Has BA lost the plot ?Back to Forum
Anonymous25 Jan 2011
Trying to get the daughter back to college in the US from Delhi on BA is like trying to squeeze blood out of a stone. She has a fractured leg in a cast, and needs wheelchair assistance. An amazing saga that is on-going. Any helpful suggestions are most welcome.
(Booked in WTP and upgraded to Club with my miles as she needs to keep her leg flat.)
24 Jan 2011
– Booked BA 257 DEL-LON, connecting on BA 179 to LHR-JFK
– BA 257 delayed, will miss her connection, now rebooked on BA 183 LHR-JFK
– Gets to the airport, hangs outside for half an hour trying to get a wheelchair arranged. Delhi Airport restricts entry to passengers with tickets, so no one can go to the BA counter and talk to them. Have to wait outside trying to find someone. No BA staff outside. (Lots of people from Virgin, though.) Eventually gets a wheelchair.
– BA staff unable to check her in. The system wants an ESTA number. She has a valid student visa, ESTA required only if travelling on a visa waiver, nobody at BA DEL knows what to do. Flight closes while they are trying to figure this out. Told to go home, call reservations, rebook herself and come again with an ESTA number.
– I manage to talk to the counter agent on my daughter’s cellphone, protest strongly and say that she is a mishandled passenger so the least BA can do is to rebook her at the airport instead of leaving her at the mercy of the call centre who will have no idea what happened. Daughter sent home, told someone will call.
– BA calls, booked on the next flight at 3.30 am on 25 Jan. BA 142 + BA 117.
– Daughter generates an ESTA number, even though the site clearly says that it’s only for Visa Waiver travellers.
– I tell her to check in online, to avoid another fiasco at the airport. She tries, goes through various steps, and then gets a message that online check in is unavailable. Keeps trying all evening. Eventually online check-in reopens and she is able to check in.
25 January 2011 – SENT HOME AGAIN!
– BA 142 also delayed. No info on the connection, don’t know what to tell the limo company about her arrival flight into New York. (needn’t have worried, right .. ?)
– Daughter gets to the airport well in time. Starts hunt for BA staff and wheelchair.
– Manages to contact BA staff. Lady comes out, gives her a boarding pass, and tells her to go inside to check in her bags. Daughter again asks for a wheelchair. She goes away to organise a wheel chair, but is never seen again. Daughter tries phoning the BA counter, but nobody answers.
– After a long wait, now panicky daughter drags herself to the BA counter on her crutches. There’s only one staff member there, who’s dealing with the last few passengers. Daughter again requests a wheelchair and help in getting her bags to the desk. He disappears for 15 minutes, comes back to say that the flight is closed, and they can’t accept her. Tells her to go home. Wheelchair arrives in time to take her back out – over one hour after first requested.
– Rebooked on BA 142 of the 26th. Wife has been told to accompany her and be there at 1 in the morning. Friends and family have been contacted to get the number of anyone working at the airport for any airline who can be approached for help. BA has done such an effective job of blocking contact between management and passengers that we can’t seem to reach anyone who can help sort out this mess.
Next update tomorrow…..25 Jan 2011
Why are the flights to/from Delhi delayed? Is this due to weather? It seems your daughter should be at the airport at least three hours before the flight, so that the wheelchair issue can be sorted out, and any hiccups with check-in can be sorted out. Your daughter should ask to see the DEL Station Manager and get his/her cell phone number, or that of Special Services. They should be able to help. It doesn’t help that the Indian Authorities only permit ticketed passengers into the departure area.25 Jan 2011
Thanks StephenLondon. Delays are being caused because the incoming flights from Heathrow are late. The weather in Delhi is fine. BA does not give out any phone numbers in Delhi (other airlines do). I got one phone number a while back, and they never answered the phone when I called. Delhi airport is what it is, and other airlines make arrangements (like posting staff outside the terminal entrance) to take care of premium traffic and passengers with impaired mobility. We’ve been flying BA out of habit, I guess. Their service has always been unenthusiastic, but one never realised how low their standards have sunk until now. We will go more than 3 hours earlier today because we need to get her back to college, but honestly, when flying Business and with a counter closure time of 60 minutes before a flight, it seems that we’re being made to paying the price for BA’s incompetence.25 Jan 2011
Yes BA has gone to the dogs.All Delhi flights will inevitably be delayed.Not because of late arrival of aircraft but from what I have seen because crew due to operate out of Delhi are not delivered to the airport ontime.
The flight is due to depart at 12.30.
The crew seem to be delivered to airport around 12.00.
To get through security and down to the airplane takes at least 30 minutes(it is a long walk!)
It then takes pilots time to do paperwork and crew time to do security checks and presumably some preperations.
Passenger boarding should commence 45 mins before departure.
The earliest this flight could ever hope to depart would be an hour late.
This flight always has people with onward connections.
It is an absolute digrace.
Why can BA not get their crew to the airport ontime?
Would an earlier pick up mean extra payments for them??
God forbid !!
Would it not save them alot of money in avoiding missed connections etc if their flight left on time?
Bad planning and bad management.
But do they care.
I think we all know the answer is NO.25 Jan 2011
Flylufty, you’re spot on. She managed to leave on the 26th, but again BA 142 was 1 1/2 hours late. Missed her connection in London, and had to take a later flight (thankfully there are plenty of flights on the LHR-JFK sector).
What a bad taste in the mouth this episode has left. She’s done with BA, and so am I. They have a serious attitude problem and are an extremely customer unfriendly company. Thankfully there are many alternatives including two excellent Indian carriers who will now get all our business.28 Jan 2011