British Airways - simply a joke!

Old Mar 1st, 2010, 03:10 AM
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British Airways - simply a joke!

Just returned from the Bahamas used British Airways for the first time :

In short they are terrible.

I have flown 200 plus times and the sum total of my problems with all those flights equate to the problems I encountered with BA. This is the first time we have used them and the last. Where do we start...

Staff : nearly all were unhelpful and seemed to be out for a scrap. The cabin crew on one flight were very good, all the rest of the ground staff and the 3 other cabin crews were poor.

Ticket costs : we paid last June so well in advance. They are 25 to 30% more expensive then say Virgin.

Planes : of the four we used - all looked dated. 3 of the four landings were poor and one I would even go as far as to say was dangerous!

Routes : they have dumped most UK desinations as direct routes in favour of their new(ish) hub - terminal 5 at Heathrow. This is simply a European marketing scam to cream as much money as possible by getting their customers to buy wildly overpriced goods at what is essentially a posh hypermarket.

Terminal 5 : BAA and BAa little gem? I think not! After years of operation. It is still a joke. Sure it looks like a high end shopping Mall but it still fails to function. Due to ...
1. The use of BUSES to get you to planes.
2. Systems constantly going down leading to BA staff wandering round asking if you want "The Glasgow" flight.
3. Incorrect flight details on gates and incorrect gates on displays.
4. I am employer. I would sack 80% of their staff immediately and take a hit on the compensation at the Industrial Tribunals.
5. Terminal 5 has is a bub but has NO domestic traffic facility. We brought duty free out of the Bahamas and had it taken off us by terminal 5 security prior to entering their shopping mall. This was due to the fact that you have enter the shopping mall to board you next flight and external liquids are not allowed as hand luggage unless they have been bought from their money making machine. The only way round this was to have security march us to the BA desk and book the hand luggage into the hold of our connecting flight. They tried to CHARGE us for this until we buried deep into our booking to discover that we were under our entitlement anyway. The assistant dealing with this was simply hopeless.

6. As there is not facility for domestic transfers at terminal 5. Once you clear UK customs you are then thrown into the money grabbing mall with internation transit passenger who have not cleared customs. As a result on entering your own country BAA photograph you as a potential criminal to ensure that it is you that boards your domestic flight and not another uncleared international transit passenger with your name??!!

All in all if you are coming to the UK avoid BA and avoid terminal 5. It is another example of why this country is going to the dogs.

Finally luggage : yes you guessed they have lost 2 of our 3 cases and I am waiting for communication after 24 hours. Most people I have spoken to have ahd the same experience with BA. No other operator has EVER lost my cases.

In summary, I will never use them again and do hope that their silly strike results in a loss of business to the extent that they either disappear or are taken over.
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 03:51 AM
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Their prices are what have kept me from using them more often. Even with FF miles their taxes are considerably higher than Virgin.
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 04:46 AM
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i had a similar experience going through paris on route to milan with a bottle of jack daniels bought on a delta flight. they took it off me because "no liquids are allowed on the plane sir"

well where do you think i bought this then???

pathetic money grabbing gits.
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 04:54 AM
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Am I the only one who doesn't see the issues here?

I fly weekly If you want service stick to the Asian carriers otherwise.

1. If it was more money, why did you buy it? Complaining they charged more seems pointeless, no one held you at gunpoint to buy the ticket?

2. What did the staff do? You rant a lot, but no specifics where they created any problems. (And this much ranting always makes me wonder... how did YOU treat them?)

3. Lots of airlines and airports use "Buses" Happens all the time. Not that big a deal. (CDG, Dullus come to mind.)

3. System went down, Staff implemented a manual plan. What would you perfer? They did nothing and you missed the plane?

4. Lots of airports have the same Duty Free issues. Atlanta, LAX come directly to mind I am sure there are others...

5. Once again, not sure what your complaint is about the domestic transfers. Standard practice world wide.. You have cleared customs and as such had access to your checked baggage. You must be rescreened.

Some of this seems to be failure to understand the new reality of air travel.
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 05:08 AM
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I have had nothing but good experiences with BA.....
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 05:13 AM
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Why is this in the European section if you travelled to the Bahamas?
Do you not realise that the airports are run by a different company then BA? They are the ones who's systems go down they are the ones who take your photo they are the ones who run the shopping malls etc etc.
http://www.baa.com/
The airports were sold off by the UK government so may be you should write a nice letter to them and ask why why why?
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 05:49 AM
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I agree with the last 3 posters. The OP is full of wind.

As for "3 of the four landings were poor and one I would even go as far as to say was dangerous!" ... please enlighten us further. I assume you are a commercially-qualified pilot to write with such knowledge.
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 06:45 AM
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This post was in the European section as most of the issues were at terminal 5 and BA is a UK based airline.

I am aware that terminal 5 is not is run by BAA but is for the sole use of BA. They are in a very close strategic partnership.

CarolA

Far Eastern airlines - yes I agree.

1. It best logistical way of getting to Marsh Harbour. Virgin via Orlando was cheaper but longer in duration. £600 each economy for not actually fully crossing the Atlantic is expensive.

2. In 22 hours plus I did not receive one smile of welcome from any ground staff and any queries were responding to with a can't be bothered attitude. The cabin staff were average which is strange as they are among the highest paid in the world.

3. The use of buses at a brand new terminal is a step backwards.

4. Duty free issue is unacceptable. "it happens everywhere" doesn't excuse it.

5. I had no access to checked in baggage whilst in transit.

The whole security issue at airports has got out of hand. They will never stop terrorists blowing up planes and on many of my trips security does not pick up items that are left in hand baggage but are on the banned list. ie a penknife in a small pocket of a rucsac. It was there for 3 years and 16 security checks. 6 countries did not find it which was a little annoying as I had wondered where it had gone all that time.
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 06:56 AM
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The whole thread simply serves to illustarte what many of us have repeatedly said: airline 'service' is variablle and a lot of that 'variability' seems to follow no particular pattern with some and a very particular pattern with others.
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 07:03 AM
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I agree with Markrosy that shopping "opportunities" take precedence over passenger comfort in the relatively new BA/BAA T5 at Heathrow.

And, given the emphasis on shopping, I found it strange that absolutely no baggage trolleys/carts are allowed air side in T5. The last time I went through T5 (December 2009) I was very tired and would have liked a trolley for my carry-on, handbag and coat. Not allowed!!

I did inquire if any allowance was made for say a young mother (or father) traveling with 2 to 3 children. The response was essentially that as carry-ons were now restricted to one per person, everyone should be able to manage one's luggage without a trolley. (I also thought there was a certain amount of passing the buck or the quid as BA said it was BAA's policy and vice versa).

To my mind, they are shooting themselves in the foot on this one because if I had had access to even one of the small shopping trolleys that were/are? available in T4, I would have made some purchases.
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 07:17 AM
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"Duty free issue is unacceptable."

Bollocks.

It's whingers like you that get us our reputation for being world leaders in moaning. Are you sure you aren't wankinaround in disguise?

It's not possible to take duty-free booze bought outside Europe onto a transfer flight anywhere in Europe that has a serious attitude to safety. As ANYONE who hangs round this site should know. If you don't you've only got yourself to blame.

It's got nothing to do with BA - as anyone who flies as much as you claim to ought to know as well. No-one gets on a plane at a UK airport without going through security, wherever they've been checked beforehand. Filled bottles aren't allowed through security, except if they're in accredited sealed, special bags that show they've been bought in a duty freee shop. If the Bahamas are too lazy to use such bags, blame them.

If you don't like our (yes our: it's set by our government) security policy, tell your MP you'd like it changed. But, if you want to be taken half-seriously, at least take a nanosecond to check your whines before blaming them all on Nanny.

Otherwise: I'm with CarolA. It's one thing to have had a crap flight. But your tirade of trivia ("I'm not using BA because I got on a bus") tells us a great deal more about you than about BA.
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 07:17 AM
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Is it possible that some of the posters above who do not think that highlighting poor service is acceptable, do not actually pay for their own tickets but have them paid for by their employers?

It gives you a very different perspective if the cost comes out of your hard earned.

and cathininjoetown - there was an aweful lot of buck passing on show at T5. Between trading partners and up the management tree within organisations.

T5 is a blunt instrument used badly.
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 07:18 AM
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How timely, as I've just gotten word that a colleague from Edinburgh (who was here in Atlanta for work last week) made it home safely, but not without some bumps along the way, including:

1. No gate availability upon (slightly delayed) arrival at LHR, so busses were called to ferry pax to the terminal. Unfortunatly nobody had thought to call for stairs, so there was additional wait, and and in any case there was only one bus and there was subsequent additional wait for more buses.

Connecting flight to Edinburgh missed, obviously.

2. Getting a seat on the next connecting flight involved dealing with two different desks, neither of which was apparently very interested in helping and kept sending him between desks until he finally got a ticket.

3. Despite now very long layover at LHR his luggage did not make the connecting flight to Edinburgh. Nor did the luggage of approximately 50 other passengers, and they all had to queue and file lost luggage paperwork.

All anecdotal, of course, but it would be unlikely for so many things to go wrong without there being some systemic problems. Not impossible, of course, but unlikely.
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 07:21 AM
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Correction--in item 2 above that's "until he finally got a seat and boarding pass", not "until he finally got a ticket."
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 07:48 AM
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We haven't bought a ticket for BA in a few years because of price and the seating choice. But we flew it a couple of years ago being routed through 4 different flights from Rome to DC due to the Air France strike. Even though we have never had a bad flight with BA, I have heard many people who have hated it. Then again, many people have liked Alitalia and we know how bad that is. So when we went to the BA counter to check in, the agent asked where our luggage is. We told her it was in Milan because it never made it onto our last flight....which was understandable because of change time. She said, "Oh, good now WE can't lose your luggage." hhhmmmm I guess they have a problem. Anyway, my husband's view on losing luggage is....good, now we don't have to lug it and they'll deliver it to the house
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 09:00 AM
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FlannerUK

I presume that you are one of those government employees who offer crap service and have allowed a can't be bothered culture to pervade this country. Oh! if if we get it wrong, Uncle Gordon will go borrow off the IMF to bail us out.

Bollocks!

FlannerUK you are probably the sort of ahole whose realtive was be killed in a Toyota with crap brakes but still go out and buy another because not to do so would be just spiting yourself.

Crap service = no repeat use in my book.


I run a small business and would not tolerate the attitude of most of the BA staff I encountered. This company's culture seems to have changed little from it's state run days. This shows out in the strike situation.

Is it just a little possible that they are so expensive because they are so inefficient? They also still have a monopoly stranglehold on many routes.

"1. No gate availability upon (slightly delayed) arrival at LHR, so busses were called to ferry pax to the terminal. Unfortunatly nobody had thought to call for stairs, so there was additional wait, and and in any case there was only one bus and there was subsequent additional wait for more buses."

Buses?Buses? - they spend £765 trillion on a terminal and still buses and steps do seem to be the norm.
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 09:17 AM
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Buses are used at many airports by many airline. I don't see that as a problem. Would you rather sit on the airplane for hours like they do here in the US to wait for a gate? Not me. Give me a bus anytime.
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 09:19 AM
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we booked Sept. trip on BA - got a good price, but to my surprise ,when I tried to select seats at the time of booking there was a charge of about $30 dollars per person (overseas) and $16 within Europe.

There is no charge for selecting seats 24 hours before the flight though.
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 09:28 AM
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I have also heard very good reports of T5 from folks who have been through there recently.....and the occasions I have flown BA I paid for my own seat.
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 09:54 AM
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I stopped flying BA years ago. I think they are a national disgrace.

I have never encountered such rude and idiotic employees of an airline--save for Olympic of Greece--in all my years of flying. The air hostesses of BA speak and act like they were raised in some Dickensian workhouse. Miserable slags.

Once, a BA air hostess, who spoke like she was raised in a two-room flat above a butcher's in Hackney, had the nerve to tell my Aunt Judith--a Scot and a graduate of the University of Edinburgh--that she was mispronouncing "scone." ROFL!!!!

No Lucy Clayton grads amongst that lot.

Thin
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