BMI Baby Customer Services

17 Jul

Well today was the first direct contact I have had from BMI Baby.  They had heard about my problems through the collective retweeting of my Twitter followers and the kind retweets of many people in the twittersphere.  Lets just say their response is not exactly convincing as well as half-hearted to say the least.

She started out by offering an apology for the problems I had had but insisted that they would have put into place additional procedures if they had known in advance of my requirements.  If this is the case, there has been systematic failings at all levels during this sequence of events.

As any of my wheelchair user readers are aware, actually travelling on airlines involves filling out many pages of paperwork including information about said wheelchair, myself, medical conditions as well as documentary evidence from medical practitioners.  I can safely say all of this information was provided, sent to the travel agent and then forwarded to the tour operator, Classic Collection.  It would seem to me that someone has either “humped the bunk” at Classic Collection and not sent it on, or someone is telling porky pies at BMI Baby.  It will remain to be seen which of these is true or both are the case.

This then leads onto the major oversight of our enthusiastic, but rather stone walling customer service lady, the ineptitude of everyone beyond the departure gate.  Apparently making me transfer out of my electric wheelchair at the departure lounge is not standard practice.  This is the one thing I would agree with her on.  Doing it front of a full lounge of passengers however, is just thoughtless.

The conversation then turned to the fact my electric wheelchair would not have been allowed on the airplane.  I had to clarify that she meant it would not be allowed in the airplane cabin rather than the hold.  I am not sure why this came up as it never would have been allowed or even been of any use on the airplane, before or during the flight.  I suspect this was in some way trying to justify the decision to perform the first transfer in the departure gate lounge.  Sadly this argument does not hold any water.

As previously indicated, there was no initiative from anyone beyond the departure gate as to any problems that might be encountered trying to accommodate me, despite 2 hours between me checking in and reaching the departure gate.  You would of hoped that experience and common sense would of at kicked in at some point.  Sadly it did not and the sad and humiliating sequence of events then unravelled.

It was left that she would continue her investigation into this and feedback to me her findings but I assured her that something needs to be done to make sure wheelchair users can have the same freedom to access air travel as they do to every other forms of publicly accessible transport. 



One Response to “BMI Baby Customer Services”

  1. Sonia November 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    This is utterly sad and unacceptable. Travelling with a wheelchair is NOT new…. any airline that can’t manage this process while maintaining their passengers dignity and respect, does not deserve anyone’s business, wheelchair or not.

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