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.