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British Airways Customer Service

London, UK
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88 posts
95 reviews
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British Airways Customer Service

Does anyone have advice on the best time to try to phone BA Customer Service, in the UK? Whenever I call, the automated system gives me an estimated wait time of over 45 mins - sometimes more than an hour - and it's a premium rate number. I've tried emailing them, or contacting them via social media, but the reply is always that I need to phone them. If I keep calling them to try to find a short wait time, each phone call still costs money working through the various menus until the automated voice system telis you how long the queue is.

My current reason for calling them is in response to an email from them, informing me that they've changed the time of my flight. My original flight booking email doesn't include the rate rules - apparently they're only shown online before you pay for the flight & after that the information isn't available. Ideally I'd like to review this information BEFORE talking to an operator, but as it is I can see it may take 2 phone calls to decide what to do - firstly to get the rate rules for my flight and secondly, after discussing what to do with my partner, to discuss any action with regard to the time change. I want to avoid 2 very lengthy and expensive phone calls, or lots and lots of shorter calls trying to work out if it's a quiet time. I can't help feeling it might be cheaper to travel to my local airport (which is less than an hour away) and talk to a BA service rep there, but am not sure if they would be able to help.

London
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2,576 posts
71 reviews
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1. Re: British Airways Customer Service

Whenever I have had to call them, I've done it at around 8am.

Can't ever recall being on hold for an excessive amount of time.

London
Destination Expert
for Thirassia, Fira
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13,670 posts
16 reviews
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2. Re: British Airways Customer Service

BA has my record for keeping me on hold - 3 hours starting at 5pm on a Friday evening. No choice - boss was travelling next day!

OP: Have you tried finding an alternative number on 'Say no to 0870'?

www.saynoto0870.com

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
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54,920 posts
15 reviews
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3. Re: British Airways Customer Service

'My original flight booking doesn't include the rate rules' The fare rules will have been available at the time of booking, so if you know the fare bucket your ticket booked into, make a dummy booking for the same flights and you should be able to check the rules at that page.

If the flight schedule has changed, the alteration to your booking will have been made by a computer. If you're not happy with what has been offered and can find availability in the same cabin / class of service and ideally in the same fare bucket, note that information before calling BA to ask if your flghts can be switched to those you've found.

I too usually phone as early as possible, and rarely have had to wait too long.

London, United...
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2,397 posts
311 reviews
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4. Re: British Airways Customer Service

Choose the 'book a new ticket' option rather than existing booking - you'll get through faster and then just say you pressed wrong option and get them to help you

Edinburgh, United...
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13,010 posts
16 reviews
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5. Re: British Airways Customer Service

Call very early or very late would be my advice. I've had to talk to them multiple times in the last couple of weeks and I've had no problems getting through quickly at those times.

London, UK
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88 posts
95 reviews
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6. Re: British Airways Customer Service

Thanks everyone. 3+ hours!! I'm not surprised though, based on my experience. But the mind boggles - BA must think that it doesn't matter, and that customers will return to them despite the extremely poor service. I suppose we can only vote with our feet.

In the past when I've tried a non-0870 number, the automatic system detects that I've called a cheaper number and tells me to redial. So British Airways are aware that customers want to do it, and head them off at the pass. It's the only company I know who does that.

I will try early morning - thanks for the suggestions. I'm a night owl and normally not up at that time, but there doesn't seem to be any other option.

It does annoy me though, that they've sold me a ticket but have hidden the fare rules from me, and made it really difficult to know what I can change and what I can't. Grrr.

7. Re: British Airways Customer Service

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Edinburgh, United...
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13,010 posts
16 reviews
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8. Re: British Airways Customer Service

If you have to wait 3 hours it's a good bet that it's due to special circumstances such as poor weather with many cancellations.

If you are looking to change a flight after a schedule change it shouldn't matter what the fare rules are, they will usually accomodate requests (within reason).

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
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9,128 posts
48 reviews
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9. Re: British Airways Customer Service

Guess I should consider myself thankful for the 0800 number that generally gets answered immediately...

Edited: 18 January 2014, 21:17
Newcastle, United...
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1,158 posts
4 reviews
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10. Re: British Airways Customer Service

When you dial the 0191 number put 141 in front of it then the system can't tell that your dialling from the uk. I dial 14101915907900