ok, i have to start off with an excuse. i had this post written up yesterday and just when i was ready to post i could not connect to wordpress again. i tried for 30 minutes or so but eventually gave up thinking that this post had been saved (no way to confirm because i couldn’t connect). yeah, make an educated guess now on what was NOT saved….so i am writing this post a second time. sorry for keeping you waiting, i really didn’t mean to turn this into an ordeal.
so, as you might remember, i was stuck in london for a week back in december. it was a horrible week and i don’t want to have that happen to me again. ever. eventually, about two weeks ago i managed to write up my story, tally up my expenses, gather the receipts i have and send it all to british airways customer service. in all i sent in 22 pages claiming close to 700 euro. that did not include the subsequent travel i had to do in the states to get to my original point of arrival. if you add that you’re more at 850 euro.
i sent in a really nice letter (no sarcasm here – i was being straight forward yet polite) and listed everything up , i converted the british pound into euro for the expenses i had paid in cash and i made categories of expenses, like “hotel”, “transportation”, “food” and “internet” etc.
quite frankly, with 22 pages and i don’t know how many thousand people stuck i didn’t expect to hear from them anytime soon. i was wrong! i got an answer on wednesday and boy that answer pissed me off. they acknowledge that they have to reimburse me (good) and i even got an apology (wow, that is 5 months after the fact and only because i said that i had never received an apology but better late than never). my categories of expenses were sort of mirrored by them and then it was listed what i would get back for each category i claimed.
hotel – 45 pounds reimbursement. mind you, that is not for each of the five nights i stayed at a hotel or the one night i slept on a luggage cart in the terminal. this is for six nights in total. 45 pounds is about 50 euro. yeah, i know. try to find a hotel in london (or any city for that matter) for 7.5 pounds per night. even hostel dorms are more expensive, and all of this happened during a snow storm when thousands of people were looking for accommodation and prices skyrocketed.
transportation – here i claimed about 90 euro and i am getting 88 euro back. i don’t quite get that. if i had slept in a taxi would i have gotten that money back too? should i stay in a taxi next time i am stranded?
food and drinks – naturally that was one of my biggest expenses just because no meal was less than 10 pounds. and i always got the cheapest thing on the menu and ate only once a day. breakfast was included in the price for the room but consisted of a coffee and a croissant. i am getting 79 pounds back (about 88 euro i believe). that is roughly 12 pounds per day.
in all i am getting round about 333 euro back. the reason for not getting the whole amount i claimed is stated in each category with “not having handed in all receipts and bills”. so i replied back asking what exactly that means especially when it comes to the hotel and food category. i have receipts, i have credit card statements – what more proof is needed to believe that i actually stayed at that hotel and actually ate the meal indicated on the receipt??? i did not get a reply so far.
now, i don’t want to sound greedy or anything. i am glad i am getting at least something back. but really i did not plan on spending 700 euro because british airways was unable to provide me with a flight BEFORE the bad weather hit london. i was cheap the whole week and still i raked up bills totaling 700 euro…that is a lot of money for me! i ended up borrowing from friends because i had no idea how much more i had to spend because i did not know when this disaster would turn for the better. i just want to get my money back ESPECIALLY because the airline claims that i am entitled to getting it back.
as a customer i feel made fun at. back at the airport i got a xeroxed page saying hotel accommodation for up to 200 pounds per night will be reimbursed, so those 45 pounds are just like a slap in the face.
i can write about this a whole lot calmer now than i could yesterday or even the day before. but it’s the issue itself that is bugging me. i lost 6 vacation days, i lost money, i went through a lot of drama (sorry to those who had to endure it), i lost a significant amount of weight (which i understand for some would be great but with me it left me looking all boney and weak, hardly able to lift my suitcase)…and i am being told that 45 pounds for the hotel is sufficiently covering my expenses. thank you very much.
this is exactly why there will be no next time with british airways or london – if i can help it at least. it’s kind of hard to avoid london as a hub when you’re on the road as much as i am.