British Airways Is Holding My Luggage Hostage!


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For years I was refused to broadcast the name of companies who deliver a bad experience to me. Today I will break this rule for the first time.
He story is quite simple and because of it, rather shocking. I traveled on British Airways from London Gatwick airport to Barcelona today June 10, 2009. As it happens, my luggage did not manage to catch up with me and somehow stayed behind. British Airways however decided not to ship it to until tomorrow afternoon. The fact that there are plenty of flights to Barcelona today both operated by British Airways and Iberia still did not convince them that it is only fair to unite a passenger and his luggage as soon as possible. When inquired why they will hold my luggage until such later time, they replied that this is their decision. The most I could figure is that they have no other flight from Gatwick and driving my luggage to Heathrow airport or shipping it on another airline will create additional cost for them.
All my pleas that I need my clothing for a major keynote presentation I deliver tomorrow or that my medicine can be very useful to me were met with an iron refusal. Now some of you will claim that if I only was a frequent flyer things would have been different. Wrong. I was a gold Executive Club member for years and now carry a Silver status. That did not help me one bit. Some will claim that may be British Airways offered me to go and purchase replacements (although I am not sure how to replace my medicine in Spain). Think again the answer I received was we cannot commit to anything.
It is one thing if they do not know where my luggage is. I may understand if there were no earlier flights to my destination. But they do have my luggage and there are earlier flights! But British Airways which dub itself as a premium airline refuse to deliver to the customer the very basic – his luggage!
I have no words to describe my feelings or what I think about British Airways. Years of loyalty and who knows how many tens of thousands of dollars did not make British Airways reconsider their position.
Next time you think about upgrading to British Airways, as their slogan claims, think again this is a downgrade to the lowest level and the most shrewd service I have encountered in many years.
My luggage is held hostage. I simply cannot believe it!
Lior Arussy

Lior Arussy
One of the world’s authorities on customer experience, customer centricity, and transformation, Lior Arussy delivers results. His strategic framework converts organizations from product- to customer-centricity. It is drawn from his work with some of the world’s leading brands: Mercedes-Benz, Royal Caribbean, Delta Air Lines, MasterCard, Novo Nordisk, Walmart and more.Arussy is also the author of seven books, including Next Is Now (May 2018)


  1. Lior,
    This is almost like the inverse of the story on these forums “Six Proven Rules to Beat the Recession”. Why would BA try to do this given the troubles world airlines are facing? They are losing money hand over fist yet they can’t even execute on the most basic of customer commitments.

    Good luck getting this resolved.


  2. Thanks for the sympathy. Based on their behaviour, it seems as they have developed sicnere belief in a win lose business model. that is the more they win the more they need to make the customer lose.
    Lior Arussy


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