BA Flight 217 Heathrow- DC August 4 2015
I travel quite a bit both within Europe and cross Atlantic. The nightmare of an experience that I had on August 4th on British Airways (BA) is one that I will never forget!
So I arrive at Heathrow’s terminal 5 at around 9 am to catch my 10:45 flight to Washington DC. I enter the terminal and spot a BA Rep and ask him where the business class check in is. He tells me to go to zone H however, due to power failure, the baggage system has been impacted causing delays. And so began my saga.
Zone H was a total nightmare! Queues from every direction leading no where. I stood in a so called queue which had no start or end point. There is not a single BA Rep in sight or on site to assist and organize this mess. I didn’t know where to check in and had to ask fellow passengers what to do. Each gave me a different option, ‘ check your flight and find your zone’ or ‘not sure just wait here’ or ‘ try to find a BA rep to help you’!
I spotted BA rep, a lady (I wish I had taken her name) who was so unhelpful and apathetic to my simple question: where do I check in!!??? She said stay in this queue pointing to a crowd of people who had amassed in an area more lost than I was.
Literally for about 30 minutes i was given the run around! And now its about 9:30ish.
Yet the we can here the PA system ever minute saying something to the effect of ” due to power failure the baggage system has been impacted. We apologize for this inconvenience”. Really! Instead of repeating the same message every minute tell passengers what to do and where to go!
Finally a fellow passenger told me to check in at the kiosk to obtain my boarding pass which i did and then from far i heard some BA official yell flights leaving on or before 10:45 this way. So I proceeded to the counter for a manual checkin by the same unhelpful female BA rep. I ask her row 57E is biz class? To which she responds yes and tells me its a middle seat!!!! I ask her if she can change it and she just says very harshly with no care: No its a full flight!
So I take my bags to an area where I just leave them hoping they will get on the flight. At this pount it’s around 10:29 and I rush to gate C55 and board.
Now mind you, BA is the only airline that I have travelled on where in biz class one seat in each row is in the opposite direction! Really! BA if this is such a brilliant and genius seating configuration, why haven’t other airlines followed suit?!!!!
I board the plane and proceed to my middle seat facing the opposite direction and I just broke down! The cabin attendant was nice enough to find me a passenger who was willing to swap seats with me – the only help and care I received by BA!
6 hours later we arrive at Washington DC’s Dulles airport with no bags. To fill the claim was another ordeal with the BA rep talking her head off not allowing passengers to ask questions. One lady was in the US for a about 5 days between different cities and kept asking how and when her bags will be delivered given her situation and rightfully so she was getting very upset.
So I go home and the next day I call BA delayed baggage toll free number twice to find out about the status of my bags. Seems their call center is somewhere in India and each time I was given wrong response. The first person told me my bags would be there by 10 am and as 10 am came and went I had to recall and the second person told me she had no info and that I should call the local courier service to follow up on my bags!!!!!! Really! I have follow up on my bags due to BA’s shortcomings!!!!!!
This whole ordeal with BA has been nothing short of a nightmare! I travel frequently at least 3-4 times a year and have never encountered such poor service with other airlines. Now I realize why I have not used BA in the past 15 years and don’t plan on using them in the future!