This weeks Compensation Clinic comes from a reader who attempted to purchase a last minute British Airways long haul ticket during the famous IT meltdown weekend but was obviously unable to do so.
By now everybody has heard about the problems British Airways faced regarding their computer meltdown a few weekends ago and that BA offered ticketed passengers sometimes generous compensation up to an extension of their BAEC Gold Status for 2 years (see John’s article here).
We received a reader email who mentioned that he (Gold Member) had to go on a last minute trip to Asia and obviously wasn’t ticketed yet. At the time nobody knew about the circumstances of the problem and BA gave him the runaround after which he eventually bought a one way ticket on Thai Airways in Business Class.
Here the email:
Dear Loyalty Lobby,
attached some correspondence of my case with British Airways. Situation was as follows
- Needed a last minute ticket to Bangkok
- BA website gave error message, Callcenter couldn’t help and advised to go to airport if it’s urgent
- Went to Heathrow and it was hell on earth, nobody was able to help for about 4 hours
- Ended up going over to Thai Airways and flying on a one way ticket to Bangkok
- Contacted BA to complain about the missing miles, tier points and inconvenience
- Received 5000 Avios three days later plus was asked to submit my TG reservation consideration of Tier Point credit (not received yet)
Here is the answer BA sent the customer after his complaint:
… As you’re probably aware, we experienced a major IT system failure on Saturday 27 May, which impacted the whole British Airways operation. All flights leaving London Heathrow and London Gatwick were affected with the majority being cancelled. Due to the number of disrupted flights, London Heathrow was very congested. We worked hard to rebook our customers onto the next available flights over the course of the weekend.
Throughout this time, our main concern was for our customers, but it was difficult to keep you up-to-date on a changing situation. We did everything we could to minimise the effect this was having on our customers but I know this doesn’t change how this affected you.
To show you how much we recognise the impact this disruption caused, I’ve added 5,000 Avios to your Gold Executive Club account. Please accept them as an apology from us. Subject to availability, you can put your Avios towards future bookings or use them to upgrade your class of travel next time you fly with us. …
Sounds pretty straight forward. I guess several hours at Heathrow are easily worth 5000 Avios points even though he wasn’t even ticketed yet.
Considering how fast the answer came it seems to me they are trying to just process and compensate people as quick as possible without investigating too much into the issues at the moment. It’s obviously very generous to give someone points even though he didn’t even hold a ticket.
From what I understood though the customer is more concerned about receiving his tier points for qualification of his current BA Gold status – fair enough hopefully he is able to work something out with BA.