Yesterday you lost my 80 year old mother and had me in a panic that she was in real trouble.
She was supposed to be assisted in a wheelchair as she chipped her ankle bone! Instead she had to abandon her wheelchair and only managed to get through it because of help from other passengers.
I have only had this over the phone so far from a UK hotel but how would you feel about a company that treats your mother this way?
At Manchester ..
You would not let her check in without filling a computerized form, and would/could not help her fill in the form. We checked multiple times beforehand to make sure she had all the documentation she needed. Apparently it took her and her helper we paid to get her to the check in an hour to fill in this computer form so she promptly was crying in front of the crowd. When she pulled herself together and did it with only 20 mins to check in and get to gate. You then rushed her off and wheeled her to the plane or to some holding area.
The fog meant that the plane sat on the runway for 3 hours in Manchester. You tried to unload some passengers off the flight - thankfully she resisted and stayed as I had no way of getting her back from the airport easily.
At Heathrow ..
When she did get to LHR somehow they told her she missed the flight (duh - you don’t have computers that tell you this?) dumped her in some holding area where she made an (82 year old) friend and eventually together they decided to go check on status again as no-one was coming back. Eventually they booked her into the local Renaissance hotel with 120 other people — she only got there at 8pm after traveling on since 7:30am for a 11:20AM manchester flight.
At this point, she and her friend gave up on wheelchairs and were hobbling around Heathrow together. Eventually my mother persuaded some random stranger to use his cell phone and called me from the airport. At this point, my mother and her friend decided it was ‘safer’ to room together as they lost faith that BA would look after their interests.
Meanwhile, back in California ..
No notification from BA of flight delays or missed at all. Founds it from one of my travel apps.
I call BA a lot of times starting at 7am PST. First call into BA took perhaps an hour - the agent simply was not understanding me - who rather than reassure me that they would deal with it, literally told me that ‘she checked in at Manchester but not in London. Its an airport authority matter now .. here is the number from their web site.’ I think I would just have assumed they were dealing with it as they normally do with delays and putting them up if he hadn’t said that.
I call the the airport numbers a bunch of times. Eventually I get to someone (several hours later) who tell me you can’t page someone at Heathrow any more. They can’t help. Not our problem. Call BA. They even suggest I call the police and gave me their number.
I start contacting friends locally to go to the airport and find her.
I call 2-3 hotels in area. No one checked in with that name.
I call BA a bunch of times more — lines busy. Eventually your agent who does pick up find her record > going to Renaissance hotel. Call Renaissance hotel - no sign. Call Renaissance hotel 5 times more. No luck.
Then I get a call from my mother (5-6pm local time?). Still at airport.
Eventually get to her at 11pm checked in to hotel and she is on a flight today.
This was beyond not a great experience, both for me and my mother. You can’t do anything about fog. You can do something about how you handle passengers and what you say to people when calling in. I’m sure I’ll find the full story later today.