Saturday, November 14, 2020

The Royal Park movement strategy for Richmond Park isn't working

Traffic chaos in Richmond Park has shown how badly wrong the situation has become. It's time the Royal Parks get the park in line with its 'movement strategy' survey findings:
  • Approximately 80% of our visitors get to the park by walking, cycling or public transport
  • 78% of all survey respondents strongly agree or agree that park roads should not be used as commuter routes for motor vehicles. 

And yet, what we've seen over and over is long queues caused by rat running and congestion around car parks every sunny week end in summer and sunny days during lockdown.

The parks should:
  • close the park to through traffic, period. Many agree with this.
  • adopt charges with a steep increase after 3 hours in each car park –except for blue badge holders
  • allow vehicular access from the gate adjacent to Robin Hood, Sheen, Kingston and Roehampton gates 
  • reopen Ladderstile gate for access to Broomfield Wood parking 
  • instigate a one way from Ham to Richmond for access to Pembroke lodge, looping via the car park (to discourage through traffic) and also to Isabella's plantation disabled car park 
  • close Pen Ponds car park except for disabled parking
Other options won't work: the Richmond Society is suggesting a fee to enter the park for instance. It's technically feasible, but expensive. The infrastructure costs are non-trivial and the operating fees for boundary pricing can be eye watering: for instance, the London congestion charge operating costs are 36% of its revenues.

And so, given only 20% of park users come by car, it makes sense to simply ban cars and charge parking.

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Goodbye Homebase, hello Camden?

Avanton Properties redevelopment proposal for the Homebase site in North SheenThe application by Avanton has been refused by LBRUT and is now with the Mayor of London's office.
Here are a few thoughts...

Yes in principle: the redevelopment of this commercial land is overall welcome, yet will cause job and business rates losses. 

Shops will vanish: the proposal proposessss some retail units. Safeguards should be in place to avoid the developers leaving them empty for 18 months and subsequently converting them into dwelling -as it has been done on a nearby development (Parison Close). In passing the layout of those ground floor flats facing a busy street made for poor quality accomodations and is an anti-social behaviour magnet.  

Poor environmental standards: in 2020, all new developments should be built on the best possible environmental standards. The current proposal is nowhere near this, in particular insulation is minimal where it should lean towards passive house quality and ideally should be a zero energy development with planted roofs and solar panels. The green space is frankly insulting for a development of this size.

Inappropriate size: the overall mass of this development will by itself move this neighbourhood from suburban to urban, something your planning document skirt around in a frankly dishonest manner. 

This scheme is one of many in North Sheen and Mortlake. And yet, according to the GLA it would contribute to over 122% housing targets. This also glosses over the fact around no less than 355 flats have been build behind Richmond Fire Station, about 300 metres away and another 18 units on 1-9 Sandycombe Road, right across Manor Circus. In addition, about up to 1250 flats are being proposed on the Mortlake Stag Brewery site, about 2km away. 
In total, with Barnes Hospital, over 2,358 dwellings will be added in the neighbourhood -that's almost 6,700 new residents.
The local area simply can’t take this proposed change of its fabric. Local schools are all, bar none, oversubscribed and so are all other public services, including health services and transportation. This development should at minima include a GP surgery and a dentist practice. 

Transportation is in itself a reason to refuse this planning application. Trains are already running at capacity (Network Rail gave a negative advise to the aforementioned Brewery development for this reason) and North Sheen station is simply inadequate. This site also serves as a bus depot, which would be lost. The train station should be brought to acceptable standards and relocated on this site, which could also accommodate a tube/overground station.
Cycling should be promoted. I note a contribution to the long-overdue improvements to Manor Circus but cycling shelters are grossly insufficient.
Finally, local roads are saturated and whilst the developers propose to make this car-free, residents will still have cars and park them on the already saturated Manor Grove. On this point, the parking survey is nothing short of a fabrication and should be redone. In addition, e-commerce deliveries and minicab traffic has not been accounted for.

Finally, the existing height is overbearing and will cause loss of light to residents.

In conclusion, this scheme is detrimental to the community and only profits the developer. The London GLA should consider this application together with the Mortlake Brewery scheme, review ways to suppress levels crossings that bisect the neighbourhood, relocate North Sheen station to this Homebase site and seriously invest in cycling provision, including at Manor Circus and Chalkers corner plus include healthcare provision on this site as well as more green space and be more sympathetic in size to the suburban nature of the neighbourhood.

This might not be compatible with the proposed mix of affordable housing and it's OK. North Sheen has already contributed many times more than other wards in Richmond and we are asking to turn our neighbourhood into an urban setting.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Four cars written off at dangerous junction

Yesterday Sunday 13th May 2018, around 6pm, two cars crashed violently in Bicester road. The cars were badly damaged and both drivers were wheeled away on stretchers by two separate ambulances. Richmond Police and Fire Brigade were in attendance for over one hour, as it took that long to get the first ambulance, mobilising four PC and a fire engine with a crew of five. Two more parked cars (thankfully belonging to a local garage and not to residents) were impacting.

This junction is notoriously dangerous, with several high-velocity road traffic incidents each and every year, as speeding traffic from the dual-carriageway A316 / Lower Richmond road comes often at speed towards Lambert avenue or into Somerton avenue.
The junction line of sight is impeded by parked cars, consistent with a 30 miles per hour limit.
Local residents have repeatedly asked the council to invest into a raised junction and speed humps in Somerton avenue.

The council's response so far has been just a few double-yellow lines to improve visibility, hardly a traffic calming measure.

How many more accidents there before it takes effective action?

Previous posts on accidents at this notoriously dangerous junction:

Sunday, May 14, 2017

10 reasons why the Mortlake Stag Brewery redevelopment consultation is a con

The ex-Watneys, ex-Budweiser Stag Brewery has closed in December 2015, putting an end to 6 centuries of brewing in Mortlake.

The site is going to be redeveloped, a great opportunity to revitalise the Mortlake riverside and link it to East Sheen. However, as it now seems to be the norm, developers are making a mockery of the consultation process and the council seems happy to wag its tail to prevailing winds.

Here are 10 points you won't find in the consultation.

1. Once more, the consultation process is abused by the use of unpractical surveys (why no online poll on the council's page?), lack of real alternatives (which shade of grey do you prefer?) and closed questions.

2. The size of the development is H.U.G.E. Nine hundred and eighty dwellings. 980. That’s way over 1700 people in the best case (1.8 soul / home). That’s 400 cars and probably as many kids.

3. The traffic plans are just laughable. Chalkers corner is widely known as a local bottleneck, yet no mini-tunnels or drastic changes -just one more filter lane. It can take as much as 12 mn for a pedestrian to cross it and about as much for a car to pass it from Mortlake onto the A316 (on a Sunday morning!!!!). What do they propose? An extra filter lane.
- No cycling lane. Zero. Nits. Oh, and on cycling, no mentions of bike sheds in the development.
- No more “staking” capability on Westbound A316. They highlight that as a problem, don’t suggest a remedy. What that means is that cars will still be stuck as soon on Lower Richmond road (Mortlake side) BEFORE reaching the A316.
This Mickey Mouse city planning has unfortunately become a local trademark.

3. No cycle lane, did I write this already?

4. Not any more provision of extra transport of course. How are those people going to commute? The trains are already full in Mortlake...

5. Nothing about the playing fields, they seem to have vanished in the school playground. 

6. No ice rink either of course. (there was an ice rink of international fame in Richmond, which was developed over and the council promised to erect a new one with the proceedings of the land sale. That was back in 1992...)

7. No mention of high-environmental, sustainable building capability. But lots of 6 and 7 storeys designed to max developers ROI. 

8. Primary schools? The council is once more adopting a fairy land approach: build new houses, only to discover there’s no primary school places, then no secondary school places. Surprise…

9. Speaking about school, the space for the secondary school looks tiny. And with no parking.

10. Parking? Is CPZ the answer to all traffic issues for the council?

Yet ANOTHER smash at black spot junction

Residents are up in arms after another smash today Saturday 13th May 2017 around 1830 at the junction of Bicester road and Somerton avenue, in North Sheen.

Following years of discussions with the council, double yellow lines were painted only a few weeks ago but according to residents, this is not satisfactory.

Two black Fords were seen on the crash scene, badly damaged and with airbags deployed, proof of the violence of the crash.

The two drivers, ironically going to a wedding and hen party, as well as a young passenger girl were shocked but unharmed.

A Met police car showed up but stayed less than 2 mn onsite after pushing one of the car which was obstructing the junction.

This junction has seen a number of crashes as cars fail to give way. Deficient signage could be a factor and Richmknd council has been working, for a while, on upgrading the painted yield lines into a stop sign.

On the crash site, Ludovic, a resident and witness to the crash commented:  "yellow lines actually make the problem worse as cars now travel faster across the junction. What we badly need is a raised junction."

According to another residents who preferred to remain anonymous, there are complaints that this junction and roads are "used as a rat run around Chalkers corner". In addition, local garage Westlake Motors, was mentioned as upsetting locals by frequently using roads to test their cars at speed.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Another near-fatality at North Sheen level crossing

Here's a candidate for the Darwin Awards.

Unfortunately, this level crossing is a known problem.

1. There's a long list of near misses, broken barriers, suicides or accidental deaths at this crossing, in Mortlake, in White Hart lane and Vine road -4 level crossings in about a couple miles or so.

2. There was a footbridge and Network Rail took it down in the 90ies, it was then reinstated a few years ago -but on the wrong side of the road (meaning if you're coming from the South side, you'd need to go up and down 4 times to get to the station, without ramps for prams or buggies and w/o side railings to take bikes up.

3. We live in a dense urban area, level crossings should not be. Period. 
Not only it's dangerous, but you can wait 15mn to cross. There are often huge queues along Manor Road, all the way back to Upper Richmond road on the South side and to Manor circus (A316) on the North side. Things are about to get much worse if the Stag Brewery in Mortlake gets redeveloped with 900 flats...

To your questions, I don't know who the chap is (no one seems to know him around here). He's certainly nearly won the Darwin Awards.

Including why it's an issue for emergency services, past accidents, etc.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Under Heathrow flight path: emissions, noise and stowaway

The two millions of Londoners living under the Heathrow flight paths are subject to noise, emissions and tragically bodies falling from planes in their final approach.

It happens every 2-4 years as it did this morning > Telegraph: Police discovered stowaway's legs 'sticking out' of roof

This illustration from the Telegraph is obviously wrong as the planes were landing on the South runway that morning, which is aligned with Richmond.

Related posts:

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Heathrow fakes it

Gatwick airport claims Heathrow set up fake support group for new runway
Back Heathrow, which gets funding from west London airport, says it represents local businesses and residents

, transport correspondent, The Guardian,

Here's what happens when lobbies take over societies. In case you haven't been following, the story goes that way: government gives up on planning vital infrastructure (Maplin Sands, 1973, Labour), then privatises it (Tory, 1986), forces it to sell off assets (Tory, 2009), resulting in each of the SIX international airports around London being owned by different (often foreign) shareholders. The result is all of them pitching for their own (shareholders) interests -at the expense of greater public good. Ensues a lot of private propaganda, etc., but no one saying simple things such as high-speed rail being a good alternative for (2006, Labour).

Related posts

Thursday, October 16, 2014

What's up with TfL and shared spaces?

Saw Richmond Cycling Campaign's draft response to TfL’s consultation on changes at Manor Circus.
This consultation is a stark reminder of TfL's absolute incompetence when it comes to designing cycle lanes ; as well as its the fact those consultations are absolute farce since they fail to advertise them to users (no posters on the junction in question) or canvass local residents by way of letterbox flyers.
Thankfully they found out and their observations are mostly spot on.
This junction is a danger zone for cyclist, interrupting an important cycle path. As a result, many cyclists use the roundabout.
There's some merit to the proposals in the removal of the 3rd left filter lane on the Westbound A316 and the pavement widening, but the toucan crossings are ill conceived indeed and shared spaces are a recipe for disaster.


Here's my response
1. This is a masquerade consultation: why hasn't TfL bothered to post signs on the junction itself to the attention of its users? Why have residents not been leafleted?
2. The intent is laudable: this roundabout bisects an important cycling route and offers no provision for cycling. As a result, many cyclists use the roundabout. In particular, the removal of the Westbound filter lane goes in the right direction.
3. However the execution is ill conceived on many aspects.
3.1. Shared cycle-pedestrians space is in general not safe and should be eliminated ; which should be possible with the filter lane removal and pavement widening.
3.1. Cycle lanes should have right of way to private land entrance -specifically to the BP petrol station and Sainsbury's
3.2. Toucan crossings will introduce much delays and therefore will be ignored -scrap them ; They are set too far back from the roundabout and impose a detour.
3.3. Scrapping those toucan crossings won't impose a widening of the central reservation and thus allow wider pavements -see 3.1.
3.4. Bicycles should not have to give way when merging into Sandycombe road and Manor road
3.5. The cycle lane should have right of way on North road, just like it was decided on Elsinore way.

Previous posts on similar subjects:

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Pizza firms leaves crashed driver alone (but not the pizze)

We witnessed a pretty shocking behaviour from pizza delivery firm Papa John today. After one of its delivery man was knocked off, it sent another employee to collect its pizza's, leaving his colleague behind as he was being attended by three ambulance crew.

The accident happened at junction reported repeatedly by residents as dangerous at 1545 today. A high-powered white BMW M3 travelling South on Bicester road collided with the scooter going East on another branch of Bicester road, leaving slid marks 6.50 metres long.

A paramedic arrived ten minutes after on a bicycle, followed shortly by two police officers in a car. It took a full 30 minutes for an ambulance crew to be on site.

This crossing has seen several accidents and many near misses and reported as dangerous to the council by residents demanding a raised junction.
Police car and ambulance on the scene of the crash in Bicester road, Richmond

The high-powered BMW M3 sports car bearing signs of the impact

The Papa John's pizza delivery scooter after the crash

Monday, January 20, 2014

Elsinore and the A316 breadcrumb cycle path

Some more on the 316...

Transport for London has sent us another consultation, to re-re-re-do a portion of the A316.
To cut a long story short, they re-did a while back a cycle lane on the Lower Richmond Road. They got several things wrong, and fixed some a few month later -for instance they moved the bus shelters where the cycle path was between a shelter and the road (duh) or sign posts right on the middle of the path. Or the turning space discussed below which meant cars had to do a 2 or 3 point turn in lieu of a U-turn (re-duh).

Monday, January 06, 2014

Alice in Holland, or the tale of crap cycle lanes in Richmond

The Richmond Cycling Campaign (aka RCC, on Twitter at @RichmondCycling) has a great post on the A316 here:
The A316 – a correspondent writes …

I've wanted to write about that a long time ago, as this cycle path was redone a few years back, but to very low standards -a complete waste of taxpayer money IMHO. Some additional observations to what the RCC posted:
  • Shared paths are a stupid idea, period.
  • At the start, they had put bus stops across the path, and moved them after when it became obvious that it was a potential risk as bus users would just cross the cycle lane to board. This shows that TfL has absolutely no idea about cycle lanes best practices. Changes of course cost money.
  • I discussed those priorities to cars turning with the TfL engineer at a Richmond May fair and he mentioned that drivers "were not expecting to yield on turning." Obviously, they're not there to change minds and improve attitudes.
  • Lastly, the cycle lane surface isn't smooth at all and doesn't drain well -no one likes a bumpy ride and puddles aren't great either when you're cycling. Oh, and it's not cleaned very well -there were two Xmas trees obstructing it yesterday for instance.
See some pictures below. Oh, and don't forget to check this page from the Cycling Embassy on Crap Cycle Lanes (credit to the Warrington Cycling Campaign).

This other RCC post is also a must read: What the Cycling Strategy Should Say…

Cycle land on Lower Richmond Road, interrupted by Manor Grove ; see also bus stop dangerously close.

Cycle land on Lower Richmond Road (A316) interrupted by Sainsbury's entrance
Cycle land on Lower Richmond Road (A316) interrupted by Sainsbury's entrance.

Cycle lane stops at Manor Circus, where you need it most. Shared path with pedestrian is very narrow. At that point, the A316 is 3 lane + 2 lanes wide (left filter lane into Manor Road)

Richmond Circus approach -the A316 cycle lane ends there and there are no provisions to merge into traffic to get into the city centre.

Related post:

Friday, December 20, 2013

On the aviation consultation -lobbies hijacked a great opportunity to get it right

Lobbies have hijacked the aviation consultation, and it's a shame that prevents Britain to enter the 21st century when it comes to air travel.

Here are my comments to the Economist article:

Short sighted indeed... You forgot some other important considerations.
1. External costs.
LHR is in the worst place possible -a marshland that requires to fly over 2m people and space constrained.

2. Fragmentation.
All other capitals have consolidated and moved their hub airports, but for London no one's talking about CLOSING any.

3. Substitutes
No one is either seriously planning to offload shorthaul flights with HS2, even though Eurostar has 70% of passenger share between London and Paris.

In a nutshell: a botched consultation that's been hijacked by lobbies -in particular those using and owning Heathrow.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mini-Holland or mini-Neverland?

So, here we go, the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames (LBURT) has gone forth with its proposal to apply for a cycling scheme funding.

Given the shoddy work they've done on cycle path in the past, no doubt they'll excel this time around. Call me a cynic, but shouldn't they have done this anyway?

Here's the application:

And my comment on this article, reacting to grumpy residents:
Clearly, no one reading this thread (probably not even the LBRUT planning committee members) have been to the Netherlands.

Doing school runs and any other short journeys by car, as it is the norm in our borough, is not sustainable. It is about time to provide safe facilities for cyclists -and yes, that means reallocating space.

Looking at the A316 for instance, it is quite clear that space is mostly designed for cars. The Richmond roundabout is a great case in point of that flawed approach: when it was redesigned, another lane was added for cars but cycling is still on a shared space with pedestrians -a recipe for disaster. Not one single cycling approach provides a safe and continuous passage to bicycles.
In a nutshell, it's designed for through (non-local) car traffic, at the expense of (local) pedestrians and cyclists.

Why should we allocate highways to folks passing through?

PS: see also this RCC post

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Short memories on parking

The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is a bit disingenuous in their latest press release...

Just to refresh their memory, it is them who cancelled free parking on Sundays a few years back....

Monday, October 21, 2013

Homebase asked for my views....

... and so I'd think I'd share them.

Here's the survey I filled after I went there to buy some ericaceous compost -which, as usual, was out of stock.

Very limited product range, not for serious DIY, high-prices, items always out of stock.

If you want to be positioned lifestyle, then you'd be stocking exciting things, not middle of the road products.

I only go there because it's close to home, otherwise B&Q and Screwfix are my first choice for DIY, Squires is way better for gardening and Wickes is way cheaper.

Bottom line: you are on several distinct segments and you do all of quite badly.

Is there anyone out there to defend them or are they quickly becoming irrelevant?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cyclists unloved

This week's roundup

RT @RichmondCycling
 "Up to 75% of peak traffic now people on bicycles yet no consistent policy for making those roads safe for cycling"

Royal Parks finally comes out: they don't like cyclists. Too pleb?

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Richmond council planning schizophrenia

The council and Lord True is frankly disingenuous in those RTT article citations: Richmond loses out on planning rules appeal.

Just last year, they've approved 300 flats in North Sheen, with no provision for "vital infrastructure such as schools" or transportation.
In the process, retail and office space was also added to the already vacant stock on the same stretch of Lower Richmond road.   See also:

Friday, May 31, 2013

Richmond Council Planning Department: for developpers profits only

Here's what happens when the council and their deranged planning "policy" allows developpers to pack low standards, non-eco friendly in what was orchards and then cottages before they turned it into a light industrial estate:

Long-suffering residents at wits' end with Garden Road flats (RTT)

It would have been nicer if they had pushed for normal density terraced houses, but when fools run the asylum this is what is to be expected.

See my previous post on the subject:
The lost orchards of North Sheen and Richmond Council's cunning plan to impose a new tax?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

North Sheen station closed because of suspected WWII bomb

@ZeLondonNiouves Ambulance stuck at the Manor road level crossing: hope it's not too urgent... #fail
Following the decision of the lunatics running the council and Network rail of building a footbridge on the wrong side of Manor Road instead of where it happily was before, workmen have found a suspicious device.

Well done all.

JourneyCheck - South West Trains - All Stations to All Stations - Live Train Disruption/Cancellations/Delays and Real Time Departure/Arrival Boards
Line problem: at North Sheen.
Owing to a security alert at North Sheen all lines are blocked.
Train services running through this station may be cancelled, delayed or revised at short notice. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.
Customer Advice:
A suspicious device has been found at North Sheen level crossing. Staff are on site and investigating, but until such time as the area can be declared safe, we are unable to run trains between Barnes and Feltham via Richmond.
Local bus services are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice.
Underground services are conveying passengers between Richmond and London Waterloo in both directions until further notice.
Message Received :14/03/2013 13:15

See also:

Monday, February 18, 2013

DAY NICE: the web team comes AAround

Great surprise this morning: a tweet from @AmericanAir.

Just a flashback from previous episodes: I've booked some tickets for a family holiday around Xmas but they were not ticketed, despite me calling back to check. Since, it appears clearly to me that the reservations department failed to resubmit the transaction as confirmed by BarclayCard and to contact me about it. Obviously, by then the fares had doubled, which meant explaining the kids we were no longer going to see the Grand Canyon.

I've made a bit of a stink about it, on Twittter, Facebook and directly before that with the Customer Relations department.

Following all that, the web team who operates Twitter and Facebook contacted reservations and confirmed that they had never emailed me after all. They then tweeted me yesterday and proposed to reinstate the booking.


In about 30 mn after I cam back to them via DM, they had ticketed our booking! WOW.

So what now? We're relived after a few really stressful days. But then, we're looking forward to our holidays. Thank you to the American Airlines web team.

Based on this personal story, here are my thoughts on the customer experience aspects:
  • First, I have to praise @barclaycard who was incredibly responsive. They called me up to do the fraud check the next day, which is annoying but I suppose fine. Then I got them on the phone and that was not very conclusive but then they came back quickly by email. When I tweeted though, they were right away on the case.
  •  Secondly, after some denying and passing on the parcel, the @AmericanAir crew really helped. I'm not sure what went on between them and the reservations department, but I guess they put some pressure. So, thank you web team. I've checked the volumme of comments on Facebook and Twitter, and it's quite impressive. Clearly they're busy!
  • The AA reservation department though is a bit of a mess. There's probably quite a lot of manual processes. They're hard to reach and agents don't seem to have authority to do much, not even escalate a complaint.
  • For customers then, social media (SocMed) is a great new avenue to engage with brands, directly and using channel of choices -it's much easier to tweet or Facebook than waiting 20 mn for an agent.
  • For brands, it can be a way to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty with quicker issue resolution. And also an easier way to trip in public if responses fall short of the mark.

Previous post in this series:
  • American Airlines -DAY FOUR, now own up!
  • American Airlines, give me my booking back!
  • Thursday, February 14, 2013

    DAY FIVE with American Airlines: w're merging with US Air, talk to the hand!

    OK, it's now DAY 5 since I've started my complaint about AA losing my booking.  It's now clear that someone in their reservations department made a mistake by not calling me, I suspect not emailing me and probably not trying to take the payment from my credit card company as confirmed by BarclayCard.

    Yes, their so called "customer relations" doesn't want to be involved in investigating the matter further because they're not "equipped." A feeble excuse and a poor way to treat their customers.

    It's clear now that not only they don't have a single view of the customer, that their reservations and payment processing systems are not quite state of the art, and that more worryingly they don't have a "voice of the customer" office. No wonder they went bust.

    Here's their latest letter (below), you can judge for yourself.

    February 13, 2013

    Dear *****

    Thank you again for contacting us, and I do apologize for the inconvenience this is causing you by being passed on, from department to department.

    I also understand your frustration, however as I had advised you in my previous response, Customer Relations is only equipped to handle and work to resolve a variety of past travel issues and we are not equipped with the systems required to handle or resolve future reservations issues hence we recommend that you contact our Reservations Team for immediate assistance. Our Agents have complete access to the most current schedule and fare information, and are much better equipped to provide assistance for any issues relating to impending / future travel.

    They will be more equipped to assist you, and I do apologize that this has not been the case in the past. Again, as we only deal with past dated travel through Customer Relations, I am afraid I am unable to assist you further.

    M** **, I apologize again for this inconvenience and I do hope you will find a quick resolution to your booking.


    Olivia Kacisolomone
    Customer Relations
    American Airlines
    AA Ref#1-809646144

    For security purposes and to protect privacy, our process does not allow for replies to this message. If we can assist you further, please let us know by clicking

    Previous post in the saga:

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    American Airlines -DAY FOUR, now own up!

    American Airlines (ex. AMR, now AAMRQ) is probably too busy merging with US Air but in any case, it's no surprise they went busy given the way they treat their customers. It's day four, and the responses we're getting are still "contact that other department" or "your fare is no longer available". That's not good enough, as per my email below.

    If you've missed the beggining of the saga, here's the start: American Airlines, give me my booking back!
    Check also this Facebook thread.

    Re your latest email AA Ref#1-808589557, it is still my intimate conviction that there's a mistake on AA's part.

    I would very much like you to recognise this and rebook my flights at the original price. Passing back the parcel to reservations doesn't help because they don't have the authority to do this.

    1. We have been in touch with you re. this booking, but at no point AA said there was a problem.

    2. I dispute the fact AA has tried to contact me. Actually, I know AA haven't called. And I am convinced AA did not send those emails about a credit card problem.

    3. I heard back from my credit card company who says you HAVE NOT tried to resubmit this transaction. See below.

    Do the right thing please. Own up. Rebook us.


    Dear *****

    Thanks for your message.

    I have checked your account and can confirm that there are no Outstanding Authorisations for the amounts you specified on your account at present. This could be because the transaction has either completed, which you can view under 'Recent Transactions', or it may have dropped off your account.

    Outstanding Authorisations are usually held on an account for seven to 10 days before they are either removed or are fully debited upon receipt of the sales voucher receipt from the company or merchant who your account is being debited to.

    An account can only legally be debited once the credit card company is in receipt of the Sales Voucher Receipt. Sales Voucher Receipts are usually received within 7 to 10 days. However, merchants do have six years and one day in which they

    can legally produce the sales voucher receipt. Therefore, an outstanding authorisation could be pending on an account for anytime within that period and then debited to the account.

    I trust this information is of assistance.

    Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me again.

    Kind Regards,

    Customer Service Advisor
    Barclaycard Customer Services

    13/2/13 UPDATE: to my great surprised, BarclayCard actually called me back after my tweet and confirmed that AA did not retry to submit the transaction. My conclusion? AA failed their duties of caring for their customers. And lied. They look bad. Someone screwed up there and they should really own up rather than burying their head in the sand. 
    Top marks for the @barclaycard web team anyway. At least someone's doing their job.