First & foremost, let me take the opportunity to wish you all a very happy, healthy and successful 2013.
Now, over to business. Like I mentioned here, I was out trying to make sure I wrap up 2012 on Executive Platinum status on American Airlines. Here was my entire routing, and I started to find my way back on December 30, only to land into Mumbai a shade after midnight on January 1 with the stiff upper-lipped British Airways.
Going to the cold zone for a week, I thought it was prudent to check-in a bag, with some clothes for various circumstances (snow included!). The bag held up pretty well with my pace till it was time for to come back to Mumbai, and last I saw it was when I checked it all the way through on American Airlines at SeaTac airport.
The labyrinth called London Heathrow meant I had to be crossing over from Terminal 3 where American Airlines arrives at, and go all the way to Terminal 5 where only British Airways operates from. My incoming flight, which was going to land 1 hour early, was made to go in circles and eventually arrived 30 minutes in advance. But that was all the time eaten up by the ‘fast-track’ security queue at Heathrow, where almost everyone was there and took me over 30 minutes to clear. My flight was going to take off from some remote gates of Terminal 5, which meant I did not even have time to pop into the British Airways lounges to grab a Shepherd Pie or 2, it was a rush to the gates. I did enquire with a BA agent, who told me my bags had arrived from Dallas Fort Worth, and will be on their way to Mumbai.
Now, the stiff upper-lipped BA, did not bother to put my bag on the flight to Mumbai however. Even though it had a bright flashing Priority tag which sort of sounds useless now. The best part is, the flight from London departed over 20 minutes late, so they had a full extra hour to sort bags and get them going on the plane.
My first time in years of travel that my bag did not arrive with me. But the way British Airways handled it was my complaint area more than anything else. So, there is already a message they received that mine, and several other bags (at least 15 passengers) were not loaded on the plane. They did nothing to announce the names of these passengers at the arrivals hall to tell them. So I waited patiently for over 1 hour for the belt to clean up, and then they start the process. They already had the information, and they did not share it proactively.
They then asked me to fill up a lengthy form, and told me my bags were in London because they were not able to get them on the plane. Further, they had passengers waiting for another 45 minutes while they could engage with the Customs authorities to get us a clearance for BA to deliver the bags to us. As a result, I only got out of the airport at 03:00 AM and went home, while I was supposed to drive to friends’ straight after landing to join them in celebrating the new year.
So much for integration with oneworld. On my way out of LHR, American Airlines held the plane for 45 minutes to ensure that passengers AND their bags which were checked-in with Finnair were on board. And looks like they were more interested in making sure oneworld worked rather than just their airline.
10 hours out, this is what the status on WorldTracer shows up as…no status!
British Airways’ handling of the situation was totally tacky, and just please remind me again that I should not think of using LHR as a transit airport again, and maybe keep off British Airways as much as I can!
Here is hoping you don’t lose a bag this year or ever!
Update: The bag did arrive on Jan 1 into India, and was delivered to me early on 2 Jan. For my troubles, Bloody Awful threw a few miles at me, that is what they felt my time was worth!