Furious British Airways Heathrow passengers speak of cancelled flights, 7-hour delays and lost luggage as woman lands in Dubai with no spare clothes

MyLondon 27.05.2023 10:32:21 Ellen Jenne
Some passengers have spoken to MyLondon about their ordeals

Passengers affected by the 'technical glitch' with British Airways systems at Heathrow Airport have spoken out about the disruption it's caused to their travel plans with shirt notice cancellations, lengthy delays and missing luggage. Passengers due to catch flights to and from the West London airport claim they received little or no communication about delays and cancellations, struggled to get in contact with the airline, and one even arrived on a holiday to Dubai only to be told their luggage hadn't made it to the destination.

Emily Conroy, from Essex, told MyLondon her parents were set to fly from Heathrow to Basel in Switzerland on Friday (May 26) for a river cruise, but after driving an hour and a half to the airport at 5.30am, they were greeted with the news the flight had been cancelled. "They weren't told anything, there were no updates," she said. "They arrived at Heathrow at 5.30am to find out the flight had been cancelled. They still haven't received any information about that."

Emily explained that because her parents' holiday was booked as a package via TUI, British Airways couldn't give them information because the travel company had been the one to make the flight arrangements. She herself then contacted TUI from home, who told her that because it was a BA flight she'd have to speak to them.

READ MORE: Live Heathrow Airport flight updates as British Airways technical problem sees services cancelled and delayed

"I think there was one more flight to their destination [yesterday] but it was already full. All those people going to get on that flight earlier [yesterday] morning that weren't told that it was cancelled didn't have another flight to get on," Emily said. When she'd spoken with her parents before midday, they'd told her they hadn't been given assistance after six hours at the airport, leaving them unsure if they were going to get on a flight or whether they should go home. She said: "I think the lack of actual help at the airport has made it a really stressful experience."

When Emily attempted to contact BA via Twitter, she was told her parents would need to use their own social media to get in touch with them. "My parents don't have social media, that puts them at a disadvantage because they don't use that," she said.

"I think there should be someone who should be able to give them an answer and the fact there's been no one that's given them a definitive answer for seven hours is just really poor."

Pamela Walker-Dick managed to make her flight from Glasgow to Heathrow before heading on to Dubai, but as the plane was coming in to land the pilot announced not everyone's luggage made the journey.

After noticing the same bags travel along the carousel at Dubai International Airport, she approached a staff member who had a list of 50 passengers whose luggage was missing, including hers.

"I'm so frustrated. I can't speak to anybody at British Airways," Pamela told MyLondon. She'd asked a member of staff while in Heathrow if baggage was affected by the technical glitch but was assured it wasn't on long haul flights.

She said: "Just as we touched the tarmac [on Friday] morning, the captain announced that he hadn't managed to get everybody's baggage on the plane. I've got nothing, absolutely nothing but the clothes I was in."

Pamela, who works in the travel industry, was forced to go out and buy toiletries and more clothes, without a guarantee that her bag would make it on her six-night holiday in Dubai. She'd logged a missing bag claim with BA, but doesn't know where her bag is located, whether it's in London or back home in Glasgow.

"What I'm really, really cross at is that they knew my bag wasn't on the flight last night, and it should've been my decision on whether I wanted to come or not, not theirs," she said. Having no luck with responses via social media, email and by phone, Pamela expressed her disappointment with the airline.

"It's actually embarrassing, you can't speak to anybody. No one's interested," she said. "I've got to buy anything that fits me. I've got no other shoes, no flip flops, no swimming costume. I've got no suntan lotion, so I've had to go and buy all of that. Yeah things go wrong, but just fix them and help them, don't just abandon them."

MyLondon spoke to Elisa Arias, who was due to travel back to Heathrow from Berlin on Thursday night, only to find out the return flight was cancelled and she hadn't been told in advance. Elisa, who lives in South East London, was forced to book a flight home with Lufthansa, via stopover in Frankfurt on Friday morning. It took her over 16 hours to get back home.

"The problem was that there was nobody whatsoever from BA to talk to. We didn't get any support," she explained. Elisa was left to find a new flight and hotel for the night. "We got an email later on. Do what you can and we'll refund you."

She added: "I was really unimpressed by BA, and I talked to a lot of people that were in the same situation and they were saying, 'this is insane'. Not having anybody at all to talk to, and I mean, nothing, just an email later."

The conference producer had been in Berlin for a couple of days for work, and was left unimpressed with the information staff at Berlin. "The people giving information in Berlin were awful," she said. "I felt totally abandoned by BA."

Elisa explained there were no flights back to London from Berlin that night, saying someone suggested she re-book a return with BA, but found the next one wasn't flying until Saturday. She initially encountered an issue when she was unable to check-in online, like many other BA passengers. The airline was advising people on social media to wait to check-in at the airport, as they would still be able to.

Elisa's outbound flight left from London City Airport without any issue. Her return flight home with Lufthansa took her to Gatwick. She revealed she met another BA passenger at the hotel she stayed in, who told her his return flight to Brussels had been cancelled, so he had to fly back via Munich.

BA told MyLondon on Friday: "While the vast majority of our flights continue to operate today, we have cancelled some of our short-haul flights from Heathrow due to the knock-on effect of a technical issue that we experienced yesterday. We've apologised to customers whose flights have been affected and offered them the option to rebook to an alternative flight with us or another carrier or request a refund."

MyLondon also contacted TUI for comment.

-Is there a story you think we should be covering? If so, please email whatson@mylondon.news or at ellen.jenne@reachplc.com.


samedi 27 mai 2023 13:32:21 Categories:

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