I fly a lot. I fly long-haul from Europe to the United States at least 8 times each year, often more. For an airline that is nice money. And when I fly I tend to fly British Airways. Why? It’s a little longer and I need to transfer through Heathrow but overall the level of service aboard is better than what I find on Air France or Lufthansa. SAS is no longer flying the route I want so that is sadly out.
After accumulating hundreds of thousands of air miles I decided to take my family on a trip. And here is where the problems start.
- There are no flights available. But hey, we are flexible and rather than fly to Seattle we will fly to Vancouver and drive down.
- There are no business class seats available. Well darn. I have a lot of miles and wanted to treat my family to the upgrade experience. But okay, coach it is.
- What’s that? In order to select seats for my family I need to spend 25 euros per person each way? Huh?
So I called BA. I asked about issues 1 and 2 but really, I can’t get that excited about this. Next time I will book a little earlier. But issue 3? You are seriously going to nickel-and-dime me on this? I spend loads of money on flights each year, certainly even skipping one flight with BA will cost them more than they will ever earn from this pathetic surcharge.As a business I expect BA to have a customer support team and they do. So I write. And get essentially a form letter back explaining that BA instituted this cool new feature so people wanting seats could pay for them. Hello? Did you read my email where I explained that according to their own rules as a Gold card member I don’t have to pay for this? Or I don’t know, did it occur to anyone that perhaps this is my last flight on BA and will now switch to Air France which is overall more convenient?In my response today I pointed out that this is penny-wise, pound-foolish. Do you think they will care? Do you think anyone will even notice as they lose a valuable customer? I await their next response to see how bad their customer support is.