‘I have a Gold Card but I’m not flying BA today. Do you know who I am?’
And so started one of the oddest exchanges I have seen in an airport lounge for a good while.
Sitting quietly in the BA Terraces lounge at Geneva, I was the only passenger for about an hour before the very elegant lady arrived at the front desk. Loud enough for me to hear everything she told the staff that she had a Gold Card but was not flying BA that day and just wanted ‘her coffee’. The normal employee working the desk had popped out and the other member of the team tried to deal with her.
‘I am sorry Madam, the rules have changed, you must be flying BA to get access’ he explained politely
‘You’re wrong – check the internet under ‘Gold Card’ and you’ll see’
‘No Madam I am afraid not, the rules changed eighteen months ago’ he again explained.
‘Are you new staff? I am here every two weeks and I have a Gold Card’ she said.
‘Please take a seat and wait for my colleague to return who will confirm the position’
The lady takes a seat, a coffee and a pastry whilst she waits for the other member of staff to attend.
‘Madam’ he says on his return ‘what is the problem?’
‘Well I have a Gold Card and just want a coffee and whilst I am not flying BA today I want to use the lounge’.
He replied ‘I am sorry Madam that is no longer possible.’
‘Yes it is’ she says. ‘Go to the internet print off the Gold Card Section and show me’
Quite how she hopes that the poor employee is going to prove a negative I was unsure. I resisted the temptation to intervene, as honestly I don’t think it would have helped.
With significant patience the employees offered to call the BA Manager at the airport on the phone so that they could confirm the situation.
‘Are you new staff?’ she asked again. ‘No Madam, I have been here nearly two years’.
‘Well I will be boarding soon so I am going to leave but I am going to complain to British Airways about this’ And she left.
I gave it a moment, and offered my card to the staff explaining that they should tell BA to get in touch with me if anything came of her complaint as I thought they had been extraordinarily helpful and patient in the circumstances. In truth I hope she does complain so that BA can set her right.
Would you have intervened?