Stuck in London

So after the big rush to get ready for trip I was so glad that we made in time. To make everything go as smooth as butter I checked in online at the British Airways website so we didn’t have anymore unnecessary delays. The airport taxi picked us up at noon and we arrived at Brussels Airport at 12.45pm. Plenty of time to relax a bit and wait for the information board to show the right gate.

The horror story of British Airways

Only 40 minutes before the departure time the gate showed up and we proceeded to the boarding area. 20 min before we should take off they all of a sudden announce that because of the fog in the morning on Heathrow our flight would be delayed by one hour. Now you have to tell me how they manage to react so slowly when the trouble was going on since this morning. We checked in online at 11am so you would assume that they already know that the rest of the day would suck ass and there would be cancelled flights and delays. No, they didn’t or they just don’t care. The lady at the boarding gate doesn’t know any information because she is employed by Aviapartner and they are hired by British Airways and have no access to the system to make any changes.

SN Brussels Airlines ROCKS!

So what to do next? They don’t tell us anything. We don’t know if we would make it, we don’t have any certainty that we would get a hotel etc. So Geert and I went to the service desk of SN Brussels Airlines instead to tell our story because there is nobody else in that terminal. The super friendly lady did everything she could for us and made some calls to insure us that we would be looked after in London. So it’s true THEY CARE about the customer at SN, even if you are not traveling with them. I’m a glad my trip to SXSW, Texas is with SN Brussels Airlines.

Can it get any worse?

YES it can 🙂 So we went on finally and would touchdown in London with approximately 25 minutes to get our Vancouver flight in the same terminal 4. Almost 15 minutes before landing they announce on the plane that all passengers to Vancouver and Cape Town need to move to the front of the plane because somebody of ground personnel would meet us. This sounded promising and we got our hopes up again that we would still make our flight. If you think about it why else would they go through the trouble? Once out the door we saw a guy waiting there with a sign just to tells us our flight is gone and we missed it!!! Can you believe that? It’s like putting in the knife in a little deeper and turning it around a bit. He is standing there just to say we need to talk to connecting flights that’s it. What a waste of resources! To make matters worse we needed to go through security just to talk to some REALLY unfriendly guy that only says “well your flight will be tomorrow and we will put you up in a hotel.

That’s the least they can do right? I don’t know about you but you would expect a bit of comfort and some friendliness to ease the pain. The only other explanation from him was that we would need to take the hotel bus to get to it. What he forgot to mention is that we first needed to go from terminal 4 to terminal 1, 2 or 3 and then try to figure out where the bus stops exactly. After some running around finally somebody told us we needed to take to Heathrow Express to the other terminals.

The Hotel

The Renaissance Heathrow is not that bad room wise but the rest pretty much sucks. We got a dinner and a breakfast that was ok but if you would like to inform family you needed to pay 2.5 Pound per minute to call to Belgium. No Wifi in the room, at least not free. You need to pay 17 Pound for high speed internet to be precise. So you would expect that in the Lobby you’ll have access, well guess again because you need to pay too, 5 Pounds to be exact. That’s unbelievable and a complete rip off.

My conclusion

When we got our flight the next day the guy checking us in was friendly and he tried to do an effort to give us seats next to Jeremy Keith but the system didn’t allow that. A wasted opportunity to correct a bad situation to something better. It was my first time with British Airways and my last time or they have to convince me this was a one off. Otherwise I don’t recommend them to anybody because what they did is unacceptable. No trained or friendly staff and nowhere to turn to, late information and go on. British Airways if you are reading this your employees need an attitude update and I suggest you come look at the staff of SN Brussels Airlines soon to be Brussels Airlines how it is done.

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