After writing DO A MADONNA!™, I suppose I am more sensitive to bad branding. However, even if you are not a brand-geek like myself, there is a question of integrity of a certain airline. How can the World’s Favourite Airline get away with such an uncaring attitude?
Once upon a time, on Sunday 4th July to be precise …
I had been celebrating a family wedding in Scotland and was about to depart from Edinburgh airport to London Gatwick at 7pm on a Sunday evening. I arrived at Edinburgh looking forward to going home to see my cats. I looked at the departure board for my flight, and I was greeted with a big flashing ‘DELAYED’ sign. Shock. Horror! My flight was delayed until 8pm due to air traffic control, apparently. I was annoyed as my flight from London Gatwick to Edinburgh had also been delayed by an hour. I had chosen BA to fly with as I thought if I paid more money, the service would be better. To my amazement, none of the low cost airlines had delayed departures due to air traffic control. Only BA, the world’s favourite airline have this problem!
Half an hour later, I looked up at the departure board again. Oh no! It had been delayed by a further 15 minutes. I was worried that I was going to miss the last train from Gatwick to West Worthing. So I found the information desk and asked if they could arrange me a taxi as due to their delay, I was going to miss my last train home. The assistant said: “I’m sure that won’t be a problem, after all it is our fault”. He phoned through to somewhere and was told that they wouldn’t be arranging me a taxi. It was in BA’s terms and conditions that basically I was stuffed. When I queried how I would get home, the assistant said: “I would suggest that you book your own taxi home and keep the receipt and send it to Customer Services. However, I can’t say whether you will get a refund”. I asked for a Gatwick taxi number as I was in Edinburgh, and they did find me one eventually. I phone the taxi service and it was going to cost £65 to return to West Worthing. I was livid. At that point, the announcement for boarding was played, and I decided to take a risk and hope that the baggage would come through quickly once I arrived at London Gatwick. The plane eventually took off at 8.45pm. I arrived, at Gatwick, and luckily caught my last train home.
I have these questions to ask:
(1) Why were BA flights delayed by an hour each way, on separate days, yet the budget airlines manage to keep to time?
(2) Luckily I didn’t miss my last train home. I am cross because I am a female traveling alone. If I had missed my train, I would of had to pay £65 for a taxi or find a room for the night at 11am at night! Surely if an airline has a delay they should do the honorable and decent thing and ensure that I could get home safely. Is BA’s bottom line more important than public safety?
As we know, a good brand is a good memory. On Sunday 4th July, BA’s uncaring attitude of a situation cause by them, made me feel insignificant. I understand there can be unavoidable technical faults. All companies experience difficulty at some time or another. A successful company remedies a bad situation successfully. What I experienced was bad branding because I now have a bad memory when I think about BA. When I see their adverts it makes my blood boil. I shall certainly avoid using them again. Bring on the budget airlines.
One last point. I paid more for the World’s Favourite Airline, and all we got to eat was a microscopic bag of nuts and a drink. What happened to BA quality and sincerity?