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30th September update: BA Replied with a pro-forma letter:

Thank you for your email dated 26 August 2014.  I am sorry your flight from London Heathrow to Zurich on 15 August 2014 was delayed.  I am also concerned to read that you were unhappy with other aspects of our services.  It is clear we have let you down as this is not the kind of service you would expect while travelling with British Airways.  Please accept our sincere apologies.

We know how much delays can affect our customers and their plans, and we always try to minimise their inconvenience.

We recognise that the punctuality of our flights is extremely important to our customers and that you expect us to fly as scheduled.  Although our punctuality is improving, we would never be complacent about it.  An investigation is carried out into each delay and your experience shows us there is still work to be done.

We know we operate in a very competitive market and genuinely value the confidence and trust you place in us when you choose to travel with British Airways.  Once again, I am sorry you have been so disappointed.  I do hope that we can welcome you on board again soon.

Really disappointed with this and I’ve written again to BA to ask that a manager re-look at my complaint and respond personally.

Original Post:

I’d forgotten how much I dislike the T5 South Galleries lounge. Firstly, why does everyone have to take an escalator, walk 30 metres, then take another escalator to the lounge? Even the elevators require this two-step process.

The lounge is huge and sprawling. You may be 50m from your bags when getting a drink. There was an announcement to ask if Mr x travelling to n would return to his bags – he was probably just getting drinks and food.

I made my way to the gate, with the flight shown as on time, both on the screens and the BA Mobile app. By 12:05 it was obvious that the 12:20 departure time wasn’t going to happen.

Then they announced that the flight was delayed by up to an hour as there were no cabin crew available. This at BA’s home hub! Then there was an update that the flight was 1 hour 25 minutes late.

14:10: Boarding and the aircraft cabin hot due to a broken air conditioner. Captain came out and apologised for the late departure and lack of air con. He also announced that we would be sitting on the Tarmac for another hour. My suit jacket remained on my lap and so I finally got up and asked if it could go into the business wardrobe.

I went to the washroom and after putting soap on my hands I discovered no water in the taps. I had to wipe off the soap manually with a paper towel. On the way out I said to the cabin crew “did you know there isn’t water in the toilets?”. “Yes” was the reply – not terribly sorry etc.

No hot towels or drinks offered by the cabin crew so far.

Water was finally offered at 14:30.

15:10 aircraft left stand.

15:40: Cabin crew started service – no hot towels offered which seemed ironic as we had sat for an hour without air con.

16:30 update: Ten minutes to landing. Cabin crew have been a little absent during the flight. Trays went uncollected for a while. I still have a tray table down with glasses. One female member is reading the Daily Mail. The senior crew member has spent most of the time chatting to someone who came from his home town of Bombay (Mumbai).

We finally landed and although I’m sure we were more than 3 hours late, I can see from flightstats that we were officially 171 minutes late – just 9 minutes short of the EU compensation rules.

All in all a terrible business class flight – late due to bad management of cabin crew, technical issues on board and with poor service. I’ve written to BA to complain and I’ll update this post with their reply.

Details from flighttstats.com

Details from flightstats.com