Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

  • Rivo 17 posts

    Last week I made a comment about how reasonable I thought my LGW – CTA BA Euroflyer flight was.

    Last night, we made the return leg a it’s safe to say,I won’t be flying BA short-haul from LGW in a hurry.

    I smelt a rat last Monday when I tried to book our seats (Bronze) and every seat was blocked. After a brief X/Twitter chat with BA I was told that the seats were blocked but I would have 2 x CE seats waiting for me (this was a reward flight with companion voucher).

    24hrs before departure I attempted online check in but was met with error after error.

    At the airport we were first in the queue for CE, where the agent said “bad news”. Yes the flight is delayed I replied. “No, you have been downgraded, but it’s not my fault it’s BA and I’m only an agent”. Before I even opened my mouth! We were told they could rebook us on the next days flight, but it would be standby, so chances are we wouldn’t be home by Wednesday, so just accept the downgrade.

    With that we were sent on our merry way, so sit in a cramped and overcrowded departure lounge for 2 hours longer than we were supposed to.

    When we finally boarded it seems there were 7 further CE passengers that had been bumped, all of which had cash tickets and were upset, to the extend that the Captaim had to come down to calm things down, subtly threatening to deboard them.

    It was here that the crew were somewhat indiscreet and showed their lack of experience. They revealed that the A321 usually scheduled had been swapped out that morning and their first flight to Dalaman suffered the same issue – passengers bumped. It also transpired that this aircraft change screwed up the catering and they only had one choice on the outbound and return leg.

    They also said they do not get the treatment as their LHR colleagues and are often thrown under the bus by management, who simply have no concept of the operations side of things and frankly don’t care that their crews are being put into trying situations.

    Ultimately BA do not have enough planes or crew to services the flight or the seats they have sold.

    What was interesting, was those who kept their CE seats were all transferring onto long haul flights, which perhaps suggests its revenue based.

    NorthernLass 8,440 posts

    How annoying. Have you had a look at the threads on downgrade reimbursement? You should at least get some avios back for that, and hopefully some more for the poor service/lack of catering.

    Rivo 17 posts

    I am currently drafting my email to the main man. I have a screen grab of the twitter conversation where I was told that I had w CE seats. This is now more than a downgrade, it’s mistruths from customer services.

    AJA 1,143 posts

    Well on the plus side it sounds like you were not the only ones selected for downgrade and it sounds like you are entitled to downgrade reimbursement.

    It is obvious BA Euroflyer doesn’t have enough aircraft to operate all their flights – the fact that they subcontracted Avion to operate several flights since May is evidence of this.

    I don’t really understand why BA can’t simply move the curtain back and keep everyone in Club unless there were already 14 rows of CE on the flight?

    I thought I was in for a similar experience on my flight last week from TFS to LGW as I too was unable to select any seats 7 days out as Bronze but I was allocated the last row when OLCI opened.

    SamG 1,727 posts

    I got a feeling they restrict Gatwick to 8 rows on an A320 as they don’t add extra crew like LHR does for increased CE cabins. So if they did swap to an A320 that could explain it as an A321 they can have more rows on (10 or maybe even 12 not sure)

    I’m not surprised they’d leave those on connecting flights up front as it’s likely rather more simple to manage a downgrade on a “point to point” ticket than a connecting one

    You can claim a 75% refund for that leg – @JDB or someone will likely be along shortly to advise on how to handle the voucher element!

    SamG 1,727 posts

    I am currently drafting my email to the main man. I have a screen grab of the twitter conversation where I was told that I had w CE seats. This is now more than a downgrade, it’s mistruths from customer services.

    To be fair the person was just looking at your booking which likely at that point was still in CE & there probably were still unallocated seats too (the front and back row) They’d only have processed the downgrade nearer the time.

    I’d focus in as few words as possible on the downgrade claim (once you’ve had some research advice on this) and any CS element you deal with separately

    JDB 4,801 posts

    The downgrade reimbursement for this length of flight is at the rate of 50% such that there isn’t a great difference between asking for the difference (if you paid with Avios which is slightly implied) in Avios and RFS for that leg which BA will pay without fuss and is what I personally would do because otherwise you will have to fight hard for a handful of Avios from the 50%.

    There is zero point in writing to the CEO, it will cause you more stress than he will experience and as for the customer service “mistruths” I think the person on the chat almost certainly acted in good faith – they most likely simply weren’t aware you had been or were going to be downgraded.

    Rivo 17 posts

    In my experience, when you are unable to select a seat prior to departure that generally indicates that something is amiss. Sometimes it can nean you have been bumped which has happened to me on a number of long haul flights where I could not either select a seat nor check in. On this occasion it was working against me.

    Having spoken with my friendly BA first officer who used to fly BA short haul before moving onto wide bodies, these decisions are often taken days if not weeks before,as the majority of passengers are holiday makers with set itineraries. In fairness to Twitter CS, they are having to work with shoddy BA IT so it’s no surprise. However that isn’t my problem. They clearly stated that I had two seats in CE.

    Finally, email has been sent this morning. My response rate historically has been very good from Messrs Walsh, Cruz and Doyle and has resulted in an amicable settlement.

    So we shall see.

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