Buzzing Noise for British Airways 10 Hour ‘Flight from Hell’, Compensation? £20

On a British Airways flight from London to Las Vegas earlier this month the plane’s speakers reportedly buzzed for five minutes every 15 minutes. One passenger described it as “ten hours of hell basically.”

It is understood that the noise was caused by an oxygen mask that accidentally fell from the ceiling and remained down the entire flight.

Recordings of the buzzing or humming sound were shared through social media. Complaining customers were given a £20 credit towards future British Airways travel. British Airways considers the matter closed,

We apologised for a temporary issue with our public announcement system that affected a small number of customers on a flight last month which was quickly resolved.

It’s incredibly frustrating as a passenger, coach is hard enough to endure without the kind of persistent noise you’d figure suspected terrorists would be subjected to at Guantanamo Bay trying to get them to talk. On the other hand if the captain deems it safe to continue to fly, should they really divert and inconvenience everyone? (It’s interesting what British Airways pilots will divert over.)

Since they pushed through, and made travel miserable, the real problem here is the compensation. Customers paid for travel which is assumed not to have persistent buzzing over the course of hours. They didn’t get that. And twenty pounds is hardly the difference in value between the two experiences.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Seems like a safety issue to me. That’s loud enough that in case of an emergency, the passengers in that part of the plane would have had difficulty hearing instructions.

  2. BA has gone down.the.toilet. After a bad experience in BA Club World last year and getting the go-around from various execs I’d emailed, I vowed never to pay cash for even BA economy again. Given the state of BA, I’m thinking maybe not redeeming miles on BA Club World or First either.

    A shame since I grew up admiring BA and its gold standard for customer service.

  3. I’d swear Doug Parker’s British EVIL twin brother must be running BA
    Isn’t it funny how they can sell you a ticket in less than 5 minutes and take your money
    But when responding to an issue that is an airline failure be prepared to be buried and have the funeral procession by the time they respond

  4. Useful post that reaffirms the ever-deteriorating standards of BA. But Gary, you really should note the many ways in which it delivers inferior service and experience whenever you push the airline’s credit card, occasional reward availability, etc.

  5. Yeah, so sad and such a shame to watch BA go down the toilet.

    One of the most spectacular flights ever taken was on them back in the day…first trip overseas…to London (and who doesn’t LOVE London?!?!)…in 1st class in the nose section of Her Majesty – NOT her, the OTHER Queen – the one and only “Queen of the Skies”…where during the flight I was invited to the flight deck to see the sunrise (yeah, I know, quite some time ago…)

    One of my favorite flights…ever!

    But, I also spent 2+ years on a long-term project for the BA while working for an industry attorney that frequently required me to spend extended periods of time at their North American Heaqurters, its terminal at JFK, and even two trips across the pond to Waterside, so watching the continued destruction of this once great airline is especially heartbreaking.

    For sure, Lady Thatcher, Lord King and Sir Colin Marshall, who resuscitated British Airways when it was on life support, and who remolded it from “Bloody Awful” (which, of course the current management seems very much intent on bringing back) into the “World’s Favourite Airline” (alas, which nobody would confuse it as being now…) must be spinning in their graves, or looking down from wherever they now are at the “great big Concorde lounge in sky” and recoiling in horror that much of their considerable efforts to remake BA the pride of Great Britain and a globally beloved brand name in aviation is all but gone ☹️

    Sad. Sad. Sad. So terribly sad…

    But, what those who endured this (yet another of many in recent years) instance of a “Bloody Awful” flight might be wise to do is to demand that BA “show THEM the ✈️-effing money”, say the way, BA crassly boasted it intended to demand from its passengers late last year at a bankers’ pow wow it calls “Investors’ Day” (for real, and yes, they even used an airplane icon/emoji in their power point slide…they just put it where the “u” would be in the four-letter word that cannot be shown here).

    For sure, that’s what I would do if I was stuck on that now crappy airline’s poorly maintained, crappy jalloppy that they were stuck enduring frequently recurring ear-splitting, cringe worthy, teeth gnashing, undeniably “Bloody Awfulness” for had to feel like 10 very LOOOONNNNGGGG hours!!!

    £20 is an insult and a smack in the face….

    Fo’ sure BA needs to show these passengers more ✈️-effing money than that measly amount!!!

  6. Oops! Of course, the typo gremlins got the best of me!

    So, it goes without saying that it’s “headquarters” and not the strange looking word seen in the above…

    And the word “what” was accidentally omitted for the sentence that ends as “….undeniably “Bloody Awfulness” for WHAT HAD to feel like 10 very LOOOONNNNGGGG hours!!!

    Lastly, the paraphrased “word” for the four letter no-no word actually used by BA at its fancy schmancy investors’ soiree last year is actually better as “✈️-ffing” WITHOUT the “e” so as to better reflect the real powerpoint slide where the “✈️“ substituted for the “u”!!!

    [with apologies for these or any remaining minor typos/errors that may have been otherwise omitted…]

  7. @Steve I rarely suggest using British Airways points for actual travel on British Airways, except (1) upgrades to first and (2) companion award tickets… I think there’s probably no one out there that’s been as consistent a critic of the BA product as I have been…

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