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A sure recipe to get a free first class upgrade March 19, 2007

Posted by dorigo in humor, news, travel.
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You just have to die during the flight. Or even better, travel with somebody who pays you the courtesy of doing so.

That’s what we learn from the admittedly unfortunate experience of mr.Trinder, who was traveling First Class on a British Airways flight from New Delhi to London, and had to sit next to a corpse for most of the long stay onboard. The old woman next to him was laid on the free seat after she deceased for unknown causes, while she was sitting in Economy class.

Mr. Trinder was of course distressed by the experience, especially since behind him the daughter of the deceased -who had also been upgraded- kept crying for the whole duration of her stay on board. When Trinder arrived in London, he tried to get a refund of the 3000 pounds he’d spent for his seat, but he got a refusal from British.

British Airways claims that of the 36 million passengers on their flights each year, on average 10 die aboard. I think they could bring the argument further, to boast about the health of their customers (of course, due to the great meals they provide on board): with an average of 4 hours per flight, that means a projected lifetime of 600,000 days per passenger, or roughly 1,700 years.

Comments

1. Chris Oakley - March 19, 2007

With B.A.’s indifferent food, rude, arrogant, staff and “Customer is Always Wrong” attitude, I think that Mr. Trinder was perfectly within his rights to die on the flight.

2. dorigo - March 19, 2007

Hi Chris,

well, Trinder did not die (the old lady did) but he did not get a refund either…
I am not happy to know that BA does not receive praise here though… I have recently put in my black book Iberia, which joined Alitalia, KLM and a few others, and I wonder what I’ll do when I find out I cannot any longer get from A to B with the remaining companies!

On another thought, I recently bought an Easyjet ticket to London for this Sunday, half price WRT the original reservation I had with British. I will soon see how Easyjet scores…

Cheers,
T.

3. terri - March 19, 2007

Put austrian air on your list. When I had troubles with them all I got back was a very cold form letter.

4. Bee - March 19, 2007

you know what, if I think about the people that sometimes sit next to me, I think I’d prefer the corpse. If he gets a refund for sitting next to the most polite, calm, and well behaved passenger on board, were does that get us?

Best,

B.

5. dorigo - March 19, 2007

Hi Terri,

well, I never flew with Austrian. It is in the Star alliance, right ? Since I am a Senator with Lufthansa, I think I will have to try it once… But I will keep your warning in mind.

Bee,

LOL! Actually, I think I disagree.

I usually fly with Lufthansa, and as a Senator they block the seat next to me. But I did have a few very unfortunate experiences with other companies.

Once on a Amsterdam-Chicago KLM flight a passenger next to me wanted to stick his elbow right between my ribs, a good three inches into “my” space. I engaged in a nudge fight for a while, but then I had to resign, admitting defeat to greater childishness.

In another occasion on a Air Dolomiti flight, another passenger sitting behind me objected in a rage to my lowering the seat (I was traveling back to venice and wanted to sleep!) with pointed knees on my shoulder and continuous shaking of my seat. The ensuing argument was obnoxious…

All in all, I remember several incidents, none of them pleasant. But you know what ? I think it’s all human. I may be pissed by those who give me a hard time, and I actually tend to behave rather on the “die, bastard” side when s**t happens, but in the end I do prefer warm bodies to cold ones, and after the fact I can’t help smiling… I think I would not have smiled in Trinder’s pants.

Cheers,
T.

6. Carl Brannen - March 19, 2007

One of the problems with dead bodies is that they have an alarming tendency to leak.

7. MJ - March 20, 2007

Since there are ave of 10 people dying in their airplanes, why there is no proper handling of death?

8. dorigo - March 20, 2007

I think that is because it is way below th threshold of what they care to deal with, MJ. Even if they lost 10% of the customers in the 10 airplanes with dead bodies each year, it would amount to such a minuscle problem to them that they prefer to spend their time improving the handling of lost luggage or other pitfalls passengers get mad about.

Cheers,
T.

9. Chris Oakley - March 21, 2007

Is there an equivalent of the “Mile High Club” for those who die (rather than couple) in an aircraft WC?

10. dorigo - March 21, 2007

Chris,

I think there is, but they are all dead… More interesting would be a club for those who were abused by their neighbor in an economy class seat.

Cheers,
T.

11. MJ - March 22, 2007

T, that’s probably true.. but a dead body! Whoever sees the dead body would surely spread to others how the airline handle it.

12. dorigo - March 22, 2007

Yes, and that is what is happening indeed. I think BA did not like the press coverage of the incident in fact.

Cheers,
T.


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