British Airways your customer service at Heathrow Terminal 5 sucks

Now I thought that British Airways dedicated Terminal 5 at Heathrow was supposed to ensure great service for passengers.  Well I can testify to the fact that this is not the case.

My BA flight from Edinburgh to Heathrow Terminal 5 this morning was delayed due to fog at Heathrow.  I was due to connect with the BA flight from Terminal 5 to Venice with a 70 minute gap between flights.

I asked the cabin crew on the Edinburgh flight what would happen re my connection and was told “that a dedicated customer service team was on hand to assist my connection”.

Initially I was fairly confident that all flights in and out of Heathrow would be delayed.  However when I arrived at Heathrow 50 minutes late, at 09.30 I saw that the Venice flight was still due to depart on time at 09.50.

I saw that there was a British Midland flight for Venice departing at 11.05 so assumed that although it left from Terminal 1 that as I only had hand luggage I could make that flight.  However this was made virtually impossible by the length of the queue at customer services where only two of the four desks was manned.

I stood in that queue at Customer Services for an hour.  We  had to demand that more members of staff come to the desk to attempt to reduce the queue.

I was told the only flight to Venice departed from Gatwicik at 19.50 arriving in Venice at 23.00, ten hours later than I was originally due to arrive.  I asked if there was an alternative route so I could arrive  earlier than 23.00 but was told no, that was my only option.

british airways

Photo by BnYYZ

The customer service representative gave me a voucher for the coach to Gatwick and when I asked about a meal voucher was told I’d have to get one from Customer Services at Gatwick.

I went to board the Gatwick bus but was refused boarding  when I showed my voucher, being told that I had to go to the National Express office to exchange my voucher for a ticket, so yet another queue but at least I had plenty of time.  Why didn’t Customer Services tell me I had to go the National Express office.

On arrival at Gatwick I went to British Airways Customer Service, yes another queue, where to my astonishment I was told that I had in fact been booked onto the British Midland 11.05 flight from Heathrow to Venice but due to length of the queue at Heathrow Customer Services I was unable to catch that flight.

At Gatwick I was offered the option of a flight to Venice via Rome which was due into Venice at 21.00.  However I didn’t want to chance another connection.  Now I had asked if there was any way I could get to Venice earlier at Heathrow Customer Services and was told no.  So how come Gatwick Customer Services could find an alternative?

British Airways you need to get your act together and provide some decent customer service.  If you know that incoming flights are delayed and connections will be missed you need to be more on the ball in trying your best to ensure that passengers can catch the next possible flight.

How have you found the British Airways customer service at Heathrow Terminal 5?