British airways are rubbish

(42 Posts)
Bugnor Fri 17-May-13 06:46:36

We're due to fly out to mallorca with our 9 month old baby on our first holiday in four years (didn't even manage a honeymoon due to work commitments and finances) and booked with BA to fly to Mallorca. Part of the reason for choosing them was their policies towards families signposted all around their sight. 'Sit together' , 'travel together' etc etc so even though it was £300+ more than other hauliers we thought ah sod it its our treat and booked with them last year. We booked our seats together. Today I received an email for our booking(a week before we fly so I can't even cancel and rebook with a better airline) and thought I'd log on and check everything and they've moved us to separate seatssad. I tried to move them online but there aren't any options available. To add to the mix I've a broken hand and I'm pregnant smile (that's the good news in this story) anyway I called up and spoke to Stacey who was full of beans (not) and was 'well there's nothing we can do maybe the seats you booked weren't suitable' I explained to her that it doesn't allow you to book unsuitable seats and that our baby is 9 months, I'm pregnant and I have a broken hand and we'd have saved ourselves money and booked with someone else had we known that we'd have to sit separately 'well there's nothing we can do here' no sorry no lets try and sort this - nothing.

British airways are crap. You want to think that if you pay a bit more you get a bit more but honestly you're better off flying budget and at least not paying for crap customer service and poor treatment of families despite purporting to be a family friendly airline.

Is it just me or has anybody actually had a positive experience with British poorways?

mummymeister Fri 17-May-13 10:38:38

get on the phone to them asap. explain the situation and tell them in no uncertain terms that you will not take your seat unless you are together as you had asked/planned to be. ask for the supervisor and keep on going up the chain until they sort it. we had a similar problem on a longhaul with 3 kids all 5 of us in separate seats. the problem is that they give priority to people that pay rather than based on need. they can move the seats around they did it for us plus we got a voucher from them as well. if still not sorted on the day, see what they can do on the desk or even on the plane. Once watched whilst a lovely lady in your position gave the person next to her a bag "in case I am sick" funnily enough he swapped seats with her partner! Finally of course tell BA you have done this and that the negative publicity will be huge.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Fri 17-May-13 11:05:50

I have never had a problem with BA, the few times I have flown with them they have been great. We are flying BA this year too.

I would phone again and speak to someone who knows what they are talking about.

BA are terrible wrt this. Doing longhaul with my family, we had to pay a premium to be able to sit together. When the 'free' seat allocation opened (24 hrs before the flight) the booking service did not allow me to book seats together and gave me this farve that either I could pay or have to ask other passengers to move so we could sit together/nearer eachother!!

And to add insult to injury, you can use your airmiles to upgrade, but can't use them to pay the fee to sit together. Apparently, this policy has been introduced due to customers wanting/prepared to pay for a good experience ...

AllSWornOut Fri 17-May-13 11:16:47

Your best bet is being nice and friendly at check-in/gate and see what they can do then. Now they sell seat selection it's not a given you'll be sat together although for such a short flight I'd keep the seats as they are and be handing DC over to DH after take-off and sitting back to have a nice relaxing flight

MrsSalvoMontalbano Fri 17-May-13 11:30:25

Yes, what is the problem with your DH having the baby for the flight?

fedthefup Fri 17-May-13 11:37:21

Loads of cheap airlines let you pre book seats for less than a tenner, Easyjet, Jet2, Ryanair etc.

SoupDragon Fri 17-May-13 11:42:04

Is it just me or has anybody actually had a positive experience with British poorways?

I have had nothing but positive experiences with British Airways.

Crutchlow35 Fri 17-May-13 12:52:24

I never understand why people HAVE to sit together. Stick your DH with the child and enjoy the peace and quiet. I know I would. You also need to check you are fit to fly with a broken hand.

Really, it is a couple of hours on a plane and I am lost why you can't just get on with it.

I fly BA frequently. Nothing but high praise for them.

givemeaclue Fri 17-May-13 13:23:17

Agree with pp why the need to all sit together for such a short flight? Why would you payhundreds of pounds etc for that. 300 Extra to sit together, but why?

We have a 12 hour flighttomorrow, not bothered whether we are sat together!

givemeaclue Fri 17-May-13 13:26:02

Anyway, to your point op, yes, you should have saved the 300 and flown budget airline, there isn't a vast difference. I have always found BA fine but prefer not to book with them in case of strikes although they haven't had any for a few years now ( must be due one)

I have used BA and find them to be generally okay (better than VA for instance). Their website is also v easy to use and costs are upfront.

Flying on a "budget" airline would not have cost you a lot less than what you are paying now once you add all the fees and baggage costs in for the three of you.

It sounds like they've changed the plane due to operational reasons and as a result seat allocations get moved. Unless you paid at the time of booking for seats to be together (this option is offered at the time but I do admit they do charge quite a sum for doing this) then you are more likely to be separated. I would talk to them again with regards to your broken hand.

Fluffy1234 Fri 17-May-13 15:46:26

I've always found British Airways really good. Having said that for a short haul flight I just book who ever is the cheapest and has the best time flights.
Hope you get it sorted. Try not to get stressed over a 2 hour flight and have a great holiday.

Bugnor Fri 17-May-13 17:03:06

Eerrrrr I'll tell you why we all want to sit together ... Because we paid for it! Dh could have the baby for the flight but then I'd have flown Ryan air and saved myself £300 at time of booking WITH BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE !! There are @ 100 people flying out and trust me every variation of cost, flight etc has been made. If you reserve seats at point of payment then you should be given those seats. NOT swapped at last minute. Enjoy your 12 hour flight separately givemeaclue. Clearly you adore your dh!! I personally do and want to sit with mine and my DS and that's why I paid for it!! Oh look I've paid £100 for a pair of leather shoes. Oh now they've got my money they're not leather. Never mind they fit I'll just wear them. It's customers like you who make it easy to be treated like pants. You get on with it love maybe you throw money away but I don't.

Bugnor Fri 17-May-13 17:04:23

Everyone else thanks for good solid advice and experiences will put it down to poor judgement on my part and try speaking to someone else. I'm sure it'll be fine just surprised after booking and website advertising that they'd do something so shoddy.

SoupDragon Fri 17-May-13 17:22:26

Did you mean to be so rude, Bugnor?

SoupDragon Fri 17-May-13 17:25:27

From their T&C

* A paid seat request cannot be guaranteed, as it may need to be changed for operational, safety or security reasons, even after boarding the aircraft.

* In the event that we have to change your seat we will endeavour to seat you in a suitable alternative. We will look to seat your party together in the first instance, and then if possible in your choice of window seat, middle seat or aisle seat. If you have paid for an exit row seat we will look to seat you in another exit row seat. If you are not completely satisfied with your replacement seat you are eligible to apply for a refund.

givemeaclue Fri 17-May-13 17:34:17

I am sure I will be sitting next to my dh on the flight op and I hope I am. But I wouldn't pay 300 extra for the privilege, especially when its not guaranteed. You paid extra to fly with an airline who saw they put families together but that was never a condition of you booking so they have not breached any agreement with you. Whereas the leather shoe example isedifferent.

I really hope that are sat together and surely you will be on the day, cut its not worth getting yourself stressed about, its a really short journey.

Have a lovely holiday

MABS Fri 17-May-13 17:52:03

planes go tech and need to be swapped all the time, err it's for safety reasons. Or would you perfer to sit together on a broken plane?

Beamae Fri 17-May-13 17:59:33

We flew with BA to South Africa with our 6 month old twins. Not only did they split us up, but we didn't get promised bassinets either. They gave us window seats too. In economy. Not the most convenient seats with a baby, I can tell you. Long stories from them about how all the bassinet seats had other parents and babies in them. Imagine my surprise when the whole row of bassinet seats in front of me was taken up by people with no children who refused to swap because they were so chuffed with their leg room.

BA are indeed crap. And the staff on that particular flight were doubly crap and came huffing along and shooing us back to our seats if my husband and I even perched next to each other for a minute to confer.

We've since had some sterling service from Thomson for 6 hour flights to and from Cape Verde in which they treated us like royalty right the way through the airport and gave us a whole row to ourselves in both directions to make it easier to manage. We were so impressed.

£300 to sit together?!! We've just returned from Majorca, flew with Thomson airways and prebooked seats as DD is 6mo. That cost £12 and on the way back we had an extra seat so DD got a seat to herself.
Can you ring them again and try talk to someone else or check in early in the hope there's other seats left

Bugnor Fri 17-May-13 19:19:01

Thanks soup dragon. I'll be applying for the refund!! No I didn't mean to be rude but I think it's pretty rude for people to be like oh it's only 1.5 of your life just deal with it. It's attitudes like that that see customers treated unfairly! Maybe for some people a trip to Mallorca or abroad is like getting on the train to York or Aberdeen but its a big deal for us. Our first family hols, our mini moon, first holiday together as a couple, that's why we justified spending a little extra to not fly budget. I won't be making the mistake again and it sounds like its not just my family BA are so flippant with. Apologies if I came across as wude!

givemeaclue Fri 17-May-13 19:35:12

What is a mini moon

Yup. We paid extra to sit together with the two young dc on BA to Rome. Once on the plane, stewardess then asked us to vacate three of our four seats, as they apparently included the only oxygen bit suitable for a baby hmm and another couple with a baby needed it.

We couldn't exactly say no, so had to be split up and lose the money (were refused a refund - in the small print, apparently). Can't help thinking, though, that either BA could have not made the 'special' seat one available for booking, or the other couple could have make an effort to book their own particular seats if they needed them.

Bugnor Fri 17-May-13 21:26:53

A mini moon is our version of a honeymoon not quite that as to keep costs down we are renting a villa with our family etc. it's us paupers version of a honeymoon two years after the event. Anyway that's irrelevant it shouldn't matter if its just our normal weekly routine you shouldn't be sold something, like specific seats only to remove that a week before you fly whatever you put in your small print. Don't specifically SAY in your advertising that you allow families to fly together because you don't British airways and a simple sorry it's technicalities etc may have even sufficed but just to be phlegmatic, rather like you givemeaclue is simply bad customer service. Perhaps if you had been duped you may feel as obdurate as I do. As I sincerely feel that I would've saved myself £300 and flown budget along with my FIL and other family etc.
givemeaclue as stated in my original post they didn't just show they put families together. Twice on their website, along with pictures, they SAY it. Do you work for BA?
Awesomewellies that's interesting and blooming unfair as I wonder if a 9month old is classified as a baby. Maybe they'll give us some rubbish excuse like that for moving us. Seems that some people and BA feel you should merely just be pleased to allowed to board the plane whatever the cost irrespective of false messages, and extra monies taken. Surely you can see all of our point on here. If it were for technical reasons MABS I could understand but they could have emailed to tell us they can see from bookings who has a young baby and pregnant etc as we had to fill out the whole lot during the booking process! And explain not just let me accidentally find out. Incidentally they've given us both window seats. Handy that with a baby!

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