A peeved BA passenger recently purchased a series of promoted Tweets on Twitter to name and shame air travel giant British Airways and their bad customer service after his bags were lost.
Loving his revenge mission that totally worked, it got me wondering if any of you had had bad experience with the BA customer service, or any other airline for that matter, and how would you get your own back?
Also, for future travel tips, who do you think is the best or most reliable airline to fly with – I think we often forget how we put our lives and possessions in the hands of others when boarding a plane, so who should I trust?
It’s all about Twitter really these days isn’t it? You can email customer services until you’re blue in the face, but one public tweet usually sorts things out.
I’ve always loved BA. Well, “loved” is a bit strong but they’re far from the worst.
Michael Huxley Definitely Tim, complain to the cutomer service department and noone cares. Embarrass them publicly and suddenly they sit up and listen! Maybe theres a new trend here?
Worst: surely Ryanair? Any airline that plays some cheesy music and applause when they land – as if that’s a rare achievement – scares the bejesus out of me.
Best: maybe Virgin Atlantic; I’ve always had a good experience with them.
Michael Huxley Definately agree the worst Ive ever flown is Ryanair! Spirit is a cloae second though!
Lottie Gross Virgin have always been pretty reliable for me, but Qatar Airways have to top my list... Thai Airways has to top the list for me though, they gave us fresh flowers when we boarded the plane and I had 4 seats to myself for the whole trip :D
Tim Chester I forgot about the applause! Amazing. They pretty much disturb you the whole flight with announcements, and you can't even wear headphones to drown them out for most of it. If I wanted e-cigarettes or to find out more about Europcar I'd let them know...
BA are far from the worst Tim, but they are far from great either. Its the only airline that has ever misplaced my bag. It was only for a short time but it was horrible while I was waiting. Their customer service is awful!
I dont know what I would do to be honest, id definately complain through the usual channels, maybe tweet (but i never would have thought to do what that guy did – good on him!) maybe even write a blog post or an article or something? I really applaud that guy for pushing the boundaries and the national news for picking it up!
I think its about time a lot of airlines are named and shamed, not just for bad service but things like constantly shrinking seat pitch (a huge bugbear of mine) and much more. They’ve got away with it for too long.
Saying that not all airlines are bad. Ive always had good service with Emirates, and I am looking forward to flying with Singapore airlines (have not had the pleasure yet) as soon as possible based on the news that they have actually INCREASED seat pitch and comfort in economy! Now THAT’S how to get customer loyalty and satisfaction!
I fly Qatar a lot, and Emirates when I can’t get Qatar. Both have great service, and Doha (for Qatar, Emirates flies thru Dubai) is a really nice & easy airport to transfer, no where near as hardcore bling as Dubai. And neither have even been late with a bag in quite a few flights now.
I would not choose BA for the service but I do trust them in terms of flight safety, I also fly with Lufthansa for the same reason. I’m a nervous flyer yet planning to go to Argentina:) and very picky about which airline to fly with, so I regularly check www.airlinequality.com to see what others say about the airlines.
I had my longest flight with Cathay Pacific and they were good. Like Michael Huxley I’m looking forward to the day I fly with Singapore and would love to try Qatar.
I sort of disapprove of tweeting complaints. If we’re being totally honest with ourselves, the customer isn’t always right and public complaining will inevitably be one-sided and often motivated by the hope of getting free stuff in return for shutting up. If you’ve received crap customer service, contact the chief executive (their details are pretty well always somewhere online). I’ve found that to be a successful approach.
Michael Huxley Thats an excellent point, and brings a but of balanxe to tge argument. I really do take yoyr point, but I think that sometimes hitting brick wall after brick wall, public announcements like this can be the only resort some people may feel they have. Dont get me wrong complaining to the chief exec may get you heard, but it wont change things. If a company is publicly embarrassed enough or gets enough bad press? Well that may force them to get their act together.
Michael Huxley My apologies for the typos, doing this on a mobile isnt easy! Haha! We need that edit function!
Can I recommend this website for complaints to Uk-based companies:
It lists the work emails for the CEOs and a complaint directly to them is usually dealt with promptly and efficiently.
Clare, have a look at this as a good example of how social media can help force companies to face their customers mobile.slate.com/articles/business/mo...
Personally I really like BA,they’re my favourite airline and I’ve not really had a bad experience with them so far. I flew with Cathay Pacific last year to Vietnam and I thought they were excellent.Really good service and food on board.I’d highly recommend. My worst airline would have to be Ryanair.They just seem to have a total disregard for their customers, they aren’t even that cheap and I avoid flying with them at all costs.I’d rather pay more and have to change plans en route than fly with them. Just my opinion of course, they must have some fans to be doing as well as they are!
Michael Huxley I think its more a case of lack of competition rather than fans. If there were more choice I dont think theyd be doing nearly as well.
I have to agree with quite a few others that Ryanair are the worst – as someone very rightly said, the fact that there is cheesy music and applause every time they land is rather bizarre and creepy to say the least. Also the last flight I went on was far from smooth, and the weather conditions weren’t that bad. I also hate their over-strict cabin baggage restrictions. The best airlines in my most recent experience have to be Turkish Airlines and Thai Airways – friendly, attentive and professional service, lovely food, smooth and efficient flight and excellent on board facilities.
On the basis of lost suitcases, I have probably very rarely flown with a good airline, as for some reason they seem to lose mine at least a couple of times in a year. If I were to choose though, I’d say the worst airlines are Ryanair and Easy Jet, have been disappointed by their customer service and their not taking responsibility for anything. All you get from them when you complain, is I’m sorry there’s nothing we can do and we hope this doesn’t deter you from flying with us again. I also detest airlines that they charge you even for a glass of water and whose tickets some times are more expensive than BA’s. I have no problem with BA and the one time my flight was cancelled, they did put me in a hotel for the night. In terms of complaining, I would definitely go on the social media and try to shame them, if I weren’t getting anywhere with e-mailing.
As for the best one, Virgin is my favourite by far, but only so far.
This is interesting… I guess we wouldn’t have to worry about them losing our luggage any more?
What do you think about no-frills on BA flights? Doesn’t it seem to contradict what they’re about?
Hmm, I’m very suspect about it to be honest Lottie. To me this new policy from BA smacks of a) a desperate attempt to save money by following the O Leary model of airline management, and b) a blatant attempt to slide in the ‘individualised airfares’ that a lot of airlines want through the back door.
They are reducing what the ‘norm’ will be for a basic flight (how soon before they remove the ‘privilege’ of free checked baggage and make people pay for it if they want it) and will start introducing charges for everything and anything.
I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. BA is going further and further down in my estimation all the time.
BA used to be great but have gone downhill if my last experience is anything to go by.
My favourites are Emirates and Virgin.
My least favourite is American Airlines. Firstly, the movie screen didn’t work but, fine, I had my Kindle with me. Secondly, I lightly tapped one of the air stewardesses on the arm to get her attention. She knelt down to my level, tapped her own arm, shook her head and said “NO” before she got back up and walked away. I think she was trying to tell me that we shouldn’t touch the air stewardesses (which is probably fair enough) but to assume I needed to be spoken to like a 6 year old – or that I couldn’t speak English – was pretty offensive. And, finally, I practically got into a fight with one of them because I asked for some butter. She shook her head patronisingly and said, “You asked for a vegetarian meal. Vegetarians don’t eat butter.” I tried to tell her that she was thinking about VEGANS but she was having none of it. These are all quite small and petty but when you’re on a long-haul flight in a confined space, everything is magnified and small annoyances can feel like an assault.
Thankfully, I’ve never had to fly them since.
Lottie Gross Wow – was this all in one flight?! I am NEVER flying with them!
Kia Abdullah Yup.
Ryanair have been listening to our quibbles! Check this out:
“1. The “Recaptcha” security code will be removed from the Ryanair.com website for individual bookings next week (on 1 Nov next).
2. From 1 Nov, customers who book directly on the Ryanair.com website (i.e. not via travel agents or screenscrapers) will be given a 24 hour grace period from the time of their original booking, to correct any minor errors (i.e. spelling, names, routings) made in their original booking.
3. From 1 Nov, Ryanair will operate “quiet flights”, prior to 8am in the mornings and after 9pm in the evenings. During these quiet flight periods no PA’s will be made on board other than required safety announcements. Ryanair will also dim the lights during these quiet flights so that any customers who wish to snooze, can comfortably do so.
4. From 1 Dec, Ryanair will allow passengers to bring a 2nd small carry-on bag (small ladies handbag or small airport shopping bag) no bigger than 35 x 20 x 20 cms which will allow a bottle of wine or equivalent to be carried.
5. From 1 Dec, Ryanair’s boarding card reissue fee will be cut from €70/£70 to €15/£15 for customers who have already checked in online. Customers who fail to check-in online will continue to pay a €70 airport check-in fee.
6. From 5 Jan, Ryanair’s standard airport bag fees will be cut from €60/£60 to €30/£30 at the bag drop desk, and from €60/£60 to €50/£50 at the boarding gate, bringing them into line with competitor airline standard airport bag fees.”
No more cheesy music before 8am, cheaper baggage fees and more relaxed carry-on luggage rules! I’m stunned by that last one