Derrick and Sheila Gordon arrived late at the airport for their connecting flight after delay from Manchester Airport because of additional immigration and customs checks
Image: Derrick Gordon)
A couple claim they are £1,000 out of pocket after British Airways wouldn’t let them board a flight to see their son after two years spent apart due to the pandemic.
Derrick and and Sheila Gordon were expected to depart from Heathrow Airport for Los Angeles in December for their son’s wedding in December..
But the pair from Oldham, Greater Manchester, arrived late to the airport for their connecting flight after being delayed at Manchester Airport because of additional immigration and customs checks.
They were told by the pilot their next flight would wait for them, but when they finally arrived in London they were not allowed to board their flight to Los Angeles.
The couple were excited to see their 38-year-old son Christopher for the first time in two years after the continuous coronavirus lockdown kept them apart for so long.
They were offered an alternative flight 24 hours later, which they had no choice but to accept.
Derrick, 69, told MyLondon: “We had to pay £70 to arrange another PCR test as the ones we took on December 22 became invalid.
“At an extra cost to us, we tried to arrange this at the airport – it took around five hours to get them done.
“All this time at the airport there was no customer service of any description, no help or support from anyone.
“Also, one of our bags was damaged when the wheel was broken on the flight from Manchester.
“The whole experience of traveling with British Airways is one I will not forget and do not wish to experience again ever.”
On their flight the following day, the pensioner was shocked to discover that when he sat down on his seat in economy class, it was “broken and unsteady”.
A member of the cabin crew offered them new seats, but this would mean that they were sitting at opposite ends of the plane for the duration of the 11-hour journey.
After the pair protested, they were eventually upgraded to business class, where they were content, and they eventually arrived in Los Angeles just a day later than expected.
However, as Mr Gordon pointed out, “we had already waited to years to see our son, and it was a day lost of our holiday – we had to cancel restaurant reservations and other plans”.
Nearly four months on from their “disastrous” experience with British Airways, the two say they have been unable to contact anyone from the airline for a refund.
Derrick added: “We’re owed around £1,040 for the delayed flights, our extra Covid tests cost £70 and I also wanted to claim compensation for my wife’s damaged suitcase.
“Even just the stress of the whole thing took its toll.”
British Airways CEO Sean Doyle was forced to send an apology email to tens of thousands of flyers in response to the barrage of complaints the airline has received recently.
Their son Christopher, who previously lived in Las Vegas, got married to his wife in Los Angeles.
But now that the USA has opened up their borders to international travel, they are organizing a second wedding – a bigger celebration – later in the summer holidays.
The couple desperately want to be there, but they’re struggling to get a refund for their original flights, which they are hoping to use in part for their next trip.
Mr Gordon added: “Flights to America are not cheap, and we are still waiting to hear from British Airways about a refund and compensation.
“If I can help it, I never want to fly with them again, and I’m looking at other airlines for our next trip.”
A British Airways spokesperson said: “We are sorry that our customers were delayed in getting to Los Angeles due to matters beyond our control.
“We got them on the next available flight and provided overnight accommodation.
“Our crew on the flight looked after them and we have been in contact with the customer to resolve the matter.”