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  • FIRST POST
    • Aubrey Thicket
    • By Aubrey Thicket 13th Jun 17, 10:33 AM
    • 132Posts
    • 43Thanks
    Aubrey Thicket
    Is it worth it/is it possible to get Solicitor involved with this delay problem?
    • #1
    • 13th Jun 17, 10:33 AM
    Is it worth it/is it possible to get Solicitor involved with this delay problem? 13th Jun 17 at 10:33 AM
    Hi all


    Whilst not new to the forums I am brand new to this particular section. Therefore, please go easy on me. If I make a mistake or seem to be missing the point please feel free to criticise. If I seem to be going over the top, then again, please tell me. However, my knowledge of this area is simply non existent. Such is/was my anger I would have no problem taking legal advice if you guys thought it was worth it. On the other hand if you guys tell me to get on with it and play it down I will also take that advice. I simply don't know where to start. The problems we suffered were on a flight we booked with BA (but was operated by Iberia). Instead of going over everything twice I have included a huge part of the complaint letter I sent to BA.


    To jump forward a little BA did respond to my letter 6 weeks later with a standard response that says I must contact Iberia because the flight was 'operated' by them.


    Pull a chair up peeps... Its a long letter. I have deleted and altered peoples names etc to protect innocent people.


    Here is a large part of the letter I sent to BA...


    This whole disgraceful episode surrounds our annual family holiday on a cruise around the Western Caribbean. Details and verification of this can be found in the attached document titled 'Document CR1'.


    On Saturday 1st April 2017 my family and I took a BA flight from Manchester to Heathrow. I am glad to say that flight was perfect, as one would reasonably expect.



    So...to our nightmare!
    On Saturday 1st April 2017 after checking in as normal and boarding our flight from Heathrow to Madrid my family and I were very excited to be finally leaving for our cruise holiday. Indeed, the aircraft taxied to the runway but for reasons unknown to all passengers on board the Captain took the decision to return the plane to the gate citing “Technical Problems”. Now, it is at this point that I make it clear that we have no problems with the Captain's decision to return the plane back to the gate. No right thinking individual would have wanted the Captain to take a risk with the plane and in my opinion the Captain acted properly and correctly in returning the plane back to the gate.


    After returning to the gate we were told that we must leave the aircraft and wait in the terminal for further instructions.


    12:35 We arrived back at the terminal. We immediately made our way to the BA customer service desk where we greeted by a very nice, helpful lady named Mrs S. Mrs S apologised for the delay and fully acknowledged that we were now delayed by one hour. Mrs S also acknowledged our connecting flight from Madrid to Miami. This is when Mrs S began the frantic search to find us alternative flights from Heathrow to Madrid in order to catch our connecting flight from Madrid to Miami. Imagine our dismay when Mrs S informed us that there were no flights available this day that would get us to Madrid to catch the other required flight to Miami. However, Mrs S informed us that all was not lost as she intended to find us a direct flight from Heathrow to our final destination, Miami, which on the face of it would have been a bonus (meaning that we wouldn't have a change of plane in Madrid or anywhere else). Mrs S spent the next 20-30 minutes frantically trying to find us a flight from Heathrow to Miami whilst we remained stood at her desk. Sure thing, Mrs S told us that all was good and she had actually booked and reserved us 4 seats on an alternative flight from Heathrow direct to Miami later that day - the only down side being that our family would have been split up for the duration of the flight. Given the nature of the circumstances and time running out we accepted Mrs S's offer with some degree of relief. End of the matter one would assume! Mrs S confirmed our booking and gave us the new Heathrow-Miami flight documentation and informed us that as soon as practical our checked luggage would be removed from the still grounded Madrid plane and transferred to the new direct flight to Miami. Given the circumstances we were a little relieved. So, we waited… and we waited… and we waited… Only for Mrs S to announce to us that she had finished her shift and her position was being taken over by a lady named Mrs C. Mrs S informed Mrs C of our predicament (That we had now DEFINITELY missed the connecting flight from Madrid to Miami and that she had booked us replacement direct flights from Heathrow to Miami). Mrs C seemed to accept this, so we waited...and waited…and we waited…



    13:40 We approached Mrs C and asked her to update us. Her response was nothing short of amazing. The following conversation ensued:


    Mrs C: I'm sorry but nobody is being taken off the Madrid flight.


    JW: We cannot take that Madrid flight. Your colleague Mrs S has confirmed that she has requested our cases to be removed from the Madrid flight and be transferred to the Direct Miami flight. She has reserved us flights. Look here. We have the documents for the flight direct to Miami later today.



    Mrs C: I am only following orders. Your cases will not be removed from the flight. You have to fly to Madrid.


    JW: There is no point in us going to Madrid. We will be stranded in Madrid because there are no more flights from Madrid to Miami until tomorrow, at which time we will have missed the departure of our cruise ship. What do we do when we have landed in Madrid? Where do we go? We have no accommodation or anything.


    It is at this point that Mrs C's attitude became very poor towards us. No matter how many times I tried to tell her that we could not fly to Madrid Mrs C did nothing more than fob me off. On one occasion she even lost her temper and shouted to me “Look. Its not my fault. The plane has a technical fault. I can't fix it. I can't tell you anything else. Once the plane is fixed you are going to Madrid with the rest of these passengers”


    During this time the flight information board simply continued to display the word 'Delayed'


    Please try to image our frustration as we tried to reason with Mrs C. We told her again and again.


    JW: We have a cruise booked from Miami tomorrow. We must leave Heathrow soon today on that direct flight to Miami, otherwise it will be too late. There will be no flights left.


    Again, Mrs C repeated only the same words. Then out of the Blue:


    Mrs C: My manager Steve says that nobody is being taken off that Madrid flight. Everyone must go to Madrid.


    JW: Please. I need to speak to your manager. It is this simple. If we do not leave Heathrow on that flight that Mrs S has booked for us there will be no flights left today and we will miss our cruise.


    Mrs C: You can't speak to Steve or Christine.


    JW: Why?


    Mrs C: They are not answering their phones.


    JW: Look. I need a senior manager here soon to explain the situation.


    Mrs C: There's nothing they can do. Everybody is boarding that flight to Madrid.


    14:40 I was still trying to explain to Mrs C:


    JW: Look. The board still says delayed. How long is the flight going to be delayed for?


    Mrs C: I told you before. I'm not a mechanic. We don't know what's wrong with the plane, when it will be fixed or even if it will be fixed today. Like I said. You are going to Madrid with all these lot.


    JW: We are getting nowhere here. Please let me make this more clear. It is now nearly 3pm. Even if a plane took off NOW at 3pm it would only arrive in Madrid at 5:30pm. By the time we had cleared etc. it would be 6:30pm. THERE SIMPLY ARE NO OTHER FLIGHTS TODAY FROM MADRID TO MIAMI. Subsequently there is no point in going to Madrid. We will just be stranded. We will miss our cruise tomorrow.


    Mrs C: Nothing I can do.


    JW: Please call your most senior manager now.


    At this point in my letter it is worth pointing out that the time was now past 3pm and no passengers had been updated on the status of the flight (delayed further? Cancelled?). Everybody had accepted that a technical fault had grounded the plane but there were no updates or information. As the minutes ticked on people started to become angry and frustrated. A large travelling party on our flight to Madrid contained a Vicar and he tried to reason with Mrs C and her staff too. People were shouting and becoming more and more frustrated. Eventually somebody stated that they feared that order would be lost and that they wanted to call a Police officer to calm the situation. Here were 200 + passengers all stood in a queue, having been severely delayed being told nothing other than “EVERYBODY IS GOING TO MADRID. NO BAGS WILL BE UNLOADED OFF THAT PLANE”. As conditions worsened a member of staff finally made a phone call to a senior manager who promptly arrived. Her name was Mrs D.


    3:10Mrs D arrived. By now our Children were in tears as were others and adults too. Our children now knew that no matter what happened there were no more flights from Madrid to Miami today. After the delay trying to convince Mrs C it was now clear that WE HAD NOW MISSED THE FLIGHT FROM HEATHROW TO MIAMI (that Mrs S had previously booked for us).


    3:30 Here we were, still stood in the terminal. Now trying to convince Mrs D that because of the ridiculous delay and non information from Mrs C and her colleagues, NOT ONLY HAD WE MISSED THE FLIGHT FROM MADRID TO MIAMI BUT WE HAD NOW MISSED THE REPLACEMENT FLIGHT FROM HEATHROW TO MIAMI THAT MRS S HAD RESERVED FOR US. This was madness! Literal madness! To be fair to Mrs D she had to endure the wrath of many angry passengers who all required answers. Many like us had now missed their connecting flights elsewhere and faced being stranded in Madrid if this flight ever did take off. At this point Mrs D revealed the full truth to us all...


    Mrs D: It is not up to British Airways. It is up to Iberia. They have the final say and they have told us that under no circumstances will anybody be allowed to be de-board the Madrid flight.


    Well, can you imagine the rage on some peoples faces? There were scenes of utter dismay. Mrs D's gesture of free meal vouchers did little to appease anybody. At this point it became clear that a high percentage of passengers booked onto this plane had now REFUSED to take their seats on this flight to Madrid if it ever did take off. It had now suddenly dawned on Mrs D that no matter how much she, Mrs C or anybody else tried to convince people they had to fly to Madrid they were now forced to concede. Mrs D herself tried her best to appease us all but it was evident that she simply did not have the power to de-board passengers from the flight. Her hands were well and truly tied! Mrs D genuinely had no idea what to do and was frantically trying to contact a representative of Iberia to tell them that there were passengers who could now not fly to Madrid. Unfortunately she had no joy. STALEMATE! Many people had missed connecting flights. Many people's holidays were in danger of being lost and the only thing Mrs D could do was to tell us that Iberia were pulling the strings and they would not relent. The whole situation was nothing short of a disorganised, disgusting d!bâcle. The company we booked with, BA, not having the Power (or the courage) to stand up to Iberia and assist their own passengers. Outrageous!



    Sadly, neither Mrs D, Mrs C or anybody else had the power to assist us and it was clear that the only situation here was a waiting game. Stalemate. Limbo.


    I could go on and on telling you how people were now arguing amongst themselves in the queue. How our Children and others were visibly upset that their Holidays were seemingly lost.


    Then at 15:41, long after our shameful wait we were finally supplied with some news…


    To the total surprise of Mrs D herself (who had only been telling us 5 minutes earlier that there was no change in the situation) at 15:41 the information board then displayed the word 'Cancelled'. You can imagine how embarrassed Mrs D was. She had gone from… 'Everybody must board that flight, nobody is allowed to de-board that flight' to then being faced with the flight cancellation all within a couple of minutes. Fury broke out! Naturally, people were VERY, VERY annoyed. All along we had been forced to listen to BA employees telling us we could not take alternative flights and we could not de-board the flight to Madrid and now this…


    So, what were we supposed to do now? How on earth would we now get to Miami for our cruise tomorrow? Many passengers were in the in the same situation.


    To cut a very long story short, (yes, there is much more) Mrs D finally acknowledged the fact that through the simple incompetence of British Airways, Iberia and the breakdown of your partnership we now had no reasonable way of getting to Miami in time for our cruise ship. You try telling Two young children who have waited in an Airport all day that the holiday they had been looking forward to for so long was not going to happen!


    It was now clear that this unnecessary waiting game being played out by BA & Iberia had backfired.


    In a strange, perverse kind of way the cancellation of the flight actually helped us because it was now clear that Mrs D and her team were free of the shackles that were preventing them from de-boarding people from that flight to Madrid. However, by now many hours had been lost simply because nobody at BA could or would de-board us from that grounded flight to Madrid thus allowing us to move on and take the flight Mrs S had booked for us. Again, to be fair to Mrs D she now leaped into action to try and somehow get our family to Miami but even Mrs D can't turn back time and it now transpired that the unnecessary, appalling delay left us with only one option left (if we wanted to catch our cruise ship the following day). That option was to take a flight from Heathrow to New York. Then take another (early morning) flight from New York to Miami a few hours later. What option did we have? We literally had no choice but to accept the flight from Heathrow to New York. That flight was BA 179 departing at 6pm. Indeed, we accepted Mrs D's offer of the flight to New York even after she told us “You're going to have to fly to New York. You'll have a few hours lay over in New York and then take another flight from New York to Miami in the early hours of tomorrow” We literally had no option and decided to just go along with it. So, here we were at 6pm (after being in Heathrow airport since 9am in the morning) now taking off for New York. Thankfully, the flight from Heathrow to New York went without incident and we finally arrived in New York late at night. After clearing the Airport the time was now a blur. The Children were literally dropping on their feet and we still had another huge wait for our next flight (AA 947) that Mrs D had booked for us. So, after landing at and clearing New York airport and taking a shuttle to the Hotel that Mrs D had reserved for us we finally got to a hotel room at around Midnight. On entering the room we found 2 double beds for our 'family' of four. We literally didn't have the energy to go to reception to change the room and my wife slept with my Daughter and I slept with my stepson. I use the word 'slept' loosely because with our next flight (AA 947) scheduled for departure at 05:30 (and taking into account the time we had to be back at the airport) we literally did not sleep at all. Finally, after no sleep and trudging back to New York airport for 4am, at 05:30 our plane departed New York and landed without incident in Miami.


    At this point I refer you back to the document titled 'CR1' which shows our hotel stay at Hampton Inn & suites in Dolphin Mall at Miami. Of course, this reservation was lost as we never made it to Miami on 1st April due to this whole facade! It goes without saying that Hampton Inn have not refunded the cost of our reservation.


    Naturally after all the turmoil we were just happy to finally be in Miami but I can tell you the stress and turmoil placed on our family was immense. Of course, it would be easy for me at this stage to make ridiculous comments about how our lives have changed for ever and how our whole holiday was completely ruined at a cost of Millions of pounds. Of course, this is not the case. Indeed, after a few days of our cruise holiday we were all back to normal with the disgraceful events of 1st April fading. However, incidents like this I refuse to accept. On the contrary, I do accept that planes sometimes encounter technical problems. I do accept human error can sometimes cause problems. I do accept that sometimes problems cannot be foreseen. What I do not and refuse to accept is when somebody is armed with the kind of information your staff were armed with (with regards to our Holiday) your staff chose to blatantly refuse to de-board us from a flight that would have left us stranded in Madrid with nowhere to go. The knock on effect of these decisions taken by BA and your staff/partners is nothing short of disgusting!


    At this time I seek nothing other than your initial acknowledgement of my complaint for which I think 14 days is sufficient time. Naturally in due course and within a reasonable amount of time I expect your response to the points I have raised here. I confirm that I am in receipt of the document from Civil Aviation Authority titled 'your rights'. However, I am of the opinion that my complaint should be handled on its own merits.


    For the benefit of others reading this letter I reiterate...I am not attempting to 'over egg' this matter. I am not claiming that my family and I are mentally scarred for life. None of our family have suddenly been struck down with Aviophobia. None of us are experiencing hallucinations or repeated nightmares. However, the stress & upset placed on my family and I over those Two days cannot be taken lightly given that BA staff knew full well of our predicament. Put simply...the whole situation could have very easily been handled differently and very easily. Just ask Mrs S!. From the outset, Mrs S had resolved our problem with the minimum of fuss...only for a combination of arrogance and incompetence from BA and Iberia to totally wipe that out.
Page 1
    • Vauban
    • By Vauban 13th Jun 17, 1:59 PM
    • 4,565 Posts
    • 2,021 Thanks
    Vauban
    • #2
    • 13th Jun 17, 1:59 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Jun 17, 1:59 PM
    Sorry - this is too long for mr to read. If you can shorten it (and post on the airline specific thread) I'm sure folk will try to help.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 13th Jun 17, 2:15 PM
    • 789 Posts
    • 1,669 Thanks
    IAmWales
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 17, 2:15 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 17, 2:15 PM
    Mindless. No CS is going to read all that. But as I somehow did ...

    Write to Iberia requesting compensation under EU261.

    And move on.
    • ssparks2003
    • By ssparks2003 13th Jun 17, 2:34 PM
    • 49 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    ssparks2003
    • #4
    • 13th Jun 17, 2:34 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Jun 17, 2:34 PM
    Some up the main areas in a couple of bullet points then you might get some help, time is a very precious commodity.
    • Alan Bowen
    • By Alan Bowen 13th Jun 17, 2:35 PM
    • 2,869 Posts
    • 1,444 Thanks
    Alan Bowen
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 17, 2:35 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 17, 2:35 PM
    Sorry to say your letter was far, far too long. Customer Service staff have 30 seconds to read and push the relevant button to send an answer and this will get lost in the system.

    Why on earth didn't you book direct flights to Miami in the first place? Sadly your claim is against Iberia not BA as that was the carrier involved so start again, short letter with details of original flight timings and actual arrival in Miami together with any food or accommodation costs incurred. No point in any of the 'he said, she said' which I am sure was frustrating beyond belief but doesn't increase your entitlement by a single penny.

    I am not trying to be rude or unhelpful but your letter needs to be on one side of a piece of paper, preferably 10 lines or less. It looks like 600 Euros per person, so 2400 in total which will at least go someway to making you feel better and remember next time, book direct flights whenever possible!
    • leylandsunaddict
    • By leylandsunaddict 13th Jun 17, 2:37 PM
    • 1,180 Posts
    • 810 Thanks
    leylandsunaddict
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 17, 2:37 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 17, 2:37 PM
    To be honest I didn't read all that. It's far too long for a complaint letter which probably explains why a reply took so long. It will have been put to the bottom of the pile and when it got to the top it would have been put to the bottom again, until someone felt they had the time to wade through it.


    You need to keep things short and to the point to be effective. The minutiae is irrelevant as is the hyperbole eg This whole disgraceful episode surrounds our annual family holiday on a cruise around the Western Caribbean. Details and verification of this can be found in the attached document titled 'Document CR1'" and "
    So...to our nightmare!" etc etc.

    After all the hyperbole I just stopped reading.

    Just posting bullet points (no waffle, no he said she said, no shouty capitals, no red typing etc) is the most effective way of getting anyone in a complaints department to read and deal with something.
    • phatbear
    • By phatbear 13th Jun 17, 2:41 PM
    • 3,377 Posts
    • 3,065 Thanks
    phatbear
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 17, 2:41 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 17, 2:41 PM
    Who do i write to to get the last 10mins of my life back?

    A couple of questions.

    Was the cruise booked as part of the package with ba/iberia?
    Why didnt you talk to iberia cs rather than ba as they were the organ grinders in this incident.

    You never actually say what you expect as a form of resolution to your complaint are you after an apology/cuddly toy/a billion pounds?
    Live each day like its your last because one day you'll be right
    • Caz3121
    • By Caz3121 13th Jun 17, 3:41 PM
    • 10,470 Posts
    • 6,859 Thanks
    Caz3121
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 17, 3:41 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 17, 3:41 PM
    Why didnt you talk to iberia cs rather than ba as they were the organ grinders in this incident.
    Originally posted by phatbear
    I am assuming that BA handle the Iberia flights that depart from T5 on behalf of Iberia.
    This likely does not mean they can book passengers on other flights without Iberia approval, Without endorsement approval the fare rules of the ticket would apply. It is unfortunate that the flight was not cancelled sooner or Iberia approved people "coming off the flight" before they did
    • Justice13075
    • By Justice13075 13th Jun 17, 4:11 PM
    • 836 Posts
    • 393 Thanks
    Justice13075
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 17, 4:11 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 17, 4:11 PM
    Who do i write to to get the last 10mins of my life back?

    A couple of questions.

    Was the cruise booked as part of the package with ba/iberia?
    Why didnt you talk to iberia cs rather than ba as they were the organ grinders in this incident.

    You never actually say what you expect as a form of resolution to your complaint are you after an apology/cuddly toy/a billion pounds?
    Originally posted by phatbear
    You must be a speed reader
    • JPears
    • By JPears 13th Jun 17, 5:06 PM
    • 2,835 Posts
    • 800 Thanks
    JPears
    You must be a speed reader
    Originally posted by Justice13075
    Rofl.
    If you're new. read The FAQ and Vauban's Guide

    The alleged Ringleader.........
    • Aubrey Thicket
    • By Aubrey Thicket 13th Jun 17, 8:11 PM
    • 132 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    Aubrey Thicket
    Ok all. Thank you to everybody who commented. I accept the criticism and take it on board. The only reason I went to such length is because I heard a Travel Advisor on radio 5 a few months back saying that when you complain you must make sure you include every detail (so as not to leave any detail out but also to let them know you had recorded everything etc). I'm a little frustrated because that letter took me 3 hours and now it would appear that all that minute detail is not required. Aghhh well. I live and learn and once again thank you all for your comments.

    Would somebody be kind enough to tell me where to start my claim for compensation from here on in please?

    Thanks all.
    • Aubrey Thicket
    • By Aubrey Thicket 13th Jun 17, 8:14 PM
    • 132 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    Aubrey Thicket
    As for the cruise it was booked by a travel agent as a package.

    We weren't able to talk to Iberia CS. We kept getting fobbed off.

    As for a resolution I actually don't have a clue what we are entitled to. I guess we'd be reasonably happy with the €600 per person as suggested by Alan Bowen.
    • Justice13075
    • By Justice13075 13th Jun 17, 8:38 PM
    • 836 Posts
    • 393 Thanks
    Justice13075
    Have you checked Bottonline or Euclaim to see of they think you are due compensation? If they think you are you could hand it to them at a cost of approx 30% of your compensation or download Vaubans guide and follow the advice.
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