BA CEO Alex Cruz’s, customer service is more Ryanair than British Airways.
I may be the only Silver Card holder who hates BA, but I sadly doubt it!
British Airways historically focused on servicing business class passengers focusing on service and flexibility, but seem to have completely lost their way under Alex Cruz’s guidance.
As a regular traveller on the BA shuttle between Manchester and Heathrow, I have learnt to my cost, that booking a return flight rather than two singles is a big mistake. Even though its exactly the same price either way, if you book a return and then your plans change and you don’t take the flight down, they automatically cancel your return and it simply disappears off the App without a word of explanation.
Having learnt this lesson, when my plans changed for a recent trip and I decided to stay south and fly directly from Heathrow to Los Angles, rather than from Manchester, I rang BA to notify them that I would not be catching the Manchester to Heathrow leg but would fly direct from Heathrow. A simple enough tweak for a business traveller I thought.
Oh, no. This is a major change requiring all four sectors to be re-ticketed or they cancel all my flights. The flight cost change was a reasonable £181 which I was willing to accept, until the agent then informed me I had to pay 4 X £60 change fees taking the total to a ridiculous £421.
So to summarise to not take one flight would cost me more than a return flight from Manchester to Heathrow on exactly the same flights as originally booked. How can BA justify this rip off?
BA still refused to budge even when I escalated the issue to the Silver Card customer service team, making a mockery of loyalty cards.
This experience follows 12 months on from BA forcefully down grading me from business calls on a 12 hour flight to Hyderabad, which was handled appallingly. Having not been notified at check in, in the lounge or at the gate, I was left to find my seat was not in business, when I walked past business!
On querying this with the purser I was told that I had been downgraded, because business had been over booked and that I should write in to complain. When I then sat in an empty business class seat and refused to move until compensation had been agreed, I was immediately threatened with the police being called! Then having moved it took 6 months to get the difference in fair back because BA demanded a copy of the boarding pass showing I had been downgraded.
Working in the travel sector, I recognise that it’s a complex world and mistakes can be made. However, BA’s policies seem antiquated and there is clearly no longer a focus on customer retention and a customer service approach make Ryanair look a friendly airline in comparison.
I may have no choice but to continue to fly BA from Manchester to Heathrow, but please beware that this is one very angry and upset Silver card holder, who will never recommend flying with BA to anybody, until it reverts to its old customer centric self and unfortunately this may require a change of leadership.