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GOING FOR GOLD
If you often fly with British Airways and join its Executive Club, you might accrue gold tier status. This doubles the Avios you collect, permits you entry to BA’s First lounges, and has other perks. Once you reach 35,000 Lifetime Tier Points, you become a gold member for life; no mean achievement. But not everyone has the Midas touch, as our readers discover.
On a flight to London City airport this week, I was handed a letter. It was handwritten, and signed by all crew (including pilots, I guess, since five persons signed, and we were on board an Embraer E190). Basically it congratulated me for being gold tier for ten years, and hoped I will keep my status for another decade. Meanwhile the purser thanked me for my loyalty.
Two days later, I talked to the BA commercial manager in Geneva at a British Swiss Chamber of Commerce event. He had never heard of anything similar. Is it a SOP (standard operational protocol), or a personal initiative – which would be a very nice gesture? Have you experienced something similar?
What a lovely gesture, I’m sure you will keep that letter with pride.
I’ve not heard of anything like this before, although when I was a “Senator” with Lufthansa, I always used to get a personal greeting – and sometimes when travelling in F or C [first or business class], my name was written on the menu card in a neat Teutonic script.
Swissdiver, we’re loaded with a number of blank cards on board, so that we can use them to “surprise and delight” customers. It’s usually used for a scenario where it comes to our attention that it’s someone’s birthday/wedding anniversary, etc.
The senior crew member will also have a number of “personal recognition messages” to deliver verbally on each flight, such as welcoming a customer to silver or gold tier, welcoming them to Executive Club, or welcoming them back after a break. In your instance, I’d imagine the senior crew members’ iPad had a message to thank you for your ten years of loyalty, and the crew member took the initiative to put pen to paper.
Four years ago when returning with Cathay Pacific from LHR to SIN via HKG, after the university run for our youngest daughter, we were a) both upgraded to business class, and b) the in-flight services manager presented me with a card to say thank you as I had passed the 3,000,000 miles mark. The card was signed by flight deck and cabin crew alike, and I could feel the “who is this guy” remarks permeate. It costs nothing, yet the impact was huge.
A very nice gesture – I wonder if it is a BA Cityflyer thing, as they were operating the flight? Nonetheless, a great piece of customer relations that costs very little and means a lot.
That was a very nice gesture – cannot say I ever had a flicker of appreciation in all my gold years, except when flying with Cathay Pacific.
It must be a standard ten-year gold gesture. As I entered the LGW lounge a couple of months ago, I got mumbled congratulations from the lady on the desk. My reply was “Thanks, what do I get for it?” Her response was “Nothing!”
RFerguson’s comment makes me realise that was probably what happened to me about five years ago. This would have been about when I achieved 20 years of BA gold status. I was sitting in front row of Y [economy] in seat C, and just before take off the purser came to me and asked if I was travelling alone, which I was. He then asked me if I would like a bit more space, as the back row of Club [business class] was empty.
On another occasion, this time with Cathay Pacific on the Friday night homebound, I was boarding and the gate agent said: “A seat change for you sir. Lucky number.” I was bumped up from C to F, and noticed that my boarding number was 88. Has this happened to anyone else out of HKG?
TIRE DOLD HACK2
88? In 1988 my little brother was working in Hong Kong for a while. His boss came into the office and reminded everyone that the following week would see a date of 8 August. Eighth day of the eighth month of the 88th year, and there would be racing at Happy Valley.
“We’re all going to bet on the eighth horse in the eighth race, because the Triads simply won’t let it lose.”
They examined the plan, agreed it was sound, and slapped every single cent of spare cash that they had on the nag.
It came in eighth, to the delight of the Chinese crowd who’d managed to work it out just one step further. On the final run-in, it was in the first three or four and you could see the jockey glancing around and frantically reining it back until he had seven horses in front of him as they crossed the finishing line.