British Airways and Poor Customer Service

I fly a lot. I fly long-haul from Europe to the United States at least 8 times each year, often more. For an airline that is nice money. And when I fly I tend to fly British Airways. Why? It’s a little longer and I need to transfer through Heathrow but overall the level of service aboard is better than what I find on Air France or Lufthansa. SAS is no longer flying the route I want so that is sadly out.

After accumulating hundreds of thousands of air miles I decided to take my family on a trip. And here is where the problems start.

  1. There are no flights available. But hey, we are flexible and rather than fly to Seattle we will fly to Vancouver and drive down.
  2. There are no business class seats available. Well darn. I have a lot of miles and wanted to treat my family to the upgrade experience. But okay, coach it is.
  3. What’s that? In order to select seats for my family I need to spend 25 euros per person each way? Huh?

So I called BA. I asked about issues 1 and 2 but really, I can’t get that excited about this. Next time I will book a little earlier. But issue 3? You are seriously going to nickel-and-dime me on this? I spend loads of money on flights each year, certainly even skipping one flight with BA will cost them more than they will ever earn from this pathetic surcharge.As a business I expect BA to have a customer support team and they do. So I write. And get essentially a form letter back explaining that BA instituted this cool new feature so people wanting seats could pay for them. Hello? Did you read my email where I explained that according to their own rules as a Gold card member I don’t have to pay for this? Or I don’t know, did it occur to anyone that perhaps this is my last flight on BA and will now switch to Air France which is overall more convenient?In my response today I pointed out that this is penny-wise, pound-foolish. Do you think they will care? Do you think anyone will even notice as they lose a valuable customer? I await their next response to see how bad their customer support is.

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