Thousands of BA passengers were grounded following a computer system failure in May. In the aftermath, we asked you ‘should BA offer its passengers automatic compensation?’ Here’s what you said.
In just three days we received over 100 comments on our convo and nearly 5,000 people voted in our poll. A huge 97% said they think BA should offer automatic compensation for delayed and cancelled flights.
More striking than these statistics however were the numerous accounts of poor customer service customers have experienced with BA and the differing views on automatic compensation.
Alison, a former BA employee, touched on the one immediate frustration many caught at Heathrow and Gatwick suffered; a lack of updates from BA as the situation unfolded:
‘I know from personal experience that one of the worst things you can do to passengers is not tell them what is happening. Being kept informed and up-to-date is so very important, particularly if you are meeting other people at the end of your journey, who may be greatly inconvenienced by any delay in your travel arrangements.’
Other travellers have reportedly complained of waiting more than an hour after the story broke in the press being being informed their flights had been cancelled.
Another supporter, Charlie, wasn’t directly affected but feels the whole debacle may affect who they fly with in the future:
‘I have a trip abroad planned soon and was planning to book flights with BA. One reason I had chosen BA (rather than one of the budget airlines) is because I thought I’d receive good customer service and support in the event of anything going wrong. I’m not sure now it is worth the extra cost of BA after reading about how badly passengers have been treated following this fiasco.’
Unsurprisingly perhaps, this sentiment was echoed a number of times on Conversation with another supporter making the point to BA that it is difficult to be everything to everyone and imparting advice to ‘be quality, charge a premium’.
Touching on compensation Jill believes being fully compensated won’t be enough for BA to make good with some of their customers
‘British Airways got it very wrong and now they are adding insult to injury by making it difficult for their customers to claim what is rightfully theirs in the way of compensation. Even if their customers break even, money wise, it does nothing to erase the terrible disappointment of families being robbed of their holiday. Come on BA do the right thing and go some way to earning back the good will and respect of your customers.’
Iain echoed that line of thought adding that ministers should make automatic compensation a primary focus of the next Parliament:
‘After the fiasco (which ruined the holidays of many families) the very least BA should be doing is to issue full refunds and supplement that by giving free tickets for a future flight. Of course it should be automatic. And if legislation is needed to force them to do that, then it should be made a priority in the new Parliament.’
Over the weekend we published an open letter to BA calling on them to auto-compensate the passengers who fell victim to the airline’s IT error. Is there anything else you think British Airways should be doing to help their customers in this situation?