BA slammed for handling of 77-hour delay

British Airways

British Airways has apologised to more than 200 passengers who suffered a 77-hour delay on a flight from Orlando to London Gatwick.

Describing it as the journey from hell, passengers accused the airline of badly handling the situation.

One mother told the BBC that BA’s customer service was ‘disgusting, absolutely abhorrent’.

In a statement, BA said it ‘appreciated that this was an exhausting and frustrating experience’.

Flight 2036 was due to take off from Orlando at 19:25 ET (00:25 GMT) on Thursday and land at Gatwick eight hours later, but it didn’t arrive in the UK until Sunday after delays and a diversion to New York.

Due to the New York marathon, BA was then unable to find hotel rooms for some of the delayed passengers.

“Customers were rebooked where possible and while there were limited hotel rooms available, our teams on the ground cared for customers in our first class lounge providing bedding, food and drinks to ensure they were comfortable during their stay,” said BA.

But some passengers painted a different story.

“The passengers were treated inhumanely, all we wanted was some food and drink, somewhere to sleep and to be kept informed – and they failed on all counts no matter what they claim,” said Sarah Wilson, from Monmouthshire.

She said the problems began when passengers waited on the plane at Orlando for four hours for a technical fault to be fixed but then had to disembark and check in to hotels in the early hours.

Mrs Wilson said it was chaos at check-in and there was nobody from BA taking charge.

The coach back to the airport was twice delayed and the flight eventually left at 20:00 ET on Friday.

But 40 minutes after take-off it was diverted to New York JFK when the captain said, over the tannoy, the original problem had returned.

Mrs Wilson said ‘children were having panic attacks, the turbulence was awful and people were scared, tired and hungry’.

At JFK some passengers had to sleep on floors and although BA provided refreshments in its lounge, some passengers claimed this was not widely publicised.

“Their communication with the passengers – most of whom were beside themselves by the end – was non-existent,” said Mrs Wilson.

source: Travel Mole