One of my colleagues came from Hong Kong to Edinburgh, and so I had the chance to see the operation of BA and CX within OneWorld (my colleague had a ticket EDI - LHR with BA and then LHR - HKG with CX). I have never flown with BA or OneWorld, and have very limited experience with CX despite passing a lot of time in Hong Kong, so this was useful experience for me. This is not a "complaining post", but just an attempt to find out if what happened to my colleague is usual, or exceptional.
To my surprise, CX seemed to be much less efficient than BA, for the following reasons:
- I tried to call the CX number in the UK for a simple question concerning my colleague's booking; after several attempts, I abandoned the call as there was never a reply. (I timed my last call, and I stayed on hold for 51 minutes)
- my colleague checked in on -line and printed her boarding pass for BA, but was unable to then print her CX boarding pass, which had to be separately collected at LHR
- her flight with BA from EDI to LHR was delayed, thereby making her CX connection very short. When she checked at the boarding gate at EDI, the BA agent already knew that there was a risk for her CX connection and informed her that she was also protected on a later BA flight to HKG (but stressed that she should first go to the CX transfer desk at LHR) But, when she arrived at LHR, the CX personnel had no knowledge of the later BA reservation, and also said that they did not know which terminal the BA would leave from (in fact, when she finally found the BA departure gate, her boarding pass was issued at once).
Overall, the BA communication and assistance was excellent, and the flights were all OK, despite the delay and the change in transfer. However, the CX part of the operation seems to me to be not up to standard, especially in view of the carrier's reputation.
I can clearly not make a judgement based on just one experience, but I would like to know if the above situation is exceptional, or are there frequently problems like this.