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Double Increased ADP Flyer Fees 2011 as British Airways BA Airline Gets Worse

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by hearit

hearit's picture
In The News

As the airline suffers, so does the customer: British Airways charges ADP newly-increased fee for ADP fuel charge, doubling fees charged by other airlines. The increased fee affects even flights using purchased BA frequent flyer Executive Club Mileage.
Strikes, including CAT strikes, have plagued the British airline over past years -- the problem becoming severe in 2003, when the airline left thousands of passengers stranded for days without flights or hotel lodging. The BA strike involved the airline's customer service staff and employee fits over employee tracking. 500 British Airways (BA) customer service workers including check-in and ticketing employees went on strike at the company’s Heathrow Airport hub on July 18, 2003 -- in a protest over the introduction of a card-swiping system that would track or record staff attendance.
For any passengers stuck flying British Airways on that fateful day of June 18 day, the sight was not pretty. The absolute only passengers that were even allowed inside of the British Airways terminal were First Class travelers. Tarmac delays, during the 2003 strike, included an additional number of hours but, for those fortunate enough to even be able to board a BA plane, the delay was minimal in comparison to thousands -- or rather 100,000 -- displaced passengers whom complained of no board or service from BA, and no outbound flights.
The rough estimate during the 2003 strike placed the number of displaced and delayed British Airways passengers at about 100,000 specifically because of 500 afflicted BA flights stuck at Heathrow Airport. In the travel nightmare, which coincided with heat waves and blackouts throughout Europe, travelers were stuck without hotels or food for days on end. Many travelers were traveling with children during the hot summer month, and hotels were sold out and unavailable due ot the onslaught of trapped flyers.
Those who escaped the gates of hell, by having First Class tickets in hand, cinancially paid a dear price for the cabin and upgraded amenities -- but many may consider the cost well worthwhile. First Class BA tickets ran no cheaper than about $6500 each way for an international flight, and the First Class cabin crew may have been no less crabby than its exterior partners, but at least flyers were able to get home. In line with the AEA 2007 study, BA baggage handling was not far better in those days of 2003 -- with every bag temporarily lost upon arrival -- but at least British Airways had an excuse back then.
The decline of British Airways has seemed rapid from that point forward, when BA began a cash and employee crisis.
The British Airways reputation has suffered extremely over past years, the BA airlines once considered among the world's most elite. While the decline may have begun a decade ago, matters have become far worse for the airline that continues to tout itself as supreme. By 2007, British Airways had been dubbed the "worst airline in Europe" of all major air carriers.
The Association of European Airlines (AEA) showed that British Airways plane passengers were more likely to encounter delays than those flyers traveling on any other airline. British Airways was charged with fines almost £270 million pounds (approximately U.S. $433,700,800, or the better part of half of one million dollars) for price fixing after the airline was found colluding over fuel surcharges with Virgin Atlantic Airlines.
On a lesser side note, British Airways wasn't faring too well on baggage handling and delayed bags during the timeframe either: for every 1,000 passengers travelling in late Spring to Summer months between April and June, the Association of European Airlines noted an average of 28 bags delayed on BA flights while roughly three pieces of baggage for every 1,000 Air Malta travellers was delayed.
The time was not financially good for British Airways, which had been in the middle of drastic cost-cutting procedures. The BA plan including the airline's slashing of 13,000 jobs in the prior two years ending in September 2003 -- roughly one quarter of the British Airways workforce. By July 2003, the airline company had announced pre-tax losses of GBP 45 million pounds (approximately U.S. $72,283,500 loss in dollars) for the second quarter.
Once considered the elite of the elite, particularly during the era of British Airways Concorde flights that operated until eight years ago, the airline has suffered a tarnished reputation and consumer complaints that much of the BA staff is rude, arrogant and even condescending to its own customers.
The complaint over high British Airways fees has been longstanding, at least in terms of the last decade. More than ten years ago, BA was known to charge one of the highest change fees in the airline industry, set at a minimum of $150 per ticket in the late 1990's. At that point in time, American passengers were limited in choice of international travel, when direct flights from major U.S. cities were not available via other major airlines like American Airlines. British Airways was still considered one of the top, preferred airlines by customers, but its service and reputation has had rapid decline over more recent years.
The newest British Airways fee blows past other airlines. The BA excuse seems to be that the airline expects other carriers to follow suit, and up the charge themselves. The controversial fee involves an "ADP" fee -- essentially a departure tax from all UK airports. British Airways representatives are said to refer to the ADP charge as a fuel charge, though passengers allege that the fee includes more than just fuel or related taxes. Passengers allege that the British Airways ADP fee -- in addition to being more than double the fee rate of other airlines -- is also questionnable as to whether it should be charged at all, to customers flying in and out of the same airport on the same day.
Frequent flyers are also arguing that the ADP fee is being applied or charged incorrectly for travelers, or during circumstances when the terms of the ADP do not apply. The British government provides the following terms pertaining to the ADP fee:
3.5 Connecting flights
A passenger who has a ticket is not a chargeable passenger on the second or subsequent flight of his journey if that flight and the previous flight are connected. Different criteria govern whether the second or subsequent flight on a journey may be treated as connected, depending on whether that flight is to a domestic or international destination. These rules can be found in section 4.
3.8 Circumstances beyond the control of the airline
If the flight details or destination changes, for example due to bad weather or mechanical failure, the liability remains the same as if the original planned event had taken place.
Malfunctioning of an aircraft or bad weather may result in passengers being transferred to another aircraft, not necessarily operated by the same airline. In these cases a 'Flight Interruption Manifest' (FIM) will be prepared listing the passenger details. If this happens the new operator should pay any APD liability.

4.1 General principles
For APD purposes connected flights are treated as one journey and APD is charged according to a passenger’s final destination irrespective of the number of flights that they take to reach this, provided the flights are connected.
In the case of all connected flights, it is the first uplifting carrier who is liable for APD.
If the first flight of a connected journey is made on a non chargeable aircraft, then the whole journey is exempt from APD.
There are two sets of rules covering connecting flights for APD purposes:

  • Case A covers domestic connections (a flight connecting through the UK to another flight to a UK destination), and
  • Case B covers international connections (a flight connecting through the UK to another flight to an international destination).

Customer concerns and allegations include the ADP fee being charged by British Airways in instances where the fee should not be charged -- such as in a case of connecting flights.
Had an experience with British Airways? Share your British Airways (BA) wack story on wacktrap: add your wack now. The world is listening.




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