BA’s Response

I received an emailed apology only *after* BA had told two reporters that they had already contacted me to apologize and one of those articles got published saying as much. Isn’t that lovely!

British Airways has since acknowledged that their aircraft was in fact infested with bugs! (According to the Daily Mail’s article.)

While they have issued an apology to me, (quite a shoddy one if I may say so – still no acknowledgment about anything occurring on the second half of my trip, nor that their customer service actually did treat me poorly) there is nothing in what they wrote to me, nor in their public statements, that leads me to believe that they care even remotely about these types of situations. There is no stated commitment in their apology to me to any kind of regular cleaning or fumigation of their aircraft. There is no commitment that they have even investigated the particular aircraft in question!

In this day and age of infestations in major cities around the world, is some sort of regular fumigation schedule by airlines such a crazy thing to expect? Does one have to build websites in order for an airline to even sort-of-not-really acknowledge that there was a problem?

Unfortunately, the mail sent has a disclaimer that does not allow me to reprint it. It also says that I may not read it(!) so I take it all with a grain of salt. I’ll summarize:

(My notes in italics, clearly!)

  • They are very sorry to hear about the problems I told them about I guess they must not yet have read through the incident report filed by that flight attendant on the first flight. You know, the report that included bug samples?
  • They understand that it must have been unsettling to find insects in my seat, and to “find bites”
  • They are sorry that I feel as though their staff was not sympathetic
  • They included quotes similar to those they gave the Financial Times
  • They offered me some money as a gesture of goodwill (which I have not and will not accept)
  • They thanked me for bringing the issue to their attention and hope that I will fly them again

No thanks BA!


  1. Flying Lawyer says:

    With respect to the owner of this site, bu**er the bugs! We have now discovered, courtesy of ‘Duncan’ (see above) that BA are happy to send unaccompanied luggage from one continent to another! Amazing!

    Duncan, do you have evidence of this incident? Correspondence? Reference numbers?

    Have you considered selling this story to the press?

    • Incredulousathowstupidsomepeopleare says:

      Call yourself a lawyer?!!


    • Pope Beenadick says:

      You know, actually, I think BA can capitalize on the bed-bugs scandal by offering roasted bed-bugs as snacks on the plane. That would make them a tourist attraction, and surely they would also attract south-east Asian customers that way.

      Pope Beenadick

  2. kevin your an asshole says:

    kevin your nothing but a nobody, nothing but a sick sad human being. i am just shocked how you can mention something with such disrespect for 9/11.
    your a sick ***, and i thank this girl for posting this because lets face it. BA airlines wouldnt of done jack shit if she didnt.

  3. Nick Point says:

    Zane, you are an absolute disgrace and have brought your employer, Yahoo!, into disrepute.

    I really feel they should give you the sack for this

    • Gabe says:

      Zane is far from a disgrace! She is a truthful, amazing person whom I have had the pleasure of working for. To this day, she is still one of my favorite managers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working for. She has done people a service posting this website. It in no way reflects on Yahoo! So, think before you post.

  4. asdf says:

    I had a very bad experience with SINGAPORE AIRLINES. I wanted to change the departure date one day later and the agent who booked my ticket with singapore airlines asked me $500 to change the date when the airfare was $2400 (return), which was ridiculous. So I contacted Singapore airlines and explained them everything and they said that they cant touch or change the booking or else it will get corrupted. Below is the copy paste version of the email and I dont give a rats ass to their disclaimer with the email.

    From: “” Add to Contacts


    Dear Mr BXVGBV,

    Thank you for your email.

    On retrieving your booking, we see that your booking is made through a travel agent.

    Please be advised that only your travel agent will be able to assist you in making any changes to your booking.

    Kindly note that if we, at Singapore Airlines make any changes to your booking, your travel agent would no longer have access to your booking.

    In this case, your booking will be taken over by Singapore Airlines and there would be a possibility of your booking getting corrupt, resulting in any cancellation.

    Hope this resolves your query.

    Should there be any more queries, please feel free to write in to us or call our Reservations Centre on 0800 808 909.

    Thank you for choosing to fly with Singapore Airlines.

    SIA New Zealand

    Please respond to RUJUL PATEL
    fsffdf sdvvs
    27-Nov-2008 11:28 AM
    Please respond to asdfasdfaf

    Sender Info:
    No Sender Info found in the address Book

    Subject: Feedback.

    Hi there,

    My ticket Ref number is N8LXYY. Due to genuine reason I have to change the departure date from 16th Dec 08 to 18th Dec 08. I contacted your Singapore airlines directly and the consultant could not help me with the information that I required. I wanted to know that how much is the extra charge to change the date of travel and she said that as the ticket is booked by an travel agent I will have to contact travel agent and thats the only way to change the booking date and to know how much extra it would cost to change the date. What if the travel agent is not available or because of some incident, passed away, what happens then? There should be some sort of method which would allow the travellers to change the date of travel and educates them that how much would be the probable charge because at the end of the day your company puts that charge isnt it. In other words if the seats are scarce and if the change of departure date is the only option then to take advantage of this situation the travel agent can charge any amount he/she likes. Isnt there no way that your Airline can restrict the travel agents from charging any amount they like? To me it sounds grotesque, wierd & bizzare. Can someone contact me on 0211 446 796 as soon as possible to resolve this because I feel I have been trapped by choosing to fly with Singapore airlines and if it is not resolved then I would never fly with Singapore Airlines in future and let all my friends and relatives know about this so that they also think thrice before they choose to fly with Singapore Airlines and if other Airlines offers a dearer fare still it would be worth flying with them.

    Higly disappointed.

  5. Gerhard Lang says:

    Now I never fly with BA.
    Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Gerhard Lang

    • Just a BA passenger says:

      One passenger affected [nobody else has reported] and the aircraft has been taken out of service for treatment.

      Fly with whoever you choose.

  6. PaulM says:

    Well done to this person – who would realistically accept a similar situation. Big companies do not care about their individual customers as in isolation whether they take their business elsewhere it has no impact.

    Publicly naming and shaming is absolutely the right thing to do as these companies don’t have ‘customer service’ they have ‘victim support’

    If BA have not delivered a resonable standard of service a refund should be a prerequisite not an expectation.

    Imagine the ranting of the egotistical Willie Walsh if it was him or his family ?

  7. Abdul says:

    Where is the facebook like link ?

  8. Michelle Gaby says:

    What a shame to read but, I’m guessing not totally unexpected. I’ve recently been seeing quite a few articles on bed bugs making a comeback. Yuk,
    Where has customer service gone? They have been advised of a horrid situation (no one would be comfortable receiving) I think they are missing a huge opportunity… Yes, a bit of a costly exercise and a logistical nightmare to action, but…if they cleaned up their fleet and were able to market Bed Bug Free and worked with people who had been effected (bitee’s) would they be able to turn a negative into a positive? I would suggest that all airlines are facing this problem, the question is: Who will be the first to deal with it in a manner that will earn them respect and loyalty? If someone was advertising they have a “clean flight” I would be willing to pay a bit more especially if their service went back to the levels where they valued their customers!
    Thanks for the info, I think you have done a great thing. Hope you are now Bed Bug Free!

  9. kevin rudd says:

    Wow the staff of BA must be bitten all the time, they did not seem too have any duty of care for you ???

  10. Valerie says:

    I’ve been bitten by bed bugs, too. It takes a few months before you sleep well, again. Also, you will find yourself becoming more, and more, OCD. You will take a second glance at every little speck, everywhere. Thanks for letting us know about the bed bugs on BA, Zane. I will stick with the ‘Flying Kangaroo’, but I’m going to start checking my seat. Why is it all hell breaks loose on long-hauls to LHR?

  11. Gzeeb says:

    Thanks for the heads up about the bed bugs…My wife & I have been talking about flying BA to London this summer…We will now be searching for another Airline to book our flights when we decide to go…

  12. Paul says:

    Surely there is a health and quarantine issue at play here. So my question to you is did you lodge a formal complaint with the appropriate health and quarantine departments in all countries where that plan landed? Its also not out of the question to lodge a formal complaint with the FAA equivalent in the country where the plan landed.

    Really, this should be done as a matter of urgency as it is these departments that have the responsibility to protect other travellers and the country itself from such outbreaks. They may even have mechanisms to pull the plane from service and have it fumigated (a costly situation for the airline).
    Please, consider lodging a formal complaint with the authorities.

  13. Thegoth says:
    If you find yourself with bed bugs, this company is the countries leading bedbug specialist and as quoted on their site ‘The most trusted treatments and accurate information on bedbugs since 2005′.
    Not only do they offer treatment, re-treats and pass you on to a company which then removes all chemicals & traces of bedbugs being in your property, they also like to look after each customer and genuinely care for your health.

  14. dick dido says:

    one could say bugger off!

  15. Pope Beenadick says:

    Actually, I think BA should capitalize on the bed-bugs scandal by offering roasted bed-bugs as snaks on the plane. They would also attract south-east Asian customers that way.

    Pope Beenadick

  16. Jack Speer says:

    Very few people reacts to bed bug bites. Many of the symptoms are not always from bedbugs bites. Could be allergies, medication, other insects, etc. You will need to see an actual bed bug specimen to figure out what caused these bites. There’s too much paranoia in this world!!!

  17. AnnK says:

    I too came off a BA flight from Miami to Heathrow on Sat 26.02.11 with 55 bites.
    I complained to BA who quite frankly could’nt give a dam. I received a condecending email back telling me all the history of bed bugs- where they come from & what they do.
    I emailed back 8 days ago but no reply forthcoming. Having flown BA and only BA for many years they can get stuffed in the future, I will be flying with alternate airlines.
    So much for BA looking after their customers!!!!! NOT.

  18. bed bugs says:

    I have tried everything from bug bombs to hiring a exterminator, but i still have them

  19. Eduardo says:

    I was bitten over 100 times by bedbugs in trasatlantic flight of BA from London to Houston this past sunday November 13, 2011.
    Has anyone sued this airline for this? If not, I think is time because, personally, I have not stop scratching all over neck, hands, arms and waist where I got bitten.
    Is there any alwyer that sued an airline for bedbug bites?
    I have read some complaints, and see that BA is not doing anything to ammend this? I paid over $1,300 usd for this ticket. I am really frustated… I have already complaint to IATA and tomorrow I am going personally to BA desk here in Houston.

  20. monica says:

    I flew business class on nov 25th from Miami to London.
    I woke up in the middle of the night because of unbearable itching. When I landed I saw I had countless bites on bothe legs. I wrote to BA and they claim they have the highest international standards and no other passenger complained. I had to seek medical attention and take cortison for one week. I will send them the pictures (can I post them here) and if I do not receive a satisfactory answer I will report this to the health department and send pictures and details to newspapers. It is time airlines stop taking advantage of their passengers.

  21. Robert says:

    This seems to more common than originally thought, as this has happened to me in July 2012 on a flight from Toronto to Heathrow BA have told me to go away and stop complaining I have passed to my solicitor

  22. Anonymous says:

    To the customer complaining about their travel agent and singapore airlines. The travel agent isnt simply “charging what they like” the fare that you were in probably isnt available and therefore there is a difference in price. There is also usually some kind of penalty service fee for changing. The airline would charge the same amount or at the very least some additional amount. It is also right that once singapore airlines made a change the travel agent would refuse to deal with the booking. Genuine reason or not this is the case. I know this is correct as i work for british airways call centre and regularly experience the same queries. 500 dollars is by no means the largest amount i have seen for changing either.

  23. Duncan says:

    The buggers have done me twice and on the same premium economy flight from JFK to LHR the Friday eve BA116. First time was 6 weeks ago and I had a worrying reaction over ten inches diameter swollen. Now my GF just counted over 20 bites across my next shoulders and face!!! Last night 30 march 2013!!!

    I had planned a great weekend mountain biking but now I have been doses up on antihistamines.

    Thanks for ruining my Easter BA!!! after spending 3 weeks on a RTW business trip and not having a single issue with anyone else. This on my last flight home.


    This is no coincidence.

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  25. Jim Saunders says:

    I Flew Back from Orlando yesterday Flight 2034
    Throughout the flight I kept finding Bites appear. Not just little itchy bumps but huge Pussy boils appeasing on my knees, ankles and arms. 2 weeks in Orlando and not one insect bite, 9 hours on a BA Flight and I am covered. Not just me, My Wife and 2 children too.
    This is absolutely disgusting! British Airways, I always thought they were a premium Airline. It seems they are no better than a Budget carrier. My Tray Table in front of me collapsed when I pulled it out, Covering my shorts in Red wine and I get bitten to Bits. I wont even mention that my lactose free meal contained Mash potato creamed with butter..

    This Airline has shocked me and I will NEVER Travel BA again. Even if it means I have to pay more.
    I am ringing them at 9AM to see what they have to say.
    I have a good mind to report them to Health and Hygiene.

  26. A Clark says:

    I too have been bitten on a BA flight this week. I was flying from Bangkok to London Heathrow on an already long and uncomfortable flight with a flight time of 12hr 15mins! I discovered hallways through I had been bitten on both legs and feet.
    I reported this to the cabin crew who granted, did apologise a file an incident report and assured me that the aircraft would be taken out of service until the issue has been resolved.
    Other than a quick ‘sorry’ I never received any form of assistance or anything.
    I have emailed BA complaints department and also have photographs to forward should they wish to see them. Now the waiting game for a reply begins…..

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  28. a costello says:

    prob the funniest response ever. Pure gold.

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