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IBERIA/BA - denied boarding at check in help


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During Easter my DC and me were going to visit family and friends to Spain. We purchased tickets through BA website, but our flight was a code share with Iberia. The day before, I uploaded our passports, and covid passes into the Iberia website, had a confirmation email that the documents were validated and I also made the check in online. We arrived at the check in desk to drop suitcases with more than 2 hrs before the flight. The Iberia check in desk were going very slow, there was just one allocated desk for Business class that we were told we couldn't use to drop the cases and that we had to go through a normal line for check in. The Iberia staff was going super slow, and we waited for more than 2 hrs, I actually went a couple of times to the BA manager to ask if it was possible to use their desk adn the tickets were originally bought through them, apparently this was not possible. The line was not going any quicker, I contacted by twitter to Iberia, and they were replying late and were useless, kept refering to their ground staff. When the floor manager of Iberia realised that all the line was waiting for the same flight, and most of the plane was still in the line, then they started to speed up a bit, and we were told that not to worry, we will get into the plane. This ibviously didn't happen and around 20 of us were left behind. The lady from Iberia then called security straight away, when we started to complaint, an optopus was more empathic than her, kept telling us to complaint to the head office, as they were short on staff, I felt we were got in the middle of a dispute between ground staff and company HQ and then she said that the current staff at the desk, had finished their shift and that we were needed to wait around so they will come out to get our names, so they could book us in another plane, they were not offering us any planes from BA or anyone from the AIG group, they were adamant that had to be an Iberia plane. When they came out again to get our names, gave us a voucher to spend in refreshments, and we suppose to be waiting around. The flight they were trying to get us was later of the date and unsuitable for us, we also had train tickets to connect to. At the end I spoke with the staff from BA, who were much nicer, and managed to get into one of their planes, it looks they could have put us in earlier planes from BA but didn't, but on all this, I bought tickets for the last train, which I couldn't use, and as our earlier flight also got delayed, and at the end we had to get on the last coach available, arriving late at 1 in the morning to our final destination. 

I put a complaint already through BA, and they literally said, that because it wasn't for overbooking we got left behind we are not entitled to compensation. I think this is not correct, because as per the EU rights website mentions:

EUROPA.EU

Travellers' rights - flight delays, cancellations and overbooking (passengers unable to fly on flight they booked)

 

 

 

"

If you arrived on time for check‑in, you should always receive compensation if you're denied boarding. The only exception is if there were reasonable grounds to deny you boarding, such as health, safety or security concerns. Or if you did not have the required travel documents.

Even in cases where such grounds exist, airlines might still offer you compensation depending on the specific terms and conditions attached to your ticket."

 

 

 

I'm right to think this? Can anyone give me an idea? help?

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Hi Zara Goza,

 

as you arrived in time for check-in (2 hours is plenty of time enough) you should be entitled to claim for EC261 compensation. Your actual flight (the BA flight) needs to have landed 2 hours later or more than the Iberia flight you missed. Is that the case?

 

It would be good for you if you started gathering evidence to prove you were indeed 2 hours early.

 

Note that it is not relevant whether you had train or coach tickets etc.. or the time you arrived at your final coach destinations (UNLESS those were part of the same reservation as your plane ticket, but I get the feeling that's not the case). For those you will need to fill in a claim with your travel insurance. You need to leave that story outside your EC261 claim

 

The money that you will be owed is a fixed amount.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, Iberia flight (original flight) was landing at 3pm, at the end we got put on a flight of BA (booking originally was done through BA) that arrived at nearly at 8pm so 5 hrs later. As I mention we even had boarding passes printed out, so we've done the online check in and we were just having to drop the suitcases, but as they didn't have a separate line/desk for this matter, everyone got into the same usual check in line, and we were there more than two hrs before, when the plane was leaving at 11.30, and we were there around 8.30, definately before 9. The ground staff were the ones being overly slow and created the problem. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by zara_goza
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Yeah, that would be normal procedure to have everyone join the same line. For your complaint don't mention who's fault it is or that the ground service was slow or yadda yadda. The only fact that matters is the time that you got into the line, and the time you ended up at the actual checkin desk.

Also mention who you spoke to at the airport (not sure about twitter) and at what times.

 

Your complaint should go to IB and not to BA as they were the operating carrier.

 

For the future I would recommend that once you have reached 1hr before the flight you just take a leap of faith and walk yourself in front of the line. Or walk yourself into the business line and demand you be checked in. A brash act that most British folks are reluctant to do, and will no doubt get you nasty looks, but it's more important to make your airplane on time. 😁

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Well, lots of people were doing this, going to speak with the check in people, and the line manager, people were phoning too the customer service, I tried to contact them through twitter too. That's when the Iberia manager turned up, and realised all the line was meant for the 11.30 flight, and she kept telling us that they were sorry, that they didn't have enough staff, and that we should have arrived ealier, which was a joke as some people that were stopped mid check in, have been even longer than us. It was shambles. 

 

Thanks for that, I'll complaint again to IB, advising that I was there with my DS with plenty time, and had boarding passes and documentation ready and was waiting for 2 hrs in the line. 

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Good luck with this.

 

It does beg the question of why these companies encourage check-in on-line if when you arrive in the airport you still have to queue up with passengers who need to check in!

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On 04/05/2022 at 16:52, Kyosanto said:

"The only fact that matters is the time that you got into the line, and the time you ended up at the actual checkin desk.

Also mention who you spoke to at the airport (not sure about twitter) and at what times."

 

The issue is that we were not even able to reach the checking desk, They stopped checking half way througb processing a family of 4, and we literally were 3 customers groups from reaching it, all of us for the same flight, and people also behind us for the same flight, We were at least 20 people that had been waiting in line for hours. So they must have in their records that all these people had to be moved to other planes and should expect complaints and compensation claims. 

 

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