change from one terminal to another (T3 to T5) because at that point we had no reason to believe otherwise.

After planning they kept the doors shut maybe 15 minutes. The trip turned out to be an endless series of corridors, lining, bus trips, lining, running, lining, security checks, taking a train. We really tried our best, never stopped anywhere, never got lost but missed the gate about 20 minutes. They wrote us new tickets but we had to pay for these over 1000 pounds, because we couldn't explain why we were late - that's what we would have liked to know also.

The time from plane to the gate was only 75 minutes + an extra 15 minutes waiting on the plane gave us only 60 minutes to run the 90 minutes route.

Of course we complained but in vain. First response was: 'you must understand the plane cannot wait for you' (of course, that was not the point) and 'please come back soon'. I was not happy with these answers and wrote back and asked about why we were kept on the plane.

This time we were told to phone to a number. I did. We were told there to write a letter and put all papers and receipts to an envelope, this will sure clear out. After six weeks I phoned back and asked what's happening? Why no response? 'You have been answered already ' (and that date was two weeks before they asked me to write my story to them!) That must beat even the speed of light!

I have wrote again and asked what we did wrong, after trying to reach the gate as best as we could, but I must be now on some black list because I get no answer at all anymore. 

And that is the 'best customer revelation' in the world as they keep telling me... I sure don't want to know who's having the worst.

Do I fly again on BA? Well... nooooo.

Jorma Heikkilä
Don't Drink on BA

Viewpoint: Regarding the Michael Brown incident

Get served liquor then get arrested... limeys?

Sounds set-uppish to me... God bless Andrew Jackson

and Lafitte for whoopin their Brit A_ _es! DONT FLY BA! 

A total customer service fiasco

The worst possible experience with British Airways that took over 36 hours to get to.... no resolution.

My guest was supposed to fly from Granada Spain to Washington DC. She was not allowed to check in because of incompetence of an agent in the Spanish airport, who thought that her documents were not in order (which we later confirmed where perfectly fine - but the boarding closed by that time).

The itinerary is owned by British Airways, who refused to help with the change because their records show a 'no show.' But before it even got to the point of getting a non-negotiable refusal from BA, we were not able to even get any response from BA.  Why? Because they will ONLY speak with the passenger (independent of who paid for the ticket) - they cit British data protection policy, yet make no attempt to make it convenient for passengers, who do not speak English.

The Spanish office is only open M-F and there's no other way to get support in Spanish  They outright refused to have an interpreter, refused to help and deemed the entire itinerary as forfeited (THE ENTIRE ROUND TRIP).

We ended up buying a brand new ticket for $1,000 in addition to the $900 we had already spent. Moral of the story: if you don't speak English, BA will not help. If you have a problem, BA will wash their hands, but will grab your money and run.

BA lost me and my family as a customer. I will tell this story over and over to everyone I know and will use all my power to get BA delisted from available airlines in my company (over 100,000 employees worldwide) from our corporate travel site. Shame on BA!

Aleksey Kulikov
Granada, Spain
Horrific experience from A to Z

On my initial departure date, I experienced 2 cancellations including being sent from one airport to another only to find out that the flight was also cancelled. They booked me on another flight the next day and when I called them the next morning to make sure everything was okay, it turned out that I was not on the flight they had supposedly rebooked me on. Finally, I got on another flight but when I arrived at my final destination in France, my luggage was not there.

I spent the next 10 days in France and Spain without my luggage. I've been back home for over a month now and still don't have my luggage. British Airways has not been responsive regarding compensating me for the lost luggage. It's a complete disgrace. Not only did I leave a day late but I spent my whole vacation without my luggage.

I was expecting British Airways to behave according to its so-called big name but instead found that they are no better than a low-cost shady airline with no customer service. They must be responsible and pay for their mistakes and must not only reimburse me but compensate me for the great trouble it caused, anything less would be absolutely unacceptable!

Washington DC

I flew BA 13 days ago from Rome to London to Los Angeles. The flight attendants where disgusting to the passengers, rude, obnoxious, no respect. The second flight the TVs were the size of an iPhone, it had very low quality head sets (AF has better ones), low movie selection, very very very disgusting meals, overcooked not enough. No seat selection online so no window seat and then I arrive at LAX and what happens? The luggage is still in **** London. It was delivered 4 days later. Worst airline ever. What am I gonna get on the return flight?

Robert Jhadi
Los Angeles
Customer Service?

My husband and I were Downgraded on a British Airways Flight from Houston to Moscow from Clubworld to Economy on 15th September, 2013 were not compensated, made several reports online on their website got only a case number but no other response. Called the customer service number they gave 10 times on different days have gotten no response.

Joy Godfrey
Over an hour to unload hold luggage

Yesterday I took a flight from Dublin to Heathrow, which got delayed by an hour, which I was told is typical for that particular flight route. This in itself was not a real problem, but what happened on arrival was entirely avoidable.

Apparently as the result of only having four ground staff on duty, hold luggage was not unloaded until over an hour after disembarking, which meant not getting out of arrivals until significantly after midnight. For those who know London, Heathrow's bus and train links do not operate between midnight and 6am, so faced with the choice of a taxi and sleeping in the terminal building I opted for the former. And at £110 that was more expensive than the flight.

I hope BA are not serious in being a standard bearer for the 'British' brand, because stuff like this trashes it.

British Airways Customer Service Number a waste of Time

Booked a Flight in March to go on a Golf trip in October with about 16 friends.  Half of us were going out on the Thursday and the Other half on Friday at 7 a.m. to make the start of the 4 day Golf Tourney.

I was 100% in error and showed up Friday morning forgetting I'd booked for the Thursday 6 months earlier.

I was happy to buy another flight out, was a little discouraged to find out my return flight was cancelled and had to re-book... but was shocked to have to re-pay the extra baggage for my golf clubs. I thought this was poor form.

Insult to injury occurred on Monday night when we all got to Lisbon to fly back. Originally I couldn't rebook this return flight as they said it was over-sold. I booked for Tuesday a.m.

As I was at the airport I thought I'd double check and they said there were seats available, but that they would not put me on Stand-by ( so I could fly with my friends and have a ride back from the airport )... but instead was offered to repurchase a new return flight!?

Upon I took it up with customer service...  mistakenly thinking they would see that this was all a bit too much and perhaps make some sort of kind gesture.

NO WAY. They only said that however unfortunate the situation was, they stand by their terms and conditions.

I have not flown with them since and have purposely chosen other airlines.

I take it on board that I showed up a day late for the flight. But zero discretion to even let's say carry over my Golf clubs on the outgoing, return flight? 

That is no way to retain loyalty of the Great British Public.

Rob Johnston
Heathrow / Lisbon
Worse $5,000+ I Ever Spent On An Airline

Let me preface these comments by saying that I’ve flown 3.25MM air miles since 1975 on just about every airline, everywhere.  On a recent quick (2.5 day) trip to London I choose British Air because I could split my class of service going Business Class from Boston to Heathrow overnight to take advantage of the ‘flat bed’ sleeper (given a full day of meetings upon arrival) and returned ‘World Traveller’ because I wasn’t going to sleep on the way back and it was another $1,000 for Business Class.

The Business Class experience was at it’s best pathetic.  An offered buffet meal in a cheesy lounge that was near impossible to find prior to the flight.  A claustrophobic cubicle of a seat that while flat came in two pieces (one of which sagged and no one could fix it), a virtually non existent flight crew and amenities you would not give out a ten year old’s birthday.  But props to the marketing folks for making it all look so inviting and ‘rich’ on the web site. (I guess that’s where my money really went to these chaps who deserve a bonus for ‘spin'.)  Then, we landed at the outer edge of the airport (late) only to be bussed around the entire facility and then just disgorged into Terminal 5. Forget any expedited service through customs as the consensus opinion amongst my fellow ‘elite’ travellers was that the ‘Fast (Premium) Lane was actually moving slower than the tourist class queue. In addition they were flying their Boeing 777 with not one but two of the Business Class toilets ‘out-of-service.

The British Air Lounge is at best average and the shower rooms tiny to the point that it’s near impossible not to get your belongings wet as the shower leaks throughout the compartment.  So that was a $3,300 experience not to be repeated.

The return flight was full (not BA’s fault) the World Traveller experience weak, the meal something that cost under $5, they ran out of one of the entrees prior to getting half way through the cabin (then suggested an economy meal as an option) and the amenities something you wouldn’t hand out at a five year old’s birthday as a favor.  The plane (or at least the area all around my seat was full of debris from the last flight (despite the plane sitting at the gate for several hours prior to departure), service was almost invisible (the Flight Attendant’s Union must be fantastic at negotiating work rules as there is the absence of flexibility in their ability to respond to anything ad hoc); no one ever responded to the call button/light, they could not get the cabin or seat lights off making watching anything on the tiny screen almost impossible and the toilet was dirty, out of some products and leaking half way across the Atlantic and it took 10 minutes to get a tiny can of Diet Coke (not on the cart).  All for a mere $2,000.

Call me jaded or cranky or nuts but someone will not take customers for granted like this and win my business in the future? Or I’ll spend $50 on gourmet food that I take on board, have a chauffer drive me to the airport, reserve a room at a Heathrow hotel so I can change and be a few thousand dollars ahead.

Cancelled flight

So on June 18th I had a flight from Newcastle International Airport to Heathrow, then onwards to Philadelphia. The Philadelphia flight was supposed to depart Heathrow at 17:20pm. At about 16:30pm I was informed that I needed to contact the airline, which I did and was promptly told by a BA representative that all passengers who were meant to be on the flight had to collect their luggage, leave Heathrow, then re-check in and MAYBE they would have another flight for us as the one scheduled to leave had a technical fault.

So after going through UK customs and checking back into Heathrow, they eventually put me on a flight to JFK that arrived in the USA at 9:30pm, we then had to make our own way down to Philadelphia which is two states over and about a 2 and a half - 3 hour drive, not arriving in Philadelphia until well after midnight. Four hours after we were meant to land.


I am sitting at Nice airport starving hungry and dying of thirst. My flight was cancelled yesterday due to the air strike. That I can understand is not BA's fault. But I was told this morning to make my way to the airport as my flight was scheduled for 13.00. But it is now 20.30 and I am still here. I have been refused food and drink at the BA desk, despite the fact that this is a clause of BA's own 'Right to Care' statement, as shown on their website. I have no money as I used the last of it to pay for my room for an extra night due to the flight cancellation. 


Linda Ormes
NICE via London
10 Days to Rebooking

I booked round trip tickets to me and my minor children from USA to India. I was not aware of that I need a transit visa to travel until the check in time.

Airport BA crew told to me about this and gave 10 business days to rebook. My husband called from the airport and informed them about this. After coming home we applied transit visa immediately. The process takes more than 10 business days. We called BA and told them but they don't care about the processing time and told 10 days including weekends and holidays we have to rebook otherwise itinerary will be void. They counted 9 days only. I was trying to tell there is a counting mistake she was not ready to listen and was yelling at me. She told me that she has 17 years experience, she know how to do that.

We asked them to give some more time because visa processing time takes more than that and we can't expect that on certain time. In their calculation I am left with 2 days to re-book with penalty and different fare. We are stressed out, I am a busy mom, my husband is a full time employee and part time student.

Could you please tell me how I can extend my rebooking time without penalty. Appreciate your help.

Peoria, Il
Never Again

After years of being a loyal customer of BA and accruing over 500k (now) Avios points over the years AND 2 voucher companions in the last 18 months, I decided its about time I made the most of these 'rewards'.

Having been looking for reward flights for months and having flexible dates I found 2...there are 4 of us. I complained to BA on many occasions and today, they still tell me that they 'understand and thank you for my letter' (but pi** off)!

I for one will not be flying with them ever again.


Thursday, 31 January 2013 01:03

Death of BA Pilot Richard Westgate instructed his lawyers to sue BA for alleged health and safety breaches.

BA Pilot Karen Lysakowska also wrote to BA threatening to take legal action over ongoing air contamination incidents.

Karen Lysakowska. Karen we spoke many times on the phone, we know what occurred to us, many many passengers do not.


Written by DVSO on April 2013. Posted in Latest News

Leonard Lawrence (Former British Aerospace BAe146 and Boeing 757/767 Pilot)

Collegium Basilea (Institute of Advance Study) Basel Switzerland Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry 11 (216-220).

Len Lawrence. His storey was one of costly legal battles to prove that his brain injury was due to chemical exposure and that he was not mentally unfit. What emerged was a story of incompetence by the medical profession, who lacks knowledge of the symptoms following exposure to neurotoxins and the unfairness of the legal profession in not allowing him to see data concerning his own personal records in their reluctance to take those culpable.

Leonard Lawrence

Leonard Lawrence was born in the United Kingdom in 1955 close to London Heathrow Airport. At the age of eighteen he joined the Royal Navy leaving with an exemplary discharge. He gained his Private Pilot’s Licence in 1985 and later became a civilian flying instructor. He flew as a professional pilot form 1989 to 2004 the British Aerospace HS125 a twin-engined mid-size corporate jet, now marketed as the Hawker 800, the British Aerospace BAe146 and the Boeing 757/767

In 1997 he began to experience neurological health problems including short term memory difficulties unaware that his former employer British Aerospace had signed a Secret Settlement Agreement regarding aircraft fumes. In 2007 the Australian Senate located the Secret Settlement Agreement made on the 3 September 1993. The existence of this Secret Settlement Agreement had been denied to Lord Tyler’s House of Lord Committee and the Australian Senate inquiry

After being medically grounded by the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority in 2004, during the period 2004 to 2006, Leonard Lawrence was kept under the jurisdiction of the Official Solicitor of the Senior Courts and District Judges at Slough County Court. A report by the United Kingdom Law Society, Solicitors Regulatory Authority, concluded 'Issues raised by Mr. Lawrence are significant and should be investigated and responded to on the basis that they indicate areas in which the legal system appears to have failed to sufficiently protect an extremely vulnerable adult'

Whilst Leonard Lawrence was being held by Slough County Court and the Official Solicitor the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) held the conference detailed below, a link can be found on the Aerotoxic website.

Proceedings of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) Air Safety and Cabin Air Quality International Aero Industry Conference held at Imperial College, London, 20-21 April 2005.

BALPA – Contaminated Air Protection conference proceedings – PDF Download

The Earth Needs Rebels Radio Show

United Kingdom Hospital Medical Director

Report Leonard Lawrence

Mr Lawrence has been heavily exposed to organophosphates. He was medicated to the extent that he lost mental capacity. During the period the Official Solicitor of the Supreme Court acted as his Guardian ad Litem three Court of Protection medical certificates (CP3’s) had been obtained but not registered with the Court of Protection. He was, therefore, for nearly 18 months regarded as a mentally ill patient without access to the Court of Protection. During this time considerable amounts of his assets went missing.

United Kingdom Consultant Haematologist

Dear Mr Lawrence I am sorry that we will not be able to accept you as a donor. This is because of your history of organophosphate poisoning that has left you with on-going nervous system problems.

United Kingdom Professor and Consultant Immunologist

Clearly Mr Lawrence has been through a great deal because of his organophosphate poisoning and related matters.

Professor Abou-Donia Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and of Neurobiology

(Testing paid for by the British Airline Pilots Association)

Tau and MBP suggest the presence of moderate brain injury. Consistent with chemical-induced nervous system injury.

Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry Malcolm Hooper

Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry 11 (209-215)

In the Lawrence case there appears to be sound grounds for legal action and significant compensation claims for mistreatment and false diagnoses and an appalling failure of the duty of care

Graham C Holt Collegium Basilea (Institute of Advance Study) Basel Switzerland

Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry 11 (216-220)

Len Lawrence. His storey was one of costly legal battles to prove that his brain injury was due to chemical exposure and that he was not mentally unfit. What emerged was a story of incompetence by the medical profession, who lacks knowledge of the symptoms following exposure to neurotoxins and the unfairness of the legal profession in not allowing him to see data concerning his own personal records in their reluctance to take those culpable.

Dr David Bennett Director of Trauma Centre (UK) Director Emergency Trauma Services

Dear Len, thank you for keeping me updated and of new matters arising concerning Ops. My wish is that sooner rather than later someone is GOING TO TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY. NEVER GIVE IN, but stand resolute and strong in bringing down these corrupt and deceitful persons who were responsible for all your hurt and pain too. Rest assured I am alongside you in exposing this unlawful and criminal activity.

The Aerotoxic Association:

Provides support for sufferers of Aerotoxic Syndrome and their carers. The main aim of the Association is to offer previously-unavailable, targeted support to individuals, which some other organisations have found ‘inconvenient’ to offer. A well-established web site has been available since 2007. Numerous enquiries are received from aircrew and passengers who have developed serious ill health after flying but often spend many years having routine medical tests which are not specific enough to detect the invisible damage from breathing neurotoxic oil fumes. The illness can be experienced on a single flight.. The victims and neurological specialists, most of whom are unfamiliar with the condition, often fail to understand the cause of the ill health which often leads to serious misdiagnoses and mistreatments. Recently, several high profile court cases have commenced in the US, which has brought about a renewed interest in the issue.

Leonard Lawrence
Pathetic customer service and a slap in the face

On Saturday 23 March 2013, I boarded my scheduled flight BA0057 from Heathrow to Johannesburg with the idea of holiday still excited in my mind. The plane took off and about 3 hours in the pilot come on asking if there are any doctors on board. Heard nothing about this again. About another 2 hours in noticed the flight had turned around on the flight tracker and the pilot come on informing us that we were diverting to Barcelona, at this stage we were over Egypt somewhere.

We landed in Barcelona and medics came and took the crew member who was ill (burst appendix) off the plane, and we were told that we are going to either spend the night in Barcelona or continue our trip to Johannesburg. Now I feel no ill or malice towards this poor person who got ill and I sincerely hope that they have made a full recovery. We sat on the run way for 3 hours, during which crew came around an offered a tiny plastic cup, which was more like a shot of water to everyone. Lack of information was simply appalling. Eventually the pilot came on and said that we were now returning to London Heathrow. WTF!

Land in Heathrow and of course, it's a complete shambles and no staff knows what is going on, we are eventually ushered to a desk to which I then queue for another hour and half to try and resolve an issue with a connecting flight I was scheduled to catch from Johannesburg that day. Needless to say, I was forced to cough up another £70 for a new ticket for my connecting flight the next day. Our flight is re-scheduled to take off at 11am. I am meant to be in South Africa by now but instead I’m queuing in Heathrow!

2nd flight takes off fine and without incident and I land in South Africa at midnight, get a hotel room (courtesy of BA) for and prepare to sleep for 3 hours before I need to be awake to catch my onwards flight. During all this time I've probably only slept about 2 hours in 30 or so hours!

I make my destination all fine and a few days later receive an email from BA apologising for the delay and blah blah...and then (here it comes, the insulting slap in the face!) BA is prepared to offer me a paltry £35 evoucher for my troubles!!!! £35!! You must be joking, that doesn’t even cover half of my expenses I had to pay out of pocket, and also, I don’t fly nearly often enough to use evoucher! What do they want me to do? By a model plane from the BA shop???

I reply to their email and lodge a formal complaint and state all the reasons why I am unhappy with their lack of service and why I feel that I am entitled to better compensation, to which I get a snotty reply from a one Sachin Chavan, who tell me that after reading through my complaint again, they are STILL only prepared to offer me a £35 evoucher. I again reply and complain that their so called 'Award Winning Service' is insulting, and clearly not good enough. I have yet to hear a reply. I have gone on twitter and posted directly to their twitter feed and tagged @British_Airways, informing them of the issues, and even supplied my case number.....and yet I am still waiting to hear back from anyone at BA.

I am at my wits end with the disgusting lack of service from a company that brags they are proudly British! I will NEVER fly BA again, in fact I would rather take a 16 hour flight via Abu Dhabi or another Middle Eastern Country on a much comfier airline that actually offers proper service that a shorted 10 hour flight with unprofessional British Airways and their incompetent staff!

Tomorrow I will be complaining to the Civil Aviation Authority about this case.

Intolerable long-haul service; careless flight crew attitude

A recent flight between London and Cape Town was by far the most intolerable of my life.

Not only does BA pack passengers into economy like sardines, the flight crew made only a few passes through the cabin after serving dinner and before serving breakfast to ask whether passengers wished to have a drink of water or a snack. On an 11.5 hour flight the level of service was deplorable.

Adding to the frustration was the airplane's unbearably hot cabin (hot in the front of the section, cool at the very rear of the plane -- how does that make sense?) and my in-flight entertainment headphone jack transmitted sound into only one earphone, essentially making the in-flight entertainment too bothersome to listen to with some sounds and voices coming through while others not.

The food on the flight was mediocre at best and getting up to request water or snacks was met not with a smile from flight crew but with a rudeness that I had never before experienced on any long-haul flight. Of all the crew, only two flight attendants were respectful and displayed a demeanour worthy of a long-haul flight attended.

I truly felt like the British class system was exemplified on this flight. The 'lower classes' in economy were treated like cattle and simply given enough service to keep passengers from becoming visibly frustrated.

Never, ever again will I put up with this nonsense and be made to feel like a persona non-grata after spending several thousand dollars on air fare. Shame on you, British Airways.

Another BA screwup

So this week (17 March 2013) my wife flies on American to London and then on to Moscow on BA 233.  She gets there fine.  Two days later I happen to look at her American Airlines account (like me, she's Top Tier) and see that her return flight on April flight has been cancelled.  I call American (who ticketed the trip), who look at the notes, which says 'BA cancelled because of pax no-show for BA 233'.  WTF???

I am still trying to sort this out and get HER back home.

Seriously, this has to be the world's worst major airline.

Phil C

BA is just heartless. Is is Saturday night and my son has just come down very ill. He is scheduled to take a morning flight to San Francisco tomorrow morning. When I called to see if we could get the ticket shifted by a day, I was told that we would need to produce a doctor's certificate which on a Saturday night is a bit hard to come by.

As a gold card member it is very hard to understand the lack of compassion or at least interest in very loyal customers. Try Virgin!

Jim Milby
Massively Let Down

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.

Lynne Rackstraw
Welcome to Buchenwald

'Our non-stop 11 hour flight to London's Heathrow Airport will begin shortly. So please sit back, relax, take advantage of your 29 centimeters of generous legroom and enjoy your flight. And don't think for a moment we have forgotten all that unpleasant Colonist business about Lexington Concord, the dishonorably discharged tea and your precious declaration of independence.'

So began my 2012 European Vacation back on Dec.22, which literally seems like a lifetime ago.
Or at least one lung ago.

Allow me to explain.

Before embarking on our family jaunt across Western Europe I had suffered a bout of bronchitis. As these yearly bouts go, it wasn't all that severe. And in fact it had all but cleared. That is until I boarded a 747 and was directed towards Seat 23D, in what British Airways calls their Economy Triumphe Classe. Or some bullshit marketing-driven name, because the more appropriate monikers like Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen and Dauchau had already been taken.

When I saw the 'seat' I literally thought I was being filmed for some Punked reality TV show.

How bad was it?

Next time you're at the supermarket, stop by the breakfast food section. Remove a Jumbo Grade AA egg from one of the cartons crafted from recycled cardboard. Now imagine trying to jam an Ostrich egg into the severely undersized vacated container.

Those, were the first class seats.

On the plus side, every seat was thoughtfully furnished with its own personal entertainment center. Sadly however, the 5 inch screen was jammed so close to my face, all the images were blurred. It was an hour and a half into some lame romcom before I realized Jennifer Lopez was actually Mathew Perry. (By the way, Mathew Perry and the notion of inflight entertainment do not belong in the same sentence.)

Do you feel like you've walked through three gates of Hell?

There's six more to go.

I like babies. I like smiling at babies. I like making faces at babies. I like making babies laugh.
I did not however like the baby seated in 24F. He had a unibrow. He cried like a wounded duck. And he looked like he had been constipated for all of his 14 months on this earth.

I would have gladly left that wanker, in his squirrel pyjamas, sitting on the tarmac on runway 24Right.

Finally, there was Dirty Geppetto, the man seated next to me and my personal docent into Dante's Inferno. I'm not sure his name was Geppetto, but he bore an uncanny resemblance to the puppeteer who, you might remember, hand crafted Pinochio.

Try not to pay too much attention to the cheerful craftsman in this picture. Dirty Gepetto was less pleasing to the eye. And considerably less pleasing to the nose. In fact, we, my entire family, could smell D.G. from 10 rows away.

It was as if prior to boarding the plane, and knowing he would not catch a whiff of nicotine until he had traversed half the globe, he had smoked an entire carton of Marlboro Reds. Then, in an unusual act of common courtesy to his fellow passengers (me), he stopped in at the duty free shop and picked up the Costco sized jug of Dakar Noir, you know, to kindly mask the odor.

To make matters worse, he was cloaked head to toe in heavy denim, the kind of denim that retains every fume it has ever come in contact with, dating back to 1975.

All of which began to trigger my dormant bronchitis.

A tickle over the Rockies had escalated to a hack as we crossed over the Canadian border. By the time we had reached Greenland, I was coughing non-stop. Iceland saw the first smattering of blood. And by the time we were over Dublin, I was bringing up tissue matter that was as thick as peat bog.

Heathrow Airport, Terminal 3.
(Terminal is the right word as I surely felt I were going to to die.)

My bag is literally the last to come off the conveyor belt. I rip it open, tear through my suitcase and make a mad grab for my toiletry bag. There, I find my purple relief, a half a bottle of Promethazine Cough Syrup fortified with hydrocodeine.

The proper dosage for Promethazine is one tablespoon every six hours. I didn't have a tablespoon. Nor did I want one. I wasted no time with the childproof cap and quickly chugged 1/4 of the bottle. As the fast acting opiates started to take effect, I gathered my clean clothes off the baggage claim floor and noticed Dirty Gepetto high stepping his malodorous body to the nearest designated smoking area.

So far, Great Britain isn't seeming so great.

Rich Siegel
los ángeles
Avios Points are Useless

By the time you spend your points and pay the cash fees, you are better off paying cash to fly on another airline.

Bob Ainge
'Customer Service'?

I flew from Newark to Paris on Dec 7th 2012.   Of course, the first flight was cancelled and the second one delayed but that is not what this is about.   When I got back and went to get reimbursed I discovered that my 'travel information' did not include a price or a receipt. So I called British Airways and was told that they would have to reinstate the record and to call back the next day whereupon they would send me a receipt. I called back the next day and they said, no, I would have to call customer service. I called 'customer service' only to find that they do not accept phone calls!!  You have to go fill out a form on their website or fax the information. I used IE to go to their website and filled out their form.   Error on page.   It did work with Firefox. I filled out the form and a couple days later got a response that I would have to fax the information in.  I went to fax the information today only to find that their fax number is always busy.  WTF? I mean, I could understand a problem if I were trying to discover the CEO's bank account numbers or the sizes of all the wing nuts on their planes. I Just want a receipt for a normal business transaction and so far it has cost me about 200 dollars of lost time. Do you want to trust your life with this company?

John Thomas
New York
Bait and Switch

This past summer I booked two adults and one child to go from Heathrow to Washington DC. The Olympics were being held at that time, but they emailed me an ad that said that there was an Olympic special going on. So I went and made our reservations. The price was a little more than 2,000 pounds with an upgrade to premium class.

When we got on the plane to the states, we discovered that we only had upgraded tickets going back to Heathrow.

When I got to the states, I went through my credit card billings only to find out that they had charged us over 3,300 pounds for the three tickets. I had a fit, of course.

I have flown with BA many times and the price they show has always included all taxes. I even went in after I saw that to see what their prices were just two weeks from the date we went. It ended up being a total of 2,400 for three people, inclusive of all taxes.

I've been fighting with them ever since I got back over this to no avail. I went in again the other day to see what price they gave me and I found out what they do. BA usually gives the final price including taxes. However, during special times of the year, they give the rate excluding of taxes. I went in to see what it would cost me to fly during the holiday season. They quoted a price of over 3,000 pounds, which was bad enough. However, when I went to the next page, the taxes were not included. They were going to charge over 5,000 pounds after taxes. Wow!

Luckily, I had already made reservations for the holidays through United. With the economy plus seats, I paid a total of 601 pounds for a round trip flight. I will never use BA again.

I would never take British Airways in my life

I had boarded from new Delhi in the mid of the night, they served a simple bread butter breakfast and landed in London. And after 2 hours layoff in Heathrow I took another British Airways flight to Washington DC,2.5 hrs after boarding the flight they served some lunch, That's it, I stayed in their flights for almost 19 hours of the day and i was only served 1 breakfast and 1 meal and I was dying with hunger.

Height of frustration is when I asked for a cup of coffee the air hostess simply replied, the seat belt sign is on so I can not get you coffee. I was literally like WTF and regretted for choosing British Airways over Emirates. I would never ever fly in British Airways.

New Delhi
What a ripoff

Some time ago, I cheerfully signed up for the British Airways Visa card, with its offer of 100,000 miles and - if I charged $30,000 to the card in the first year - a free companion ticket.  I guess I should have listened to my old ma's sage advice that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

I duly ran up the charges and received the companion fare.  Thinking it would be great to take my wife somewhere on an international first-class ticket - after all, BA prominently features 'quotations' from flyers saying what a great experience they had doing just this - I tried to book something - anything - with my miles and companion ticket.  Only to find that international first-class is NEVER, EVER available, on any route, even 11 months in advance.

I finally settled for Club World (i.e. Biz Class) tickets to Greece, and was stunned that this so-called 'free' flight came with a staggering TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS in 'fuel surcharges'.  I could have flown us both there in coach for less than that.

As if that wasn't insulting enough, BA now emails me to tell me that I can reserve a seat in advance for anywhere from $34 to $98 per seat, per flight - and this is for Business Class!

Which leads me to ask: why does ANYONE join the British Airways frequent flyer program?  It is an astonishing ripoff from start to finish.

Disgustedly yours...

Phil C
Seattle, USA
Broken seat, appalling service, lost bags and a couldn't care less attitude

We had a broken seat for a 12 hr flight in premium economy, fixed in one position, result of complaint was appalling service, rude, arrogant and dismissive, problem ignored until 20 mins before landing when handed iPad and told to write complaint to customer service. Told it was policy that such problems were not handled in the air. No evidence that this iPad complaint was ever received by customer service. A disgrace.

We persevered in the Lounge and complained again. This was received. On return flights, first leg delayed by 90 mins and three different reasons given, barely made connection, then long haul provided barest of minimum service, food pretty basic, on arrival in Singapore, only a few passengers got off, then we were told bags were left behind and these were returned only 4 days later. About 50 or 60 names on the list of missing bags, not just us. Was given only 35 GBP to cover costs of having no bags. Imagine the queues at final destination in Sydney at 6 am, all those passengers with no bags waiting to fill out report cards!

We will NEVER EVER travel on this airline again. My partner coined the phrase ' To fly, to serve you right!' We had bad experiences many years ago and avoided BA since, this time we gave them a go. Big mistake. It's just not worth it. If you have a choice, avoid BA and Heathrow connections. Why pay to be treated badly? It seems to be endemic, couldn't care less about you attitude, really ordinary food, service varying from half reasonable service to appalling service in premium economy. Over 6 flights in four weeks it was all the same. At least we got to fly, the last Rome LHR flight after ours was cancelled and the flight from LHR to Singapore the day after ours was also cancelled.

British Airways don't care

I was flying with them to get to Madrid, and had to spend the night in Madrid to catch a flight to Athens, the plane had engine trouble and they could not get me to Madrid on time the next morning to catch my connection. I told them that at the counter and they told me I had to call back to the U.S and figure it out with my travel agent, it was a Saturday, and the agency was close, I was stuck in London, I got sick of it and just bought an emergency ticket home Never again, they are just the most inconsiderate people ever 

Daniel Le
Shame on British Airways

Shame on British Airways I had to make changes to my flight (outbound x2 and return x1) due to illness and subsequent death of my father all within three weeks.

BA (agent charged me $275 change fee plus the fare difference. I sent Travelocity a email with a copy of my father's death certificate requesting them to get BA to refund the fee considering the circumstances.

I received a call today from a Travelocity rep, who informed me that BA has refused to refund any portion of the fee for it against their policy. How come other airlines are refunding the change fees (AA and Jet did that for my Brother).

Shame of British Airways. I will not fly with them again.

Suhas Shetty
London Heathrow Airport
Happy wedding, from BA
We saved supermarket points for 1 1/2 years, so that we could convert them into air miles, hence pay for our flights to go and get married in the British Virgin islands. We finally saved enough miles to book our tickets. Little did we know the following would happen:
- They changed air miles to avios points just before we booked our flights, as a result we then had to pay taxes for our flights, something that wasn't the case when we started saving them (and did our maths on cost vs airmiles)
- Because we'd booked with air miles, we weren't allowed to upgrade, even though we'd offered to pay for the upgrade
- We couldn't use air miles to upgrade either
- Because we'd booked with airmiles, we had to book the connecting smaller island flight (LIAT) separately, even though we wanted to book the whole trip through BA to ensure they coordinated changes in flight times, hence required connection times. Now the connecting flight is at our own risk. Already the schedules have changed meaning we have a 6 hour stopover in Antigua. If they change the other way and we miss either flight, the cost is on us to rebook
- BA do not allow surfboards longer than 6' 3. My surfboard is 6' 4. They told me to try their BA cargo option - and informed me that it might even, if it goes with BA cargo, end up on the same flight anyway!?!?! I tried BA Cargo and after 1/2 hour on hold I gave up
- I wrote to complain and got a letter informing me that they regretted that I wasn't happy. Nothing more.
- We must have used about £300 worth of vouchers converted to air miles. The sum of this and the taxes meant we could have just paid for another airline to take us, with surfboards, and we'd have been able to upgrade, as is often the wont of a young couple flying out for their wedding celebrations.
I thought saving air miles with a particular airline should result in the airline rewarding you for your loyalty. What it turned out to be in reality?
enjoy cattle class for your wedding trip, and when you're there you ain't going surfing either - from BA

West Sussex
Refusal to Board

I have travelled in all kinds of airlines and rate British Airways as the absolute worst.

In my case they refused to board me my flight because I did not have a transit visa... when informed about all the calls I had made to British Airways, the fact that their website said I did not need one, the fact I had stayed in the USA 11 years, work for a reputable company and was going home to meet my family...did not matter to the gate supervisor...

She said she made the decision and did not care what information I was given on the phone or had gathered from the website... 

Will never travel British Airways again... not even if the ticket is free... they can keep it

Involuntary downgrade

In August 2011 I booked, via my travel agent, Qantas flights from Adelaide to Sydney, Singapore, Heathrow and on return from Rome to Heathrow, Singapore, Melbourne and Adelaide. All these flights had QF Qantas flight numbers. I booked Premium seats for the 4 long flights.

On the return journey starting at Rome the checkin counter told me that I would miss the flight from Heathrow to Singapore (QF10) - they didn't say why, just that the computer said so - I was sent the Qantas counter which turned out to be the BA counter they rebooked me on QF32, but they did NOT tell me and they just printed new tickets which still showed QF10.  I found out about QF32 in the Heathrow transfer department which closed around midnight without dealing with a crowd of very unhappy passengers. I found out about QF32 by emailing my travel agent in Adelaide.  This delay meant that I missed my booked and prepaid night/day stay in Singapore.

On the Heathrow to Singapore flight I was placed in Economy seating despite having prepaid for Premium, and my luggage was not transferred from QF32 to QF10 at Singapore although it turned up a couple of days after returning home - delivered to my home in Adelaide - lucky!! because it contained had several $100s in value of items bought in Europe.

Immediately after returning home I asked my travel agent to get my refund for the involuntary downgrade from Premium to Economy on the QF32 flight.  Only then did I find out that there was a 'code share' and that the flight was actually BA despite having QF flight numbers - not happy because I specifically asked for all Qantas flights.  The involuntary downgrade happened on 7 September 2011.

Many many messages to and from my travel agent who put lots of effort and many attempts to get a response from BA. Finally on 1 December 2011, BA sent $199 but no explanation or information how this was calculated or what it represented. Many more attempts were made to get info from BA.  Finally on 24 January 2012 BA provide this information and nothing more...

Premium $1178.50, Economy $979.50

Difference $199

This is completely ridiculous as Premium seats cost more than double the price of Economy.  I'll bet no one could get an upgrade for a mere $199

Travel agent says there is nothing more that can be done.

NOT HAPPY!!!  BA are crooks!!!  They suck big time!!!

Terry Truman
Adelaide, South Australia

I had book tickets for my family and I. 4 tickets for My wife and two kids. flying from NYC to London. a few days before we fly my wife has a medical emergency, so I call BA so I can change her flight. The Rep tells me that it will cost $275 plus a $25 reticket fee to change the first leg of my wife's trip from Wednesday to Saturday. So I agree and get out me credit card to pay, but she tells me I have to wait till the next day to pay, I said I want to pay now, She gave me a reservation # and all, and said that the price with not change, the computers would not let her execute the transaction. I was assured the price would be the same.

Next day I call, it was another rep, 'Mister Ryan that will be $2800 please.. I was like... your kidding me right? No it is $2800 take it or leave it.  Talk about a bait and switch, and since when can you not get a price from an Airline when you call, why did I have to wait 24 hours, Why did the Rep lie to me.  I have been fighting them ever sense, through my credit card company (who are useless, that is what happens when AMex and BA are in partnership) The better business Bureau have helped, because I believe some basic laws of commerce have been broken. Bait and switch, and price gouging to name but a few.  If the BBB can get them to reverse the charges, its off to Small claims court. It will be a cold day in hell before I will let BA cheat me out of $2800 dollars

Eamonn Ryan
New York
Worst Luggage Handlers in History

Flew United Airlines from San Francisco to Washington Dulles and connected to British Airways to fly Dulles to London Heathrow. This will be the last time I do that. 

Upon arrival to Heathrow, I noticed that my luggage did not make the trip with me. After being directed (or should I say 'MISDIRECTED') throughout the airport, I finally met up with the service that was supposed to expedite rejoining me with my bags. 

There were no less than THREE people behind the desk all working the same issue (I'll never understand this; if two other people had to help me with MY job, I'd be fired immediately). They issued me a 'case number' and told me that someone would be in touch with me, and that the bags would be delivered to me. 12 hours later, no one has called, and no bags have arrived.

The best part is trying to contact someone - ANYONE - who gives a damn about customer service. Either the recording informs the frustrated traveller that 'offices don't open until Monday morning' (which is convenient for weekend travellers, right?) or if you DO talk to someone on the phone, they blame it on the other airline (I've already checked; United turned the bags over to BA at Dulles, and by rights has no further dealings once it leaves their hands). 

In short - and sorry, this hasn't been short - British Airways sucks. But then, what do you expect from an airline whose workers go on strike every other month. They are an embarrassment. 

London... temporarily
BA Nighmare is not finish

1.) from a family of four they did not allow the checkin of my 6 years old by internet, the customer service phone number informed that they have a 60 min waiting time, so not easy to know the problem.

2.) Rude and incompetent airport agents from the company took more than one our to solve that problem, by that time there are only two seats available at the end of the plane.

3.) They used a false immigration policy from UK to leave one of my daughters in Montreal, after talking today with the British Consulate we know there is not such law and they just had a full plane.

I will ever under any circumstance fly with them, I had over the years lived bags lost, fly delays and did not learn.  I took the ticked with them because it was the cheapest one but after what happen any other company will do for me.

They are mean and cruel as people, I saw them in action last night and I am sure they will keep doing that to others, please help your friends avoid this company

Sonia Tello
Lousy frequent flyer program

I needed to get a ticket from BWI to LHR in an off-peak season. With BA, I could use 50,000 miles and pay $550 or else just pay $660. So this 'free' ticket was worth all of $110. No way. Instead, I booked a ticket with United Airlines from IAD to LHR for 60,000 miles and $160. Forget BA.

Mark Samonds
Annapolis, MD
'Free' mileage tickets, my @#$!!@!!

After multiple very painful calls to booking to deal with bored and annoyed customer service people, we got five tickets from Washington D.C. to Geneva for a family vacation, using miles and two vouchers. The total price of our 'free' tickets: $2,800!!! Gof Bravo tax, YQAC (fuel surcharge) tax, YQAD (security) tax, UB tax, XA tax, Customs users fee, Flight segment tax, ZP tax, phone processing fee....    I understand some airlines do this as well, but BA seems to be the worst. There is just no excuse for charging $600 for a 'free' ticket. BA can shove it. After this trip, my credit card will be changed and I will never be flying through London again.

Robert Saxton
Bemidji, Minnesota
Ignored by BA 'Customer Service'

Our holiday of a lifetime from Australia to the UK in 2007 was spoiled by abysmal British Airways 'customer service'. We booked through Qantas and didn't really want to fly BA but they operate a code share service where we flew Qantas to Singapore and then British Airways from Singapore to London and then on to Aberdeen.

The first issue was when we arrived in Aberdeen to find one of our bags was missing. In 30 years of flying this was the first time I had ever had baggage misplaced but I must admit, I hadn't flown British Airways much. The bag eventually showed up three days later and fortunately we were still in the area to receive it.

On our return journey things got much worse. Our BA domestic flight was over 2 hours late so our international flight was long gone by the time we arrived at Heathrow. We queued for over an hour in Flight Connections at Heathrow Airport until nearly midnight. Flight Connections organised a hotel for the night and managed to book us on a Cathay Pacific flight the next day to Hong Kong for our stopover and then Cathay Pacific again back home to Perth, Australia. We were given complimentary courtesy bus vouchers to travel to the hotel but the staff obviously didn't realise the courtesy bus service stopped at midnight so the supplied tickets were useless. It took us an hour to figure this out before paying for a taxi to the hotel. None of this is much fun especially with two children who are tired and fed up in the middle of the night! Flight Connections were unable or unwilling to help with re-booking our hotel accommodation in Hong Kong so we had to do this ourselves via the Internet in Heathrow before we boarded the Cathay Pacific flight.

When we got to the Cathay Pacific check-in the next morning there was a problem with our tickets because 'British Airways had not released the ticket'. Cathy Pacific were fantastic and soldiered for half an hour on our behalf calling various numbers and wielding a computer keyboard until they were able to get British Airways to fix whatever it was they had or hadn't done.

On arrival in Hong Kong, all 4 pieces of our checked-in baggage were now misplaced. One piece showed up the next day but it wasn't until three days after we arrived home in Australia that we were reunited with the other three pieces. The bags must have been left out in the weather at some stage as moisture had soaked through to the contents.

When we checked in at Hong Kong to fly home to Perth, there was a repeat ordeal with 'unreleased' tickets but at least we had been pre-warned by the wonderful Cathy Pacific staff and made sure we had checked in early to allow for this.

Due to the misplaced bags and changes in our flights, we had costs associated with transport, buying clothes to wear on holiday, rebooking hotel accommodation and so on and this totalled over AU$650.

British Airways ground staff in Aberdeen had advised us to contact our local British Airways office when we got back home to submit a claim. We did this but nobody seemed able to get back to us to explain how to submit a claim. Eventually I put everything in writing and mailed it to British Airways Customer Relations in the UK. This was answered in a reasonable time frame and I was asked to forward receipts which I did. About six weeks later, I received a letter to let me know that a cheque for AU$666.41 was being issued. Despite many follow ups via mail and email over the next six months or so, the cheque never arrived and they didn't even acknowledge my correspondence.

It's very frustrating when the 'customer service' department stops responding to your enquiries and it seems there is very little you can do.

I eventually gave up hope of ever receiving a cheque from British Airways. I registered and created this website to tell my story about British Airways, to allow others to tell their stories about British Airways and to warn other travellers.

It's not much of a comfort but I realise now that my experience of British Airways 'customer service' is not an isolated incident. We will never fly British Airways again and will never fly through Heathrow Airport.

Neil Robertson
Perth, Western Australia

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DISCLAIMER: The British Airways name and logo are the property of British Airways. is in no way associated with British Airways and does not represent British Airways.