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Business Traveller - - NEWS -

On a UK visit in May, when tak­ing a con­nect­ing flight from Glas­gow to Lon­don Heathrow, we were af­fected by the Bri­tish Air­ways IT melt­down. As the saga un­folded, it be­came ap­par­ent that our flight was un­likely to get us to Heathrow in time for our flight to Canada and we needed to get back on time for busi­ness.

It was im­pos­si­ble to get through to any­one at BA and we took com­fort from the fact that the web post­ings and the CEO’s com­ments on TV en­cour­aged peo­ple to do what they could. Our so­lu­tion was to rent a car and drive for seven hours in a small Corsa. We man­aged to find a bed near Hen­ley in spite of the hun­dreds wait­ing in Heathrow ho­tels.

Our BA flight did op­er­ate sev­eral hours late and landed in Heathrow af­ter we had boarded the flight to Canada. But if we had not acted, we would never have made it. It had cost us some­what more than our Glas­gow to Heathrow tick­ets to make our flight to Canada and I ap­plied for some rec­om­pense through the BA web­site, sub­mit­ting our car rental bill. How­ever, I re­cently re­ceived an email say­ing I was en­ti­tled to noth­ing. The for­mat of the com­mu­ni­ca­tion was very rote and there was lit­tle em­pa­thy with our predica­ment or any sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity for the im­pact of BA’s er­rors.

When I get a mo­ment, I will re­search whether there is any op­tion for re­view through a reg­u­la­tor, om­buds­man or class ac­tion law­suit. Hav­ing said that, I have to ask what the in­vestors and di­rec­tors of BA or IAG are do­ing? Talk­ing to my con­tacts in the UK, it seems clear that the “world’s favourite air­line” is work­ing hard to be­come the “air­line of last re­sort”. How on earth can you ex­pect to build or sus­tain share­holder value when you don’t take care of your cus­tomers? I would guess there are hun­dreds, maybe thou­sands, like me who have had the brush-off and no longer trust BA.

Richard Rees, Van­cou­ver

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