BA Reservation system v real BA staff

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Charles-P 10 May 2017
at 12:25

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  • DavidSmith2

    We attempted to check in for our flight this afternoon (LGW-TIA). There was no open desk at First and only one for CE but the floating BA rep quickly directed us to a free economy desk. The check-in person started asking questions like, ‘when did you book?’, ‘how did you book?’, ‘have you had a confirmation email?’. I pointed out this was the return leg and we had already successfully completed the outward journey.

    After some frantic tapping, and a phone call, he asked us to go to the ticketing desk.

    It seemed that a change in the return date had never been properly processed and charged to my visa. The guy at ticketing was extremely good – explaining, phoning and checking – and finally got an answer that I still owed them a 35 GBP admin fee (on 2 x CE return tickets) for the booking change. This was actually less than I had originally been quoted so handed over my CC to pay the balance.

    After a couple of swipes, the guy gave me my card back and said, “Mr Smith, they are now saying that I cannot process your visa card because of an internal system error. I am therefore over-riding the system and confirming your booking, with no admin fee. If our reservations department cannot even do simple things properly, why should you have to go through this process.”

    The whole effort added around 40 mins to our check-in procedure but full credit to the desk officer. I don’t think he could have handled it much better.

    We also got a personal GC welcome on the flight and, as a special treat, my wife was given the option of first refusal on ‘upgrading’ from the citron tart to the one remaining slice of chocolate dessert. She was very happy!


    A lot of BA’s customer facing staff are outstanding, as this shows.
    They are let down by shoddy IT systems and support, badly designed by ‘programmers’ who have inadequate knowledge of the realities of what the customer facing staff are exposed to in the course of their duties.
    Changing everything to ‘point and click’ idiot boxes that they think can be used by 18 year olds with only minimal training is a disaster.


    I have had some wonderful experiences with the BA folks at UK reservations, more mixed with the US when living there.
    I had an IT glitch last year with my EC account and it was painful to get to someone who could deal with and it took a while,
    but did get fixed after a week or two. It is encouraging but sad to see these people and some cabin crew trying to deal with all the cut backs and poor planning being dealt out to them and still give the level of service they feel their customer deserves.


    I agree with the above. Computer systems, generally, don’t have common sense. Unfortunately, too many computer systems don’t allow overrides by humans who do have common sense either! I am glad that this time you encountered someone with common sense who knew how to override the system!

    It’s lovely to hear stories like this – inconvenient and annoying at the time, of course, and avoidable (since clearly you should have been charged a while before) – but how nice to know that sometimes, when things go wrong, a staff member takes time (and risk) to put things right. Often, that creates a better customer experience than when nothing goes wrong in the first place!


    An example of the good customer service I have seen many times with British Airways. Like all airlines it has its problems but staff always make the difference.

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