It is interesting to see how the bad weather has disrupted the climate of ongoing dealings between BA and its customers during the height of the snow – mainly for the worse, but occasionally for the best.

I was due to fly down to Lyon University a couple of weeks ago with my stepdaughter, when the snow first kicked in. We turned up at Heathrow Terminal 5 in plenty of time for check-in. There was a massive queue and clearly not enough check-in staff – down to the weather or bad planning or ongoing staff cuts?

It took so long to get to the front of the queue we were only 20 minutes from our scheduled departure time when we got there. We needn’t have worried. We were then told that our flight had been cancelled. Like hundreds of other people standing in that queue we had been waiting for over an hour to check in for a flight that didn’t exist. Shame nobody had told us earlier.

We were directed to another counter to deal with re-booking our flights. We went over there and of course there was another massive queue. Again, we needn’t have worried. A BA lady standing by the counter told us that the counter was about to close anyway and so we had no option but to fend for ourselves for the evening.

The problem with this kind of customer service is that, whatever the cause of the disruption, the impression is given that BA doesn’t care about its passengers. This is a very win/lose attitude and doesn’t encourage passengers to travel with BA again as nobody likes to feel like a loser.

To give BA credit, the next day I had a great experience re-booking the flight through the customer service number. Ok, I had to hang on for 20 minutes first, but the tele-operator who served me was courteous, sympathetic and efficient. I immediately felt valued, which must be the feeling that BA should be creating in its passengers. This feeling makes customers want to fly BA and can help put British Airways in a much better financial position then the cost savings it is currently seeking to achieve by strangling its unions to death.

So how come the service experience was so much better when I called the service-centre? One clue may lie in its location – Florida. A state with a sunshine climate was creating a sunny climate in its staff, which radiated out to customers and was reflected back on the company. This is what customer service should be like – a sunny state.