Two weeks before the return flight: four or five bad seats. I don’t book any of them.
One week before departure: three or four bad seats. Not booking.
Eighteen hours before departure: one bad seat. Oh come on! Fine, as an act of protest, I’m not even going to book the only seat available to me. I’m going to leave you guys in the dark as to which of these one seats I’m going to take.
Four hours before departure: one bad seat. The same bad seat. My system has failed. You know what, assholes? Fine. I’m…. I’m not even going to check in online. Deal with that.
Three hours before departure, check-in desk: “Hmm, let’s see if we can get you a better seat.”
“Oh, that’d be great.”
“Okay, you’re going from gate S10, everything’s running on time, here’s your boarding pass.”
I look at the boarding pass: it’s the same seat. It’s from that special stripe down the middle of the plane where seats just aren’t anything. They’re not aisle (easy to get up), they’re not window (no ass in face when other people get up), they’re not front of block (infinite leg room) and they’re not back of block (guilt-free reclining). They’re just seats, reasonably comfortable seats, on a plane, that is going to fly through the goddamn air until you’re in another country, serving you free drinks as it goes.
Waiting at the gate, the staff keep putting out announcements for British Airways passengers who’ve checked in online, and haven’t seen a BA rep at the airport yet. I sit back and smile at their misfortune. Wrong choice, suckers! You should have randomly not checked in online this time, like I randomly didn’t.
They form a queue, then everyone sees the queue and thinks we’re boarding, forming a bigger queue, which makes everyone sure we’re boarding, then they have to put out another announcement telling everyone to sit back down. The TV’s showing some weird sitcom where Wyclef Jean is trying to become the president of Haiti.
When we finally board, the lady in front of me gets an angry red beep when her boarding pass is scanned.
“Oh dear. You didn’t see a British Airways representative, did you?”
“Yes, I saw you, at this desk.”
We share a very British everyone-is-incompetent look while the rep goes off to check something. She comes back. It’s fine.
I have my passport open to the photo page with the boarding pass tucked inside – I have decided this will be one of my life skills. She scans it, it beeps red.
I’ll be damned if I’m going to be penalised for checking in online the one time I didn’t.
She goes off to check something, and comes back. I’m just about to explain – in what I plan to be a slightly snippy tone – exactly who I saw and where, when she leans forwards and whispers guiltily:
“You’ve been upgraded to Club.”
Jesus, now people are just going to hate me.