British Airways Loses Millions In Business Because They Mistreated One Customer’s Daughter In Barbados

Daddy Buys 2 Million Pounds Of British Airways Tickets Every Year… Make That “Used To Buy”

How many times have you wanted to really harm a company when they treat you badly? For most of us, all we can do is hold wicked thoughts because for the most part we are powerless. Companies like British Airways regularly overbook and then tell you “pound salt”. They can ruin your vacation, destroy your business trip, strand you half way around the world with not so much as a clean pair of shorts or a toothbrush and then offer you a twenty-dollar voucher after weeks of complaining.

That is reality for most of us.

And then there are the very few who are able to do what we would all love to. Revenge can be so sweet…

Ladbrokes has stopped using British Airways for corporate travel after the airline tried to bump the chief executive’s 14-year-old daughter and a friend off a flight from Barbados.

Chris Bell, the bookmaker’s boss, has complained to the airline’s chief executive, Willie Walsh, and instructed the betting group’s travel agent, FCM Travel Solutions, not to book its 14,000 staff on BA flights unless there is no alternative. Ladbrokes spends more than £2m a year with BA.

Mr Bell, a BA Gold Card member, said Barbados was the final straw after recent problems involving Ladbrokes’ staff and the airline – including the Terminal 5 fiasco.

Mr Bell was accompanying his daughter and her friend on a flight from Barbados to Gatwick on April 8.

Having checked in their luggage, BA staff then told him that, while there was room for him, there was no space for the girls on the flight…

… continue reading this article at Telegraph UK (link here)

17 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

17 responses to “British Airways Loses Millions In Business Because They Mistreated One Customer’s Daughter In Barbados

  1. peltdownman

    It would be interesting to know if there were any BA staff or staff relatives on that flight. After all, somebody had to get bumped for them suddenly to be able to accommodate Mr Bell and the two girls. I have seen it all too often, when relatives or friends of the crew are upgraded on board and given other special treatments.

  2. Ady Hotep

    BA has been overbooking and then offering £250.00 to passengers not to travel for decades.Unfortunately £250.00 is nothing to Mr Bell,but to most of the great unwashed is nice little sum.BA just picked on the wrong geezer and I am sure Willie Walsh will throw a few freebies at Ladbrokes and this will soon be forgotten.

  3. reality check

    between the new Terminal 5 and a lost luggage policy that allows BA to auction ones luggage off after several weeks, BA is just about the last airline anyone should choose in flying to Europe.

  4. Wendy

    Who doesn’t have a complaint against an airline and are any of them any better? I’ve always considered BA one of the better ones.

  5. reality check

    Yes all airlines have their problems but Heathrow and BA have become monolithic.

    When a problem arises they are not capable of functioning effectively or efficiently. You have to phone 10 times for hours and sometimes days on end to have someone answer the phone and then often they are bewildered as you are as to what is going on.

    When possible, you have a better chance of going through Paris, Frankfurt or Amsterdam without problems.

    Gatwick is not too bad but BA’s policy of seriously overbooking on 8 hour, one a day flights is not good policy.

  6. I don’t think BA will be losing any sleep over losing lost revenue of 2 million pounds a year. That’s just a drop in the ocean for them. They waste a hell of lot more than that, on management lunches every year!!!

    Here is a wee story about the quality service operated by Virgin on my flight to Barbados last summer; we were in premium class, not long after the flight took off, my wife to be discovered her seat was damaged, it wouldn’t straighten, which was a total pain in the ass, and extremely uncomfortable! There was nothing they could do to fix it and no other seats, they offered amazing levels of compensation! one bottle of champagne and £75 . All I could do was thank Virgin for their care and kindness on our way to getting married.

  7. Thewhiterabbit

    Fly Virgin! They have a few policies that are awkward, but by and large they understand, or at least are the last ones to even attempt to understand the concept of service. We were in Britain when the Virgin train derailed on the way to Scotland. The fact that The Boss was on the scene within six hours lets one know just how seriously management takes customer service. Mr. Branson obviously couldn’t do much at the wreck, but the fact that he showed up spoke volumes to his companies’ commitment to its customers.

  8. I vowed in 2000 that I would never fly BA again. My best friend’s husband died of a heart attack (at the age of 50) in London; they had a return ticket back to Australia. In spite of the intervention of the Australian Consul, BA refused to allow their daughter (who was currently resident in UK) to assume the return ticket of her father back to Oz to accompany her mother and the body (despite charging some £5k for transport of his body back home). BA insisted that the daughter purchase a ticket at circa 1800 for the short notice return that she would have to escort her Dad’s body with her mum, back to Oz. No credit was to be given for the monies already paid for the ticket from London back to Oz. The attitude was really rude. Unbelievably so. I tried it for them.

    It was only on the intervention of Qantas (via Australia) that she was able to go back with her Mum (and the corpse)at a sensible fare, some 800 instead of the 1800 demanded by BA, on a Qantas flight. Nonetheless, she should not have had to pay this amount in such traumatic circumstances.

    I’d already had bad treatment with BA (I would fly KLM from Cairo return rather than BA direct, for years, because of the arrogant land and airside crew. And I was a Brit, god help me) and this was the last straw. I emailed all my friends and workmates about the appalling customer service. And I have never, ever, travelled BA again. Nor ever will.
    Yours, disgruntled and ashamed to be British…
    Lynn

  9. B.A.SUX

    BA Sucks!

    What a shame that anything unpleasant should happen to thenm, eh?
    British Airways SUCKS!
    and I mean that in the nicest possible way!

  10. vetlet

    LAst time I flew from Barbados to the UK, they threatened to bump me. Much argument later: I was going back to have an exam at uni, they let me travel on board.

    They also tried to make me put my violin the in luggage hold that time. Until I pointed out that it was worth way more than my ticket price (> £1000), and that they would be responsible for it.

  11. Virgin atlantic fan

    I am tired with BA… I always opt to travel with Virgin if I can as I have been let down so many times by BA. Most recently, today, when I booked two flights to Frankfurt for myself and a colleague and the booking system wouldn’t allow me to add my colleagues name, so the itinery came through as myself flying twice on the same flight. I naturally called them up straight away thinking it should be a simple processs to change names, especially as it appears to be a fault at their end. Unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be the case. Almost an hour later, I finally gave up and accepted their £30 name change fee. How ridiculas is this??? I am now personally out of pocket for a business flight. You’d think that they would let their procedures slip for once, when there is no evidence of who is in the wrong, but this is not the case. As someone pointed out on another blog, they like profitting from their own errors. The fact that the system allows the same name twice, without prompting an error message or note is what makes me particularly angry in this instance. The support and relationship staff, including management were all quite rude too, not one saying sorry or empathising with the situation at all. And to make matters worse, they wont let me complain until after I fly, but then what good is this going to do me? If anyone can offer any help or advice in this situation please advise.

  12. Angie

    My family (5 adults) booked a christmas holiday flying from Manchester to New York with a change over in Heathrow! BA lost all of our luggage for 6 days. We were given several promises of ‘the luggage will arrive at the hotel for 11.15am’ which later changed to ‘your luggage will arrive to your cruise ship for 1.30pm’. Neither of these empty, ‘lip service’ promises came to fruition and we waited a further 6 days. As the cruise ship did not sell a large selection of ladies clothes, the two ladies in the party purchased mens shorts to wear in the day. Getting ready for the evening meal was easy we didn’t need to think about what we were wearing, the ladies were dressed pretty quickly. As for the men, well shaving was a disaster – being used to electric and now the only shaver being a ‘bic’ cut throat (the toilet tissue was used up pretty quickly) by the end of the week people thought my husband was sleeping with cat woman! At night we wore the same clothes we travelled in, but we travelled from England in December wearing warm winter clothes to the Caribbean, we felt foolish wearing long trousers and a jumper. Then there was the ‘formal’ evenings – our brand new christmas pressie – ball gowns and tuxedos still tucked tightly in our cases somewhere between England and New York meant we wore jeans style trousers and jumpers or t-shirts! Needless to say our holiday and christmas festivities were ruined, we did not eat in the formal restaurants, take part in rock climbing, skating, swimming or use the gym and sauna facilities as we did not have appropriate attire and the ship did not stock swim wear or clothes appropriate to take part in these activities. Imagine being in the Caribbean with two large swimming pools and 3 jacussi and the salt spa in the sauna / gym rooms and not being able to use them! We were in bed on christmas eve for 10.15pm as we felt out of place, dirty as by now we had wore the same clothes, underwear and all for 5 days. And we needed to wash our socks so they would be dry for next morning – the on board hair dryer took a beating – any socks that weren’t dry were blow dried – what fun the boys had – hair dryer sock parachute launching across the cabin! I travelled in leather shoes, the first port of call for our ship was Labadee a tiny island without shops which is covered in sand, from the moment you step off the tender you are walking on sand. With temperatures in the 80’s and in true typical British style my long trousers were rolled up to above the knee and my leather shoes later ruined with salty white tide marks. We complained at every stage of the holiday and were kept informed of the lost luggage saga via the onboard guest relations department. We even complained at check in on our return flight as we had bought clothes, toiletries etc our luggage was now over weight – I was ready for check in staff when they expected an excess baggage charge, Don’t Think So! On our return from the two week holiday we complained in writing to BA. Our recent reply says we should complain in writing within 7 days of the flight, apparently this is clearly stated in small print on your flight ticket, well how can anyone complain in writing within 7 days when they are on holiday for 14 days, or when they are on a cruise ship, and baggage is missing for 6 of those days? BA’s compensation offer – £100 in BA flight vouchers – to be used in 12 months, via telephone bookings only (0845 number), cannot be used with travel agent, or ba.com bookings, none transferable….. In my letter of complaint I made it clear we would not be travelling with BA again and the compensation complaint was also about the whole ruined vacation, cruise, christmas holiday and the stress and upset caused. This is an insult, they think they have the monopoly on the market but that is only because the public allow it, we should stand together and book with other air lines who appreciate us.

  13. jimmie

    Try Emirates

  14. Mike D

    British Airways Frequent Flyer Program must be the worst ever…
    I regularly fly Phoenix to Abu Dhabi – miles awarded 2100!!! (Because you have the “economy” ticket, you don’t get the 12,000).
    Since 2001 I’ve accumulated 185,000 miles. Every time I try to redeem miles – no flights available (even trying 3 months in advance). I mentioned this to the BA Executive club “lady” – she stated “We have loads of complaints like this, I shouldn’t be telling you this, but go to American, they’re our partners and you can use our miles on their flights, it’s much easier. Also… last week I tried to get a ticket from Phoenix to Abu Dhabi, and I found one — but… 85,000 miles plus $650 ?? The flight without miles would cost $1250? Why should I waste 85,000 miles for $600? Have you noticed when you book a flight with BA, there is a price for the flight, say $600, then “fees, taxes etc” $650… So this is their way of you only using miles for the “fare” part but have to pay cash for the other half…. Other airlines only charge a minimal “taxes”, but BA word their fees so they can charge you for half the fare when using miles…
    In 8 years, I’ve never been able to upgrade using miles…. BA’s reason…. you have the wrong type of ticket, you can only use miles to upgrade when you have a “full economy” ticket.
    I guess I’ll be using my miles on AA and switching to AA for future bookings.

  15. Jinx

    I have not flown on BA for the last 20 years. And why should i when with Virgin Airlines my frequent flyer miles are so easily accumulated and utilized no matter the class of ticket?

  16. Mike D

    Similar to Virgin Atlantic fan… I was in Abu Dhabi and wanted to change my flight for a date later the following week. I enquired and got a change fee of $200 from their website. Next day, after finalizing a date with my customer, I tried to get onto BA website, but it would not allow me to change my booking, continually objected. I called BA but was told there was a problem, they even tried to do it as if they were me, but got the same objection. I was told they could do it manually for an additional $50, or I could keep trying, they still admitted there was a problem. The following day, and the next, the site still would not let me change. I called BA again and got the same message – $50 more for using a “person”. So I agreed, but….. that $200 change was not available anymore, the only seats were $350 more, plus the $50!!! I explained the saga of the past few days, but was met with apathy. I had to buy the $400 change even though they admitted the website had problems – “You can wait and try again to save the $50”, yes, and no doubt the ticket change would go up again. So much for customer relations – they don’t know the meaning of the words..

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