29 August 2009

BA – How Not To Respond To A Customer

I am a premium (currently Silver) member of BA’s frequent flyer program.

I tend to read a lot of the email that comes from the hacks at the airlines whose programs I am enrolled in. What never ceases to amaze me is how disconnected the airlines are from their actual customers. This is not a new phenomenon – it has been this way since the year dot. The problem is of a one to many relationship.

So in this case I responded to a solicitation by BA which asked me to tell them what I thought of their program. My response and then their response is provided in its entirety below (Bottom to top). This is definitely NOT the way to communicate with your customer in my opinion on just so many levels. I have only modified my name and the account number. Everything else is real – up to and including the person in India who dealt with the request according to the BA formula.

You can draw your own conclusions. Personally I feel that if this is customer service – then give me self service.



Recently you requested personal assistance from British Airways. Below is a summary of your request and our response.

Silver Executive Club programme feedback

Response (Abhishek) 24/08/2009 11.31 AM
Dear Professor Sabena

Thank you for taking the time to tell us what you think about the Executive Club.

It’s important to us that you have an opportunity to let us know what you like or think needs to be improved and we have opened this feedback channel so that you can do just that.

Unfortunately we cannot respond personally to every piece of feedback we receive but we will collect this information with a view to making improvements that are important to you.

If you have any membership queries in the meantime please feel free to contact your dedicated service centre:


Once again, thank you for letting us know how you feel.

British Airways Executive Club

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Customer (Professor Sabena) 23/08/2009 10.13 PM
Silver Executive Club programme feedback

Name: Mr Professor Sabena
Email address: ProfessorSabena@gmail.com
Executive Club number: XXX0000
Comments: The biggest problem I have with BA miles is that I cannot use them efficiently. The fees and costs associated with the miles on BA is currently so onerous that I can easily buy a ticket on the open market and pay less than the BA fees for the whole ticket and not pay any miles.

BA's fees are frankly outrageous.

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