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“British Airways says Computers are their passengers not humans”
Review of British Airways


Reviewed October 23, 2017

Its hard to know where to start when you are dealing with a bully and British Airways is a bully. As a travel journalist I get to write about various travel experiences and one of them has been about using low cost airlines and booking on line when travelling abroad. My biggest fear is who do you call when something goes wrong and with the demise of Monarch Airlines and sketchy cancellations from Ryanair, I decided to book with British Airways and a travel agent and pay top dollar ie R5400 for a return between Porto and London.

My disaster started when I missed the flight in Porto due to heavy fog and driving on a different side of the road and I took my kids to a place of safety before calling the airline. BIG MISTAKE. According to the airline, I should have risked my children's lives to make the airport. In fact their comment was - How many other people didn't make the flight that night? Exactly how would I know that answer? Did I go to the airport and do a survey? No that's your job not mine. Yours is to see how you can help a stranded passenger.

When I didn't make that one, they took the moment to cancel all return leg, with the excuse of - didn't you read your fine print? Really? You didn't scrutinize your airticket where we specifically tell you that computers are king and we don't care that our passengers are human and can miss a flight due to human care? You have to be dead or dying or in hospital to get us to listen to you, the poor passenger. And in the small print it says that we cancel all your sectors whether you like it or not. What right do you have to do that if all sectors are paid for? Its my money that paid for it and you have no right to resell that seat under any circumstances.

British Airways then offered me a business class return flight for a further R5000 - no refund mind you, just another R5000 making the ticket cost R10400 which is more than the cost of flying return to London itself. Their reasoning - But we made you an offer of a low cost for Business class and do you know its more expensive to book a one way. BRITISH AIRWAYS, I WANTED A REFUND FOR ONE SECTOR IF YOU COULDN'T ASSIST ME!

I then took a Ryan Air flight to London for 80 pounds and after many calls and emails later I booked and paid for a flight back to Porto with TAP for 90 pounds. Trust me Ryan Air and TAP were great airlines and should be used as a first choice.

I battle to understand why I used a travel agent if they are not allowed to sort anything out. So would I recommend you use British Airways. Definitely not. Because they don't care about the human factor. Not at all. There are no humans in their equation. Despite their advertising to the contrary.

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Thank Genienethetraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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14,750 - 14,754 of 36,884 reviews

Reviewed October 22, 2017 via mobile

We flew to Bangkok last week and like other reviewers there has always been a patriotic part of me that likes to support BA, after this experience we will definitely be going back to Emirates or one of the Asian airlines that understands customer service.
BA seem to still use dilapidated 777s on some of their services including LHR to Bangkok and while our economy seats were not overly expensive we could have flown with Cathay or Emirates for a similar price but in a newer plane. Looking at the premium seats as we walked through the cabin I would have been bitterly disappointed had we forked out the extra.
One can’t tarnish all the staff with the same brush but there is definitely an attitude issue here with the staff, I am sure dealing with 300+ grumpy passengers can’t be easy but if customer service isn’t in your blood get another career, I had wine spilt over me and not even an apology, I was hit at least 4 times by the trolley and had a miserable flight.
We sat in front of the toilets approx over the wings which was a mistake but the seat on the end ie aisle seat protrudes too far into the aisle thus getting knocked by fellow passengers and staff.
On a slightly positive note we flew back from Hong Kong on a a380 which was a vast improvement however BA have not responded to my complaint and thus reflects their attitude to customers. We will not being flying BA again

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2  Thank mitchjackson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2017

We usually fly BA on this route 1-2 times a year and in First. Very nice. In December 2016 we felt like a get a way and I found great fares in Premium Economy and it looks great online so we tried it. We were on the 9:30pm flight. The seats are roomy enough and the configuration is 2-4-2 with three rows. We had the window and aisle on the right in row 2. We were pleasantly surprised and anticipated a good ride. The cabin was full, dinner was served and was fine. After dinner the two people in front of us (row 1) reclined and instantly fell into a deep sleep. They pinned us down so we could hardly move and we couldn't rouse them. Bonus: they broke wind all night! We never saw another flight attendant after the meal as they were also covering economy. We are mid 60's and healthy, but unbelievably I had to get up four times through that flight and the only way to get out was to fully recline onto the man behind me, roll over and kneeling on the seat straddle the middle compartment - about 7-8 inches wide, get into my husband's seat and climb over the arm rest into the aisle. Not an easy feat and the man behind was not happy with me. My tall husband could not get comfortable with no legroom. Across the aisle a man was vomiting all night into a bag and with all curtains drawn between Business and Economy the smell was noxious. Seriously, I am not exaggerating this. Obviously we did not sleep.
Once we landed and reached our cottage rental we began to look at our return flight to see if we could change seats or cabin, but they were full again.
A couple of days later I saw that my inner thighs were bruised and purple. I take a blood thinner.
I refused to fly back in the same exact seats so we called BA and explained everything, but Customer service told us all they can do is make note of the complaint and pass it on to another department. They could not seat us in PE anywhere in the near future as all seats were sold out.
We chose to extend our stay by 2 days until we could get seats in First. A lot of extra expense, not including extending lodgings, car and living expenses.
Many phone calls later ended the same as the first. I even called the CEO and got no response. No refund for PE seats, no follow up call or email ever, although we were assured by Customer service we would be refunded for the return portion of our tickets. It's been 10 months and no word, no refund. Nothing.
We are returning to the UK in February 2018 and trying Virgin's PE class. It too looks very good online and I have read really great reviews on Seat Guru so here's hoping.
BA falls down on Customer support and I can tell you their Business class in configured horribly. If you are in a window seat you have to climb over the person in the aisle behind you to get out. Forget that! Even First is not as 'special' as it used to be, however, it is the only decent seat they offer.
I hope I can spare someone this kind of flight from hell. I will say if you can book the first row I think it would be fine. BA should not allow the seats to recline as much as they do and unfortunately many people don't care or maybe realize they are causing discomfort to anyone. It's the responsibility of the airline in any case to limit the recline so that each row can move and enjoy some comfort. It's an easy fix if only someone would actually listen.

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1  Thank twobrits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2017

Having never flown BA ever before I have to say I was very excited to finally use them on a long haul flight, I'd always imagined that being our national carrier and being so universally well known the journey would carry a romantic sense to it.
How wrong was I. We flew to Tobago with a one hour stop off in Antigua both ways, the flight time from Tobago to Antigua is 90 minutes, on this hour and a half journey you aren't allowed a drink from the cart, alcohol or any other beverage you get one cup of water or an orange juice. Please can someone inform me why this is so? On the return journey this meant that we had to wait almost four hours after take off to get a beer and something to eat, madness.
Now let's get to the food, on a flight that takes up almost 12 hours I would expect to be fed pretty well, Virgin and Emirates both offer plentiful food why not BA? You get one hot meal and a sandwich/croissant with a gronala bar about 30 minutes before landing, the airline literally had no snacks (crisps, nuts, pringles etc) at all, no snacks! I can't quite get over that. The hot meal both ways were appalling, sausage and mash on the way out that just didn't taste good and chicken curry on the way back which was so bad I would have left it if i wasn't so incredibly hungry. Portions were really small and the bun with the chicken was so hard I did have to leave it.
Next, the staff. I understand the hostesses work long hours and flying so often must take it out of you but this is your job, if you can't do it, don't do it. The hostess covering my area of the plane on the way didn't smile once, in fact she grimaced the whole way, even raising her voice to me on one occasion when I asked her where my Diet Coke was, I'd asked for it about 10 minutes previous and she barked at me 'it's on its way' it took another ten minutes before it arrived. The trolley cart only comes out three times on the long flight and apart from those three occasions the hostesses will barely leave their curtained area at the back, if you want a drink you have to go find them, not once was I asked if I wanted a drink or a snack or if I was even enjoying my flight. Too much to ask?
I think you get the jist, I won't go further on about the extremely dated aircraft, with its 1980's almost unwatchable televisions, or the fact you can't get wifi or even charge you phone or iPad, how can you not even have charging ports on long haul??
Overall the plane made it to its destinations so I can't really grumble too much but flying is obviously a business and it's fair to expect a certain level from certain airlines, I certainly wouldn't expect anything special from Ryanair or EasyJet but our national carrier, British Airways? I would expect a very serious level of hosting, for me it seems BA have stopped trying to compete with the big boys at Cathay Pacific, Virgin, Singapore Airlines etc and are now competing with the budget airlines (you even have to pay a lot of extra money to pick your seat, I'm not kidding).
What a shame.

1  Thank joey l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2017

Business class seats were very old, the foot rest was broken and next to me was a heavy person and each time he moved I was shaken also (top deck on a 747).
If the flight was not 10 hours then I would prefer not to eat at all. The staff. were trying but the quality of every thing else was bellow average

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Thank Kostas K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.