September 3, 2005

Why We Won\’t Fly British Airways Any More

We have flown back and forth across the Atlantic half a dozen times in the last couple of years, maybe 25 trips total, all on British Airways. As we were getting ready to take this latest trip back to the US, I decided it was time to use some of those miles.British Airways sucks

Imagine my surprise when upon checking my mileage statement I found that 7 San Francisco to London legs, plus 5 Boston to London legs had netted me a mere 24,034 miles, and a family total of just 49,000.British Airways sucks

Isn\’t San Francisco 7,000-8,000 miles from London? Isn\’t Boston about 4,000 miles from London? Shouldn\’t I have more than 70,000 miles in my account, and a family total hovering around 200,000 miles?British Airways sucks

What was going on I wondered? I went to the British Airways website, and looked around for over 1/2 an hour. I read policies and procedures, checked the FAQs, used the search box, I even stepped through buying a ticket online three different times (which is how I always buy them). Nowhere did it say we were going to get less than full miles for our flights. British Airways sucks

So I called British Airways, where I got the most amazingly rude person who said it must be a policy, and no he couldn\’t tell me what it was, nor where I could find it online.British Airways sucks

Well, by this time I\’m getting a little bit hot under the collar, and decided it was time to email customer service, with a copy to whoever it is that runs British Airways. So back to the website. Nothing. No customer service email address. Nothing that tells you who runs British Airways. Nada. (Hey, you try it…see if you can find that info, I sure couldn\’t.)British Airways sucks

What I did find though was one of the worst-forms-in-the-world-that-you-just-know-is-going-into-a-black-hole and sure enough 4 weeks later, it had obviously reached that black hole. So back to the website I went, and this time, surprise surprise, about a week later I got a reply. And here it is for your reading pleasure (if you can\’t tell, black text is their\’s, red text is my comments):British Airways sucks

Dear Mr Leahy

I am sorry you were disappointed with the changes made to the Executive Club program.

Disappointed? I\’m not disappointed, I\’m pissed off! And by the way, what changes were made, just when were they made, and was I ever informed of these changes?

We know that some of our members like to accumulate BA Miles over a period of time to use on a specific flight.

Yes, I like to accumulate miles. In fact I like to accumulate 100% of the miles I fly on British Airways, just like every other airline that I\’ve ever flown on.

To help balance the increase in BA Miles you need for specific routes, we have changed the way you can spend them. You can now combine your BA Miles with cash to make your booking, or use them to upgrade your class of travel.

I see. Because we only receive 25% of the miles flown,we can\’t accumulate enough miles to be awarded free tickets, so we can send you some more money.

If you would like more information, please log on to ba.com. Below, I have cut and pasted from the website:

Hey, this is the internet. Any chance of pasting a link to the page into this email so I can read the page myself?

\”You will be awarded one BA Mile for each mile flown with British Airways and oneworldT alliance airlines in full-fare economy. On discounted economy tickets, you will earn 25% of the actual miles flown. Bonus BA Miles can be earned when you travel in our premium cabins.\”

I see. Too bad that info is hidden so deeply

I hope I have managed to explain the background and that you will fly with us again soon.

There\’s not a snowball\’s chance we\’ll be flying with British Airways again.

And just so you know, all four of us flew back on Virgin Atlantic this last time, and racked up over 6,900 miles for the London to San Francisco leg. Sure wish we\’d done that three years ago.

Sincerely,
Marcia Friedland
British Airways Customer Relations

Your case reference is:4266197

Please do not reply directly to this email as direct replies are sent to an unmonitored mailbox and cannot be actioned. Please use the link in \’How To Contact Us\’ below to reply to Customer Relations

Not really interested in talking to customers, are we?

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HOW TO CONTACT US
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While we endeavour to offer you as full a service as possible, we are unable to respond to direct replies to this email.

If you have a particular query with regard to this case, please click on the link below to submit a reply to British Airways Customer Relations:

http://britishairways.com/webmail/custrelreplies?case=4266197

Please quote your case reference 4266197 in any correspondence with us.

However, if you have a general query about British Airways, you can ask your question online. Click on the link below to go to \’Your questions\’:

http://ba.com/askba

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Moral of the story? Don\’t fly British Airways unless you want to get screwed by their \”Executive Club\” mileage program.

British Airways sucks

Posted by: Frank @ 4:47 am — Filed under: Comments (56)