British Airways make a bollocks of their celebration


It was all too predictable.

British Airways has a hard-earned reputation for incompetence and rudeness. (I haven't flown with them for decades since I politely asked for a packet of peanuts and was sternly told: "Just wait!").


Now BA has come under fire from customers who tried - and failed - to buy ultra-cheap seats in a special centenary sale.

The reason: the airline's website failed to cope.

How many times would that have happened with special offers like this?

Angry would-be flyers said they got to the very final stages of booking the £100 long-haul flights only to get an error message.

Many took to social media to air their frustrations, believing the website had crashed.

BA customer services staff responded to a number of complaints, insisting its IT department was prepared for a rush of bookings and was ready to deal with any common faults.

But they admitted to customers: "Not all website faults can be foreseen unfortunately, and it's very disappointing this affected you today.

"I know it's frustrating but the influx of customers trying to get on take advantage, can sometimes result in the site being overloaded."

But any moron in a hurry could have predicted increased demand for such an offer.

The sale, marking the airline's 100th anniversary, offered long-haul flights for £100 each-way as part of a return trip.

The offer ran across four days with 100 seats up for grabs each day.

Customers were invited to visit the site at noon each day to find out the two destinations on offer and book on a first-come, first-served basis.

Customers said they got to the very last stages of booking £100 flights to Rio de Janeiro or Barbados when the website went down.

BA denied the website crashed (right!) but said that due to such high volumes of traffic, a very small number of people couldn't immediately access the page and were asked to refresh.

People wait with their luggage at Heathrow Terminal 5 in London, Britain May 27, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

This is the same airline that stranded 75,000 passengers over a holiday weekend in 2017 due to "computer issues".

In July, 2018, BA cancelled and delayed flights out of Heathrow with "IT issues".


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