Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software
caramel & cocoa

Caramel & Cocoa - cooking, parenting, fashion, diy, eating, living, a blog

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Why I Hate British Airways and Why My 5 Month Old Has An Email Address

I know that it is not obvious from the title, but this is a gripe about a society that is becoming far too techy and the company culture that forces technology down our throats.

I just spent over 3,600 GBP (that’s over $6000) on flights with British Airways. And by ‘just spent’ I mean just today, a few hours ago. And I’m angry.  I think that’s a heap of money. So when I saw that my children’s flights weren’t linked to my frequent flyer number, I thought that I’d give them a ring and add my three children to my account. My thinking was that sometime in the future, I’d earn a free flight or upgrade, especially given that the children and I make this trip EVERY year.

The first problem I encountered was, I couldn’t find an appropriate number to ring. After really digging through the website, I came across one. I rang the number, a recording told me that they were very busy and tried to convince me to visit “my booking” on I persevered through a very confusing (and unfriendly) options menu and finally spoke to a real live person, in a different country of course. Victorious I was 17 minutes later.

I explained, “I am travelling with my three children aged 5 months, 3 and 4. I would like to add them to my executive membership program.”  The reply was something along the lines of: “Yes of course. I am happy to assist you. Please hold one moment.” Moments later, the woman directed me to visit and create a ‘household account.”

Ever so happy I did exactly as I was told. That was until, I encountered a problem. Creating a household account required that I enter my children’s names, ages and their email addresses. Now my children don’t have email addresses. The eldest is 4 and the youngest is 5 months. I did what I thought was reasonable and I entered my email account for all three. But alas, this wasn’t acceptable to the ‘system.’

I, rather annoyed, but hopeful, rang BA once more and after waiting an additional 12 minutes through the options, I spoke to someone, who explained that, all three children couldn’t use my email address. They would need their own. Why? Oh yes, for verification reasons. What’s more: Once their email addresses were entered. They’d each receive an email that they’d have to accept in order to be enrolled in the program.

I was pretty annoyed by this point and asked to speak with ‘the manager.’ Response “You are welcome to do that but they will just tell you the same thing. Hold one moment.” I was furious by this point. Then a man asked ‘how he could help me?’ I again explained my problem and he explained that the program was paperless and everyone enrolled needed an email. I explained the ages of my children. He said there was nothing he could do.

I then went on a rant. I told him that it was silly to ask for children’s emails and incredibly inefficient. I would have to spend time creating email accounts, remembering passwords, logging in occasionally so as to not lose access to the accounts and that it was all an administrative nightmare on top of raising three very young children. By this point I WANTED TO CRY. The man recommended that I use to create the accounts and that I use a password I would easily remember. He then ended the call. I was angry because he had oversimplified something that quite frankly, ISN’T SO SIMPLE.

Thanks manager man. Really, thanks. 

I’d lost the battle. And to add insult to injury I found out that most email providers, gmail included, don’t allow you to create emails for children. I spent about an hour creating the accounts and linking them to my executive club membership. I had also spent about an hour on calls to British Airways, so the entire process took about 2 hours. 2 hours! 2 hours! Remember I have THREE young children and I spent 2 hours of my day messing about with British Airways and I handed over a wad of cash.

It is abhorrent that they would require separate email for children to be added to a household account. It is equally abhorrent that they made me waste 2 hours of my day, doing something that could have been sorted in 10 minutes, in one phone call. This world is lost. British Airways needs to sort out its ‘system’ and needs training on its customer service.

Wait til you hear my story about why one of my children will have to sit alone on the flight. But, I will leave that for another day. Until then, if you need to get a hold of my infant son, you can email him at   

No comments:

Post a Comment