The changing of the seasons is something I truly look forward to every year. I feel like I even tend to appreciate them even more with each year. As you’ve come to realize from being the wonderful regular readers that you are airline changes are rarely as lovely as autumn in New York. British Airways seem fixated on one season of change, bitter cold winter. They’re not done yet and my thoughts on the most recent changes may even surprise you….
British Airways have entirely changed their boarding process which they trialled earlier this year. If you’re a holder of a gold, silver or bronze card you will no longer be among the first to board. First class will board….first, business second and then in no particular order or rank, all tiers of British Airways elite will board at the same time before the remaining cabins. Frankly, I have no problem with the changes other than the fact that there will no longer be a difference between a Gold Guest List holder and a Bronzer. In actuality this is how many other airlines already prioritize their boarding so it’s now the par. My problem is that British Airways was once an airline whose generous policies separated it from the pack and are now joining everyone else. Many other airlines including Delta board premium cabin passengers first but they then at least distinguish among elites by allowing only Sky Priority (Gold, Platinum and Diamond) to board before calling zones for the rest. Regardless, it’s a bummer in a year of constant bummers for British Airways loyalists. See you in line.
I don’t like the trend of increasingly painful boarding times as tags are placed, scales are tipped and tape measures tailor your bag’s dimensions. The boarding area is not a wedding dress shop. British Airways, like every other airline, f**king loves collecting your checked baggage fees. Naturally they don’t love that you are trying to squeeze Madonna’s wardrobe into your carry on. You will still be allowed two pieces but they will now discriminate on the size of your second piece, limiting it to “laptop bag” sized with the dimensions 40x30x15cm and for everyone not in first or club they will add a yellow tag to signify it as your only guaranteed carry on. I wonder what that will mean for the fate of your larger bag with all your clothes? Yep, on busy flights they reserve the right to make you check that bag and will seek to enforce that more than ever. The problem here is that there are simply too many different fares offered and they’ve created a system in which people will do their best to save. Who can blame them?
This one is cool and I don’t understand the backlash. British Airways are offering a British produced Pinot Gris as the first class white wine for the month of August. Virgin Atlantic changed their upper class champagne on the Dreamliner to a British produced Brut back in April and I think both changes should be applauded. Reputation means nothing, taste means everything and showing national pride for a growing venture is very cool. Someone will have to try it out and let me know. Bolney Estate Pinot Gris 2014 if anyone sees one in their local wine shop!
As I said, I’m not particularly frustrated with any of the changes other than the constant war on handbags. What is frustrating is the desire to put increased revenue over passenger experience on an already profitable and worldly airline. Leave the nickel and diming to the little guys. We expect it from them. Also many thanks to reader Frankie for getting British Airways in my frame of mind this morning!
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