/ Travel & Leisure

What will it take for British Airways to act?

British Airways

One month ago today we launched our campaign to upgrade airline compensation following BA’s catastrophic IT failure. We’re not happy with the airline’s response and so today we’re upping the pressure and asking passengers to send their message to BA’s CEO.

Update: 20 July 2017

There’s been a huge response from our supporters to our British Airways postcard campaign. Thank you to everyone for sharing your messages to BA CEO Alex Cruz.

All-in-all we received over 3,000 personal messages from passengers and supporters who feel strongly that British Airways should introduce automatic compensation following their huge IT failure in May.

Here’s just one of the powerful stories we’ve received:

“I am a widow and travel alone to see my friends where my husband and I used to live in Spain. I am also disabled and find sitting on airport seats for any length of time very painful. I have always found BA to give the best assistance for anyone disabled but if I had to go through what those poor passengers did I just don’t know how I could have coped, and then to arrive home to beg for compensation is so degrading.”

In the coming days we will be collating your stories, printing the postcards and delivering them in person to the airline’s chief exec.

Original Convo: 7 July 2017

In the wake of British Airway’s catastrophic IT failure on the last bank holiday weekend we couldn’t stand by and leave passengers being treated so poorly. Over 75,000 people were affected and we called out the airline for failing to do more than the legal minimum by automatically issuing passengers with compensation.

Passengers whose holidays were ruined have been left jumping through hoops to claim compensation after the stress of having their plans upended by a failure that was BA’s responsibility to resolve.

While the IT failure may have been unforeseen, we’re dismayed by the reaction since from BA. We wrote to BA’s chief executive Alex Cruz after the failure and challenged him to automatically compensate all affected passengers so that no one was left out of pocket. His response showed no desire to take that extra step to do right by his passengers and introduce automatic compensation. Instead he merely outlined BA’s approach to compensation so far, claimed many customers are satisfied with the process and stressed that the airline will continue to ensure claims are handled efficiently.

Colin was treated ‘abysmally’

BA’s refusal to engage in a discussion about how to improve the compensation process for its passengers is not acceptable. From the stories we’ve heard so far on claiming from the bank holiday chaos, BA’s passengers will clearly agree.

Take the story of our supporter Colin. Colin’s BA flight back to Heathrow was delayed on that bank holiday weekend. He says he was made to queue for seven and a half hours to re-book his flight home, with no explanation of the consumer rights to compensation for delays under EU regulations.

After applying for compensation he received a cheque in the post with just half of what he requested and received nothing at all from BA for his partner who was also on the flight. Colin described the process of applying for compensation as ‘difficult’ and believes BA handled the crisis ‘abysmally’. He’s still to this day waiting for the rest of his compensation as well as his wife’s.

Send BA’s CEO a postcard

For passengers like Colin, we’re making it easy for you to send your message to BA’s CEO. He needs to hear from his passengers directly, and so we’ve created a tool for you to send your message on a postcard direct to Alex Cruz.

Send BA a postcard

Send BA a postcard

Have you had your holiday ruined by BA’s delays? Left stranded by a BA cancellation? Spent many a frustrating hour trying to claim compensation from BA?

Tell Alex Cruz why his airline should upgrade compensation by sending him your message on a postcard. No passenger should be left out of pocket for delays or cancellations now or in the future.

Comments
Admin

The postcards are coming in! We’ll share what we can with you as we collect people’s messages to BA. We’ve added our supporter Colin’s story to this post now:

Colin’s BA flight back to Heathrow was delayed on that bank holiday weekend. He says he was made to queue for seven and a half hours to re-book his flight home, with no explanation of the consumer rights to compensation for delays under EU regulations.

After applying for compensation he received a cheque in the post with just half of what he requested and received nothing at all from BA for his partner who was also on the flight. Colin described the process of applying for compensation as ‘difficult’ and believes BA handled the crisis ‘abysmally’. He’s still to this day waiting for the rest of his compensation as well as his wife’s.

Admin
Barry K says:
10 July 2017

British Airways “The Worlds favourite Airline” is now an accountants dream , A near monopoly on direct long haul flights , The management is abysmal and the lack of motivation of their cabin staff is now apparent. BA will rue the day they decided that profits are more important than customer service

Admin

Indeed. Since Alex Cruz took over, British Airways has gone downhill very quickly. He’s from a budget airline background, and he’s trying to run BA like one. The sooner he’s gone, the better.

Admin

I know I’m breaking an off-topic rule, but I just wanted to say it’s nice to see you around here again @nfh 🙂

Admin

I avoid flying with BA, even if it means taking indirect routes which add on a few hours to my journey or costs a little extra. This is mainly because when I do fly, I can’t afford to be stuck in an airport for days due to strikes. Service is usually better with other carriers too.

Admin
Valerie says:
24 July 2017

We were left standing at the check-in desk at Venice from 20.00 to 21.30 before BA staff came to help us and re-booked us on alternative flights before taking us to a hotel at 23.45. We were told the restaurant and bar were closed as BA had told them we had eaten at the airport. Not possible while standing in a queue, last meal lunch at 13.00. Staff were polite and helpful when dealing with us but as the incident at Gatwick happened at midday they had plenty of warning and should have dealt with us earlier.

Admin
Tuulikki D says:
29 July 2017

My daughter was due to fly to Avignon during the computer problem, flight was cancelled and she travelled with Eurostar and TGV instead. B.A. Refunded the the cancelled flight but none of the additional costs; she had booked a car to be collected at Marseille airport , had a special price , as it was in her name her boyfriend could not collect it, car hire had to be cancelled , caused a cancellation fee, and he had to get an other car, more expensive and not as nice. These costs were not covered and nor were they covered by the travel insurance. So she ended up out of pocket, because someone at B.A. could not fix the computer. Why should this additional cost not be repaid ?

Admin
Robert Ford says:
29 July 2017

My friend a year ago suffered severe delays by Thomas Cook airline. She was given a voucher for £420 by way of compensation, which sounds fine till you learn that it had to be used within a time limit. When she tried to use it on another flight she was told she had to purchase the flight first, complete the return journey then claim for a £420 refund. This would take up to 28 days to process.

She hasn’t yet been able to claim as she is still completing the return journey, but has been inconvenienced further, obviously. She never wants to use Thomas Cook’s again. Neither do I.