Bits: Barclays / IHG compensation payments, BA toilet trouble

News in brief:

More news on Barclaycard / IHG compensation

Following on from my article this week about Barclaycard closing the IHG Rewards Club card, it seems that the call centre has now been officially briefed to offer you £25 compensation for every £1,000 you have spent on the Premium card if you have not yet triggered your free night voucher.

This is in addition to the pro-rata card fee refund that you will receive in April.

By a huge coincidence, this is exactly the same amount that I suggested readers should ask for when I wrote my article on Tuesday …….!

Airport toilet

When BA cabin crew clean your plane ….

A couple of weeks ago, The Sun ran this story about BA cabin crew at Gatwick being paid £10 to clean short haul aircraft when they arrive late.  They don’t do a great job as they have no cleaning materials but it does allow the plane to take off again more quickly.  As part of the time saving measures, the toilets are not emptied.

I didn’t write about the story at the time because, frankly, a steady drip drip of ‘anti BA’ stories isn’t a lot of fun to read or write.

Yesterday, however, I received a shocker of an email from a reader.  British Airways had done this on a LONG-HAUL flight to Mauritius.

Our reader boarded his delayed Club World flight from Gatwick last Monday to find his seat covered in crumbs and grease marks on the windows.  It had already been announced over the PA that the cabin crew had tried to clean the plane instead of the contract cleaners due to a marginally late arrival.

However, as with ‘quick turnaround’ short hauls, it seems that the toilets had not been emptied.  After 10 hours of a 12 hour flight, the crew announced 3 of the 4 Club World toilets were closed as they were full.  A few minutes later, it was announced that ALL of the toilets on the plane were now full and closed.

BA has offered our reader 10,000 Avios as compensation.  This is, apparently, the most they are allowed to offer for any disruption now following the new ‘compensation scale’ introduced last year.  As the readers was on a £7,000+ BA Holidays package I have encouraged him to reject this and seek a larger sum through the Small Claims Court.

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Comments

  1. The plane should have landed at the closest airport.

    Disgraceful that it was allowed to continue.

    I hope that the captain and senior crew were sacked over this incident. Mind you they would probably have been on strike on any other day.

    • I think the number of divert options for a fully loaded 777 as you get close to MRU – given that you need a runway large enough for it to be able to take off again as well, fully loaded – isn’t huge.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Captain and crews fault BA are too tight to pay for cleaning crews?

    • What a ludicrous proposition, why should the captain and crew bear the brunt of BA’s extreme cost-saving approach? I also can’t imagine there were many diversion options at that stage and it seems more sensible to have continued.

      • Lady London says:

        They chose to leave on time with an aircraft that wasn’t serviceable, in my view.

        I am not even sure Ryanair has done this too often… Ryanair has certainly done the same though.

        If someone had been forced to “go” and any extra cleaning charge accrued to finally clean up the aircraft as a result, I presume they’d have not been liabel and been fully covered?

        Perhaps I could recommend the latest model of camping toilets for BA to keep in the ceiling of the toilets, to be bought out for such emergencies.

        And pretty soon the £10 will be rolled into their normal salary…

        • Who knows what was reported to the captain by the turnaround manager? Clearly they shouldn’t have left like that but to suggest the captain and crew should be sacked as a result (as the OP was suggesting) is sensationalist and unfair on them I would suggest.

  2. If the facts of this are true; that BA didn’t bother to get a full cleaning team and didn’t empty toilets based on cost – then this is far worse than any 2for1 downgrade policy they may have! Can’t blame the front line staff – but BA management seem to be completely killing the airline!

  3. ThinkSquare says:

    Emptying the waste tanks would save a load of weight on the flight. There’s your cost saving of the day, BA. You’re welcome.

  4. BA Sucks says:

    I love these stories. I really do wonder though when the day of the ‘tipping-point’ will arrive. Maybe 12 months from now after a few poor quarters that can’t be blamed on Brexit? Or will BA manage to salvage themselves prior to that point? Or will a BA plane fall out of the sky – and irrelevant of the cause – be attributed to cuts at BA because that’s what BA’s unique selling point currently is?!! How interesting to watch poor business theory turned into practise!! Pure textbook.

  5. For the IHG card, how may one find the year end date for the promo and how much I’ve spent? Haven’t spent anything in a while and not sure if I am eligible for any compo.

    • How much more you need to spend used to be on the right of the online summery page, but this has now disappeared. Send a secure message using the link asking both questions and they will get back to you with the answer.
      Or as I did, go back on your statements and see when you paid the £99 fee, then add the statement totals from then on.

  6. Rob – is it possible to put a link to “older comments” at the top of the comments as well as at the bottom? Alternatively have the page load the earliest comments when you first load the story? I tend to start reading the comments that load on the page, get to the bottom and find I’ve started reading page 2 or 3. (I know I should look at the time stamps!)

    • I can’t move the link – I could put the earliest comments first. Will have a think.

      • Rob

        Any other ideas on how these comments will evolve going forward?

        IIRC you mentioned that there is no plan for a forum post but sometimes it is difficult to find a particular post. This is the site where I easily spend over an hour or two everyday.

        • I am restricted in what I can do with the comments unless I use something like Disqus which is slow and unwieldy and has compulsory registration.

          Only flexibility I have is over number of levels of sub-comments, order they are shown and number per page.

          • I find the current system OK – I always just go to the end of the page first to see if additional comments, then click on older comments button and change page number in URL to 1. An ‘oldEST comments’ button would avoid that minor extra step, but overall not a big issue.

          • Any chance you put a time stamp for last comment on the main page so you can see if any comments have been made in each article since you last read?

          • Biggest comments issue IMO is the loss of access to the original comments when a redirect is put on older posts.

          • Biggest downfall is not being able to find my own comments and to see if there are any replies and then finding the article I posted on that I wanted to see if there were any replies. Disqus would be good and registration for people even better so you can follow your favourite commenters

          • Disqus is a dog. Most sites that try it, drop it. It is VERY slow, it stores the comments elsewhere (which makes my life hard) and the need to register in order to comment means that the number of comments drops substantially.

    • Agree with oldest comments first!

    • Seconded. And please restore the back to top button.

  7. I got the full £99 back (renewed my card in Jan) and got £300 compensation (have spent £3000 on the card since Jan)
    Might have got very lucky before the staff started getting guidelines.
    My tactic was saying that the free night voucher was worth £300 at a top hotel, that I would be raising it with the Financial ombudsman, that I felt Barclays had handled the transition poorly allowing people to renew a card knowing full well they wouldn’t get the benifits of the card unless they were a very large slender or had large purchases early on and that the replacement card that I was being moved to after the IHG card closed was not a competitive comparison to he IHG card.

    • That was my tactic this morning when I sent them a secure message. I claimed that I had got 90% of the way to the voucher (£9000 spend) and wouldn’t reach the remaining £1000 so wanted 90% of the cost of the £500 room I ewas going to use it for, as well as the fee back. Will wait to see what they come up with

      • After a long call just now I have 11 mths fee refund although I’m 3 months in, but a very vague response to the free night question ‘if anything is due you will find out in the post’ so I’ve sent a secure message. I’m 8.5K towards the 10K so asked for 8.5/10 x £300.

  8. Last year my wife flew to BWI in Club from LHR. The Club WC was full before the flight took off!??
    The Other WC had queues half an hour long, and she was advised not to drink or eat too much that might mean she needed the toilet. She had a VERY uncomfortable long haul flight, despite being in Club.
    She was offered 15,000 Avios which she rejected. All other communications were ignored by them, despite escalating them up the chain.
    Avios is obviously working, as long as the Amex bonus cards still continue, as we still fly BA. However, without Avios I do not think we would fly BA. Customer service stinks! Pun intended.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      She rejected the 15k and subsequently got nothing? or was the 15k then accepted after being ignored?

      Email to alex cruz might yield some contact if its been a long time it helped me after being ignored/poorly dealt with for months. I wasn’t even looking for more than I was legally entitled to.

    • Could this be another cost-cutting measure – stop CW passengers drinking too much Champagne and other premium beverages because they won’t be able to use the loo?

    • Disgusting!

      I’m not sure on what I would do if I was faced with this, surely this is a human right to be able to use a loo if required? I get it that sometimes things go tech, but to do this intentionally? are they taking the p*ss?

      As somebody who had IBS sufferers in the family, this behavior is horrible. If you need to go, then sometimes you just need to go at all costs before something embarrassing may happen!
      Asking somebody to ‘hold it in’ is just not right!

      I think I would walk off the Plane if I was told this at the beginning of the flight.

      Shocking to see so many examples of this popping up in the comments!
      BA need a good talking to, before they loose all customers!

  9. OT – Flying to Beijing in late April using Avios. can’t decide on BA First or Finnair Business. Or maybe a combo of both? What would others do?

    • New Finnair Business is good – if you’ve never seen Helsinki it is worth considering. Fewer Avios too.

      • Is “Alan” in the Hilton there currently? If so, which is the best Hilton in Helsinki? Thanks

        • Airport one is great for night before flight but I stayed at the Hotel Indigo in town – good location and good reviews.

    • I’d look at the schedules and see which was most convenient. however I think they’re roughly the same times of the day

      Helsinki stopover will reduce your outbound APD. Is the concorde room worth paying Philip Hammond an extra £120 per person plus BA’s surcharges (minus the cost of a hotel)?

      If you really want CCR, do F on return with domestic connection for no extra avios though still need to pay charges

    • Roger I says:

      Are you Roger, or roger? Definitely not me.

      Anyway, promoting another blog on Rob’s blog is bad form IMO. Check Rob’s offer.

      • Really???

      • Is Rob’s offer the exact same? Completely free? If so, whats Rob’s code? Thanks

        PS How long is the free version applicable for, 1 year, 2 years, forever? (There’s usually a catch!)

        • Use Gary’s code, fine by me.

          Code is good for 6 months, then you must pay or find another code. When I get to 100 available codes again I will put them up.

      • Feel free to use the VFTW code – I don’t get anything for sharing the codes they give me in return for referring readers

  10. I’d have Messrs Sue, Grabbit & Run nailing them to the mast if I got on a plane and some bozo had decided not to clean my seat or window.

    If I thought the toilet was full, I would likely do a quick calculation on options and get off the plane with Messrs SGR on speed dial.

    Seriously though, listening to an accountant who says that taking an olive off the plate in first class will save $1m a year is one thing but not cleaning the seats in any cabin, nevermind the premium seats is corporate madness.

    Extrapolate forward to where they listen to another bean counter who says that a service ever 5x is enough instead of ever 3x at present, saving £xxm a year until a plane falls from the sky ?

    Corporate manslaughter all round me thinks.

    • If by ‘service’ you’re talking about aircraft maintenance – you understand that’s all mandated by the CAA and not at the discretion of airlines, right? They don’t pop in to Kwik Fit when they feel like it.

  11. New IHG card – they rejected me! Anyone else had any problems? Haven’t been rejected for a card before (inc. Amex gold/plat), homeowner, employed & earning well above threshold. Strange…

    • the real harry1 says:

      you should read the MSE stuff on credit cards – istr they say 10% of people get rejected for unreal reasons – you certainly shouldn’t worry about it over-much provided you have got the basics right such as your personal position as per the post above and got yourself on the electoral roll – I remember I was appalled & insulted when Halifax stopped my credit card (which had a well healthy credit limit & perfect history, I was living abroad so had better alternatives) simply because I hadn’t used it for 2 years – you get over these things, not that I have forgiven Halifax for their foul deed but I still got Clarity last year

    • Nope, called and all approved OK – they didn’t know why website didn’t confirm straight away.

      Only one I’ve had issues with before has been the Hilton card – Barclaycard seemed to go through phases of rejecting those with perfectly good credit histories!

  12. IHG . I was notified this morning that E-rewards points will no longer count towards elite status

    [I would like to inform you that starting 01 March 2017, points received from E-Rewards are no longer qualifying. As an exception, however, I have converted the 4,000 points you received on 14 March 2017 in order for it to count towards your elite status]

    • That’s true. They actually stopped it a few weeks ago but didn’t tell anyone (and eRewards didn’t update their website) so if any have posted recently without showing as qualifying you should email IHG.

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