17:26 15 December 2015
A family had to endure a 10-hour, 550-mile taxi ride to catch a flight after British Airways overbooked their holiday flight. Roy Ferguson, his wife, mum, and two children were driven through the night from Aberdeen to Gatwick so they can fly on to Greece for their holiday. It cost them a whopping £1,800.
Dad Roy, 48, said: “The last passengers boarded the aircraft and we were told we would not be getting on the flight, and to go back upstairs to the check-in desk and our bags would be returned to us.
“We were very upset by this point, convinced we would not be getting our holiday after all.
“After lots of phoning around, it was established the only way of BA getting us to London in time for our flight from Gatwick was by arranging a taxi.
“It was a bit of a shock to find the taxi was not a more comfortable one, considering the time this journey was going to take.
“A taxi with a bench seat for three facing forward and two fold-down seats facing backwards all the way to London from Aberdeen.
“We made it to Gatwick with 30 minutes to spare. Exhausted, stressed, extremely sore and stiff, very unhappy with BA, but we made it.”
Roy, from Alford, Aberdeenshire, added: “The check-in staff told us that BA routinely overbook flights and we would be compensated for our missed flight.
“We explained that was not good enough as we had to be in Gatwick by 7am the following morning to catch our charter flight.”
BA said: “We are very sorry our customer and his family were unable to travel on the flight they had booked and for the frustration and inconvenience this caused them.
“It is common practice within the airline industry to overbook flights on certain routes where it is known that a number of customers with flexible tickets are unlikely to turn up for the flight.
“If all such seats were left empty it would prevent other customers from travelling on the day they wanted.
“The practice also keeps fares low for our customers.
“In this case, although we did all we could to seek volunteers to travel at a later date, no one offered to postpone their journey.
“Therefore we paid the family the appropriate denied boarding compensation and offered them seats on a flight the following day.
“As they needed to reach London for a flight with another airline the next morning, we organised transport for them to travel that evening.”