In the early part of May we flew to Malaysia once again. This time for my younger brother’s wedding! We’d booked 2 return Clubworld (Business) tickets through our Avios points last year in anticipation of being able to enjoy it for the first time together (I’d been in this class through a work trip previously). I didn’t review my first business class experience purely because I didn’t have much to say aside from I loved being able to sleep on the 13 hour flight and being taken care of quite well. However, our trip this time involved quite a bit of customer service so I thought I would review it.
So our trip began with trying to check in 24 hours before our flight. We were unable to as the app and the website both said we needed to check in at the airport. We’ve had this situation before when we flew to St Lucia for our honeymoon so suspected it’d be a similar situation where they’d overbooked the flight. However in those instances we were upgraded from Economy to World Traveler Plus.
Lo and behold, when we arrived at the T5 Heathrow 3.5 hours before our flight we were told by a very apologetic BA staff member that we were being “involuntarily downgraded” to World Traveler Plus (Premium Economy) and not even sat together. In the light of what has been coming out in the news recently, we weren’t really surprised to find that this downgrade was due to BA having to put 2 pilots in our seats on a very full Saturday night flight. This of course started a chain reaction where the 2 people in World Traveler Plus were involuntarily downgraded to Economy (we are unsure if 2 poor souls in Economy were bumped off the flight or not). We were then told that unfortunately we’d just have to wait in the Clubworld lounge until an hour before the flight to find out if ONE of us would get back into Clubworld or not.
We were of course furious and it did not help with my husbands anxiety about flying. An hour before the flight we approached customer services in the Clubworld Lounge and were told that they would not be able to get us back into Clubworld. Therefore they were trying to contact passengers in World Traveler Plus to see if they could get us seated together. Surprisingly the Duty Manager, a lovely chap called Che Gibbs, came out to explain the situation as well as to help sort out compensation. He was originally going to offer us a gift card each with some money on it and we’d have to then speak to BA directly to claim compensation.
However, as this had already been a stressful few hours and we did not fancy having to chase BA for compensation (I think everyone can agree how difficult it is to ever get a company to voluntarily pay you compensation), my husband instead asked that we be put on the Sunday flight so we could at least get the tickets we paid for. They were quite happy to do so as it meant that the passengers we’d displaced by our downgrade could be back in their seats and they wouldn’t need to compensate us for the downgrade.
So Che managed to sort the following for us:
1. 2 confirmed reserved seats in Clubworld for the Sunday flight as well as our return flight so we wouldn’t have to worry that the same thing would happen again!
2. 1 night stay at the Sheraton Heathrow
3. Return shuttle bus vouchers
4. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner meal vouchers
5. Use of the Concorde Lounge (the uber First Class lounge that is only available to Gold Card members or by invitation only)
All we needed to do was wait for a little while so they could offload our luggage from the plane and Che then escorted us to a gate where we could go back through to immigration to collect our bags and get on the shuttle bus to the Sheraton. More on the Sheraton in a separate post.
We then showed up on the Sunday and everything was smooth sailing from there! Che was true to his word and we’d been put on the invite list for the Concorde Lounge! This was definitely once in a life time (you need something like 35,000 lifetime tier points to get a Gold Card)! Upon entering one of the team explain everything that is offered (if its your first time like us!). We were able to leave our hand luggage with a little bag/coat check in so we weren’t dragging it around and were able to enjoy a 3 course meal and some drinks.
We wanted to book some free Elemis spa treatments in the spa but they were unfortunately all booked up.
We enjoyed every single moment of being in the Concorde Lounge and my husband actually boarded our flight feeling the most relaxed he’d ever felt getting on a plane! Thanks to Che’s efforts we definitely felt very much compensated for the mess up with our original flight! I still made a complaint but it was more that any of this was necessary in the first place as we’d lost out a day of our holiday.
On every British Airways flight we’ve been on we’ve never had a single complaint about the service. The cabin crew are fantastic and treat passengers very well. The service at Clubworld is brilliant. You get a menu so you can decide your meals before hand and you get offered champagne or any other drink you like upon boarding.
The cabin crew and pilots on our return flight to the UK were particularly attentive and brilliant especially considering we were flying on the day when the systems had gone down. Our flight was only delayed by an hour but that was the only hiccup we had. As Che had promised our seats were reserved so we had no worries at all.
Although they’ve had such a difficult time lately and our issues at the start I’d say that their customer service is brilliant and its not put us off yet for choosing to fly with them again in the future.
British Airways – https://www.britishairways.com/travel/home/public/en_gb
Service – 5.0
Value – 4.0
Overall – 4.5