Isn’t it amazing how there are rules and then there are rules. And it all depends on who it is who is interpreting those rules – stupidly, reasonably, or downright foolishly.

Well, British Airways could not be more lax in their training of staff to interpret their sometimes bewildering rules. Their ‘new’ and ‘old’ baggage policies are confusing, strange and a total rip-off.

Go the website and print them off. Take the printed rules to the check-in counter and see what happens. BA will surprise you, no exceptions.

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Don’t be fooled.

Take Edith at the Boston First Class check-in – calm, unflappable, courteous, helpful, and a mindset that said she would try and unravel them and ensure that our mountain of luggage would pass through under the rules and in terms of the agreed fees.

Take Stephen at the Gatwick First Class check-in – sweating, pink-faced, hot-flushed, rude, obnoxious, threatening, and a mindset that said “I will earn a bigger bonus if I persuade these people standing in front of me that they not only have to pay again, but MORE, for the short Gatwick-Marseilles leg, irrespective of what the rules state on the web site”.

Stephen phones Michael who agrees with him. Stephen phones Lindsay who tells him not to be such a prat and allow the people to load their luggage – they have paid, and, by the way, are customers of the airline!

One wonders how many people accept what these pr-cks tell you. Stand your ground, you have rights. The Airlines are looking for every cent they can get and will stop at nothing. Added value? No!

Another warning: make sure you check in online with any airline these days – they’re overbooking as many flights as possible to maximise loads. Check in late – you’ll be bumped. And, they don’t care. The customer is NOT king in air travel.

BA made a massive loss last year – don’t hold your breath for a customer service award in 2009.

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