Saturday 23 August 2008

The Worst British Airways Experience Ever

Update: Looking for BA in Chennai? Also read: British Airways abandons Chennai on Chennai Expat

I have previously seen and been subject to horrible customer treatment in Chennai, but what British Airways in Chennai accomplished to do in the last week, certainly broke all records.

It all started when we wanted to change the date of a paper ticket issued by BA. First we had to arrive at the former British Airways office in Chennai to find out it no longer exists. British airways in Chennai is only reachable through a phone number from now on. We call the provided phone number and are told to go to the airport, far away from the city and almost an hour drive with the Honda Kinetic in morning traffic.

At the airport we are not granted acces because security only allows passengers to enter the airport. After the usual chit chat (and the cop telling us to go to BA in
the city!)one of us is allowed to enter. Unfortunbately, only to find out there is nobody of BA present in the airport around that time. After a long search and behind security doors a British Airways employee is spotted. The employee has no clue and allows to use the phone to call the same number we previusly called. The voice on the other end now says 'why did you go to the airport??'. Frustration starts to grow as you understand. The lady adds 'go home and relax', causing the anger to hit record peaks.

Back home the same number is out of service for the rest of the day. Our first attempt failed and we file a complaint to British Airways.

British Airways, BA in Chennai, BA logo

The next day we finally get through the customer number of BA in Chennai. Miss Bindu from BA tells us to go to the American Airlines office in Chennai, everything will be taken care of there. The next day we find the AA office. A very friendly guy from AA tries to helps us out, but Britsih Airways has not send him any details and he can't do anything. We call the British Airways customer number from the American Airline office to tell them that. They put us 41 minutes on hold! After that they promise to send the information asap.

The next day no information has NOT been send by British Airways. It has then been more than 3 days already to simply change the date of a ticket, without any result. British Airways in Chennai really dsoesn't seem to care too much.

When we call again to the BA number, they finally ask for details concerning the date. We announce we would like to fly on the 4th of OKTOBER. British Airways calls back some time later, saying no seats are available on the 4th of SEPTEMBER and asks to upgrade. British Airways not only saves money on representatives in Chennai but also seems to be saving on providing adequate training for call center employees in India.

Finally we got more and more convinced that British airways would never help us out of this situation as they prefer ignoring customers and we started looking for alternative solutions. Finally our problem got solved by a travel agent in BRAZIL, after a few phonecalls over there the flight date was succesfully changed... within 2 hours time.

Conclusion: British Airways in Chennai fails on all fields and despite 5 weekly flights from London to Chennai they can't provide adequate customer service to customers in India.

"A warned man is worth two"...


  1. Is dit dan advies om niet in apenlanden stage te gaan doen? ;)

    Veel plezier met uw laatste werkweek, en geniet enorm van het reizen erna!!!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Having flown into Chennai on both BA Business and Economy Class in the past, the service was simply ok. - If you want great service I'd recommend Emirates Business.

    Anyway, if you ever need BA Staff in person, try the Taj Connemara - The last time I was there for dinner there were loads of them stay there overnight - captains, navigators, cabin crew. If they can afford to have so many team members staying there every night, they can afford to have a couple of local employees based in Chennai!

  4. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

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