Complaint to British Airways, 18.08.2009

I’m a British citizen volunteering in Rwanda. Last month I returned home for the first time in almost two years to see family and friends. I booked with Brussels and assumed Brussels would fly me all the way home.

But no, it was my misfortune to have to deal with BA.

You really did make my journey far more stressful than it ever needed to be.

When checking in at Heathrow in the early hours of the 15th, I encountered an unexpected shock: so much ridiculous red-tape you could have tied up an elephant.

Every one of my e-tickets (which I’d be extremely happy to forward you) said 46KG baggage allowance. You’d expect this really, travelling so far.

I checked both bags in with Brussels in Kigali and they both arrived safely in the UK, no trouble at all.

When I tried to check them in with BA at Heathrow it was a totally different story.

Despite it saying clearly on my ticket that I was entitled to 46KG on the flight, the woman informed me that no, I was only allowed one bag because it was a flight to Europe, it didn’t matter that I was flying to Europe to get a connecting flight to Africa.

She called her manager who then tried to insinuate that because it was an e-ticket, the information printed on it wasn’t as valid as if it was an actual, letter-headed, printed ticket and mentioned all these “clever people” using their computers.

This was highly embarrassing in front of my family and a long line of impatient customers.

She then confirmed I was only allowed one bag although at NO point did she question the weight restriction.

So if it had been physically possible for me to fit 46KG of luggage into one bag, I understand there would have been no problem. If the weight is not the issue, why on earth should it matter one iota whether it’s in one bag or two!?

So after more than twenty minutes of phoning around people she made it clear, for the fifth time (excruciatingly condescending) that she was going to let me take them as a ‘gesture of good will’.

Well BA, I haven’t got the slightest sentiment of good will towards you right now. You really gave my trip home a bitter ending.

Why, in this day and age, can you and Brussels (or any other airline) not come to some sort of common sense agreement that anyone on long-haul connecting flights is allowed the luggage limit of the longer flight?

According to the manager, coming from Kigali, BA accept the larger weight limit checked in with Brussels. Going back they should do exactly the same. It’s not like I’m going to need less luggage, or pay for excess just to get to the plane where I’m entitled my full allowance. And you certainly didn’t offer me a discount on my USD 1,300 ticket for the lesser baggage allowance you were trying to impose.

Come on BA – engage your brains. That really is a disgusting way to treat long-haul passenger.