View Full Version : british airways really don't care

4th Sep 2004, 17:39
last week my friends and myself (sponsored mountain bike team) went out to the alps from a scotish regional airport with BA. Basically to cut the story short shock horror our bags were lost (again) but this time at geneva - the flight arrived at 10.30pm local, we were not offered even a toothbrush but were told the bikes would arrive first thing next day... after making an unexpected night stop at an airport hotel the bikes (worth over £35000 between us) didn't arrive, so we went to our proper accom. After hrs phoning they could not trace the bags but eventually 6 arrived about 30hrs after thay should, but 1 still missing. We had to hire a bike (£70 for the day) and buy helmet, shoes etc till it did arrive (about48hrs later). It was prety badly damaged and must either have been jumped on several times or run over by a vehicle...
On the return flight we were charged approx £400 excess baggage even although the bags weighed the same on the outbound flight and upon arrival they didn't arrive. The BA staff member shrugged her shoulders saying it wasn't her problem.
The bikes did arrive finally but after a letter to BA explaining the delays, no toiletries, fines and a lack of care by their staff they wrote back basically saying "nothing to do with us" it must have been swiss international (they operated the geneva flight). Sorry but we paid BA so carry ourselves and our posessions SAFELY to the destination.
Other friends travelled with a budget airline had cheaper tickets, also had to pay for food - it's not included with swiss, even it you pay BA prices, and the bikes were free/arrived on time.

a lesson for us all???

well done easyjet - will use you very soon for the next trip

5th Sep 2004, 19:13
Unfortunate experience, but an annoyingly common one now and with little compassion from the airline atall! Easy though, just book on other airlines to avoid the hassle of our wonderfully run flag carrier!

6th Sep 2004, 14:42
needanewjob: a lesson for us all???How do we know that the lesson isn't this: If you buy a BA ticket, make sure the flight is ops BA.

6th Sep 2004, 18:37
very well - but if you pay British Airways to carry you it shouldn't matter who actually carries you should it the customer should still get BA's alleged quality service. Another gripe we had was that Swiss international is basically a no-frills carrier. After paying full BA prices we had to pay for drinks etc. But then again I'm not sure we wanted more mini donuts and kit-kats yet again....

6th Sep 2004, 19:38
Yes, this is a big problem with codeshares all over the place. BA's codeshares on IB suffer from the same problem. But BA do warn you when you buy the ticket that you will not get BA service but the service (or lack of it) of the operating carrier. Hence my observation.

6th Sep 2004, 21:53
Last fall I've got tickets on SAS (4 sectors) and one of the sectors been operated by Maersk (Denmark), and I eventually discovered that I need to pay for food and drinks on this flight. Considering that I've paid too much for such kind of flight (SAS is still one of the most expensive European carriers) I wrote a complain to SAS, pointing that full service reputable carrier like SAS should ensure that codeshare partners are providing the similar standart service before putting any codeshares on them. Two days later I've got feedback by e-mail from their customer relations dept, who was appologizing for inconvinience, assuring that my point will be taken to customer service board meeting and also I've been given SAS vouchers (worth EUR 100).
I believe that's a proper reaction from airline and my money are still with them (flown them 5 roundtrips since then).

7th Sep 2004, 07:51
Sorry to hear of your misfortune needanewjob.

Many of my colleagues, and mysrlf, are heartily sick of "codeshares" and "handling agents overseas" who masquerade in BA uniforms. (Nearly all "BA staff" overseas are actually employed by a handling agent or another airline - in the US, nearly all the staff you see are employed by America West!) Sometimes, their actions and customer sevice skills (lack of) make the rest of us cringe!

I really feel it's high time something was done in the UK and USA to force franchisees or partners to display the fact clearly. (You know instantly when you buy a Ford car that your buying from a franchised dealer - all the display panelling above the dealer tells you, the dealer's letterhead tells you - why should the same thing not be true for other businesses?)

I must hasten to add that GB Airways, who operate under our "house flag", are 100% on the level and a real pleasure to have as franchised partners. (Indeed, many of us at Gatwick feel that, after 09/11, we owe our jobs to GB who supported us through thick and thin!!!

Now, what "official" BA would say is this:

"You were made aware when you purchased your ticket that the flight was operated by LX (Swiss) - the cr*p outfit that rose from the ashes of bankrupt Swissair just as SN Brussels rose from the defunct Sabena!"

However, and I need a legal expert to help here, I do believe that if your contract was with BA, then we have a duty to take up your claim with Swiss on your behalf! (Please check this out because I don't like any of our customers to be "shafted"!)

That having been said, Swiss were acting within their rights to charge excess baggage. The damage claim is an entirely separate issue and, I'm afraid, the failure of the check-in staff to charge on the outbound sector does not matter a jot! Very often, we permit bikes, skis or surf boards to travel as part of the "weight based" baggage allowance BUT we are supposed to calculate volumetrically for these items (as nothing can be loaded on top of them, they take up an inappropriate amount of space in the hold). Indeed, on occasions, they are deliberately not loaded on to an aircraft in order to accommodate other pax baggage!

As a second thought, perhaps if you file a claim with your travel insurance company, they will reclaim the part the airline is responsible for themselves???

If we have any legal experts or people clewed up on travel insurance, perhaps they could help out here?

As far as the damage to the bikes is concerned, accidents do happen - I doubt very much if the damage was malicious. (I have personally witnessed a bike run over by a baggage truck) but, under the Warsaw Convention, airlines will compensate on a £ per kilo basis. (We're always told this is why we have to charge excess baggage charges - (a) to cover the extra fuel required and (b) to ensure enough money in the "kitty" to cover claims!)

8th Sep 2004, 10:15
Hi Bealine,

You said
Very often, we permit bikes, skis or surf boards to travel as part of the "weight based" baggage allowance BUT we are supposed to calculate volumetrically for these items (as nothing can be loaded on top of them, they take up an inappropriate amount of space in the hold). Indeed, on occasions, they are deliberately not loaded on to an aircraft in order to accommodate other pax baggage!

Aahhhh!!!....So that explains why a couple of years ago my bag turned up OK on a BA LGW-BOD flight, but my surfboard didnt...:p :hmm:

What was really amusing about this (and why I remember it so well) was the reaction of the lost luggage girl at Bordeaux....

Me: Hi!, Looks like my surfboard didnt make it from Gatwick, though my bag did?!?
Girl: Could you describe you bag please, sir.
Me: Yeah, no problem, its a Surfboard.
Girl: Could you be more specific, sir, chose from this card.(hands SD a card with photos of various suitcases/bags.)
Me: Well, it isnt like any of these. Like I said its a surfboard.....
Girl: Well, try to give an indication of which photo your lost baggage looks like the most.
Me: Err....Well, like I said, it isnt a bag, its a surfboard....White, 6-7ft long in a clear & grey cover. You cant mistake it for anything else except a surfboard....

.......and this conversation went on like this for another few exchanges, with the girl trying to point to possible bags on her photo card, before she would accept I had lost a Surfboard....not a golf bag....not a hocky bag.... not ski gear.....but a surfboard:rolleyes:

Always makes me laugh to think about it!:} :D

Regards, SD..

BTW: BA had my board delivered to the house here the following evening, no probs.:ok:

B Sousa
8th Sep 2004, 13:02
Scary thread for those who travel with expensive toys. Should be a warning to ANYONE who travels with baggage outside the norm of a "suitcase". This stuff gets special handling and that sometimes means it does not get on the plane.
I certainly dont know any secrets but I keep my baggage simple and have yet to lose any. I should think for those with these extras, they may consider shipping ahead and certainly getting some kind of insurance........
What say the crowd on this??

8th Sep 2004, 15:11
Advising the airline that you intend to travel with a humungous item a few days before you travel does help the load planners to maximise available stowage space.

However, as skydriller points out, if the "big thing" can't travel on your flight, it will follow at the first available opportunity!

9th Sep 2004, 10:30
BA were advised about the kit we were travelling with... If the bags were to be on the next flight (they weren't) we should have been advised. Unfortunately BA completely lost the bags and couldn't even trace them. In this age of hightened security how can you completely lose 7 large bags when they all have bar codes attached to them??? From our (the paying customers) point of view this was all bad enough but the fact BA's staff did not care that all our stuff has lost was a shocking way to run a business

Boss Raptor
9th Sep 2004, 12:14
Yep Bealine as stated in recent previous threads - if BA has sold u the ticket (whether by agent or direct) and it is identified primarily by a BA flight number on yr ticket (codeshare or not) then BA are responsible as the prime contractor - they cannot get out on 'we sold you a BA flight but it was actually XYZ airline on our behalf' - even if they are claiming purely acting as 'sales agent' and ticket was BA ticket and indicated alternative carrier, frankly doubtful they could claim this for a codeshare, then they are also liable...

Problem is it is too easy for both staff and corporate to use the 'not us' excuse

11th Oct 2004, 17:35
well BA's first reply typically skirted around the main issues, then blamed Swiss.
Their second letter again didn't answer the main points - such as how the airline can completely loose 7 large bags but told us all about BA's codeshare networks and told me to write to swiss (even although we paid BA for the "service") - how do they know Swiss lost and damaged the bags. They could still have been sitting on the tarmac in scotland or in the ba baggage area at heathrow?
They haven't replied for over a month to my latest letter
Swiss acknowledged the incident over a month ago now but still no reply.

Fantastic customer service!!

11th Oct 2004, 21:01
you have the gall to say:

""in the US, nearly all the staff you see are employed by America West!) Sometimes, their actions and customer sevice skills (lack of) make the rest of us cringe!"

Have you ever flown America West? If not, don't throw stones at Glass Houses etc. They offer a far superior product than BA could ever hope to ever achieve.

Imagine how America West feels having to deal with pompous BA employees who believe their sh*t don't stink day after day after day.


Carnage Matey!
12th Oct 2004, 01:27
I've flown America West. They were good by American standards but below average by European standards.

12th Oct 2004, 06:36
don't take offence, nothing personal against US but I agree with Carnage Matey.
America West (as many US airlines) is below EU standards and surely way below BA standards.
And I'm not a BA employee.

12th Oct 2004, 09:43
Can't say I'm that impressed by America West (America's Worst?)

Example #1. Flying PHX to MSP. Trolley comes round.

FA:'What do you want to drink?'
Radeng: 'If you please, may I have a club soda?'
FA: 'Whaddyer mean, 'if you please' - Are trying to piss me off?'
Radeng: stunned silence!

Example#2. Flying SAN - PHX, connecting into BA PHX - LHR. 'Incoming flight delayed for tech reasons, please come to the desk for re routing.'

Clerk: 'What's your final destination tonight?'
Radeng: 'London Heathrow'
Clerk: ' Oh, sh*t!'
Radeng: 'If we don't make the connection, I suppose you arrange a hotel?'
Clerk: 'That's Phoenix's business, but I don't think so.'

Fortunately, BA held the flight for the two of us connecting.......

13th Oct 2004, 18:15
Bealine,- and others. Hmm. Fact is that the franchise carriers outperform BA mainline on nearly all parametres nearly every month. In other words they deliver the BA specifications of service quality, style and punctuality better than BA does.

13th Oct 2004, 19:20

I dont hear anyone moaning too much about the Franchise Carriers, but more the One-world Partners.....

......and the same applies to other major European airlines and their partners, the one that springs to mind for me is Air France and Delta:yuk:

Regards, SD..

13th Oct 2004, 19:50
Please don't take my comments out of context = I was referring to the fact that America West, acting in their capacity as a handling agent, or indeed any other airline acting in that way, does not have the same customer service interests as the principal carrier, in this case BA! By and large, the agents do a good job with the straightforward check-in transactions but screw up the 5% of complex ones!

When the customer knows they are dealing with a handling agent, all well and good, but when that agent dresses its staff in BA uniforms and masquerades them as BA staff, it is the genuine staff on the aircraft and at the arrival airport that bear the brunt of the passengers' frustration!!!

IMNSHO, the Customer Service standards in all businesses in the USA are grossly overrated. Try going into Macy's or Bloomingdales and asking for something they don't sell - the staff then become rude and positively aggressive, proving that the welcoming smiles and "How are you today's" are a false veneer!!! The standards in Singapore and the Far East are the genuine article - hence why Singapore Airlines wins the top (unprejudiced) accolades year after year after year!

Our franchised carriers, (eg) GB Airways, British Mediterranean, Comair etc) do a very good job and have never been criticised by this poster!

13th Oct 2004, 22:10
I don't take anything personal. I'm just trying to give my perspective on the service I receive.

The last time I flew BA was from Manchester to JFK with a stop at Prestwick to pick up more passengers. That might age some of you. The plane was 25% full, if that. We were served lunch about an hour out of Prestwick and that was it. Nothing else the whole flight. 20 years later, I can still remember the grandma about 4 or 5 rows back pleading with the Flight Attendant for some biscuits as she was starving to death...obviously an exagerration, but she was definitely hungry. The reponse was "we'll be landing in a couple of hours and you can get some food then. We're finished serving for the flight"

As the saying goes,money talks and sh*t walks. Well after the flight I walked. The difference between BA and America West or any US airline is expectations. When you pay top $$$ to fly BA, you expect to be treated like a valued customer and receive compensatory service. When flying America West or any other US airline, you expect little or nothing and that's what you get on these 2 -4 hour flights. Flying coast to coast is a 6 hour jaunt for me and I usually receive a meal and a snack. But I don't expect anything more.

Hope that clears it up.


surely not
14th Oct 2004, 08:56
The SN family flew with America West a couple of years ago, Newark to Colombus, Ohio on a 757, then Colombus to La Guardia on a CRJ, and we were perfectly happy with the flights. Neither flight was very long in duration and the in flight service was what we expected. The Cabin crew were friendly and efficient on both sectors; so I suppose we were lucky twice over :D

Back in UK there used to be an airline called British Caledonian and this airline had a fantastic reputation for its crews attitude to pax. However I experienced a flight back from the States where the crew were far from endearing. It seems that they hadn't had a good stop over and the rankles were being carried into the work place. Moral of the story...... don't condemn an airline on the basis of one bad flight, you might be unlucky enough to be on the one flight a year where standards aren't what they should be.

14th Oct 2004, 09:11
A lot of people on here seem to have forgotten that air travel is nowadays synonymous with bus travel! Free "collect the token" flights to the US, 99p trips with Ryanair, £175 flights across the pond etc......come on, you are not really entitled to anything much!
If, however, you've paid (not been upgraded!!!) to travel First or Business, it's a different story!

Nigerian Expat Outlaw
14th Oct 2004, 09:46
Some years ago I flew LGW-DFW on BA economy, returning three days later in business. Both ways the service was good for the class I was in.

Until three years ago I regularly travelled LGW-LOS-LGW on BA economy and they were consistently the worst flights I've ever done in terms of service, courtesy, information etc. This from the ground staff as well as the cabin crew. Very rarely did I meet someone who actually seemed happy in their work, it all seemed like a chore.

I can only speculate, but that route is dominated by "Oilfield Trash" in economy and rich Nigerians in First and Business who pay for (and get) the service they want. The staff know that the majority of economy passengers don't pay for their own tickets and as such maybe an element of respect is lost ?

Two months ago my wife and I flew to Frankfurt on BA. We were offered a cling flimed piece of cake and one drink. My wife asked for a glass of water as well as her cup of tea and the flight attendant ran off to ask her supervisor if this was OK !! This was on a full fare, so-called full service flight.

I have switched to Virgin LHR-LOS-LHR, as the service is far better and almost all the staff are consistently polite, cheerful and helpful.

Sorry for BA, but they have lost it. Maybe a morale problem ?

15th Oct 2004, 08:35
N E O - I think the problem you encountered on the BA LOS flights is one of cultural ignorance and general route disdain!

I worked for BA on 747 routes and remember the LOS trip on rosters being met with, "oh no, not another bl**dy Lagos!" If I'm honest, in my day (!) the crew found the pax over demanding and quite rude. Add to the equation a vile, smelly Sheraton in Lagos and a huge problem with credit card fraud on the duty free rounds and you might see that crews generally hated the trip and so probably did see it as a chore!
On the other spectrum, a NRT (Tokyo) or SIN (Singapore) was always met with absolute joy - Japanese pax, as an example, were (past tense as I no longer fly!!) extremely polite, grateful, tidy and the destination meant you could leave the hotel without fear of being mugged or shot! (When I worked for BA we were literally confined to the Sheraton in Lagos!).
Unfortunately, there was a surprising lack of cultural awareness at BA and the fact that you choose to fly VS to Nigeria is possibly because they employ Nigeria based crew, who can fully understand and meet the pax needs!
Am I providing an excuse for BA? Certainly not, but I'm providing an honest answer to your post!
As for the BA flight to FRA, all I can say is crew receive memos from management and one that goes around now is how much each pax is entitled to in their respective cabin, i.e the set down service guideline for shorthaul economy paxs is: a snack followed by tea/coffee OR a drink from bar, DO NOT offer both!!

Maybe people should remember that if a crew give very little, they are doing it generally because "management" have told them what the pax is allowed to get!!!!

15th Oct 2004, 11:05
Have things really changed that much recently in Euro Traveller? Last time I flew with them in August from LGW-BCN, they did a bar round and I asked for (and got) a beer and a glass of water... maybe they just liked my face...

Then they did tea after 'all day deli' and I had 2 cups of tea - no questions asked. In any case if a pot of tea is made I can't really see them turning down somebody's request for tea because they've already had juice and then throwing away half a pot down the sink... a pot of tea costs pennies to make anyway!

By the way, does anybody take their own flasks of tea on no service carriers or is this not allowed on the grounds that you could disable a cabin crew member by scalding them with it? :)

26th Oct 2004, 11:43
By the way, does anybody take their own flasks of tea on no service carriers or is this not allowed on the grounds that you could disable a cabin crew member by scalding them with it?

I recently flew first time with Ryanair , Luton-Milan Bergamo round trip. Enjoyed it lots, clean aircraft , crew were very nice and friendly - but the poor girls looked very tired. When the trolley arrived - I did feel a bit peckish but resisted but I think next time I shall smuggle a sarnie and a flask in - but like you I'm not sure if my secret mini hamper will get "confiscated" once spotted.

PS, a tip for those wishing to get a bit of comfort on low cost flights, look like a muslim and grow a long beard like ZZ Tops. That way no will sit next to you and you will have 3 seats to yourself like I did, on both flights...

PS PS: Im not sure if I was being paranoid, but at check ins, lots of people in the queue stared at me - was it out of fear , I dunno, I should have gone upto them and said "woof woof" and watched them jump...but that would have been cruel. Would you be scared to fly if a Muslim with a long beard sat next to you ? just curious

Final 3 Greens
26th Oct 2004, 12:36
I'd be scared if anyone with a long beard sat next to me ;)

27th Oct 2004, 10:16
okay youv'e just won a free seat next to me :}

27th Oct 2004, 14:00
PsychedelicGoat: I doubt that I would be any more scared to sit next to you than you would be to sit next to a clean shaven atheist? :)

As I recall, those that were involved in the 9/11 events were in regular wetern clothes? But the human being is a tribal animal and the mob like simple statements and GWB gives them just that. I do like your way of getting extra seats, though.

As to taking your own refreshments on board ... I never use FR so cannot comment. EZY do not have any statement (that I can find) on their web site to prevent this. In the past, I have brought sandwich, water and choccie bar and no one has said anything. A flask of tea might be considered more risky.

"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

28th Oct 2004, 10:18
I haven't flown EZY yet , their prices seem pricier than Ryanairs (both are low cost so why pay more thats my logic) - I am instead thinking of flying with BA to Milan this time just to check out their service, but I'm only "thinking", I've heard of BA planes getting delayed as well so weighing up the pros and cos, - a return with BA ~ approx £100, and Ryanair approx £37 (plus another £30 to get you back and fro from the airport !)...

Problem with ryanair is that the airport in Milan is actually MILES away from the city.

..But I'll keep my sarnie on standby till I make up my mind :E

Pax Vobiscum
28th Oct 2004, 17:27
I reckon both Bergamo ('Milan' in FR-speak) and Malpensa are about 30 miles from central Milan (Linate is 6 miles). BA fly to both Malpensa and Linate, so check which one your flight is going to :D.

I always use Linate, so I can't comment on actual travel times (I believe Malpensa has a fast train link).

30th Oct 2004, 14:17
By the way, does anybody take their own flasks of tea on no service carriers or is this not allowed on the grounds that you could disable a cabin crew member by scalding them with it?

I have seen whole picnics being taken on board locos and charter flights.

Pax always argue the weight of their handbaggage as well, "it might weigh 10kgs now, but it will weigh nothing when we arrive." :\

2nd Nov 2004, 16:36
Since this thread is titled as it is - I thought that I would add a compliment to BA. In another thread, about baggage, I mentioned that my case was 24 hours late back from Rome in September but it was delivered the next day and all contents OK. Save for having had to have the suit pressed!

However, the case was badly damaged and today I have received the compensation payment which is fair and covers the dry cleaning and hassle. Much appreciated and I can now go and look for a new case.

Well DONE to customer relations and I must drop them a note of thanks.


4th Nov 2004, 07:26
“British Airways don’t really care.” That is far from true. Having read many of the letters having a go at BA I felt I must come to their defence. I have been involved in aviation for some 40+ years and flown world wide with many carriers as a fare paying passenger including several no frills airlines and at some time in all classes of cabin. Of all the airlines I have flown with I will say that BA has always been at the top along with the likes of Singapore Airlines. I have always found the cabin staff extremely efficient, polite and helpful and before restrictions came into force I found the Aircrew always made one welcome on the flight deck. Perhaps I have been fortunate but never has my baggage gone astray during a flight it has always appeared on the carousel at the end of the trip.

A short time ago I was travelling to Tel Aviv with the mother of a friend of mine who was in her 80s unfortunately we arrived at Gatwick without her suitcase. I informed the girl on BA’s check in desk of the problem and explained that I had telephoned the lady’s daughter to arrange for the suitcase to be brought to the airport. The lady lived but 30 minutes from the airport. I was told not to worry and to return at a set time just before the check in closed. Unfortunately, that time arrived and we had to check in without the case. The girl said that if it arrived in time it would be checked in and put on the flight. We boarded and had an excellent flight to Tel Aviv. On arrival we were met by a BA representative, who explained that the bag had arrived but it was too late to be put on the aircraft and would be arriving on the next flight. We were instructed to report it to the staff in the baggage hall who assisted in clearing the bag with customs for delivery to the house when it arrived. Next day the suitcase was delivered to the lady’s house free of charge. BA’s service was excellent. They would have been in their rights to have charged us the delivery of the case as it was our own error it wasn’t checked in not theirs. I will always fly with BA if they operate on the route I need to travel.

4th Nov 2004, 09:44
It just goes to show what a poor standard of service we have come to accept from airlines when some are congratulating them for not charging us for reuniting us with baggage the airline has lost, and are compensating us for damage to our property that's in the airline's care.

BA once lost my luggage for over two weeks, I was away from home and had to purchase a whole new set of clothes at considerable expense, all I got was a (cheap) overnight toiletry kit when I reported it lost. But yes, when it was found they did ship it free of charge, to the wrong address.

5th Nov 2004, 07:14
It just goes to show what a poor standard of service we have come to accept from airlines when some are congratulating them for not charging us for reuniting us with baggage the airline has lost

MReyn24050 was actually compementing us on reuniting him with a bag which BA did not even have to carry (ie It arrived after check-in was closed, and for Tel Aviv - a classisfied high security risk area. (This was probably the reason why the bag couldn't travel until we were positive the passenger had already flown).

BA once lost my luggage for over two weeks, I was away from home and had to purchase a whole new set of clothes at considerable expense, all I got was a (cheap) overnight toiletry kit when I reported it lost

A cheap overnight kit is what is needed at the time. However, your Travel Insurance provides adequate cover for lost/misplaced/damaged personal items. This has always been the case wth all airlines! However, Ryanair or Easyjet wouldn't even give you a cheap overnight bag - they probably don't even know what one is!!!

If you don't have Travel Insurance, beware! The cost of taking you home on a stretcher following an accident (eg slipping on an icy pavement) can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds!!! (Ryanair and Easyjet "cheapo" pax, take note!)

5th Nov 2004, 08:17
I disagree bealine. I think that when it comes to loss of personal property, travel insurance is to pay out in the event of my negligence, not the airlines. Another example of a dreadful attitude from an airline, you are telling me that I should spend my money to protect against bad airline service, essentially offloading your responsibilities onto me.

Now if my name was Posh Spice....

5th Nov 2004, 09:03
I disagree bealine. I think that when it comes to loss of personal property, travel insurance is to pay out in the event of my negligence, not the airlines. Another example of a dreadful attitude from an airline, you are telling me that I should spend my money to protect against bad airline service, essentially offloading your responsibilities onto me.

It is your right to disagree - that's what public forums are for!

However, there are many. many reasons for lost/misplaced/damaged baggage and "bad airline service" accounts for fewer than 0.01% of baggage incidents involving British Airways' passengers. Because the investigations take time, and often involve third party claims (eg Airport Operators' Baggage Belt system failure (regular occurrence at Gatwick) results in BA's making a claim against the airport operator. Therefore, it is the individual's responsibility to claim from his/her Travel Insurers, who the claim from BA who, in turn, counter-claim from those responsible.

If we were to do as you suggest, and compensate all and sundry without question, airline tickets would not be sold quite as cheaply as they are now! You can't have it both ways!

5th Nov 2004, 09:28

Are you saying that once baggage has been handed to the airline, it is not their responsibility to pay for it and emergency replacement if lost/damaged by virtue of their, or someone acting on their behalf's, negligence?

I'va always worked on the basis that insurance for baggage is for baggage lost/stolen/damaged while in the passengers care, not in the airlines. Maybe I need to read the conditions of carriage....

The worst for losing my baggage is United (12 times in 36 flights): for damage, American and America West have it pretty equal. BA have managed to lose my bags once in I can't think how many flights and over 20 years - I've done over over 50 BA flights in the past year alone. Even then, it followed me home in under 12 hours. Discounting the times it never made the transfer at CDG.....even then BA have always been quick at getting it back.

5th Nov 2004, 10:08
radeng, I don't think a bag coming on the following flight is 'lost'. 'Lost' is when the carrier doesn't know where the bag is and doesn't happen very often at all. Prior to 9/11 when flying US airlines domestically it was quite common for me to arrive but my baggage to arrive on the next flight. Was it lost, don't think so. Southwest was always doing this to me, but it was due to them letting me check in 10 minutes before the flight left and still getting me on board. Sometimes the luggage just didn't make it. I didn't have a problem with that, in fact I quite liked the ability to check in so late. Internationally United Airlines has never put my bags on a different flight, domestically it used to happen all the time for above reasons, but now they make you check in 40 mins ahead of time. 9/11 has ruined it all.

bealine, there are good companies out there who will hold their hands up and say 'mea culpa' and look after their customers. There are bad companies that won't. Guess who get's the punter's money.

Edit: Actually radeng I tell a lie. United left my luggage behind once LHR-LAX, they were waiting for me when I deplaned and told me it would be on the next flight. As I was away from home they told me to spend upto $150 (I think) on clothes, bring them the receipts and would refund me. Pre chapter 11, not sure what would happen now.

5th Nov 2004, 10:33
radeng - British Airways will always take responsibility for lost/misplaced baggage, which, thankfully, is a rare occurrence with BA.

However, what I suggested, merely because of the length of time involved in settling claims for lost/damaged bags, is that the individual's best recourse is to claim from the Travel Insurance first and let them wrangle with the airline! The Conditions of Carriage spell out clearly the carrier's liability as agreed by the Warsaw Convention.

slm_slag - I suggest the fact that British Airways is now profitable, unlike the majority of European or US airlines speaks volumes regarding our standards of customer care! The only truly International carrier, in my experience, that rivals BA is that operated by the "Bearded One"!

5th Nov 2004, 10:45
bealine, you need to fly some of the asian airlines.

Frankly as a passenger I don't care if an airline is profitable, if one goes out of business another will take it's place. In my experience unprofitable airlines give the best customer service because they are spending other peoples money as if it is going out of fashion. Usually this is by paying high salaries to the employees (whoops!) and providing benefits to passengers that the cheap ticket prices don't cover. Seeing as I have zero loyalty to any airline (I am careful to quickly burn my double miles on the cheapest economy ticket) I will fly the one that gives me the biggest bang for my buck in the short term.

5th Nov 2004, 15:23
Bealine said:

>British Airways will always take responsibility for lost/misplaced baggage, which, thankfully, is a rare occurrence with BA.

'Rare occurrence' is certainly my experience. Plus having the best cabin crew (and generally speaking, check in staff - BA staff, not a agents) that the SLF has to deal with. Although I don't do long haul to the Far East these days, so I can't compare those airlines.

I would rather have liked to do LHR - Stockholm in the days of a DC3 on that route, though! Just for the experience. But I'm not old enough........although some days, it feels like it!

5th Nov 2004, 18:30
I have to say that BA is probably the best airline I have flown with regards to lost baggage... ie they very rarely lose it and when they have lost something of mine I have always had the bag/item(remember the surf board incident?!!) delivered to me wherever I want on the next available flight, even if its not my original destination with them......PLUS, no quibbles about a little compensation if it will be more than a day and I dont have any clothes to wear except those Im standing in - but then I have only asked for a small sum on that one occasion...

I do seem to remember BA went through a bad patch with LGW connections and baggage about 3 years ago-ish? Back then is the last time anything went astray with them for me, maybe policy has changed regarding compensation?
The way problems are handled/fixed is one reason BA stays on my list of airlines I choose to fly with. Sure beats the 'service' offered by just about all the US airlines I have flown with, and why I try to avoid them where possible now I get to arrange my own travel for work.

Regards, SD..