Saturday, 25 February 2017

 

Why We Broke Up



Dear B.A.

Can you believe we’ve been together well over two decades now? How time flies.

I’m not sure if you know this, but you were my first.

It was with you that, as a nervous teenager on my way to college, I did it for the first time—traveled on my own. It was so exciting—I felt like a grown man. I can still hear your roar as we both took off. Being inside you just felt right.

Ever since then, you’ve had my heart.

All these years later, we’ve marked milestones with bronze, silver and gold. We’ve journeyed the world together and, you have to admit, we’ve made some beautiful memories.

Remember taking me home to the premiere of my first film? Remember how we entrusted you to take my 80-year-old grandmother on her first ever trip to London? Remember how often I fought to be with you, even when I was offered younger, more glamorous options? I’ve lost track of how many glasses of champagne we shared before you tucked me into bed on our overnighters. I’ve kept every card you’ve ever given me. I even linked my finances with you and have a credit card that bears both our names.

But, lately, it just hasn’t been the same. I’ve noticed you’ve started letting yourself go and losing interest. You’re looking shabby, seem tired, indifferent—condescending, even. Over the last few years, you gave me plenty of reasons to give up on us, but yet—call me a sentimentalist—I chose to stay. Every relationship experiences some turbulence but I was in it for the long haul and I thought this might just be a phase. Frankly, I always felt we’d end up growing old together.

But, it appears I was more into you than you were into me. I gave you my heart and, in return, you lost my luggage. You once charmed me with your #VisitMum and #FuelledByLove campaigns and yet, thanks to you, my mum didn’t get her last birthday present because you claim you “misplaced” the suitcase that was carrying it home to her. Anyone else would have instantly dumped you but I trusted in you and stood by you. And, as you know, we’ve taken no less than four trips together, since then.

We all carry baggage and perhaps you thought I needed to be relieved of some of mine. You’d lost my bags many times before but somehow you always ended up scrambling around, mumbling a few excuses and eventually returning them to me (although, often, distinctly worse for wear).

But this time is different.

This time the circumstances are suspicious and unusual.

No short connection. No weather delay. No force majeure. Just a piece of luggage sinisterly “disappearing” minutes after being checked in and before being loaded onto the aircraft.

It’s been nearly ten months, you still haven’t returned my possessions and seem inexplicably defensive whenever I ask for any kind of information. You won’t take my calls, you ignore my messages, you refuse to answer my questions.

What went wrong between us? Was it something I said?

You’ve always had a bit of a reputation but I stood by you. “Not my B.A.”, I’d say when I heard people call you careless, arrogant, and even racist. But now, you’ve gone and proved them all right. Travel industry insiders have shared alarming statistics of your negligence, asking, “What did you expect?” Friends and family have reached out with similar accounts of loss and heartbreak that led to their own breakups with you. It seems “losing” luggage is the one thing you’ve always done really well.

Silly me, I actually believed you when you assured me you’d, pull out all the stops if anything were to ever go wrong. But, instead, when the going got tough, you chose to cower behind legal fine print, threw a few measly bucks my way, blatantly lied to me, systematically misled me and aggressively stonewalled my every query, in your attempt to cover up this incident and quickly close the case.

I thought we didn’t have any secrets from each other but you withheld a police report from me. And, when, after months of my own efforts, I finally obtained it from you, I was horrified to see you’d filed it with inaccurate and incomplete information. It’s almost as if you don’t want the authorities to find out what really happened.

And that’s why we’re breaking up. On behalf of everyone who’s ever loved you and been loyal to you and trusted you, I must ask—How can you possibly think it’s OK to take us for granted and play fast and loose with our possessions and our safety?

Because, ultimately, it’s not just about a stolen bag and shameful customer service. If luggage can so easily be lifted out of your supposedly “secure” system, like mine was—at one of the most high-profile airports in the world—then it’s possibly also a much deeper security concern.

If, down the line, an incident with more serious consequences were to occur because of another episode like this, I would feel morally responsible for not having let people know about such a critical security flaw and your alarmingly murky system.

I hope anyone reading this, with plans of a relationship, or even a one-off liaison with you, is now aware of the grave risks and considers other, safer options.

I wish it didn’t have to end like this but I’m moving on—I’ve started seeing other airlines. 

You claim your motto is: "To Fly. To Serve." I’d like to recommend a more accurate slogan: “To Fail. To Spurn."

Consider it my parting gift to you.

R.K.

44 comments:

  1. Ahh British Airways!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hear you. I've had similar experiences albeit always opened my door to a late arrival. Never had to close a door on a lost one. It is hard to say goodbye to such a stoic airline. Here's hoping they redeem themselves to you and make amends due.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Now I'm Nervous. Travelling with them this week ��

    ReplyDelete
  4. wooh!! British Airways needs reality check from his loyal customers and the day is not far away when its reputation will come to a looming end

    ReplyDelete
  5. 'Being inside you just felt right'..this made me smile and laugh. Wonderfully written and witty. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  6. Such a great writing style! Throughly enjoyable read- thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  7. A tight slap without a pain on the face of BA

    ReplyDelete
  8. A tight slap without a pain on the face of BA

    ReplyDelete
  9. You will find better In sha Allah 😩💔, i feel you man i have been there too, you will get over it with time. 😇

    ReplyDelete
  10. Superb I think she deserves the breaking up. I'd feel the same way if such happens to me.

    ReplyDelete
  11. FALTOO me 10 minute waist kar diya,Times of india kee ma ki.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I fell face first into the trap & ended up googling this "rahul khannas wife BA ?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Idiot! He has clearly written I've started seeing other airlines!

      Delete
  13. I too lost my luggage with BA...terrible!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Congrats for your style ! but sorry for the loss

    ReplyDelete
  15. i ve had a bad experience with BA as well....welcome to the club!

    ReplyDelete
  16. BA has always been horrible.... Losing luggage is so normal for them....it's not only me.... Almost everyone who I know have ever traveled by BA had some or other language issue with BA

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you!! I wasn't particularly happy about my BA experience although it wasn't quite as bad as yours. I was literally in the process of booking flights, choosing between BA & Jet. Reading this was enough for me to decide I'd be travelling Jet!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. So sad for B.A. to loose such loyal customers. This is what happens when you start taking relationships for granted !! Loss for B.A. !

    ReplyDelete
  19. I once got a 5 minute lecture from a certain Libby in the crew about how long it takes her to load the service trolley and how difficult her life is. This was after I had asked for a glass of wine and it had not materialized 25 minutes later. And this was on Premium Economy. Fortunately i got upgraded on the return leg and they were a little more hospitable then :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Have some 🍫🍫 Chocolate. I was relishing on it 🍫 while reading this blog.It was fun reading.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Such an entertaining and hilarious essay. "Being inside you felt so right"...I really thought you were referring to having your penis inside someone's vagina or anus..I could not believe it. Imagine my surprise when I realized you were talking about being inside a plane, and not inside a vagina or asshole.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Such smart write-up Mr. Khanna. Publish a book someday!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I was heartbroken reading the title, but just till I read further!Infact, I am happy that she is just B.A....Forget her fast..😉

    ReplyDelete
  24. It is always pleasure to read you! Keep writing!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Such a smart way to reflect ur experience. Enjoyed reading it though.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Very dignified style of break up. Loved reading !

    ReplyDelete
  27. I was confused until- "I wish it didn’t have to end like this but I’m moving on—I’ve started seeing other airlines."
    Superb write-up!
    Never knew you had an active blog... Keep posting :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Well, being as interested as I am in Rahul Khanna's life, I rolled myself a cigarette, poured some wine and switched off the lights to get some insight in his love life and what a shocker this has turned out to be. Sir, only you could sculpt a story like this and I am more than thankful, not that I travel a lot but it's always nice to be aware of who not to fall for. BA, you broke two hearts and if you're in love with his colognes, just ask for it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Aha..been there...seen it!
    I broke up with BA a good 4 years ago!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dear Mr. Khanna,
    First, my deepest sympathies on your bereavement. RIP Vinod Khanna.

    Second, I felt quite inspired to share my own BA story after accidentally coming across this superb piece. The year must have been '95, around Christmas. I was an eager college student in the States, and was excitedly heading back home to Calcutta. After the, luckily, uneventful flight from Boston to London, and a long wait at the Airport, we were ready to take off to Delhi (and then get linked to Calcutta after a local airline transfer). The wait in the BA plane, after we had embarked, seemed endless. Long enough for me to make friends with the nun who was my fellow passenger in the next seat. Another passenger was very anxiously awaiting his wedding ceremony, he seemed chatty and jittery all at once. The hour's wait turned to two and longer; we were still waiting for the weather to clear. Or that seemed to be the excuse for being stranded on the tarmac. Finally, the plane took off and eventually the captain started speaking: 'there has been a change of destination, unfortunately, and this flight will not be flying to Delhi'. There was a collected gasp among passengers, we were too numb to respond in complete sentences. 'We shall be proceeding to Cyprus,' the captain decided. From the calm demeanor of the crew I realised this was not a hijack, and my heart beat came back to normal eventually. A further five hours of uncertainty and we finally arrived at some airport. I distinctly remember having the feeling that the aircraft dumped a whole lot of hi octane fuel into the crystal blue waters of the mediterranean before landing. Luckily I was a mathematics student and could therefore read Greek letters. Yes, we had arrived at an airport (alpha, iota, rho, pi, omega, rho, tau, equals 'airport' I guess). Thereafter, the passengers were left to scramble among themselves. There seemed to be no overseer; and before long we were assembled at some hotel lobby screaming to take turns to make phonecalls home (no cell phones in those days). No one complained too much eventually, (a) because we were a plane full of Indians - and no one cared about us (as opposed to a plane full of Americans who who would have undoubtedly sued. And (b) because we Indians got to see Larnaca (the capital of cyprus) - albeit through an emergency landing. No one cared about what happened to the passengers once we landed at Delhi, with tales to tell. Of course, the bridegroom had missed his wedding. And the nun was admonished by the hoity toity stewardess for not knowing the difference between sparking water and champagne. My mother nearly fainted after she was told by the local BA staff that the plane had landed in Larkana (in Pakistan!) - a small spelling adjustment from 'Larnaca' the capital of Cyprus! So BA had got away with it again. It's been 22 years. I now live in India but my on off relationship with BA continues. Perhaps it is time to indeed change the slogan. "To Fail. And to Spurn"

    ReplyDelete
  31. Smartly and Well written Mr Khanna!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Lovely writing style of conveying a message effectively! You're a word smith! Sorry for your loss. All airlines are unfortunately same provided they r caught on wrong foot.

    ReplyDelete
  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  34. So the pic doing the rounds of your ailing father were after all true,
    Why did you not tell he was unwell,
    Why did you let the ordeal in your heart swell ?
    If only you could have let us in on the info,
    I would have prayed for His speedy recovery for all you know !!
    Maybe nothing can dull the bereavement for a while,
    I wish I could do something to make you smile,
    As you reminisce with grief, Let me tell you in brief,
    Please take care, Rahul !!
    For it aches me to see You in pain ….. !!
    Much Love and Deepest Heartfelt Condolences !!

    ReplyDelete
  35. You add charm to anything you do !!!! Both Hilarious and Responsible write up :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. I am a crazy fan of yours. Seen every single movie, serial and video, read each interview. Wow, it is such an intriguing write up. Keep writing Mr. Khanna. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I am a crazy fan of yours. Seen every single movie, serial and video, read each interview. Wow, it is such an intriguing write up. Keep writing Mr. Khanna. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete