We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“First time and I'll be back”
Review of British Airways


Reviewed December 11, 2017

We decided to give British Airways a try because it offered direct flights from San Diego to Heathrow and required only one connecting flight to get to our final destination in Budapest. The trip over was especially nice as we were upgraded from Premium economy to business class. The flight departed on time and we had plenty of time to catch our connecting flight in London. The return flight Prague to San Diego routed us back through Heathrow where we connected with the nonstop flight to San Diego. We sat in the premium economy seats coming home which were very comfortable. I was really glad that I did not have to sit in the economy section which appeared to have little leg room and was crammed with passengers. If you can spare the extra expense, update to premium economy. It is totally worth it. The crew coming and going was pleasant. The flights were on time but for a slight delay on the London to Budapest segment. It is especially nice to come back into the country at a small airport llke San Diego where there are few arriving international flights with minimal lines in the US customs and immigration check points.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
1  Thank Jan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (36,921)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

12,616 - 12,620 of 36,921 reviews

Reviewed December 11, 2017

Knew it was going to be bad right from the off but no idea just how bad. I have flown with literally dozens of carriers from all sorts of airports. From major hubs such as Heathrow, Schipol and Atlanta through to backwoods fields that only open when flights are due and they all have, more or less, the same routine; passengers board by row numbers to control flow and avoid on board congestion, even the RAF follow this procedure when boarding transports from Brize (although, to be fair, there they do it by rank rather than if one has F/Flyer status) not BA though. A general call of "Boarding is now open" resulted in three hundred odd passengers, or dare I say customers, scrambling through one gate resulting in a total bun fight on board as people tried to get to their seats.
The return flight was even worse with our gate marked by a handwritten notice on a sheet of A4 taped to a pitchfork stand, not a good start. The final nail in the coffin of customer satisfaction was the fact that although our ETA was 14.00, as it was an overnight flight BA decided we would be served, and I use the word advisedly, breakfast prior to landing. Our daughter's breakfast was raw and inedible whilst my wife and I were served what appeared to be Business Class food. By this time I was taking note of the shambles and saw the chap directly in front of me served a pastry while the person across the aisle was given what appeared to be a bacon roll.
I really did think that the days of we passengers being treated as Self Loading Freight had gone but obviously not as far as BA are concerned. Incidentally, the only reason we were on BA was that the trip was a present from our daughter and she booked it.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank barry_clarke3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 11, 2017

Note -I do realise that the weather situation did not help. My concerns are the complete lack of customer care now from British Airways. I have often come across this over the past few years, whilst travelling backwards and forwards to France. Very often it would involve disabled people being left stranded with no help or wheel chairs.

****************

Well, got home, safe and sound, eventually.  What a journey....you couldn't make it up!  We managed to get on a delayed flight, due to take off at 3.30 p.m., which was running a bit late because of Heathrow's snow.  

Just before landing, message from Captain - Heathrow has CLOSED so we cannot land, but they don't know why!  Eventually diverted to......Bournemouth (where? asked the French)!  Landed quickly as very small airport.....and sat....and sat....for 4.5 hours!!!  In fairness, the BA Staff on the aircraft were very good, lots of updates, when they got them, and they had been on duty since 8 a.m .( However, the messages were never relayed in French for other passengers.)

Firstly, they said we have to wait to refuel, but lots of other planes were there before us, and there was only "1 man and his fuel van".  That we would then have to wait for Heathrow to open again, wait for a landing spot and be off again (providing it was before 9 a.m. when the pilot's maximum flying time was up, but it was only 5 p.m. so quite hopeful.  Then they said no, we would have to get off and get coaches organized back to Heathrow, but not many were available anyway!  And we would not be able to take our luggage, as they did not have the equipment to offload it.  This caused quite a stir, as some had connecting flights, a lot of them to USA, and some had the medication in their suitcase(WHY?)!   

Another update - they would organise a hotel for us all.  No, they would not, now.  The coach idea was back, no, they want us to fly back - but Heathrow was still closed!  Next - the coach again.  After a while another update - we cannot get off the plane because there was no Immigration Control!  Someone did doubt this comment, as they knew the airport.  BA did provide us with one glass of water to keep us hydrated over all this time

We all got very excited when THE fuel van was filling the plane next to us....now it was our turn......but he had run out of fuel in his van!!!  So...he had to go off the airport, to a garage, fill up and come back!  They filled us up....very exciting, we are getting somewhere.  But - Heathrow said "Non" we could not go back tonight as was still closed and chaotic.

We eventually had our luggage unloaded (they could now do it, as they did have the equipment after all), and let us off (now 9.30 p.m.)
Coaches were being organized, some people were taxi sharing (£180!!), and some poor souls lived near Bournemouth but were not allowed off until now!! 

We ventured through Immigration Control (yes, they had one).  The two guys doing this said that whilst BA told us there was none, or that they were very busy and we could not get off the plane, they had been working since 1.30 p.m., and waiting for us all that time.  BA were just trying to save money by possibly flying back!!  

We waited for our luggage in this freezing  cold tiny cement "airport".  Part way through, the luggage stopped coming...so the rest of us waited for the next lot (including the elderly lady with no medication, in her weelchair).  We waited for 30 mins, no staff around at all.  Two very young members of staff appeared in their hi-viz gear, went to find out...they could not get the rest of the luggage out as something had broken!!  In the meantime, the first lot of coaches (with ALL the cabin staff!) had long since gone.  Bournemouth would not let us leave luggage station until we had filled in missing luggage forms, which they had to find!!

We were let loose into the departure room (another concrete, cold room with huge sliding doors the whole width, which kept opening!  They parked the elderly lady right in front on them, with just her coat for warmth!!!  They did not know when the next coaches would arrive, but they were trying to organize it soon.  Oh no, the first coaches would return again from Heathrow!!  The only person left to run the whole place was in charge of the Taxies, he had managed to rally up all the drivers he could from the whole area.

It is now midnight, another update....the coaches will NOT be returning so just make our own way to Heathrow!!  I am contemplating paying for a taxi direct to our house and leave the car in Heathrow (we had already incurred a £25 surcharge as it was past their closing time).  Phil persuaded me to share a taxi to Heathrow and collect the car.  The car hire company were brilliant, and waited for us.  

I do not know what happened to the people who had no money to pay for taxies or the elderly lady.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank Brigitte W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 11, 2017

Very poor service13 he flight and no entertainment, when reported sereral times no action reported back ans spent a 13 hr flight starting no at the back of a chair.

Thank wareblue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 11, 2017

Return leg of a three week holiday in South America. Flights were on time and service on board average. Premium economy offers some limited benefits but given the cost of over £800 return per couple not good value, particularly as seats together had to be prebooked at an additional cost for the outward and return legs of £186.When tried free booking 24 hours before flight home all options had gone, and we ended up two rows apart on opposite sides of the plane. Paying for premium economy should result in being able to choose seating at time of booking on a first come first served basis for no extra charge, particularly as we had booked 12 months in advance. We will not use BA again

Thank Graeme F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC