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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 203 total)

  • FCTraveller
    Participant

    What I’ve always found odd in the UK is how the immigration officers are disconnected from the customs officers. Compared to North America, or Canada at least, the immigration officer can flag you to be searched at customs based on the conversation he’s had with you by tagging your landing card with a special code and the customs officer will send you to be searched on exit.


    FCTraveller
    Participant

    Yes and there are also some one way mirrors that I’ve noticed. There is probably some truth to all this although I fear the level of staffing is so low as to be totally ineffective. Their thinking is that if people thing we’re watching them from all over the place, that it will reduce smuggling. But I think the facts are obvious, you just never get stopped. If I compare with Canada, where I enter just as often as here, they randomly send people for a secondary search and it has happened to me a number of times. It’s a sad state of affairs if we can’t police our own borders.


    FCTraveller
    Participant

    On the customs side, I think it’s fair to say our border force is non-existent. There is never an officer in sight in either the blue or green channel. I have been flying into LHR at least twice a month for the last 20 years and I have never once been stopped randomly. Never. On the rare occasion where I have seen others being searched, these people are never white (it’s an observation, nothing else). God only knows what is brought into this country when people know they can get away with it.


    FCTraveller
    Participant

    A number of years ago I wrote to Mr. Walsh complaining about a first class flight and comparing the seat and service to a recent first class flight on Singapore Airlines. He wrote back personally, addressed my compliant and invited me to Waterside to be part of a focus group to advise on the next first class seat. There were six different versions including the one we have today. I then returned six months later to help them fine tune the one they had picked. These were whole day affairs which included lunch with a group of executives firing all kinds of questions at us about BA first class and how it compared to the competition. Needless to say I was in my element, two full days of telling BA what I thought AND them taking notice. As they say, be careful what you wish for. Although I doubt this would happen today.


    FCTraveller
    Participant

    The website problem has been a disaster and apparently is due to an upgrade a couple months ago. In the Executive Club page, under My Flight Bookings which shows the first three, try clicking on View All Current Flight Bookings. This used to bring up a full list of all your bookings, but for the past two months it has returned an error message and there is no way to see all your bookings in one list. I reported this a month ago and received an acknowledgement, and it’s still not fixed. The worst problem is searching for award space on American Airlines. 90% of the time it simply says there is no availability even though you can clearly see Award Saver space on the AA website. I’ve just learnt from a US blogger that there seems to be a workaround, of sorts. Just keep toggling on the date back and forth to the day before or after and back to your preferred date. After doing this 10-20 times, suddenly the availability appears. I think the call centre are now aware of this and have their own workaround but for the first two weeks, they kept insisting there was no problem and there was just no availability. The whole thing is a FIASCO!

    in reply to: BA's appalling website

    FCTraveller
    Participant

    @TominScotland Firstly, I am basing my opinion on the first hand observations of SwissExPat and I am going to make the assumption that Mr. ExPat is not a liar, unless you have evidence to the contrary. Secondly, if two passengers travelling together cannot find a seat together at check-in but one passenger travelling alone can see a number of available seats together, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out what is going on regardless of how anyone else or BA are spinning it. I can’t comment on your life experiences but I’ve been around long enough to know that if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it is a duck.


    FCTraveller
    Participant

    Of course it does, it’s obvious! They’ve just designed a very clever method of implementing it in a roundabout way and being able to say they don’t. Don’t be fooled, it’s all smoke and mirrors. In fact, it’s probably easier and more probable to get two economy seats together if you book separate tickets.


    FCTraveller
    Participant

    @canucklad: From one canuck to another, I do largely agree with you and what you’ve said just now. What I didn’t agree with is that we, the passengers, have created the monster by paying for those services in the past. Let’s be clear, they have created their own monster but I do see @cedric‘s point that they’ve had no choice. I am also drawing a clear distinction between paying for a service or product like extra legroom seats and the type of dishonest and punishing practice of splitting parties.


    FCTraveller
    Participant

    If airlines want to charge piecemeal that’s fine by me. I’ll pay for a seat, I’ll pay for food, a drink, wifi, to check my bag and even to use the lounge if I have to. However, this practice of intentionally separating people travelling together on the same booking is just plain mean and nasty. It is nothing but a punishment for not wanting or needing to pay to select a seat. It is extortion: “If you don’t pay us £50 for your seats, we will punish you by sitting you separately”. It is one thing to charge for a service but to inflict a punishment on someone for not buying your service is one step too far for me.

    So @canucklad, I’m sorry but I don’t buy your argument at all. We have not created this by agreeing to pay for other piecemeal services including a better seat. As I said, most people probably don’t mind paying for a service or a better product offering. What do you suggest we should have done when airlines started charging for this and that, refuse and sit in the middle of a middle section of a wide body jet? Not check a bag when you’re travelling for three weeks? Go hungry and thirsty because you refuse to pay for food and drink? The greed of airline management and their disrespect for their customers has created this. It’s the “fleece your customers” at all cost mentality of people like Alex Cruz who have created this.

    And as @SwissExPat clearly demonstrated, they are doing it in the most underhanded and dishonest way, by making the passengers believe that there are only single seats left on the plane and making them think that it’s their fault for not checking in early or “buying seats” in advance. They are nothing but confidence tricksters. They take your non-refundable money up front and they don’t clearly warn you that this is what they’re going to do. At the stage when they offer you to pay for seats, the website says: “Closer to departure, the selection may be limited and groups may not be able to sit together”. But this is misleading. Customers understand that this is a risk they take but there is a big difference between “groups may not be able to sit together” and “we will intentionally prevent you from sitting together”.

    Imagine if you booked a restaurant and when you got there, they asked you to pay an extra £50 to sit at the same table. You’d simply walk away screaming a few expletives at them. Airline passengers cannot do this because they have been made to hand over their money in advance under false pretense. To be perfectly honest, when I first read about this, the first thing that flashed in my mind was some scene from a holocaust movie where men and women were separated as they arrived at a concentration camp. Extreme example you might say but that is actually what popped into my head. So for every dishonest money making scheme that Alex Cruz comes up with, he is causing consumers to associate the BA brand with negativity, nastiness and greed. Before long, and it is just a matter of time, BA will be on par with Ryanair and Cruz will have written the book on how to destroy a brand.


    FCTraveller
    Participant

    Percentage of US citizens who have a passport = 35%. Canadians = 70% and Brits = 75%.


    FCTraveller
    Participant

    Actually, this problem became worst this morning. Their response that it’s a Chrome issue is complete rubbish. Yesterday I tried with Chrome, IE 11 and Edge. None worked. Only Firefox worked. This morning, nothing works, not even Firefox. Just spoke to an agent who first tried to deny their website had a problem and then when I quoted the error message, he suddenly seemed to know something and tried to imply that maybe my IP address was being blocked. Refused to transfer me to anyone in IT, just took the details and said he would pass it on. BA I know you are reading these forums, this absolutely stinks. The least you could do is put out some kind of communiqué and explain what the problem instead of sweeping it under the carpet. I have had it with this company. Goodbye!

    in reply to: British Airways IT

    FCTraveller
    Participant

    I cross the Atlantic 3-4 times per month. I run a business full time plus I am studying for a university degree. Those 9 hour flights is where I find the time to do my course work but I need internet access to do that. So I mainly now fly Lufthansa and American. We all have our own reasons for wanting internet access when flying. I totally respect the opinion of those who quite like to be off grid for 8-11 hours. But the difference is, whether WIFI is available or not, those people have the choice. We don’t.


    FCTraveller
    Participant

    Well actually BA were one of the first airlines in the world to trial in-flight WIFI in 2003, with Boeing Connexion. I don’t remember how many BA planes were actually fitted with it (not many) but by the time it was canned in 2006, Boeing took a loss of $320,000,000. That may have been what prompted BA to wait until they felt there was a product that they could run with and that works. I do agree that they may have waited too long but then again, you’ll have a proper high speed WIFI service on BA next year but you’ll be stuck with old and slow technology on some of the early adopters for a few years to come.


    FCTraveller
    Participant

    FCTraveller
    Participant

    For those of you who are so irritated by children on planes, fly Westjet in Canada, they’ve found the perfect solution 😉

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 203 total)
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