BA Is Shite

BA Is Shite


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

Friday, 29 February 2008


I have always said that Virgin's lounges are better than BA's, it would seem that judging from this story BA executives agree with me:

"Virgin Atlantic opened its new clubhouse at Boston Airport at the weekend. To ensure the launch went off without a hitch, the airline held a dress rehearsal the day before. Representatives of other airlines were invited to sample the posh grub and comfy chairs.

The ploy seems to have worked well. My mole tells me two British Airways airport managers stayed a touch too long: they turned up late to the opening of their own lounge, to be met by a group of angry customers

Source The Telegraph.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Pilots' Strike

The latest news on the possible BA pilots' strike over Easter, 86% of pilots voted in favour, is that both BA and the pilots have agreed to take their respective cases to mediation.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Customer Isn't King

The Independent reports that the long suffering passengers of BA had to endure more misery, aside from the twelfth hike in its fuel surcharge, BA forbade its economy class passengers from checking in luggage Heathrow Terminal 4 owing to a breakdown in the baggage check in system.

Other airlines manually dealt with it, BA chose not to.

BA really needs to understand that its passengers (customers) are going to get fed up with being taken for granted and treated like this.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Britain's Worst

Well Done lads!

"British Airways was once again named Britain's worst airline for mishandling baggage, and the second worst in Europe.

The airline mishandled 1.14 million bags in 2007, an average 26.5 bags per 1,000 passengers

Source The Times

Monday, 18 February 2008

Late Again! II

Late Again! II
Congratulations to British Airways (BA) for ensuring that my return flight from Stockholm to London last night was only 30 minutes late.

Needless to say, no explanation was provided.

I guess that counts as an improvement in customer service?

Friday, 15 February 2008

£10 Refunds

Here's an interesting story on the BBC site:

People who flew with British Airways or Virgin Atlantic between 11 August 2004 and 23March 2006 may be entitled to a refund of £10 per flight.

The law firm Cohen Milstein expects to sign an agreement later on Friday in a class action suit with BA and Virgin.

BA was fined by US and UK authorities for price-fixing on fuel surcharges while Virgin also admitted breaching US and UK law but escaped the fines.

BA declined to comment while Virgin could not immediately be reached.

The settlement would cover customers in the UK and the US.

Cohen Milstein estimates that the settlement will be worth about $200m (£100m), £73.5m of which will be set aside to pay claims by passengers who bought tickets in the UK in pounds sterling.

Passengers and businesses that bought tickets would be eligible for refunds of up to £10 for each leg of a journey.

BA was fined £121.5m by the Office of Fair Trading and $300m (£150m) by the US Department of Justice for colluding with Virgin on the level of fuel surcharges that would be added to their ticket prices.

Virgin escaped the fines because it had informed the authorities that the breaches had happened.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008


Those of you who, like me, thought that when I was called to board the 16:30 flight to Stockholm yesterday that my troubles were over could not have been more wrong.

My, and my fellow travellers', troubles were only just beginning.

We duly assembled at gate 43, on time and ready to board the plane. Unfortunately, BA was not quite so ready for the passengers.

After some delay, passengers sitting in the back of the plane were called to board first. Having gotten them on board, there was a further delay.

I and my fellow passengers, yet to board, knew the problem.

BA had of course oversold the flight.

Well done BA!

The harassed looking "gatekeepers" asked if anyone was prepared to give up their seat for a paltry 150 Euros, they needed two people to volunteer.

No one seemed very keen, and a further delay occurred as BA played its version of a "Columbian stand off".

I entertained myself by discussing this latest cock up with my fellow passengers, they now all know about this site and will be visiting it; they all had been booked on the cancelled 14:15, and were not best pleased to be still standing at the boarding gate at 16:55.

As we all agreed, if there was going to be this sort of delay why did the flight status board not show it?

Another rather obvious question is why did BA oversell the flight, and put their customers to such inconvenience?

BA Customer RelationsGiven that I had nothing better to do, I rang BA Customer Relations at 17:00.

Guess what?

They close at 17:00; there was no one there to talk to.

Great customer care BA, well done!

After further delays, and appeals for people not to board, we finally took our seats at 17:20.

Now here's the rather odd thing, guess who was sitting in the seat directly in front of me?

Yes, that's right, a BA employee.

Why was BA looking to find two paying passengers to give up their seats, when there was at least one BA employee on board taking up much needed room?

Do you think that our troubles were over?

Don't be ridiculous!

BA, through their own fault, having delayed the boarding of the 16:30 to 17:20 had of course lost their take off slot.

We finally took off at 18:30, two hours late! This of course ignores the fact that I was meant to have taken off at 14:15!

Doubtless BA will try to blame BAA. However, a large part of this is clearly down to BA.

I will of course be writing to Willie Walsh about this, he is already well aware of this site. However, unlike other CEOs of major plcs, he does not answer customer letters. Therefore I do not expect any response.

Customer care the BA way!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

The VIPs - BA Style III

Four hours in the BA lounge later, and I am advised that my 16:30 flight will be called for boarding at still my beating heart!

The VIPs - BA Style II

Further to my earlier post about being stranded at Heathrow because of "fog", I took the opportunity to check out the BAA site for Heathrow.

Guess what?

No mention of it there.

Why not?

Neither does the BA site!


The VIPs - BA Style

Those of you with a penchant for classic films may well recall that fine film from the early 1960's starring Richard Burton, Liz Taylor, Margaret Rutherford etc.

It followed the lives, over a period of 24 hours, of a group of disparate travellers stranded at Heathrow in the fog.

Forty years on, here I am stranded at Heathrow in the BA lounge.

I was planning to catch the 14:15 to Stockholm, but was helpfully texted by BA at 11:45 this morning telling me that my flight was cancelled.

Pity I was en route at the time!

I duly called BA, and some 15 mins later (having listened to countless adverts for online check in, carbon offset and other assorted junk) I was finally able to speak to a human being.

Seemingly fog, of which there is very little, has caused disruption to my flight and the flights of a few others.

I rebooked myself onto the 16:30, and duly checked in at the airport.

Check in went without incident, aside from the fact that I was told that I was 2 hours too early to check in my bag. Given that this was not down to any fault on my part, it was agreed that a special dispensation would be granted and that the check in guy would do all he could to get my bag checked in.

On arrival at the lounge, the BA check in lady told me that I could come in but that I should keep my eye on the announcements.

It seems that they are not confident that they will launch the 16:30 either.

I still remain bemused, as the weather is clear and bright.

Where the fark is the fog?

I will post updates during the day.

Flying The Flag

BA will have the pleasure of my company today.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Size Matters

When you are the size, and importance, of BA you know that you can use your muscle to your advantage.

There is something of a row brewing between the non BA airlines using Heathrow and BAA (the owners of Heathrow), over the alleged competitive disadvantage they are facing when British Airways moves into Terminal 5 in March.

When BA moves in, other airlines will be forced to move to older terminals; these will resemble a building site.

As if to add insult to injury the other airlines are not being offered a discount for their trouble. British Airways is also not being asked to pay a premium for its facilities. Landing fees are based on weight of aircraft and passenger numbers, not the quality of the terminal.

As one airline boss told The Telegraph:

"Because it is the UK flag carrier, BA does get things handed to it on a plate."

Let us hope that BA remembers that it is mortal.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Money Well Spent

Congratulations to British Airways for spending £40M, in order to secure the rights to use the much derided "Lisa Simpson Gives Head" London Olympics logo.

Lisa Simpson Gives Head

Money well spent!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Pensions Blackmail

The battle over Heathrow's new runway is becoming ugly.

Tory MP John Randall has accused British Airways of trying to blackmail retired staff into backing Heathrow expansion, by suggesting that their pensions may be at risk.

The Daily express reports that BA has sent a leaflet to former workers, urging them to write to Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly to back plans for a third runway.

The pamphlet warns that the security of pensions for retired staff depends directly on the success of BA and Heathrow.

Willie Walsh (CEO) says that former employees have an important role to play in Heathrow's future; he notes that the Liaison Council, which represents retired staff, has backed the plans.

Shadow transport secretary, Theresa Villiers, weighed in as well and is quoted in the Express:

"Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of Heathrow expansion, former employees of British Airways should not be subject to this sort of pressure and manipulation ... people should be able to make up their own minds.

I am very concerned that BA has chosen to exert this pressure on its former staff, which I believe is inappropriate and unhelpful to the debate

BA rejects the allegations:

"Any suggestion British Airways would bully any of its staff, retired or current, to support expansion is entirely without foundation. The Liaison Council operates independently of British Air-ways. It communicates with retired staff in the way it wishes."

This is not the first attempt by BA to encourage others to support its plans for a third runway. In November 2007 it wrote to all of its executive club members trying to drum up support.

In that letter Willie Walsh claimed that expansion would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 330,000 tonnes a year, because aircraft would no longer have to waste fuel queuing for take-off or circling while waiting to land.

It then transpired that, according to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the claim was not quite correct. ASA wrote to BA ordering it to withdraw the claim.

Monday, 4 February 2008


Oh dear, last place!

"British Airways passengers suffered the worst flight delays and misplaced baggage problems among travellers on leading European airlines last year.

According to figures published yesterday by the Association of European Airlines, BA ranked 25th among the 26 airlines that disclosed statistics for the number of delayed bags per 1,000 passengers last year. Only TAP Air Portugal had a worse record. And between October and December of last year BA ranked last.

Source FT.

Let's see how they do when they move to Terminal 5 at Heathrow.