tcxdegsy
Topic Author
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:47 am

BA Customer Relations - Patronising Or What?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:08 pm

Recently I looked at booking flights to USA or Canada with BA, from Edinburgh via London, using Avios Points to upgrade from WTP to Club. Across April, May and June 2014, checking 20 (yes TWENTY) different North America destinations BA serves, NOT ONE offered connections at LHR. EVERY connection was cross London with Gatwick or London City.

Where's the attraction in that when BA has a plethora of EDI-LHR flights to connect to the transatlantic route? Even checking with stopover options in London, LHR domestic flights were absent from the presented options.

So I write to BA Customer relations to ask why and what was the reason for this. I am incensed at the patronising reply that doesn't offer one iota of reasoning or explanation.

What does anyone else think of this reply, and the situation with Domestic connections avoiding LHR? Playing into Virgin's hands or what?

"Thank you for your email reply to my colleague Neil. I am pleased to reply on his behalf.
I can certainly understand how disappointing it is for you that we do not always offer a connection through London Heathrow.
As you advised, some of our flights are operated from London Gatwick. Therefore, this means you may need for change from London Heathrow to London Gatwick. I appreciate how stressful this may be for you.
The feedback we received from you is greatly appreciated, and essential if we are to continuously improve the quality of our products. We frequently meet with our Board to share our customers’ views with them. This means your feedback is given direct to the department best placed to act on it. As a result we can improve and invest in the areas that matter most to our customers.
Please be assured that all you have said has been noted and taken seriously. I really do hope you will consider travelling with us in the future.
Best regards"
next flights: BA1441 0566 0581 1446 EDI-LHR-MXP-LHR-EDI
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19287
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: BA Customer Relations - Patronising Or What?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:18 pm

Quoting tcxdegsy (Thread starter):
What does anyone else think of this reply, and the situation with Domestic connections avoiding LHR?

They can probably fill the LHR seats with revenue passengers. Makes sense to maximize your revenue and let passengers burn their miles where they have the most empty seats.

BA's lowest GVA-London fares are almost always only available on their LGW flights, no doubt for the same reason.
 
by188b
Posts: 550
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 10:46 am

RE: BA Customer Relations - Patronising Or What?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:46 pm

There is a workaround re this issue.

For example : EDI to HKG on the 11th June 2014, if you select Upgrade using avios and select premium economy, if will only show you connecting flights via LGW & LCY. But if you select Book with Avios and select Business if you will show you several connections via Heathrow. So it means there are avios redemption seats on the EDI to LHR flights but you will have to call up and book.
next flights : BD LHR-TXL J, FR SXF-STN Y, SN BRU-LHR Y, MA LHR-BUD Y, BA BUD-LHR J, BA LCY-SNN-JFK J, BA JFK-LHR J, BA
 
sandyb123
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RE: BA Customer Relations - Patronising Or What?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:52 pm

Doesn't seem at all patronising? Simply explaining the situation and they'll send your feedback up the tree!?

Doesn't seem to be playing into the hands of Virgin either.

If the connections don't exist they don't exist. Avios or not they have offered you options. It may not be your preference but take 'em or leave 'em.

Sandyb123
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Virginblue4
Posts: 516
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RE: BA Customer Relations - Patronising Or What?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:05 pm

Quoting sandyb123 (Reply 3):

I agree, I don't see anything at all patronising about this response. They've apologised that your needs can't be met the way you want them to and they have taken the feedback onboard that they will pass on to the top. It's a professional response.
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McG1967
Posts: 482
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RE: BA Customer Relations - Patronising Or What?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:54 pm

WT+ already books into a business UK fare on the domestic sectors. BA's system for some reason when booking a WT+ to CW upgrade using avios searches for a business UK redemption. The way round it I have found is to identify which flights ex LHR have the WT+ to CW upgrades available, then price up a normal WT+ booking with the domestic sectors.
This allows you to see all the possible domestic connections available. I then write down the flight numbers and call the BA call centre to get them to make the booking saying I only want to upgrade the longhaul sectors & that the booking system won't allow me to select a connection through LHR.

As for the reply - most of them are cut n paste jobs.
 
steve6666
Posts: 467
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 1:58 am

RE: BA Customer Relations - Patronising Or What?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:03 am

I think you have got two issues here:

- one is the risk of writing stuff, and it being very difficult for the recipient to guess correctly the tone that the writer intends you to receive. I would not personally have chosen some of the words they used to reply, but I wouldn't particularly have taken offense to the wording they did use.

- the rewards system is capable of spitting out results that are, frankly, utterly implausible and clearly complete b0ll0cks. I have had a gold card for a decade, but it tried to tell me there was not one LON - Amsterdam flight with a spare Club Europe redemption seat 9 months in advance. Or it once tried to tell me that I couldn't get a couple of Club World redemption tickets to Cancun, ie, some poxy bucket and spade route of out Gatwick, again, nine months in advance. Or round about the turn of the year, I remember looking for J and F class reward flights to Sydney or Singapore - and it telling me there was only one seat available on one flight for the following 12 months. After the Cancun incident I did phone/email them up to find out what was going on, but all they could do was confirm that there was no availability showing. I suspect the machinations of the reward flight availability go way above the heads of the guys answering queries in the customer service centres.
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tcxdegsy
Topic Author
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:47 am

RE: BA Customer Relations - Patronising Or What?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:41 pm

Quoting sandyb123 (Reply 3):
Doesn't seem at all patronising? Simply explaining the situation and they'll send your feedback up the tree!?
Quoting virginblue4 (Reply 4):
I agree, I don't see anything at all patronising about this response. They've apologised that your needs can't be met the way you want them to and they have taken the feedback onboard that they will pass on to the top. It's a professional response.

I have to disagree. When someone asks you why you don't offer certain options, you don't not answer and just say sorry , will feed this back. You should at least try to explain cause or reason.

Being a Customer Experience Manager, if I had my staff not trying to explain cause or reason and THEN adding that feedback will be provided, is just plain rude
next flights: BA1441 0566 0581 1446 EDI-LHR-MXP-LHR-EDI
 
tcxdegsy
Topic Author
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:47 am

RE: BA Customer Relations - Patronising Or What?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:42 pm

Quoting by188b (Reply 2):
There is a workaround re this issue.
Quoting McG1967 (Reply 5):
This allows you to see all the possible domestic connections available. I then write down the flight numbers and call the BA call centre to get them to make the booking saying I only want to upgrade the longhaul sectors & that the booking system won't allow me to select a connection through LHR.

Thanks for the tips!
next flights: BA1441 0566 0581 1446 EDI-LHR-MXP-LHR-EDI
 
shankly
Posts: 1203
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RE: BA Customer Relations - Patronising Or What?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:34 pm

Should you not be writing to BBC Watchdog rather than whinging on a-net?

BA's response seems positively pleasant

May I suggest moving to London?
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readytotaxi
Posts: 3495
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

RE: BA Customer Relations - Patronising Or What?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:34 pm

I think that we all forget sometimes that a reward is subject to constrants and not automatic, I know I have fallen into this trap sometimes over the years.  
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
 
sk736
Posts: 548
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:47 am

RE: BA Customer Relations - Patronising Or What?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:58 pm

BA rarely, if ever, allows Avios redemptions on EDI/LHR at weekends. Either they can fill the flights with revenue passengers or there is some other reason why they won't allow redemptions on this route (at least at weekends).
 
tcxdegsy
Topic Author
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:47 am

RE: BA Customer Relations - Patronising Or What?

Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:14 am

Quoting shankly (Reply 9):
Should you not be writing to BBC Watchdog rather than whinging on a-net?
Quoting shankly (Reply 9):
BA's response seems positively pleasant

May I suggest moving to London?

1) Eh, no.
2) Pleasant yes. Effective, No
3) Pointless response
next flights: BA1441 0566 0581 1446 EDI-LHR-MXP-LHR-EDI
 
tcxdegsy
Topic Author
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:47 am

RE: BA Customer Relations - Patronising Or What?

Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:15 am

Quoting sk736 (Reply 11):

Because of that, it was all midweek checks
next flights: BA1441 0566 0581 1446 EDI-LHR-MXP-LHR-EDI
 
tcxdegsy
Topic Author
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:47 am

RE: BA Customer Relations - Patronising Or What?

Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:55 am

So it would appear that the EDI-LHR route is not profitable enough to offer as Reward option. Very interesting!

"I can confirm that some domestic routes were not profitable and for commercial reasons, some routes were removed from our schedule. This is always monitored and schedules do change as a result. "

Not sure they are answering the question I asked!
next flights: BA1441 0566 0581 1446 EDI-LHR-MXP-LHR-EDI

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