Dear Mr. Airways,
Thank you very much for supplying an airplane with enough fuel to get us from Hamburg to Vancouver and back via your splendid new launchpads at Terminal 5, Heathrow.
I know you have financial difficulties at the moment, but we really hope you will put the small fortune we paid to good use in fixing up your shabby planes, or perhaps leasing a few new ones?
I ask this because before we board, some of us really enjoy the sight of a bird that looks like it can actually fly, instead of some ancient 747 whose tail section looks like a marauding band of vandals attacked it with chains before setting it on fire.
I would also at this time like to thank you for the excellent care British Airways gave our five pieces of luggage as they sat at Heathrow for one full day on our return journey. Instead of having to lug home from the airport 115 kg worth of new clothes, cycling gear, off-the-shelf pharmaceuticals, six litres of maple syrup, chocolate chips and other stuff either laughably expensive or impossible to find in Germany, your delivery service saw fit to deliver our bags not only to our front door, but through the walk-in closet to the centre of our bedroom carpet. Will you please offer this service on a regular basis? It made journey’s end a most pleasant experience indeed.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, would you please better publicise the many improvements in our flying experience offered at your award-winning website, ba.com?
I ask this only because when we arrived at Hamburg airport to check in, we were informed that, contrary to our wishes to sit together, the entire 747 from London to Vancouver had a grand total of six seats available, all in the middle section, and spaced a good 10 rows apart.
Your employee in charge with getting us all through the automated check-in machines informed us in a somewhat snide tone that BA now offers passengers the opportunity to check in online 24 hours before departure. Ostrich that I am, this had never occured to me. Only through the assistance of an actual human being behind the counter were we able to at least sit two of us together. I was left to squeeze in the middle row between a flatulent Amazon and an obvious candidate for stomach stapling surgery.
For the return journey ex Vancouver I acquired the assistance of my IT-expert brother, whose GPS gadget is synced with Coordinated Universal Time down to the last millisecond. At precisely .01 seconds past 2035 the day before departure I hit send to check in. We received three seats together at the very back of the plane. Too bad for those who logged in .02 seconds late. What do you say to your customers who have no net access? They do exist, you know. Now I know why people wish for the good-old days when all it took to get a decent seat was arrive at the airport a reasonable time before departure, smile a lot, and if necessary, budge the queue.
Yours most sincerely,
Ian in Hamburg