View Full Version : Fall from Grace - a Salutory Tale

8th Jun 2004, 09:20
Beware my Friends, beware....

Despite tears of outrage, ducking, diving and indeed hiding, the inevitable has happened. Strake is getting hitched..again.

For the honeymoon, the Future Mrs Strake has decided Thailand will meet her requirements in terms of sun, sea and outrageous amounts of hard earned cash.

Of course, on hearing this was the destination of choice, I beamed and said "No problem Darling!". FMS smiled softly and told me she loved me....

Later, when she left the house to meet with another of the money-grabbing vultures who gather for an imminent wedding, the flower merchant this time I believe, I rushed to the study and retreived that lovely letter from Amex/BA giving me a free companion ticket when booking BA miles. Eagerly I called BA and said, "Two of your finest business class tickets to Bangkok in August please". "Not a chance" came the reply. Stunned, I spluttered that it was me, Strake, hundreds of First and Business class flights over many years, Gold cards weighing down my wallet, air miles screaming to be set free and soar..this was payback time for my loyalty for God's sake..!!

My friends, I have to tell you, it was all to no avail. The sweet Scottish voice that usually soothed my desperate concerns over the availability of seat 1A or 64K had suddenly taken on a strident note. "You've been trapped laddie" she seemed to suggest, "marriage costs money, so get used to it".

With horror, I realised I would actually have to PAY for these tickets. But worse, they were in ECONOMY on Quantas and BA.

It is over ten years since I have even looked into the dark cavern that is the rear accommodation of an aircraft never mind sat there. Obviously, there must be some mistake in the seating plans because it seems hundreds of people sit in there..all together..next to each other. Half-heartedly, I have tried to request seats for me and FMS but my attempts have been sneered at both electronicaly on the internet and on the 'phone.

And so, as I reflect on the shock of rejection, I have come to realise that I am no longer one of the chosen..a premium asset..no, now I am just another Y-class drone fit only to be hurled into the gaping maw of the economy beast. I am beyond help it's true..but some consolation would be knowing there are those who will think of me kindly during my agonies......

8th Jun 2004, 10:07
Did you learn nothing.

Why not forget the UK wedding, buy a couple of Club tickets with the money saved and get married on a beach in Thailand.

Alternatively...run, run for your life... while you can.

8th Jun 2004, 10:42
Strake My friends, I have to tell you, it was all to no avail Just curious, but why? On what grounds was the refusal?
Deepest sympathies, about the seats that is of course, not your imminent splice ;)

8th Jun 2004, 10:52

I know I should run but...sadly, it is too late. As we speak I am advised I must meet the Registrar for an "interview".

Foul, deceptive words for what is surely the first fitting of the ball and chain....


No more BA mile seat availability on the flight.

8th Jun 2004, 12:50

You must be a very wealthy man or are very well thought of by your employers (or both) if you haven't travelled with the hoi polloi for ten years.

My situation is the exact opposite of yours and I would probably feel awkward and out of place if I had to fly in business or first.

Let me assure you of one thing. It is possible to survive with the common herd at the back. I grant it is not easy, especially to someone unused to it, but just think that if you come through the experience you will be able to dine out on the story for years .......... at the Ritz, the Savoy, Buckingham Palace

You might be relieved to know that everyone is given a seat in the cattle truck these days - there are no standing passengers any more.

BTW, every good wish to the future Mrs strake and yourself.

8th Jun 2004, 14:28
My Dear MerchantVenturer,

It is not my normal practice to converse with those from the rear of the carriage however, your words give me some comfort, cold or otherwise.

It is pleasing to think that the proletariat wish well to those of us more used to the front of the transportation...I had thought that our eagerness to board first, our constant demands for attention, our desire to criticise (so aptly illustrated through these pages) would cause some affront..but, apparently not.

As far as your best wishes for my approaching wedlock... I forgive you as you are obviously insane or single.

8th Jun 2004, 16:29

The latter - negative.

The former - many have said so.

8th Jun 2004, 16:51
Thailand? August?

8th Jun 2004, 19:51
London? August?

8th Jun 2004, 20:09
strake - I think ********* was trying to say: what else did you expect, I guess all the miles allocations for Thailand probably went about September 2003...

Move the wedding to October, and you'll have no problem. On the other hand, if the plane is empty you can often get as much room as in F, a 4 seat middle row to yourself ain't too bad :ok:

Also, you & FMS have two chances of an upgrade - firstly, preference due to the Goldcard, and second at checkin just smile and flash your "platinum" marriage licence :cool:

Contrats & good luck ;)

9th Jun 2004, 14:32
... because it seems hundreds of people sit in there..all together..next to each other.

My Dear Strake,
I think that you must be mistaken. Firstly, it is not possible for people to sit next to each other in aeroplanes - as the seats are too far apart. Secondly, it is a well known fact that all passengers smile at the high quality of space and service. All of the advertisments prove that.

Should it become impossible for you to avoid passing through the [catches breath] curtain, then I am sure that you will find it a very happy experience. Not that I have any intention of finding out for myself, of course. Upon your return from whatever it is that exists in the [ahem] 'rear end' of an aircraft, I am sure that we shall be pleased to hear the stories of your adventures and observe a lantern show of images captured there. Incidentally, I might urge caution about taking too many images as wild and uncivilised peoples may think that you are taking 'their spirit'.

On the issue of Thailand as a destination, I can only urge you not to lose sight of FMS (or MRSS as she will then be :uhoh: ) as she may well be tempted by some beach god and you find yourself unwittingly palmed off on a Lady who may be less (or more) than she appears.

[turning away for the dreaded curtain and facing forward again to where real life exists] "Why thank you, I will have another Salmon sandwich. Bollinger? What a good idea."

"I am sorry - WHO did you say?? No. No, I don't think that I know of anyone called 'strake'. Come to think of it, we used to have someone of that name but he was banished from the kingdom and we do not mention his name."

"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. :}

9th Jun 2004, 16:25
Dear Mr SLF,

Many years ago, I learnt not to ask the help for favours. They only throw it back in ones face later.

Dear Mr Paxboy,

Obviously you pretend to be a traveller of some distinction. However, your knowledge of some apparently unsavoury characters in the Orient betrays your true class and disposition.

In any event, I am a Beach God

Boss Raptor
9th Jun 2004, 22:32
Get her to pay for her own ticket...and 50% share of the marriage costs...I would (well the former anyway as I wouldn't be getting married) :E

...and yeah most airline loyalty programs stink :{

9th Jun 2004, 23:11
Dear Strake

Congratulations to you and the future Mrs Strake.

I had a similar situation some years ago (apart from the Mrs Strake bit) with American (supposedly close enough to BA), no C class awards, yadda yadda yadda. Took a while to find out the name of the UK sales mgr, phoned them up in their office, eventually found them in, described the situation pleasantly and professionally. No problem, they sorted the res. It actually goes into the system as an "overbooking", not of the seating in the aircraft but of the fare class (which might have availability zero on such a flight), so you just have to find who has the authority at BA to overbook such a niggardly award allowance that yield management have determined.

Hope this helps as a way to consider going about things.

Good luck to you and Mrs S (future)

PS If you can't spell Qantas properly, no wonder this has happened. Remember your grammar, U after Q except before Antas.

10th Jun 2004, 09:18
Dear Mr WHBM

Please do not presume to try and teach me grammar. A public school education taught me qUite clearly that "u" follows "q".
However, if you wish to defend the confused daubings of antipodean internees, that is your business.

To all - I feel I must now draw a veil over this correspondence.

Your felicitations have given me some small comfort so I have decided to put the terrors of August to one side and concentrate on imminent journeys.

Lord King (for surely his guiding hand is still at the helm) has sent tickets inviting me to use his carriage for transportation to the Occident later this week. Lord Branson (matter of time), a similar request for conveyance to the Orient the following week.

Of course, I shall pay my way. As Nanny used to say "Despite the fancy titles dear, they're still just trade".

10th Jun 2004, 12:41
Strake - I am surprised, Sir, at your manner. How dare you insinuate that I am not as I am. Indeed, impugn my reputation! :*

It goes without saying that I have never met a 'ladyboy' but only read about such things in magazines. When one is stranded in Novosibirsk with a 14 hour delay the magazine rack has a severely limited range of publications. :hmm:

Therefore, I withdraw my invitation to tell of your experiences in another place and can only trust that banishment to the far side of the Grey Curtain, is permanent. :E

"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

10th Jun 2004, 13:46

Did you try booking an award flight on CX via HKG? This would have the added advantage of FMS relieving you of more of your surplus cash on a stopover in Asia's World City :)

10th Jun 2004, 14:29
Don't listen, strake. That place is full of ghastly nouveau riche types - the sort who would have been at home in a comprehensive (whatever those are) - or, worse still, Harrow.

No doubt the rather more effeminate erstwhile school colleagues of yours had the odd tryst behind the bike sheds attempting to persuade innocent new Third Formers to become 'lady boys'...??

Yes, airline loyalty programmes are not all they're cracked up to be. Access to Star Alliance Gold lounges did not provide me with the ice cold champagne provided in a jacuzzi by semi-naked Filipino serving wenches which I'd been led to expect........

Quaintar$e - isn't that the correct spelling?

10th Jun 2004, 14:54
BEagle: Quaintar$e - isn't that the correct spelling?No, I thought everyone knew that it's an acronym.

The last three words of which are "trained as stewards".

strake: Congratulations! May it be as good as you hope and nothing of what you fear.

And as for the flights, what about World Traveller Plus for that instant sense of elevation above the hoi polloi, as well as some extra comfort and legroom thrown in for free?

10th Jun 2004, 15:34
Did you try booking an award flight on CX via HKG?

Sorry, don't understand that banter....

No doubt the rather more effeminate erstwhile school colleagues of yours had the odd tryst behind the bike sheds attempting to persuade innocent new Third Formers to become 'lady boys'...??

Hmm....BEagle...BEagle....I'm sure I recall that name bandied about the refrectory.....

11th Jun 2004, 11:14
Well, according to the BA web site, outbound Y seats are available using miles on the 11th and 12th, with return on the 16th. No C or F available.

Why not try a different One World airline, such as Quantas or Cathay?


Dick Fisher
12th Jun 2004, 14:14
Dear Mr Merchant Venturer

"My situation is the exact opposite of yours and I would probably feel awkward and out of place if I had to fly in business or first."

Believe me, the awkwardness disappears as quickly as the first glass of champagne.

14th Jun 2004, 06:04

What I meant to say was: have you considered using your BA Miles to book a flight on Cathay Pacific travelling via Hong Kong? You can use BA Miles for any OneWorld airline, not just BA. And many regard Cathay (CX)'s business class product as superior to BA's. (Pretty much everyone regards CX's First product as better).

22nd Jun 2004, 00:03
OK...I went to public school but even I am beginning to have trouble understanding the unfolding grammer in this topic!!!

Mr Strake and Mrs Strake, I do hope you have a wonderful Honeymoon and that your travels in the lovely Traveller Cabin pass without discomfort.....But should your cry for a Happy Honeymoon upgrade fall on deaf ears in T4, Please dont take it out on the crew...just sit and smile and you may even get a complimentary bottle of the bubbly!!!!!!

Have fun!

MD900 Explorer
22nd Jun 2004, 01:30

You seem like a nice boy, but what the f*** were you thinking :confused: :confused:

You should avoid the scurge of the Y class traveller at some time. May i be so bold as to enlighten you to the Laws of the Gold Card.

What goes up, must come down!! Seen the film, Blunkett and Maclean. blah blah blah.

Welcome to real life. Oh by the way. only really thank me when i have the pleasure of picking you up. I work London HEMS. so be nice to the traffic. :E

Have a nice honeymoon. :ok:



p.s. had to post. it was so irresistable. :E :E
p.p.s. I have travelled Catahy Pacifc Business, and it shits all over BA's Business, BY MILES :O

22nd Jun 2004, 10:11
Having just returned from an outing to one of our earliest-lost colonies, I felt it only polite to respond to a couple of posts.

Dear Mr apaddyinuk

I fear your public school education was somewhat of a waste....your spelling of "grammar" refers...

However, thank you for your good wishes which, I feel, are rather too gleefully given.

How amusing that you should think we would actually use the catering in economy...
I have already ordered the "Summer Surprise" hamper from Fortnums. This will adequately supply sustenance during what will undoubtably be a trial both physically and mentally.

Dear Mr MD900 Explorer

If I ever have the misfortune to require attention from the medical profession, please do not come anywhere near me in your rotary-wing monstrosity. Your craft is merely 6,000 components trying desperately to fling themselves apart. I would rather die where I lie thank you very much.....

22nd Jun 2004, 12:36
Dear Mr. Strake...

I was confused by your previous comment: "A public school education taught me qUite clearly that "u" follows "q"."

Perhaps yours was a "progressive" school, but as all clasically educated schoolboys know, there are many words that don't begin "qu".

My Advanced learners' Guide to English Language (vol. 93) reminds me of words such as:


Perhaps the trauma of the upcoming Y-class journey impacted your ability to remember even the basics of The English Language?

(I'll assume so).

22nd Jun 2004, 13:05
Dear Mr ojs

A pathetic attempt to prove educational equivalence...

Your "Advanced Guide to The English Language" appears to have strayed somewhat from it's title.

The first and second words you suggest are both Arabic in origin. The third is Chinese and the last two are Latin.

Whilst Latin has some relevence, I recall the cry at my Alma Mater....Latin is a language as dead as dead can be, it killed the ancient Romans and now it's killing me. (Much as the board monitors will if this thread strays any further....)

23rd Jun 2004, 12:19
I hardly think we can talk about educational equivalence when phrases such as:

"Your "Advanced Guide to The English Language" appears to have strayed somewhat from it's title"

with its ghastly faux-pas have come from your lips.

23rd Jun 2004, 21:53
Please add mine to the list of congratulations.

Nevertheless, impressive as your knowledge of the origins of all those "q" words is -- and it certainly is -- I must suggest that you need to brush up on your parts of speech. I assume that public schools teach that Mr A's education may have been something of a waste, not "somewhat," which is an adverb.

I know, I know, one could argue that it doesn't matter if there's something else going on at the same time that's important. But I must be true to my nature and point out this sort of thing whenever the opportunity arises.

And I say go for Biz class on Cathay! Have heard it's soooo nice.

24th Jun 2004, 07:28
Your collective criticism is a matter of supreme indifference to me. One of the benefits of a public education is the ability to completely ignore other peoples point of view.

The future Mrs Strake has accepted this. I commend her example to you all.


24th Jun 2004, 09:48
As a yeoman peasant, I am naturally concerned when I see a member of the ruling classes discomforted in any way. Accordingly, this thread has now been tagged in such a way that it will gracefully slip down the board over time, thus sparing strake further distress and enabling him to conserve his energy for the coming joint ordeals of marriage and economy travel.