British Airways | you've got to be kidding...

You've got to be very careful when airlines send an email informing you of a flight irregularity for an upcoming flight.

We were scheduled to fly home from London to Oakland today on BA's Gatwick-to-OAK non-stop. Unfortunately, British Airways decided to abandon that route a week early.

What's wrong with the new flight details? Notice the word "Traveller" to the right of the new flight number? This refers to BA's economy class. We were booked on Avios award tickets in business class. There being no business seats left, or even premium economy, their computer rebooking system assumed we'd be happy with two economy seats instead. Not! Imagine how I would have felt to have arrived at Heathrow this morning only to learn that we had been double-downgraded from lie-flat business class comfort to the torture of too-narrow, too-tight seats in coach.

When I phoned British Airways to make alternate arrangements, I was quite impressed at how unhelpful I found the telephone agent to be. There were no available business class seats on LHW-SFO nonstops that day. He first offered me connecting flights through Phoenix, with a 5 hour layover before a flight back to the Bay Area. Declined.

He offered a non-stop to San Jose, California, arriving 5:40 pm. No thank you; not exactly interested in taking an Uber to Berkeley during the height of rush hour.

I proposed that BA put us on the BA code-share through Dublin. He couldn't (or wouldn't) rebook us on Aer Lingus metal.

Would he rebook us on a Virgin non-stop to SFO? No.

Would he rebook us in Norwegian Premium Class to OAK? No.

The ultimate solution — I chose to delay my return by a day, flying the SFO non-stop in Club World on Friday instead of Thursday.

P.S. — We are traveling with a friend who received the same re-booking notice. Did BA put her on an SFO non-stop (economy seats were available)? NO! Their nifty computer system decided her best options would be to fly to Dallas ... with a connecting flight to San Jose (not to San Francisco or Oakland).

BA, you can do better!

ADDENDUM — Although we had paid the fee for early seat selection, the BA agent with whom I spoke yesterday was unable to select seats for us on the upper deck. When I checked in online just now, they were all gone — only possibility were two very center seats in the 2-4-2 seating scheme, the very seats we would have avoided. Poor, poor service, BA.

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