BA Club- your carry on bag can be taken off you at the gate, even when compliant

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  canucklad 18 Feb 2019
at 10:32

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  • Rothesayblue

    We travelled recently Edinburgh to Rio via LHR. Our small carry on bags were taken off us at the gate because “the flight was very full and there was no space”. We had only carry on bags to avoid well known problems using hold luggage.

    We boarded to find overhead locker space at our seat in the Club section and across the aisle!

    It seems BA can forcibly take your compliant bags off you and place them in the hold when you pay for a club ticket, when there is in fact space above your seat, and when you are connecting long haul.

    The bags did come off at Rio but with an important item missing from my bag. The very reason I took a carry on bag.


    The only airport I use where hand baggage rules are consistently enforced is AMS (BA flights at the gate). 2 bags and duty free shopping, you will not get on even in club.

    However, I have never had a bag forcibly taken off me at the gate. If asked, I politely decline, especially if I have a tight connection at Heathrow. Whilst I am not saying it didn’t happen, if I was in a similar position, with only one piece of hand baggage and flying in club, I would have stood my ground and suggested some one else was asked.


    Hi Rothesayblue
    As a regular through EDI it’s safe to say that the most common announcement heard near a BA gate, is that they’re going to be taking hand baggage off folk. Not unsurprisingly they don’t get many volunteers to give up their bags, hence the predicament you found yourself in.

    For reasons only known to BA management,they seem incapable of finding a customer friendly solution to the on going problem. Unlike Easyjet and Ryanair who consistently manage the barrage of baggage to most people’s satisfaction.


    Unlike Easyjet and Ryanair who consistently manage the barrage of baggage to most people’s satisfaction.

    I can’t speak in respect of Ryanair as I won’t fly them,but easyJet do not always manage it well, although it does depend on the station.

    A few weeks ago I was in the boarding queue at AMS and they picked on a young man a few places ahead of me in the queue and told him his bag was too big and had to be checked in. It was smaller than mine and his selection appeared to me to be random. I quite often see them take people’s bags off them.

    Thee is another problem which is that I usually have a seat in rows 1-3, and people seated further down stow their bags over the first rows, meaning that if you don’t board in the first crush and rush, there is no room for your bag over your own seat. This creates a nuisance for all both boarding and disembarking, and is not properly monitored by CC. In fact, it’s my only real complaint about EZY and it often irritates me that we pay £400/p.a for the EZY+ cards but the boarding process is often not properly segregated.


    The most useless piece of equipment in the aviation world is the BA hand-baggage gauge at check-in or the gate. They are all in pristine condition as they have never been used!
    So few passengers have compliant size bags these days. And, of course, so many economy pax have caught onto the fact that nobody polices the Club lockers.
    Watching the transatlantic passengers pass through the lounges onto connecting short-haul flights with unbelievable sizes of “carry-on” is such an eye opener. But all BA staff ignore the extreme sizes, leaving the cabin crew to deal with the problem.


    This is typical of Shambles Airway aka BA, who can’t understand how to enforce their own baggage policy. Too many BA flights descend into farce when those who volunteer to put their luggage in the hold in exchange for pre-boarding, and do this as a habit, are effectively devaluing the point of buying a premium fare. BA need to sort this out soon and stop disadvantaging those passengers they should be looking after properly.


    Carry on bags taken off at the gate in business class? Never saw this happening excepted ahead of a turbo props flight. I simple “no” would have been enough I guess…


    I agree with Swissdiver, I’ve never seen it for a Club pax. Why did the OP not politely decline, reminding the gate agent they were in Club with a tight connection and valuable objects in their bag? It is a reminder that today’s modus operandi with British Airways is to board as early as possible (even in Club) as it is (sadly) all about overhead space rather than the premium experience it ought to be. This means sometimes you need to firmly state your case.


    In the tight and stressful process of boarding a plane, sometimes the gate agents do not notice a businesses class passenger

    Sometimes I have been asked, but never forced, to gate-check my carry on when flying business


    Easiest answer that you have a couple of laptops in your bag that shouldn’t be stowed in the hold.

    But I’ve never had hold luggage taken from me when in Club Europe. Even when last November, I had a large, empty case – way over hold luggage size that I didn’t want to bother waiting for at the other end – I was planning to fill it and check it on the return. So I put my hold luggage inside the case and took my chances. Had I been asked, I would have removed the hold bag and let them take the large bag. I couldn’t believe it when I passed muster and the huge bag, which could only fit sideways, sat in the locker above me.


    It’s the first time it’s happened to me on BA Club. I asked them to check with the CSD and the gate person went down came back and shook his head. When I boarded and complained to the CSD she appeared mystified. When I got to my seat in row 4 and opened the half empty overhead locker I was really annoyed. When my carry on bag eventually came off the carousel at Rio, the most expensive item of clothing I’d pushed into the outer zipped compartment in a hurry at the EDI gate with the guy standing over me, had gone.

    Here’s the platitudinous reply to my complaint-

    Thanks for getting in touch about your flight to London Heathrow on 04 February in our Club Europe cabin. I apologise for the delay in my response.

    I’m sorry we asked you to check part of your hand baggage into the hold. I know this must have been disappointing, especially as you had a connecting flight. We try to do everything we can to make sure you can bring your hand baggage on board, however there might be some times when we have to ask some customers to check part of their hand baggage in on busier flights or when the overhead lockers are full.

    We’re very grateful you’ve taken the time to let us know what happened when you travelled with us. It’s only through your feedback we’re able to focus on areas where we need to improve, so we can offer you the best possible service. Sometimes it can take time for us to fix the problems we’re having, but we’ll always work hard to make sure they get resolved. This makes sure we improve continuously across all areas of our business, and I know you’ll see positive changes very soon.

    Thanks again for contacting me. I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to address this issue. We look forward to seeing you on board again soon. If you have any further issues, please don’t hesitate to contact me by using the blue link below.

    Best regards

    Chloe Bateman
    British Airways Customer Relations Executive

    My Scotland-London travel is now entirely switched to Virgin Trains or an alternative carrier. Long haul will no longer automatically be BA after I complete my Washington trip in March. That’s First- and it will be interesting to see if they pull the same stunt on me then,


    It’s only through your feedback we’re able to focus on areas where we need to improve, so we can offer you the best possible service. Sometimes it can take time for us to fix the problems we’re having, but we’ll always work hard to make sure they get resolved.

    Absolutely priceless ………

    This has been an ongoing , almost religiously set process with London bound flights at EDI.
    How long do they need ?

    Chloe should book a venue at this year’s Fringe, she clearly has a bit of the comic about her !!!

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