BA Is Shite

BA Is Shite


The latest news and views on British Airways, the world's "favourite" airline.

Monday, 31 December 2007

BAA Strike

BAA is making one final attempt to reason with the dinosaurs in UNITE (the union that is pressing ahead with plans to shut down Britain's major airports on the 7th of January).

However, BA still refuse to acknowledge the possibility of any such strike on its website.


Update on the BAA strike sourced from AHN

The British Airports Authority is scrambling to avert strikes at some of Britain's busiest airports and is set to hold talks with airport unions on Monday.

Discussions with the Unite and the Public and Commercial Services unions will be held at an undisclosed venue, in a bid to convince the workers to call off the strikes set for seven days in January.

The mass action will kick off on Jan. 7.

The protest action against proposed changes in the salary pension scheme of new workers is seen adversely affecting operations of BAA's seven U.K. airports, including Edinburgh, Gatwick and Heathrow.

Notably, even firefighters and security staff will join the strike which is also slated on Jan. 8, 14, 15, 17, 18 and 19. The airports cannot operate without these personnel. Aberdeen, Glasgow, Southampton and Stansted airports will also join the protests.

If it pushes through, some 1.3 million passengers will be affected, BAA said.

The parties tried but failed to reach a compromise last week.

The unions insisted on the reversal of the pension scheme amendments but BAA refused to give in. Ferrovial, the Spanish owner of BAA, wants to close the company's final-salary pension scheme to new entrants.

Brendan Gold, Unite national aviation officer, said the workers delayed the strike until after the Christmas holiday but are determined to push through with the actions if BAA fails to give in to their demands.

The first day of strike, Jan. 7, will also see a new baggage rule taking effect.

Passengers may carry two pieces of carry-on baggage provided they are at an airport with a new type of three-dimensional scanner.

With workers on strike, confusion is expected to mar airport operations.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

BAA Strike Update

The dinosaurs in UNITE are still determined to have their strike, if the report in the Guardian is anything to go by (see below).

The odd thing is, BA still seems to be in a state of denial about this strike. Go to their website and look at the news page.

There is no mention of the strike there.

Do they not know about the strike?

Gaurdian Article

BAA has asked trade unions to resurrect discussions in the hope of averting proposed strikes that would ground more than 1.3 million airline passengers next month.

It is understood that Britain's largest airport operator hopes to resume talks on New Year's Eve after negotiations broke up without agreement on Thursday. However, BAA is thought to be refusing to meet the key trade union demand of reopening its final salary pension scheme to new entrants. Instead, the group is willing to offer guarantees over the pension rights of current employees, which the Unite and PCS unions believe are under threat.

Four days of strikes are due to take place on January 7, January 14, January 17 and January 18, affecting the travel plans of at least 1.3 million airline customers.

Unite represents 5,800 BAA employees including airport fire service and security staff. Airplanes are prohibited from using airports that have no functioning fire service. As a consequence BAA's seven UK airports, including Stansted and Gatwick, would be shut down during the strikes.

A BAA spokesman said:

"We will continue to do all we can to resolve the dispute. We want to engage in further discussions with Unite."

A Unite spokesman said the union wanted further talks, but reopening the pension scheme to newcomers remained the "main issue of concern", still leaving both sides at loggerheads.


On BA all customers are treated as equal, except some are more equal than others if this report in the Daily Mail is anything to go by:

British Airways was accused last night of giving preferential treatment to celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay after allowing his son to fly with him on a New Year family holiday to Thailand on an invalid passport.

A businessman, whose passport also breached international aviation rules, was barred from the same flight.

As the multi-millionaire star of TV shows Kitchen Nightmares And The F Word checked in at Heathrow with his wife Tana and their four children on Thursday night, staff noticed his eight-year-old son Jack's passport was 18 days over the six-month expiry date rule for international travel.

They told Ramsay that the boy could be denied entry by Thai immigration officials when the family landed at Bangkok.

But Ramsay, who had booked six £6,000 first-class returns, said he would risk it and boarded the flight with Tana, Jack and the boy's sisters Megan, Holly and Matilda.

However, the furious business executive, whose passport was also due to expire in less than six months, was not allowed to board.

Asking not to be named, he said last night:

"There's one rule for Gordon Ramsay and another for everyone else."

The passenger, from West London, had been visiting his wife's relatives in America and the couple were planning to spend New Year in Thailand.

He eventually cleared his passport with Thai authorities and flew out on Friday night on another BA flight.

He said:

"Technically, they were right, but it seemed harsh, as I had been cleared to fly from Boston into London.

I heard BA staff saying Gordon Ramsay's son had just got on the plane and his passport had less than six months before it expired – which put him in the same position as me.

I took the matter up with the customer services manager.

He said he had been on the plane to check the passport of Gordon Ramsay's son and that, in fact, it was in order.

I can't believe he lied to me. I will be writing a letter of complaint to BA

British Airways said:

"Because Jack was part of a family of six about to go on holiday, the decision was taken to allow him to travel.

The risk that he would be denied entry to Thailand was fully explained to his parents, who said they would accept the risk.

This was a very difficult decision and we accept that another customer, who was denied boarding on the same flight, might regard it as unfair.

However, we remind customers that it is their responsibility to ensure they have the correct passport and visas before travelling

A spokesman for Ramsay refused to comment.

Friday, 28 December 2007

BA Accused Over Price Fixing

British Airways has been accused of colluding in setting prices of fuel surcharges and other levies in the provision of air freight services.

BA confirmed it received a letter of complaint from European Union regulators, alleging that it was part of a suspected air freight cartel.

The complaints were also sent to Germany's Lufthansa, Air France-KLM and Scandinavia's SAS.

The airlines have the right to respond, but if found guilty, they face fines.

The European Commission that it had sent official letters, known as statements of objection, to a number of air freight firms, concerning "violation of EU rules on restrictive business practices".

Officials did not name the specific airlines involved, but BA, Air France-KLM and SAS confirmed they had each received the European Commission letter.

It follows a lengthy investigation on both sides of the Atlantic dating back to early 2006 to discover whether airlines broke competition law by operating a cartel in the air cargo sector.

But EU officials stressed that the statement of objection did not reflect the final outcome of the investigation.

The airlines have all committed to co-operate fully with the authorities.

Source BBC

Monday, 24 December 2007

The BAA Strike

Why is BA still continuing to sell tickets to customers for flights on the 7th of January, without warning their customers that there will be a BAA strike that will close down all BAA airports on the UK on that day?

BA claim that this is because "these strikes usually never happen".

However, insiders from BAA have told the media that they will let the strike go ahead and have no intention of acquiescing to UNITE's (the union behind the ludicrous strike threat) demands.

Therefore why are BA continuing to sell tickets for UK flights on that day, without warning their customers of this strike?

Friday, 16 November 2007


British Airways (BA) may be facing a bill for millions of euros after paying compensation to travellers affected by planned industrial action.
Dutch firm EUClaim has said it plans to take BA to court in the Netherlands in order to win compensation for "all passengers" affected by the problems.

BA said it was surprised by the move, as there was a confidentiality clause and it had not admitted liability.

The case stems from a planned walkout by BA cabin crew in January.

BA declined to comment on a report in the Times newspaper that it had paid the travellers £430 each for cancelling their flights.

Source BBC

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

BA's Ghost Planes

Having upped fuel surcharges, BA is also flying empty planes across the Atlantic.

The airline industry is truly a law unto itself!

Source Telegraph:

British Airways is shuttling dozens of empty planes across the Atlantic because it has a shortage of cabin crew, it has emerged.

The "phantom" services have been flying between Britain and Canada and the US over the past two weeks in order to retain valuable slots at London's airports.

Several BA passenger flights took off without a single passenger, using up thousands of tonnes of jet fuel.

advertisementThe news emerged as the airline passed on the soaring cost of oil to customers by increasing its fuel surcharge on all flights.

Environmentalists accused the airline of "hypocrisy", saying the strategy underlined the aviation sector's indifference to the fight against global warming.

On Nov 4, BA flight 179 crossed the Atlantic to New York completely empty.

Another passengerless jet, BA flight 176, later flew back from the US to Heathrow airport.

According to ITV News, two further empty planes left Heathrow at the weekend - flights 093 to Toronto and 279 to Los Angeles.

At least two other empty flights - including one from Gatwick to Houston, Texas - have departed in recent days, it was reported.

A spokesman for British Airways admitted the airline had been having problems rostering cabin crew.

"We are trying to minimise disruption to customers," he added.

BA operates the empty services to avoid losing its take-off and landing slots under "use it or lose it" rules at the London airports.

Some of the aircraft are thought to be Boeing 747s, which when full carry between 500 and 600 passengers. Every return flight from London to New York generates about 1.3 tonnes of CO2.

A spokesman from Greenpeace said: "It's pretty outrageous that BA are flying these empty flights half way across the world whilst saying they’re trying to cut down on CO2 emissions.

"They should be setting a leading example. Thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide are being leaked out needlessly just so they can keep their slots

Meanwhile, BA announced fuel surcharges would go up from £8 to £10 on short-haul flights, while passengers on flights of up to nine hours face a £48 fuel charge – a £10 increase.

BA raised the fuel surcharge on longer flights by £15, adding £58 to the price of a ticket.

Last night the airline said it had no alternative but to increase the cost of air travel, with some speculators prepared to bet on crude oil prices doubling by December next year.

Earlier this year it emerged that BMI, which operates as a British Airways franchise - was also running "ghost planes", between Cardiff and Heathrow.

BMI announced in March that it would scrap the six-times-a-week shuttle when it switched to a new timetable.

The flights were run by British Mediterranean Airways (BMed), a struggling carrier that operates as a British Airways franchise and runs services under the BA brand to destinations including Beirut and Teheran. It was taken over this year by BMI.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Baggage Absent

The new phrase to describe lost baggage is, according to The Times, "Baggage Absent":

World-weary travellers who have lost their shirts, trousers and shoes thanks to the carelessness of British Airways' baggage handlers could be about to get their revenge.

The latest figures on lost and delayed luggage show that BA, or Baggage Absent as it is rapidly becoming known, mislaid a staggering 358,476 bags over the past three months – 30 pieces of luggage for every 1,000 travellers, or 10 bags per jumbo jet that don't get on board or get misrouted. That's a lot of holidays ruined or business meetings missed. But a bright spark has pointed out to us that travellers have the power to get their own back.

According to figures available on the Civil Aviation Authority website (almost impossible to find on BA's), the maximum compensation for seriously delayed baggage is £764 per passenger, as set by the Montreal Convention. Now that may not seem such a huge amount, given the amount of designer gear you can squeeze into a Samsonite, but multiply it by the number of times BA is exposing itself to this sort of claim and the figure for possible compensation is eye-popping: close to £280m for the quarter, or £511m for the past six months. Which, spookily enough, is not far off BA's £593m pre-tax profits for the same period.

As a spokesman for BA spluttered:

"I think we would have heard about it if it was costing us as much as that. It would have wiped out our annual profits in just one quarter."

Well, exactly. But if your passengers are all losing their shirts, why shouldn't you lose yours?

Source The Times

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

BA Among Worst In Europe

British Airways performed worse than any other major European airline, with more than two in five flights running late, according to figures released yesterday.

Not only did BA's punctuality figures leave it languishing alongside the Portuguese and Greek carriers, it was also among the worst airlines for losing baggage over the summer.

The latest performance league table, covering July to September, was released by the Association of European Airlines.

It was published within days of BA announcing that it had notched up a 25 per cent increase in profits for the first six months of the year.

This summer, while difficult, was the first in several years when Heathrow avoided major disruption at the height of the holiday season.

But the performance figures for this year were even worse than those for 2006, when British airports went into meltdown after the thwarting of an alleged plot to down transatlantic flights.

Only 58.8 per cent of short haul flights arrived at their destination less than 15 minutes late - nearly six per cent fewer than the same period last year.

The long-haul performance was even worse, with 45 per cent of flights reaching the terminal more than quarter of an hour after they should have done.

This figure again, was marginally worse than the previous year.

A startling number of BA flights also departed late - nearly 40 per cent in the case of short haul services and 41.3 per cent for long distance trips.

Again, this was worse than July to September last year and BA was also amongst the worst when it came to cancelling services outright.

With a cancellation rate of 1.5 per cent, only a handful of carriers - including Alitalia and Croatia Airlines - dropped more flights.

BA also was amongst the worst performers when it came to lost luggage with the airline mislaying 30 bags for every 1,000 passengers it carried.

This is the equivalent of around 10 bags on a full jumbo jet.

The only crumb of comfort for BA was that the Portuguese airline, TAP, was even worse when it came to losing luggage, mislaying 35.1 bags per 1,000 passengers.

While in many cases the lost luggage was reunited with passengers several days later, this was not always the case.

Earlier this year The Daily Telegraph disclosed that lost bags were being sold at auction.

"BA said they were putting measures in place to deal with the problem, but things do not seem to have got any better over the past six months," a spokesman for the Air Transport Users Council said yesterday.

Last night a spokesman for the airline said performance would improve when Heathrow Terminal 5 opens next March.

"These statistics have to be put into context. We operate out of one of the most congested airports in the world and the UK is the only country in Europe with restrictive hand baggage rules which put more pressure on hold baggage carried," he said.

"A security alert which closed T4 airside and landside, followed by extreme weather (floods and thunderstorms) in July, led to the cancellation of some 600 flights and a build up of baggage.

''Through this period we were also dealing with record levels of hold bags and transfer bags - at least 15 per cent up - because of the one bag hand baggage rule

The spokesman added: "We are working hard to improve our performance and September's figures were a lot better than July and August."

Source Daily Telegraph

A 25% increase in profits coupled with joining the ranks of Europe's worst airlines, well done lads!

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Surf's Up

It seems that BA have managed to piss off the surfing community:

"Since British Airways (BA) announced a ban on surfboards on all flights (effective from 6th Nov), the surf community across the world has been reacting to the shock new position and taking decisive action to push for a reversal on the decision.

In hoards, surfers from across the globe, including the World Number One, Mick Fanning, have been signing up to a global petition created by the British Surfing Association (BSA) and international governing bodies, key surf brands and thousands of individuals have been issuing statements and joining a group on the social networking site, Facebook.

Until now BA has had a reputation for being one of the most surfer friendly airlines but last weekend their new ruling stated that surfboards, alongside other items such as hang gliders, windsurfing boards and sails, kayaks or canoes, pole vaults or javelins, will no longer be accepted as baggage on any flights on the extensive BA network.

At the same time, BA proudly announced that it would be loosening any restrictions on their carriage of skis, snowboards, cycles, diving equipment and even guns, amongst other items. At the recent Ski and Snowboard Show in London, BA was advertising its allegiance to snow sports and pushing its free carriage of snow related equipment on all flights
. "

Source Golbal Surf News

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Spectacular Scottish Collapse

The Scotsman puts the boot into BA's reputation wrt its worsening punctuality in Scotland, calling it a "rapid and spectacular collapse".

It goes on to say that passengers would be better off flying with BMI or Easyjet, or even using the train. Then, for good measure, it castigates BA for being bottom of the league for lost baggage:

"Already among Britain's least punctual carriers, BA is being trounced by its rivals on every single route between Scotland and London. It is significantly worse than its competitors at every airport, on every route and in each direction.

A business traveller in Scotland wanting to be in a meeting in London is much more likely to arrive on time with BMI at Heathrow, EasyJet at Gatwick or ScotAirways at London City. The most reliable option of all is travelling by train, where 87.5 per cent of GNER trains between Edinburgh and London Kings Cross were on time in the first six months of this year, with a similar number for Virgin West Coast services between Glasgow and London Euston.

And even when BA passengers eventually reach their destination, they are less likely to arrive with their baggage - BA is bottom of the European league tables for lost luggage, according to data from the Air Transport Users Council.

Remember that mountain of 20,000 bags that built up at Heathrow in July?

Some of them still haven't been delivered to their owners

Alistair Carmichael, Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland, has even tabled a motion in the House of Commons calling on management to restore levels of service in Scotland.

When will BA realise that they neglect their customers at their peril.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Saatchi's Revenge

M&C Saatchi has got its own back after former client British Airways dumped it by recreating its famous BA "face" ad from the 1980s for plucky business airline Silverjet.

M&C Saatchi - whose founders Maurice and Charles lost the BA account in October 2005 after a 23-year relationship - has created the copycat advert, complete with the same director, soundtrack and location, to build the fledgling Silverjet brand by piggy-backing off the iconic campaign.

The strategy extends as far as mimicking BA's famous "the world's favourite airline" tagline; Silverjet is using "the world's most civilised airline".

"With a brand new ad you have to throw a lot of media money at it to get recognition over a period of time as people tend to switch off," said Lawrence Hunt, chief executive of Silverjet.

"People will immediately recognise this as a classic travel ad so we have won half the battle and then the focus will be on what is different about it."

M&C Saatchi has recreated the original ad - which launched in 1989 showing thousands of people coming together collectively to form the features of a happy face - with the director Hugh Hudson, the soundtrack, Delibes' Flower Duet from Lakme, and the same locations in Los Angeles and Utah.

The new Silverjet ad will be particularly irritating for Bogle Bartle Hegarty, which won the BA account from M&C Saatchi, as it comes a month after the agency launched its long-awaited debut brand ad for the airline, which was widely panned.

The key difference with the Silverjet advert, that debuts on Sunday on ITV1 before the kick-off of England's quarter-final Rugby World Cup showdown with Australia, is that it only uses four people rather than the thousands in the original advert.

"We want to show that we are an exclusive private jet service, our planes carry 100 people not 400 and we leave from private airfields," added Mr Hunt.

The cost of making the ad and buying the media space is in the "hundreds of thousands," said Mr Hunt; this compares to BA's estimated £50m global ad budget.

Source The Guardian

Watch the advert here Silverjet

Thursday, 4 October 2007

BA Loses Customers

BA September passenger traffic fell by 0.7% on the same month last year, but demand for business and first class travel was strong.

First and business class traffic rose by 6.6% while non-premium traffic was down by 2%.

Source Reuters

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Viva Espana

I see that BA may be bidding for Iberia (it already owns 10% of the Spanish airline).

I wonder what that will do to the price of tickets to Spain?

See my earlier articles on the subject, where I encountered an "issue" with the pricing of tickets on the BA and Iberia websites:

-The World's Costliest Airline

-The World's Costliest Airline II

Monday, 1 October 2007

Not Alone

It seems that I am not the only customer of BA to be a "tad disappointed" with their service.

How surprising!

Never Again


Thursday, 27 September 2007

Missing Airmiles X

I looked into my BA Executive Club account today, and guess what?

Yes, that's right, our missing airmiles from our trip to Barcelona in July have finally been credited to our account. The countless emails to BA Executive Club finally paid off.

Funny though that BA Executive Club never wrote back to tell me that the miles had been credited?

Equally strange that they have never answered the question that I repeated several times.

Namely that, in this age of security alerts etc, there is no way that an airline does not keep records of their passengers and cannot identify who flew on a particular flight. Therefore why did BA Executive Club claim that they needed proof that we were on their flight before they would credit our miles, even though our Executive Club card numbers were registered with the flight when we booked it and when we checked in?

I guess I will never know the answer to that one!

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

BA To Be Sued?

An American law firm is encouraging consumers in the UK to claim compensation from companies found guilty of breaking competition rules.

The company's UK branch is looking to sue British Airways and Virgin for hundreds of millions of pounds after they were found guilty of colluding over fuel surcharges.

It's just been given permission to go ahead with a class action against both firms in the US.

While Virgin escaped punishment for alerting authorities about what was going on, British Airways was hit by a record fine of more than a £121m after being found guilty by the Office of Fair Trading. The US Department of Justice imposed another £150m.

Channel 4 News

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Time Warp

The Times reports:

"A City chum has just flown back from Singapore with BA and wonders what timezone the airline is operating in. Passengers were shown 'the latest BBC news', dating back to last Monday.

They were told UK time was seven hours ahead of Singapore – it's seven hours behind.

And they were reminded that smoking is allowed only in designated areas inside the terminal. Smoking was banned throughout on July 1

Monday, 24 September 2007

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

The Return From Beijing

As with my flight to Beijing on British Airways, my return flight to London had a number of shortcomings that the executive team at BA need to address:
  • The opening news video shown on channel 1, on the ancient inflight "entertainment" system, had no sound. I was advised that this was a fault with the tape, and that nothing could be done about it.

  • The picture quality on all channels was not that good/clear.

  • Again, no chutney with the curry. Come on guys, at least you can get this right!

  • The sandwich selection was hardly inspiring; cheese and tomato, or ham. Both of these were offered on somewhat dry white bread, that had been buttered only on one side.
The BA executive team need to take a leaf out of the late Lord King's book, and start to travel in all classes of their fleet of planes in order to meet their customers. Lord King did this, when BA was recognised as a leading world brand, it is high time that the current executive of BA did the same.

The value of BA lies in:

-Its routes
-The quality of its on board infrastructure
-The quality of its staff

The latter two qualities are being seriously neglected by the executive team at British Airways, resulting in severe damage to the brand value of the company and an increase in customer dissatisfaction.

It is time that the executive team at BA addressed these issues, in order to reverse the damage that it has inflicted on its brand value and customer loyalty.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Missing Airmiles IX

Sent to BA, still chasing the missing airmiles!

"I would appreciate an update as to the status of this please.

I am on the Beijing to London flight tomorrow 11th, and will follow this up by other means if necessary when back in UK.



Ken Frost

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Flight from BJ

I will be on the BA Beijing to London flight on the 11th, feel free to say hello.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

The Customers Fight Back

The Times reports that British Airways faces paying damages of millions of pounds to passengers whose baggage it has lost. US law firm Hagens Berman Sobolo Shapiro has filed a class action complaint at the US District Court in Seattle arguing that the airline has not given its customers notice of what it claims is an "inadequate baggage handling system" and that a £770-per-passenger limit on baggage compensation should not apply.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

The Flight to Beijing

I took my flight from London to Beijing today, regrettably many of the issues that I had raised before with Britsh Airways had not been addressed:
  • The "passenger infrastructure" on the plane was worn and dated. Seat 2F near to my seat needed two crew members to physically perform a mid air repair, in order for the head rest section to work.

  • The menu offered soup, yet none was actually available. Why? Seemingly the soup was never delivered to the plane, as it could not get through security in time! This is more than a little odd, as the plane was 30 minutes late for boarding.

  • Again, despite telling BA before about this, there was no chutney onboard for the curry. I made do with marmalade.

  • The cabin temperature was too cold.

  • The crew were helpful and courteous. However, those that I spoke to confessed that they were fed up with having to apologise to customers for the failures of the company to meet the expectations of the customers.

  • I understand that the much lauded "roll out" of the new cabins and in flight entertainment systems has hit a snag. Seemingly there is one British Airways plane crossing the Atlantic that has an in flight entertainment system that does not work. That must make an "amusing" six hours for the hapless customers onboard that particular flight!

  • The inflight entertainment system was good 15 years ago, but now looks dated and well past its prime. The roll out of the new system needs to be completed with haste.
BA need to understand that the customers, and indeed the staff, are fed up with the ongoing quality issues.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Missing Airmiles VIII

Sent to BA, still chasing them up over my missing airmiles:

"Just touching base with you on this.

I will be flying with BA this Saturday to Beijing (booking ref *****) and I would appreciate this matter being sorted out before I go away.


Kind regards

Ken Frost

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

BA's Pricing

Now here's a funny thing, concerning the price quoted on the BA website for a first class return flight London/Beijing.

I was quoted a price of over £6500, were I to book a BA flight using the BA website.

However, the travel agency that I use quoted me a price of £4900 for the same flights. That is a saving of approximately 25%.

I wonder why there is such a discrepancy in quotes, given that the travel agency would still have to make a commission?

Needless to say, I made the reservation using the travel agency rather than the BA site.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Missing Airmiles VII

BA finally show some flexibility, by telling me that my itinerary will suffice. They of course still refuse to confirm that, had they the incilination, they could verify that we were on the flight (without the need for any domcumentation from me).

"Dear Mr Frost

Thank you for your email.

For me to be able to look into crediting missing flights to your Executive Club account, I will need you to send copies of your boarding passes and ticket stubs, or a copy of your travel itinerary, to our Travel History Department at the following address:

British Airways Executive Club
Travel History Department
PO Box 111
CO10 2FB

Thank you again for your contact.


British Airways
Executive Club
Customer Services

I duly emailed the itinerary:

"Here is the itinerary.

I would still appreciate an answer to my question though.


Kind regards

Ken Frost

They could not open it, and again ignored my question:

"Dear Mr Frost

Thank you for your email.

I'm afraid I am unable to open attachments withins emails due to security reasons. Can you please send or fax a copy of your itinerary to me.

Thank you again for your help.


British Airways
Executive Club
Customer Services

My note to them, as they of course had not advised me of a fax number:

"Please advise fax number, thanks"

Finally, on receiving the fax number, I faxed the itinerary:


Please confirm safe receipt.


Needless to say, I received no confirmation of the safe receipt of the fax.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Missing Airmiles VI

Received from BA:

"Dear Mr Frost

Thank you for your e-mail.

I'm afraid I have been unable to add your missing flights to your Executive Club account, as I do need you to send your boarding passes and ticket stubs to the following address:

British Airways Executive Club
Partnerships Department
PO Box 111
CO10 2FB

Or fax me on 01787 881 405.

Once received I can update your account.

Thank you for your help.


British Airways
Executive Club
Customer Services

My response:

"Thank you for your note.

Given that we both had our BA executive numbers registered at both legs of the journey (it was a BA flight and BA check in), and that your records will clearly show that we were on both flights, why are you unable to upload the miles?


Kind regards

Ken Frost

BA's response:

"Dear Mr Frost

Thank you for your email.

I'm afraid I am unable to confirm that you travelled on your missing flights without you providing me with your boarding passes and ticket stubs. So without this information I will be unable to add your missing flights to your Executive Club account.

If you would like your missing flights added to your account, please provide me with the relevant information.

Thank you for your help.


British Airways
Executive Club
Customer Services

My response to BA (of course they can verify that we were on the flight!):

"Thank you for your prompt response.

Does this mean that were there to be a request for information (such as passenger names) made by eg the security services/government, in relation to a security matter, that BA would be unable to provide them with that information?

You are required to keep records are you not, of the names of people on your flights?


Kind regards

Ken Frost

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Missing Airmiles V

Sent to BA Executive Club:

"I am still waiting for an answer to this


Ken Frost

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Missing Airmiles IV

As if by magic, BA do not provide an answer that explains why our executive club numbers have not been tracked in the system for the flights:

"Dear Mr Frost

I am sorry to learn that your flights did not track to your account. This should automatically happen when you quote your Executive Club number at the time of booking or at check-in. This is providing that the name on your Executive Club membership card and the name on your booking, match exactly.

As advised earlier, the flight(s) you are claiming for were operated by a partner airline, we are unable to update your account without copies of the boarding passes and ticket stubs from the flight(s) in question. This allows us to verify the information before crediting your account.

Contacts details for your local Executive Club Service Centre can be found at:

We always recommend you save your ticket receipts and boarding passes until the flights have been added to your account, in case of discrepancy.

Thank you for emailing us and we hope to resolve this swiftly for you.


British Airways Executive Club

Here is my answer:

"Thank you for your email.

We did book in using our correctly registered executive account numbers etc.

Therefore, re my original question, why has the system not tracked our flights?

Re you not be "able" to update our accounts, without hard copy stubs, I find that a little hard to believe.

We are pre assigned seats when boarding the aircraft, you have records to show how many people are on the flight at take off, who they are and have records to satisfy security controls that show exactly who was on a flight.

You would not be allowed to operate or to fly to Spain, the USA etc without having such security controls.

Therefore you are well capable of verifying that we were on the flights.

If you need a little help, our flight booking was featured in The Times a while ago.

Do I really have to raise this matter with Walsh simply to get my miles added, something that your system should have done in the first place?

Kind regards

Ken Frost"

Missing Airmiles III

My response to BA:

"Are you saying that even though we had our executive club numbers registered both at departure and return, and the flight was a BA flight, you will not upload the miles unless I provide all the stubs?

Why take the executive number and record it on the face of the stub, if you don't then upload it to your system?


Ken Frost

Missing Airmiles II

Response from BA:

"Dear Ken Frost

As the flight(s) you are claiming for were operated by a partner airline, we are unable to update your account without copies of the boarding passes and ticket stubs from the flight(s) in question. This allows us to verify the information before crediting your account. Their contacts details can be found at:

We always recommend you save your ticket receipts and boarding passes until the flights have been added to your account, in case of discrepancy.

Thank you for emailing us and we hope to resolve this swiftly for you.


British Airways Executive Club

All very well, but our executive club numbers were registered in the system with the ticket purchase.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Missing Airmiles

Sent to BA Executive Club:

"Please advise why the business class return flights that myself and my partner, made to Barcelona in July have not yet been uploaded onto our joint airmiles account?

Partner airline Iberia

Class Business

Gatwick outward bound to Barcelona 5 July
Barcelona inward bound to Gatwick 15 July

Thank you.

Kind regards

Ken Frost

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

The World's Costliest Airline II

Martin Waller in today's Times takes up the point that I raised a few days ago about the pricing disparity between BA and Iberia for the same flight to Barcelona.

He notes that BA's explanation for this disparity -

"BA claims that this is because it has the cost of the flight, while Iberia is merely issued with its own allocation of tickets."

- hardly makes much sense.

He then raises the question as to what will happen to the BA/Iberia flight prices, in the event that BA make a bid.

Will BA drop their prices or will Iberia raise theirs?

Maybe this very valid question should be raised with the Office of Fair Trading?

Saturday, 2 June 2007

The World's Costliest Airline

Here's a little conundrum for you.

What's the difference between the following?

A business class return air ticket for two people (Gatwick to Barcelona), flight to be taken in July, purchased via Iberia.

A business class return air ticket for two people (Gatwick to Barcelona), flight to be taken in July, purchased via BA.

In terms of the departure times, airport terminals, lounge facilities and airline operating the difference whatsoever.

The flights are operated by BA.

However, here's the rub.

The price of the two return tickets, if purchased via Iberia will set you back £455.80.

The price of the two return tickets (for the identical flight), if purchased via BA will set you back a stonking £1165.80 (256% of the Iberia price).

Don't believe me?

Try it for yourselves:

Could BA please explain this differential?

Oh, and by the way, BA own 10% of Iberia.

Monday, 30 April 2007

London Beijing Response

I finally received a response to my letter sent to Willie Walsh, the response was dated 30th April 2007 (some 6 weeks after my original letter).

The response was from BA's customer relations, here are a few excerpts:

"I realise that we did not meet the high level of customer service you would expect from British Airways."

"I recognise that we got the balance wrong on the day that you were travelling and this is unacceptable..."

"It will take a little while to roll out the new in-flight entertainment system on all our aircraft..."

"We greatly value our first class customers and we would like to offer you our apologies

FYI, I have just used the London/Beijing BA service (September 2007); absolutely nothing has changed wrt on board entertainment, the quality of the seats or indeed the availability of chutney.

More about that in another post.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

BA Loses Most Baggage

British Airways has been revealed as the worst major European airline for misplacing passengers' luggage, according to statistics from the Association of European Airlines (AEA).

Of the 5.6 million bags that were lost in 2006, the British flag-carrier lost the highest proportion of all the airlines, with Air Portugal, Lufthansa, Air France and Alitalia also reporting disappointing performances.

BA managed to lose 23 items of baggage for every 1,000 passengers on last year's flights, above the average of 15.7 bags for all the airlines surveyed.

Although 85 per cent of all lost bags were found and reunited with their owners within a two day time frame, some luggage was never located.


Saturday, 17 March 2007

London Beijing March 2007

Text of a letter sent to Willie Walsh CEO of BA on 17 March 2007

"Dear Mr Walsh,

I would like to provide you with a few observations about my recent “first class” return trip (London-Beijing) on BA (8th March-12th March):

· The standard of the Heathrow lounge was not what I would expect for first class; it does not compare favourably wrt the facilities, or indeed size, of lounges offered by other airlines eg Virgin.

· There were only two Internet workstations in the London and Beijing lounge. In the Beijing lounge, one of the Internet workstations was out of order.

· The theory of the London lounge, as best as I can make out, is that customers sit down and are served by BA staff. Unfortunately, those customers who did not sit in the immediate vicinity of the bar were not able to attract the attention of staff for service, as there weren’t any staff in the non-bar area. I had to go to the bar to find anyone willing to serve me.

· The entertainment system on both flights did not work that well. The outgoing flight could not show the safety video, as the system had a malfunction. The quality of the picture on both flights was poor, and on some of the channels (outgoing and inbound) the video didn’t work at all.

· The remote control in the armrest on my outgoing flight was stuck, and had to be extracted by the cabin crew with a butter knife. Very high tech!

· In trying to manually extend the footrest on my seat, I managed to impale and cut my finger on a sharp piece of metal that was protruding from underneath the edge of the footrest.

· One member of staff, who was so ashamed by the quality, told me with head bowed in shame that the system was “out of the ark”. I would concur, as other airlines, such as Singapore and Virgin, used to have the same systems back in the early/mid nineties; they have long since upgraded them. I was advised that that the systems will be upgraded, but was also told that this same message has been repeated for quite some time. Having paid £6K for my ticket, hearing of future plans is of little interest to me.

· On both flights a curry was served, yet no chutneys were available. I improvised with marmalade. BA makes great efforts to tell me in the menu that the recipes are designed by world-class chefs. That being the case, why did I have to resort to using marmalade?

· The quality of the staff on both flights, and their customer care/attention, was good. They were all embarrassed by the poor state of the technology and equipment on board.

BA’s last remaining asset that has not been tarnished by strikes, security delays, delays in general and out of date entertainment systems, would appear to be its staff. However, if they are embarrased and ashamed of their company I wonder how long you will retain their loyalty?

Reputations are hard to earn, but easy to lose.

In brief, I do not think that the “first class” description equates to the price I paid, or the competition that BA faces. I will be travelling on a more regular basis to Beijing over the coming months/years, but will be (subject to schedules) looking to other airlines to get me there and back.

In my view, there are a number of issues that you need to address if BA is to retain the much tested “loyalty” of their customers, whether they travel economy, business or first.

I would be interested to hear you views on the above, and what steps BA will be taking in the short term to address these issues.

Thank you for your time.

Yours sincerely,

Ken Frost"

Monday, 26 February 2007

BA Reservations

Well done BA for further damaging their already badly soiled brand value.

I made a bold and futile attempt to contact their reservations line this morning, on 0870 850 9 850 (the number specified on their website).

Having pressed the various option buttons, and listened to the "tinny" music, I was informed that I had dialed the wrong number and was given a new number to dial.

Can you guess what that was?

Yes, that's right 0870 850 9 850!

I rang the Executive Club, and was told that in fact the number should be 0870 850 4 850 and that the BA website was wrong.

I rang the new number...

Guess what?

I had the very same experience.

Well done lads!