Of Airlines to Be Stuck on in a Meltdown, British Airways is About My Last Choice, Here’s 2 Pieces of Advice

British Airways ranks slightly above LIAT in my personal ranking of airlines I avoid at all costs. Few are below, dozens are above.

BA is a fading flag carrier with deliberately poor customer service that is adopting practices of low-cost carriers . In good times they are a low-mid quality flying experience. When things go wrong they may be the worst major alliance carrier in the world. I feel bad for those who feel trapped into flying them or cling to them out of stiff upper lip national price.

I have had a few run-ins with BA and strive for no more. I don’t care what kind of fare deal, AARP or companion discount there is on offer, it is not worth it to me.

BA Meltdown May 2017In light of this weekend’s BA meltdown shutting down flights into and out of London Heathrow and London Gatwick, I have two pieces of advice to add to that offered up by regular BA flyers.

  1. Forget about getting rebooked on another airline. Most BA agents will swear up and down (1) they cannot do anything and/or (2) that no partner airline has seats available, ever, on any flight.
  2. Prepare to fight tooth and nail to get any compensation. Each year FlyerTalk grows a massive thread of BA’s shenanigans to deny compensation under EU261. Study it. You can bet they will claim an ‘extraordinary circumstances’ exemption and hope people give up.

Sorry you had to fly BA. Sorry your plans were disrupted. Good luck. Sock it to ’em.

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  • Warren

    I’m impressed you’ve heard of and possibly flown LIAT (short for Leaving Island Any Time). Yeah they are probably worse than BA, but not by much. Couldn’t agree with you more about BA–mediocre airline at best, clinging to past memories of when they were actually a world class airline.

  • How often do you fly BA? As one who travels (often) ex-LHR to the USA the other “major” options are AA/DL/UA and VS. Setting aside this meltdown (which seems to me to be quite similar to DL) do you really believe that AA/DL/UA provide a superior ex-LHR experience and nonstop coverage to the USA for the premium traveler based in London? I’d give VS a slight edge, but their coverage is much more limited. I’ve flown DL (Delta One) countless times to/from LHR and your are basically limited to “ancient” 767s. The VS/DL premium experience at T3 is very decent, just the rest of T3 is rubbish. T5 First Wing is fabulous, and T5 itself is a much nicer terminal. BA First Lounge and CCR are beyond decent, though not the best in the world. I believe that premium travelers (BA Gold / GGL) still get a better overall “deal” for their loyalty than AA/UA/DL ex-LHR. At the end of the day, most people want to have the most flight frequencies nonstop. Getting from point A to B is the #1 priority (quickly). Of course, it depends a bit on your travel patterns, but I have a very hard time finding a better option ex-LHR, especially for those who travel often to the USA.

  • chris

    true about clinging to past memories. what a lousy airline it is now. my bag went astray on friday and there’s still no news of it …