March 01, 2004
Sometimes, when you expect nothing...

Sometimes, expecting nothing is the reciepe for success. Having flown BMI from London to Nice the previous weekend and having had a rather mediocre experience with their service, I had one more bmi flight to go before switching back to BA. Fate wanted it differently, though. Through mere luck, frequent flyer Karma or otherwise the following activities took place Sunday afternoon:

  • 16:30: I register at the UK Star Alliance status match website to get a Star Alliance gold card
  • 19:20: I check in for my BMI flight at Nice airport, giving my new frequent flyer card number, getting assigned seat 22A (the very last row of the Fokker 100 BMI operates on this route. Resigned and tired I accept without any ado and head for security
  • 19:30: Security wants to both hand-search me and my bags. Great. When the bag-search-woman sees my camera, she jokes that she'll confiscate it and wants me to move on. Funny. Not. Tired now.
  • 19:32: The passport control to enter the non-Schengen area of the airport is closed. There is a queue. The police is probably having their afternoon pastis. I want to go to the business lounge, but have to get through passport control first.
  • 19:45: I get to the business lounge, using my KLM Platinum card for access (they let you have lounge access without needing to fly KLM: lovely!). The lounge's PC with free internet connection needs a password that the lounge hostes either doesn't want to give out or doesn't know. I ask her to call a colleague (all the business lounges at Nice airport have a PC each offering internet access). She refuses, saying they're all closing soon. I watch French TV and drink some orange juice.
  • 20:15: Boarding of the 20:20-scheduled flight is delayed. Great. They finally open. I pad down and join the queue. My boarding pass makes their machine beep. Ah, not more trouble.. But wait. It's frequent flyer Karma day: the gentleman looks at his desk, picks up a lonely boadring pass lying there with my name on it, puts it through his machine, smiles and says: "Business class, Sir!".
It was so unexpected, I don't think I even looked appreciative (sorry, bmi). Instead of being chucked in the back, I got 2 metres of leg-room and a row of seats for myself. Lovely.

The morale of the story is: Good things sometimes come when you least expect them.

Thanks, bmi :-)

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Told you - Star Alliance might be crap in many other ways, but they do prefer giving the upgrades to their frequent flyers rather than passing them on to any random people on the flight.

I have been upgraded to business on all of my last 6 flights to the States - luckily always on the leg that I needed it most on :-)

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