Our friend and village neighbour Steven Isserlis wrote to his national carrier a while back, wondering why it refused to credit his cello with air-miles for a fully-paid seat and did not allow him to pay for the seat with his own accumulated points. Virgin, United, even Delta, he pointed out, now permit that.
British Airways replied with a set of rules, ending: I’m afraid membership to the Executive Club is only available to individuals over the age of 18.
Steven, quick as a flash, wrote back: I can assure you that my cello is over the age of 18 – in fact, he is 286 years old; so I do not see that as a valid reason for his not collecting BA Executive Club miles.
And this is what he got by way of airlines assurance:
Dear Mr Isserlis
I hope you will understand, due to his responsibilities, it is not always possible for him to personally respond to every letter he receives. As a member of his Executive Assistant’s team, he has asked me to reply on his behalf.
I am sorry you remain unhappy with our set guidelines. It is always a concern when we have not met our members expectations and I would like to offer you my apologies for this.
While I thank you for your comments and suggestions, I’m afraid I am unable to comment on the terms and conditions applied by other airlines.
Unfortunately, there is nothing more I can add to the information and advice you have already received, and the matter is now closed.