British Airways / wants compensation for all the inconvenience and emotional stress given to a 64 year old woman, and the all the staff stolen!
My mother-in-law was scheduled to fly from LasVegas, NV to Istanbul, Turkey on February 28th, 2010 - Flight # BA0274. Her first flight apparently arrived in London at 15:15 in the afternoon, and her connecting flight to Turkey left at 16:29 in the afternoon.
She does not speak English at all, and needed assistance. Before we sent her through the security in Las Vegas airport, we told the person taking her to the plane that she needed assistance once she arrived in London. We also wrote a note for her to show the flight crew, explaining the reasons that she needed assistance. She apparently asked hostesses for help once they landed in London, but they told her to wait. They made her wait until everyone else in the plane left. Thus, she was the last person to leave the plane despite the fact that her flight was delayed and she had only a very limited time to make her connection. The staff did not even look at what time her next flight was departing, however. Therefore, even though there was more than one hour remaining to make her final connection, and the fact that both her arrival and departure flight were in Terminal 5, she still was not assisted to reach her connecting flight in time.
After this incident, they called me from London on March 1 at 10:30am Pacific/6:30pm London time, and said that they would put her onto another flight the following day at 9:50am, Flight# 676. They told me that they would give her a bus ticket to get to the hotel where they reserved a room for her, with the idea that she was going to somehow take the bus back to the airport next morning. However, this ignored the fact that my mother-in-law does not know her way around in London and cannot speak English at all. I asked them if someone could take her to the hotel, so that she would not get lost, but the representative told me that they could not do that. The result was that she was stranded in the airport for nearly 24 hours waiting for the next flight after taking an all-night flight from Las Vegas to London.
This was most disappointing to us, for she is a 64 year-old woman that suffers from high blood pressure, which is triggered by stress. When I was able to talk to her on the phone, she was worried and scared, and said that she would rather wait at the airport until her flight left the following morning. It is shocking to us that a person of her age, who was not fully capable of looking out for herself, had to be left sitting in an airport for this length of time without proper care, especially given that it seems highly likely that a lack of attention on the part of the airline led to her missing her connection in the first place.
However, what was most galling about this situation was that the authorities at the airport insisted upon charging her extra $54 for one of her carry-ons when they did finally get her on a flight the next day, which would never have happened had people done their jobs in the first place. They claimed it was too heavy while it was not heavy in the USA. One would think that if mistakes by the staff had caused grave inconvenience to a customer, the last thing they would want to do would be to add insult to injury. They even took all the travel size body lotions and left only 4 of them while each was only 50 or 88 ml. People are allowed to take up to 1lt in their carry-ons. That's what it says on British Airways website! What is that? I understand they are doing their job, but is their job robbing people. This is very offensive.
After all, one of her suitcases arrived one day later after it was emptied! Even they stole her ID which we are very worried about. They stole $500 worth of gifts from the suitcase on the top of breaking both of the suitcases. I can not believe how this can happen.
We are all upset with British Airways handling of this situation, and think that some recompense should be made for the gross inconvenience that she underwent and the insulting way in which she was treated. We also request that this series of errors be further investigated to prevent such unnecessary situations from arising in the future. If we are not satisfied with your response to this matter, we fully intend to file a formal complaint with the relevant regulatory authorities.
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