British Airways crawling to the toiletBack to Forum
Tagged: British Airways Wheelchair user
On a recent night flight from SFO to LHR I pressed the call bell. I use a wheelchair and cannot walk at all. So I needed the aisle chair to get to the toilet. The call bell wasn’t answered. I cancelled it then pressed it again with no answer. There wasn’t any sign of the crew. All the passengers around me in the club cabin were asleep so I couldn’t get any help from them. Over 30 minutes past I was getting more desperate and distressed.
Then a crew member walked past. He didn’t notice my call bell light. I managed to attract his attention. I’m not sure what I would have done if it had taken much longer.
I feel this is a bit of a problem as it has happened before.
I wonder if anyone on the forum could suggest what I should have done? I was at the point of contemplating crawling up the aisle.
After spending so much on a flight I find it unacceptable that I had to contemplate crawling to the toilet.23 Aug 2018
In a word appalling. I hope you took it up with the CSD. I guess your only two options would be to shout your head off or wake the person next to you so they could get a crew member. If you were in Club maybe not so easy without pulling the dividing screen down.23 Aug 2018
I took it up with the CSD and after that with the captain. Unbelievably they warned me for being a disruptive passenger. Didn’t seem to think it was a big issue to wait 30 minutes. Then gave me a row for accidentally knocking the dividing screen down when getting in the aisle chair. They said I disturbed the passenger beside me. I apologised for that but it was accidental. Plus those things go down at the slightest thing. This flight was the longest I’ve ever had.23 Aug 2018
I would pop a tweet to BA saying how disappointed you were that they were unable to assist someone with physical challenges, as well as a Club passenger, and ask if this is their standard procedure? It should elicit a robust reply.
For a future flight, tell the crew that you have had a challenge in the past, so crew who are ‘on duty’ in the galley and hear a call bell will check to make sure you are all right. Crew should be patrolling the cabin more frequently, especially knowing of your physical needs.23 Aug 2018
That’s appalling, beyond words. I hope you will take it up at top level.
When I saw the title of the posting I thought you were implying that BA were crawling to the toilet, to which my response would have been that they are not ‘crawling’ to it, they are rushing headlong to it.
As I am sure you know, when a passenger activates the cabin crew call, it ‘dings’ in the galley area and a light comes on. They then have to stick their head out of the galley to see light above the relevant seat.
I was briefly involved in CC crew training. One of the things that they had to be aware of was exactly what you’ve mentioned, and the need to respond fast, particularly with passengers lacking in mobility. They were also told to walk up and down the aisles regularly and frequently to keep an eye open. I have noticed that on the airlines I mostly fly on for longhaul, KL, LX and LH, they do that all the time.23 Aug 2018
This shouldn’t happen and I am not defending, but As ex Crew here is what can happen and what I would suggest.
When you press the call bell at your seat, a bell will ring once in the galley galley, a light should come on in the galley and also at your seat.
Occasionally the the bell in the galley doesn’t work or they not been in the galley when it rang and may not have noticed the light when they returned. If it is working, every time you press it will ring. If not answered in acceptable time, press consistently for 3/4 times. As Crew if I was working on a trolley and wanted someones attention in the Galley, it would be normal to press in secession 3/4 times to catch attention of Crew in galley.
Sometimes light works in Galley, but bell does not. This is easy to miss, especially when doing other things like setting up ovens for next service etc.
Not so much an issue in Club or First, but sometimes it shows in the galley, but the bulb in the cabin above seat is not showing. Crew will look out and have a wander, but often in WT it is impossible to locate. We then have to put in defect log. Some aircraft you are able to see seat that has been pressed and others you cannot.
Please mention to Crew that that you have previously had an issue and can they please ensure they keep an extra eye for the light / bell as you have had challenges in the past. Most Crew will be very helpful and take extra care in this situation.23 Aug 2018
Occasionally the the bell in the galley doesn’t work or they not been in the galley when it rang and may not have noticed the light when they returned.
Sometimes light works in Galley, but bell does not.
Not so much an issue in Club or First, but sometimes …… the bulb in the cabin above seat is not showing.
None of these things should happen. It’s sloppy maintenance (admittedly relatively minor items) and sloppy service. However, since we’re talking about BA, it’s what many people have come to expect.23 Aug 2018
My reply from BA. This is strange as I complained about this to two members of crew including the Captain. Including telling the captain that a 30 minute wait wasn’t safe so he should remember.
We have nothing to suggest your call bell was not working. None of our crew that were working in the Club World cabin recall a complaint regarding a wait of 30 minutes after pressing the bell. British Airways ensure a high presence in the cabins, particularly within the premium cabins.23 Aug 2018
Unbelievably they warned me for being a disruptive passenger.
This is an extremely serious accusation/comment being made by a CSD and / or Captain. I am certainly not questioning that your call bell was not answered for 30 minutes, or indeed at all – but there has to be more to tell.
If not, the shame is you were not able to record the incident.23 Aug 2018
I can assure you it was well over 30 minutes and as I said it was lucky someone happened to walk past or it would have been longer. I asked the captain if I could record the conversation on my phone but he said no. But both the captain and CSD claimed that 30 minutes wasn’t too long to wait.23 Aug 2018
I took it up with the CSD and after that with the captain. Unbelievably they warned me for being a disruptive passenger. Didn’t seem to think it was a big issue to wait 30 minutes. Then gave me a row….
That is a terrible story, and really sorry to hear about it. I would take it up with BA at the highest level.
I have a different story (though parallel). I arrived at Heathrow decades ago with a badly damaged leg – I could not walk at all. I got to the Railair bus to Reading which in those days had several steps up into the bus: no way I could either stand up, or get on. I just lay there in the road. In the end I had to throw my rucsac onto the bus and haul myself up the steps in pain and difficulty. There were many passengers on the bus who just sat there watching me with blank faces. Not one moved or lifted a finger to help.23 Aug 2018
Yeah couldn’t understand why I was complaining. Didn’t like it when I told them it was a safety issue. Said I was speaking loudly and I wasn’t. In fact the CSD was the one with the loud voice. I think they just didn’t want to admit that it was a serious problem. After complaining the crew were much more visible so I guess they could see my point.23 Aug 2018