Beware: BA is Unfair!

Old Sep 14th, 2002, 11:52 AM
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Beware: BA is Unfair!

We arrived at the airport in Inverness, Scotland 2 hours early for a flight to Gatwick. They run an ATR 146 back and forth between airports, and we had gone up to Inverness on the flight from Gatwick (which left 3 hours late). When we arrived at the ticket counter to check our luggage from Inverness to Gatwick, the ticket agent said we were going to have to check our carry-ons! We told him no way would we check these bags, that they contained all our vital stuff that we absolutely could not lose, such as exposed film from our two-week trip, medications, valuable jewelry, etc. The guy said that the flight was full and that the bags would not fit in the overhead bins. We knew that they WOULD fit, because we had brought them from Gatwick. We said, OK, we'll just check them at the gate. He said that was impossible, and that even if they would check them at the gate, once they were in the hold, we would have to retrieve them at the carousel in London. He refused to give us our boarding passes until we checked out carry-ons. We finally were able to convince him to allow us to consolidate our absolutely irreplaceable stuff into one carry on, and check the other one. When we got to the departure lounge, we saw that there were about 30 families with small children traveling on our flight. They each had a stroller, diaper bags, stuffed animals, LOTS of STUFF! To make matters worse, BA invited "any persons traveling with small children to pre-board." AND they gate-checked the strollers!!!! Needless to say, when we boarded there really was NO room in the overhead bins. Fortunately, all of our luggage showed up at Gatwick, but I still feel discriminated against and very angry.
Old Sep 14th, 2002, 12:45 PM
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You just love to bitch? Were you ever happy about any flight you took? It's a good thing I'm not a TA, because........I don't even want to say what I would have done....
Old Sep 14th, 2002, 03:40 PM
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When flights are full, airlines do limit carry-ons. The gate agent makes the call. In your case, I imagine he knew there were families and knew the diaper bag scenario only too well. Consider this an experience. I wouldn't complain too loudly and I certainly wouldn't say BA is unfair. It's life , honey.
Old Sep 15th, 2002, 02:31 PM
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The airlines let parents preboard with children so that they get settled in and do not get in the way of of the other passengers trying to get to their seats.

Be glad those parents DID have diaper bags...that means they are prepared, which means hopefully they won't disturb you very much.

You were a child once...well, still are...but thats another point...anyway, stop being so negative and enjoy life. Be thankful you were able to travel, be thankful for all you have!
Old Sep 15th, 2002, 07:28 PM
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BA wasn't unfair. If you want to blame someone, why not blame those who insist on bringing everything they own on board. The agent simply knew the situation and had to start limiting luggage. Who cares if your stuff fits in the overhead. The airline didn't have the room.

Sandy, think about it. What would happen if everyone on board showed up with those wheeled on bags. At lest 1/3 wouldn't fit.

Old Sep 16th, 2002, 04:16 AM
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Sandy, when you boarded the plane, wasn't there space beneath the seat in front of yours for your carry-on bag? Or were you seated behind a bulkhead?

Old Sep 16th, 2002, 09:50 PM
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Sorry, folks, but I would be just as pissed off as Sandy if this happened to me. The medications that I carry on, or my exposed film, is just as important to me as whatever is in the parents' carryons is to them. If I pay for my ticket I expect to have the same "rights" as any other passenger.

Having said that, it's true, life and especially air travel, are not always fair and there's not much you can do about it. I have found BA personnel to sometimes be unnecessarily strict, nasty, and "head nurse-ish" and they are sure not my favorite airline.
Old Sep 17th, 2002, 11:59 AM
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Sandy, I'm with you. I see NO reason why all the breeders in this world should get preferential treatment. I'm a BIG advocate of child-free flights (just like somoke-free flights), and if I were you, I'd get on BA's case for what is obviously unfair.
Old Sep 17th, 2002, 01:27 PM
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I'll give you an example of what I hate...earlier this summer I was flying HP from PHX to JFK.

I boarded and placed my carry on (sort of a book bag a little larger than a lady's hand bag) and my brief case in the overhead and settled in with the space beneath the seat in front of my clear. There's precious little room as there is.

This thing gets on the plane with a suitcase larger than the one I checked and starts trying to force it into the overhead where my stuff was. Along comes the FA who asks me to take my brief case out and put it under my seat and that the overheads were not intended for briefcases. Basically I said no way Jose, that they should make this clown check his luggage like I did. The overheads replaced what used to be used for storing coats etc. and small cabin baggage. I resented to whatever they would have the gall to ask me to sit with my stuff under the seat in front of me depriving me of what little room I had because somebody did not want to check his precious bag.

It is attitudes like that that drive me up the bloody wall!
Old Sep 20th, 2002, 12:24 AM
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That happened to me last year and I just went ahead without complaining and checked all my luggage and hand luggage into the hold on Continental when flying from Atlanta to London via NYC.

When I arrived in London my bag did not turn up. My hand luggage which I had checked contained all the keys to my house, my car, all my clothes, my mobile phone, my camera, etc. All this on New Years Eve morning when the shops in the UK are closed for a couple of days and it was very cold.

Continental told me I should not have put this stuff in the hold. I told them I had hitchiked to Atlanta from the Mexican border and only had a ruck sack and a small carry on bag and was then rudely told to put this stuff in the hold by one of their check-in staff. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt so to expect me to carry all my passport / documentation, keys, phone, money, sunglasses, camera etc was a bit much as I only have two pairs of hands and did not have any pockets in my shorts.

In the end Continental had to hire a car for me for three days and allow me to drop it off in Birmingham (approx GBP450) after the new year. I also made them take me shopping in Heathrow for some new clothes (GBP300). They also agreed to pay for a locksmith to break into my house (GBP500) and replace the locks. My bag did not turn up for two weeks and in the end they refunded me double the cost of my flight but in Continental vouchers. I would never ever fly with Continental again and have no intention of ever using their vouchers.

Old Sep 20th, 2002, 10:43 AM
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Wow, John, that is a hell of a story! I can't believe you got Continental to do all that, even if it was their fault in the first place.
Old Sep 23rd, 2002, 04:21 AM
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I can't believe that John has two pairs of hands.
Old Sep 23rd, 2002, 05:05 AM
To M M
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Well spotted.
Old Sep 23rd, 2002, 12:04 PM
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Like I said, a HELL of a story. Thanks MM for a good belly laugh!
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