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My Ultimate Flight(s) from Hell; Spring Break 2005

Monday, October 31st, 2011

The following is why I really hate British Airways

So I am flying back from Amsterdam through Heathrow to JFK. I take easyjet (my first mistake) to london then BA back to JFK. EasyJet is late so when I get to London i miss my flight back to New York. I’m standing online at BA trying to get another flight. Keeping in mind there are other flights, but since I don’t have a cell in london I have to stand in line and wait. The line is pretty long and I wait about 45 minutes to try and get on another flight. Every single person ahead of me gets on another flight, which was leaving pretty shortly. When they get to me they say “sorry there is nothing we can do,” to which I respond “what are you talking about, all these people ahead of me just got on ANY flight leaving today?” They continue to go “sorry sir,” and eventually are like “well we can get you on a flight leaving tomorrow morning early, and put you up at the heathrow hilton for a night plus vouchers for dinner and breakfast. I go fine. The Hilton Heathrow is really nice. I mean it was like over 100+ pounds a night, the dinner was expensive and the breakfast was over 30 USD so I was like fine.

So I wake up at around 5am to get ready and check in for my 830 flight. 3 hours before blah blah, I wasn’t taking any chances. So we board the plane a little late, which was fine but this is when it all went downhill. You know when you first get on the plane the electricity isn’t going, hence no A/C, just maybe a little fan coming through? Well that is what we got for over 5 hours. So after waiting like 45 minutes to an hour, the pilot gets on the loudspeaker and goes “sorry we are having technical problems with the jetway, the electricity has gone out and we can’t detach from it, but don’t worry we have people working on it.” Another hour goes by, the pilot gets on “ok we have detached and we are on our way down the tarmac and getting ready for takeoff.” Good, but nothing happened, we are still sitting on the tarmac. Another half hour, pilot gets on “Sorry about the delay but we are having problems with one of the engines, but don’t worry engineers and technicians are on their way.” Another hour plus goes by, still nothing, sitting there in the hot, no A/C nothing. This is like hour 3 or more of sitting there, people are starting to get restless, and stir comes over the passengers. It has now been like four hours, we are all hot, tired (cause the flight boarded at like 830 and many of us got up real early), and to top it off they haven’t served us an ounce of food, water, snacks, nothing! Even for me, who is patient in times like this, I had a breaking point and it was slowly approaching. So finally they get the engine fixed, and the pilot assures us we are taking off.

Well that didn’t happen either, the pilot once again gets on the loudspeaker and says something I have never heard in my life “Sorry ladies and gentlemen, because there were so many delays (over 5 hours sitting on the plane) I am not allowed to fly the plane, I have run out of hours for the week, so we need to bring in a new pilot to fly, but don’t worry he’ll be here in 45 minutes”. At this point I start to get a little crazy. “Were they kidding me? I thought to myself. Was this really happening. Did the pilot just say “I can’t believe I have to tell you guys this, but I can’t fly?” Many of these questions passed through my head, and at that point I got up out of my seat yet again, paced around the aisles and then when I got towards the front of the plane overheard a few british guys talking about getting off the plane. It was almost like a coup was brewing to get off. The british guys were planning how they would get off this plane, and get on another flight. They were on the phone calling BA about other flights, working travel agents, family friends etc…Eventually one of the guys was like “there is a flight coming up at 430, let’s get on that flight.” At that point I chimed in and told them that I was down to get off and do whatever was necessary. Eventually the new pilot came, it took well over an hour plus and when the new pilot got on this british guys went off. They demanded to be let off the plane, and their were yet again rumblings pouring down the aisles. “Did that guy just ask to get off, well heck I want to get off, this plane is cursed, too many problems” were many of the thoughts and murmurs coming from the crowd. So finally, I get up there with the guys and say to this guy in a purple shirt that I wanted off as well. This guy turned out to be the new pilot, who went back and forth with me for about five minutes, claiming that once he settled in the plane would be off and going in 45 minutes. I said I didn’t care, I had a bad feeling about this plane, too many things going wrong, we haven’t been fed, it is real hot in here so I want out! He gave in to my demands and said that there would be a bus who would take us back to the airport and back to the BA terminal. I said “thank you,” gathered up my stuff and was on my way. When I got off the plane, I got on that next flight, this time demanding to get on and not just letting the BA counter screw me over yet again. I figured out that the reason why I got screwed the first time was because my ticket was bought using some real cheap online discount site and I think they just didn’t want to acknowledge the pay grade of it, because like I said before every single person had gotten on a non-full flight the day before me, and people after me and they didn’t give me an answer as to why.

So now I’m off the plane, waiting for my new flight to leave. I think it was around 130 or 2pm and the flight was leaving like 3pm or something. So this plane arrived pretty much on time, in to JFK and I had found out that the plane that supposedly was going to leave “in only 45 minutes” according to the new pilot left at like 430pm! It took them 9 hours to get that plane off the ground! So I guess all in all I sat on the plane from about 830-130, and that is why I will NEVER fly BA again.