British Airways passengers experienced an absolutely nightmarish customer service mishap last week when a flight departing from Orlando, Florida on Thursday evening did not reach its destination at the Gatwick Airport, south of central London, until Sunday. The trip should have taken just eight hours, but after waiting on the plane for four hours, 200 passengers — many returning from a trip to Disney World — were forced to deplane and shuttled to a hotel for the night due to a mechanical issue.
“Imagine 200 people turning up in the early hours to check in to a hotel,” Sarah Wilson, a mother of four who spent £11,000 on airfare taking her family on a “dream” vacation, later told BBC News. “It was a chaos and there was not a BA representative in sight taking charge.”
The following day, the shuttle back to the Orlando Airport was delayed twice before finally leaving around 8:00 p.m. on Friday. When the flight finally took off in the early hours of Saturday, within 40 minutes it was diverted to JFK airport in New York City due to the same mechanical issue. After the “roughest one-and-a-half hours on a flight” Wilson said she’d ever experienced, they finally landed in New York but found themselves stranded at the airport terminal with nowhere to go.
“On arrival at JFK, first of all we had to wait until 06:00 ET for the BA staff to arrive and then told there was no food waiting and getting a hotel would be difficult because the New York Marathon was on and everywhere was fully booked.
“One mother asked where she could get formula for her seven-month-old baby and the reply was ‘it would be difficult to find anywhere at this hour.’ She was in tears.
“The passengers were treated inhumanely, all we wanted was some food and drink, somewhere to sleep and to be kept informed – and they failed on all counts no matter what they claim.”