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British Airways / group bookings

United Kingdom

Back in August 2011, I made a group travel booking (10 people), with British Airways (London-Las Vegas), for June 2012, for which I paid a 10% deposit (the remaining amount is due 26 March 2012).

The company then required that I booked the other leg of the trip (Lisbon-London) separately, seen that "only" 9 of us are completing that leg and the group bookings are for 10+ people. (I did so, and straight away paid 100% of the cost of those flights).

On 11 Mar 2012, one of the group members had to cancel.
We contacted BA and informed them of the cancellation, assuming that the passenger, as per the terms & conditions, would loose its own deposit.
They informed us that, seen that we would not be 10 anymore, but 9, we would lose ALL the deposits, so our best option would be to find a replacement passenger.
We weren't happy with this obligation, but we managed to find another passenger to join the group.
They now seem to have processed the name change, for the LON-VEG flight only, but refuse to do the same name change in the LIS-LON flight.

I understand that the conditions for a regular booking (non-group booking) don't allow name changes.
However, seen that this is a group of 10, that both flights are, in the end, part of the same trip, and that the name change is only required because BA themselves asked us to find a replacement, I strongly believe that BA should make an exception (which they can make, as long as they decide to).
I have tried contacting BA in several ways (groups department, reservations, customer service, Lisbon airport office) and none of these helped me or even accepted an escalation to a manager.
This is meaningless for the company, but a big customer dissatisfaction issue for me.
I'd like to see someone look at this holistically and feel that I'm treated as a person/passenger/customer, not just a booking reference.

In case this is not resolved, I am now looking at competitors options and considering cancelling this with BA (10, 000 £ business loss), plus never traveling with BA (which I do, at least 3 times a year), plus advising the approximately 50 guests, that are traveling LON-LIS this summer, for an event I'm organizing, to use another airline.

regards

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