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The purpose of this review is to highlight the unbelievably poor customer service provided by British Airways. If there was an option for zero stars, that is what I would have chosen!
My wife booked 4 return tickets to Qatar leaving London Heathrow on premium economy on 16/12/17 and returning business class 6 days later. Two weeks prior to departure, we received an email from British Airways Customer Service that the departure flight was cancelled with no mention of why or any alternative offered! Now bearing in mind that hotels are booked etc, this caused a right panic. My wife contacted customer services (after unacceptably long waiting times on the telephone) and as an aside, found out the return flight was also cancelled! After much frustration, she managed to transfer the flights to Qatar Airways for the same dates, leaving on economy and returning business. The mind boggles that despite British Airways and Qatar Airways code sharing, British Airways could not on their own initiative offer the alternative flights with Qatar Airways. When my wife enquired about the refund due for the outbound flight (as we were originally booked premium economy and now were flying standard economy), British Airways could not determine what the refund would be. Instead, my wife had to file a claim for the refund with customer services!
Basically, British Airways cancelled scheduled flights with two weeks notice, did not offer alternatives and then expected the customer to go through their hoops to get a refund for their failure to provide any level of service!
The story just gets worse. When my wife contacted customer services a few days later to chase up on the refund issue, she was told that customer relations dealt with this. However, that department only worked between 1 and 5pm! I have as yet to come across any other national company that offers such limited customer service access.
At that stage, my wife emailed the CEO of British Airways out of pure frustration with the intention of informing him of this debacle and to try to come to an amenable resolution. We had hoped that by highlighting the atrocious service provided so far, British Airways might upgrade our outward flight as a gesture of goodwill. The day before we were due to fly out a customer services representative called Jane did make contact, in response to the email to Alex Cruz. All Jane could offer was an apology!
My wife (quite rightly) did not accept this apology and was asked by Jane what was it that she wanted out of British Airways ( apart from the company making up for its monumental mishandling of a problem that they had created, and not being able to determine the amount of the refund rightly due to us). Totally infuriated at this stage, my wife asked for a personal apology from Alex Cruz and not from someone to whom her email was forwarded to. The intention of this request was to receive some acknowledgement from the head of British Airways of the situation and the service provided by his staff. According to Jane, this was not possible as Alex Cruz did not respond to emails personally. This is factually incorrect as there is evidence on the internet (just google it) that contradicts this statement.
Perhaps the statement that Alex Cruz does not see fit to respond to customer issues is indicative of the malaise that seeps through British Airways, such that if the head is not concerned, there is no need for the rest of the staff to provide a minimal level of acceptable service.
In summary, I think it is a disgrace that a company like this is the national carrier and carrying the name “British” is a stain on the country and its people.
I thank you for taking the time to read through this lengthy review. Hopefully you will have a better insight as to the type of company British Airways is. Forewarned is forearmed.