Let me be straight with you. I have done a lot of travelling. My work sent me to all sorts of fun places, and as per my previous post, I often take rain to far flung parts of the world as a leisure activity.

Since becoming based in the UK, I have signed up to the British Airways Executive Club. Ultimately, if you live in the UK, then signing up to the Singapore Airlines frequent flyer program is fairly pointless unless you are happy to go everywhere via Singapore.

British Airways spends an absolute fortune on marketing. Recently, the tagline “To Fly. To Serve” has been at the heart of its prolific advertising.

We sat down to dinner on our last night in Ajman and I received a text message.

“Sorry, your flight BA108 on 21Mar DXB/LHR has been cancelled…Call BA on +44……”

So I did.

I was told that the aircraft had gone ‘technical’ and that BA were going to rebook me on a flight 14 hours later. I enquired as to whether BA was to cover my expenses for the delay, and was told that they would. So – “To Fly” was not going so well, but “To Serve” was right on track.

The hotel was very understanding, and for a fee (naturally) was happy to extend our checkout time. They were of course, more than happy to sell us dinner.

Being a straightforward sort of fellow, I elected to claim the late checkout fee and dinner. I was quite happy to cover my own lunch and liquid refreshment. I really am a very fair-minded sort you know. You would like me.

Upon our return, I dutifully completed the online refund form.

“While I appreciate your reasons for asking, I’m afraid I cannot offer you any compensation or refund your out of pocket expenses”.

Oh dear. Not only had “To Fly” not really come off, but now “To Serve” was going wrong too.

To cut a long (and still continuing) story short, I adopted the attitude of a wronged Englishman. I may even have used the phrase ‘not cricket’. Thus far, I have invoked two articles of EU Regulation and received six times the financial amount that I had initially claimed.

I am far from finished.

Here is the mystery. A very astute, bright team of people has elected to position BA as THE British airline. “To Fly. To Serve”. Somebody in that team oversees somebody whom oversees someone else whom oversees a ‘Customer Contact’ team.

That team has adopted a policy of “Always refuse in the first instance” in the hope that the company will ‘get away’ with ripping customers off.


I am not sure how Sean is going to feel about changing airlines, but I am hoping that I won’t need to send him via Singapore every time that he travels.