British Airways (Sucks!)

By | August 25, 2005

Well, I guess most of the world has now heard about the troubles with Gate Gourmet, and the knock-on effect on British Airways. We in fact got delayed 62 hours by the fact that the flight was canceled. It was supposed to take off on Thursday evening at 22.20pm. We in fact took off on Sunday at 12.20pm.

While we were perhaps willing to allow British Airways the benefit of the doubt over the strike initially, subsequent events really served to undermine our confidence in their ability to operate a good airline. I will list the problems we experienced.

On the day:
1. The plane was canceled.
2. There were no ticketing staff available to help us transfer our booking to another airline.
3. Information was scant – Managers did their best, but there were thousands of people.
4. No help was provided on how to get emergency accommodation, food, etc.
5. The BA helpline phone number was constantly engaged for days.
6. The BA website was unable to let me gain access because I had booked through an agent in Taiwan.
7. The BA website was unreliable, too, due to volume of traffic.

Other events:
1. The cabin we travelled in was too hot for the flight to the UK, making it uncomfortable. I think the a/c was broken.
2. The food choice I wanted was unavailable, and the quality of the food wasn’t great.
3. The food included a lot of unnecessary carbohydrates (incl. rice, bread, chocolate, and pudding) – for goodness sake, we’re sitting down!
4. The staff did not provide much water during the night.
5. When we changed our ticket, the ticketing clerk for BA incorrectly changed my wife’s ticket causing us two delays, one of 20 minutes at HRW, one of 10 minutes at HKG while we changed flight to Cathay.
6. The website would not let me make bookings for British flights because I was outside Britain when I tried.

I have noticed a sharp decline in the quality of the service provided by BA since I started flying long haul from Asia to the UK 12 years ago. While indeed the prices aren’t unreasonable, there are many competitors flying from Hong Kong to London nowadays. It looks likek I won’t be returning to BA as a passenger in future.

Bye bye, BA. You are no longer the World’s Favorite Airline – I suspect it’s now the Least Favorite!

A frustrated passenger.