My worst 13 travel experiences of 2014

As we come close to the end of 2014, and my rotation as a featured blogger also draws to a close, I wanted to share with new readers some of the worst of my travel experiences in 2014. (Tomorrow I’ll share the best, so that we can all go out on a high note.)

New BA Seat Pitch in Club Europe
British Airways intra-Europe offering Club Europe has been cheapened a lot recently with 2014 being the year that they announced that the Coach/Economy/EuroTraveller seat pitch was to be matched in Club Europe. This is my first experience of what that means…

BA Club Europe Seat Pitch

Can you say Ryanair anyone?

Do you know who I am?
Early one Sunday morning I was at the BA lounge in Geneva when a passenger who was not entitled to be there threw the dreaded ‘Do you know who I am?’ in the conversation with the lounge staff. You can read how they handled it here:

Connecting at Gatwick
Many people complain about airside connections at Heathrow – buses, more security, queues – but at Gatwick you cannot even stay airside if you connect to or from the UK. Read about the awful non-connections experience at Gatwick.

Detained by Heathrow Airport
An error by a BA agent meeting my plane led to me being trapped in the International part of T5 at Heathrow, passport-less I might add. Heathrow Airport staff were hopeless in resolving it, insisting that I produce ID. This is not required for UK domestic travel with British Airways. You can read about the story here. Since my story appeared BA have stepped up offering 10,000 Avios for the problem. Heathrow Airport are still investigating.

Changes at United.
For those, like me, that once loved United the blows in the forms of changes to MileagePlus keep coming. Someone said in one of my post that if I ever expected an upgrade from United then I misunderstood their scheme as it was working now. Indeed I do, and perhaps it seems those days are gone. The First Day of Changes can be read here, and the second day here.

Leaving United
I’ll be including this in my Good Things for 2014 tomorrow, but I wanted to say that really I still remain sad about the break-up. United, of course, have yet to notice that I’ve gone. I suspect with so many leaving they never will notice. If you want to know the reasons I chose to leave – after 3,500,000 flown miles – you can read about it here. Of course the copycat nature of United by plagiarising the Delta >revenue based scheme hasn’t helped me love them.

American Airlines Twitter Team
Having been turned away from the Flagship check-in at JFK I spend a frustrating few weeks resolving that this was an error rather than a change of policy. American tried several times to clarify the position – flip flopping around. You can ready how the saga started here.

A disappointing sign in the loo in the lounge at Cancun
lounge sign Cancun

Poor Service in the LHR Concorde Room
The pinnacle of the BA lounge network are supposed to be the Concorde Rooms at Heathrow and New York JFK. My experience at Heathrow was anything by stellar.

The Hideous Radisson Hotel at JFK
A hotel that used to be great a few years ago has taken a fall – ripped up luggage racks, no upgrades for elites and room service that starts at 7pm. File in the ‘Never Staying there again’ category.. Their promised compensation never arrived.

Disappointment with the new three-class planes from American between JFK and Los Angeles / San Francisco. Read my review of an experience that AA claims to be worth $8,000.

Club Carlson – Officially the elite status I rate lowest of any – Gold with Club Carlson. No upgrades, a dirty room in Dublin all lead me to this conclusion.

Doha Hamid International airport

Doha’s Hamid International airport opened to soon and a series of flights just after it opened proved that on almost every occasion. I wrote a round-up of the poor service, packed lounges and general hassles caused even to an experienced traveller. Read about it here. I am told it is better.



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