Sunday, September 21, 2008

BMI, Where are You?

16 Sep 2008

I had booked our flight to England on British Midlands Airline, or BMI. I knew this airline flew routes within the United Kingdom, and perhaps a few from England to the continent, but I was surprised that they had service to the U.S. Anyway, I got email confirmation with the flight number, time and terminal of departure. When I tried to print boarding passes at home, I constantly got error messages. That was a bit disconcerting, but sometimes for international flights, the agents want to see you in person, check passports and the like.

When we got to the international terminal, there was no sign of BMI. It was not listed on the directory, and the man at the information desk knew nothing about it. Then I spied a United Airlines flight departing for London at exactly the same time as our BMI flight was scheduled to depart. So on the chance this was a code-share (though there was not a word about such an arrangment in the information BMI had emailed,) we got in line at United.

When we got to the front of the line, I handed over the information I'd printed from BMI. The agent hardly glanced at it, handed it back and asked, "London?"

"Yes," we replied.

"Passports please," she demanded. She never batted an eye or gave us any explaination about BMI. We received boarding passes and proceeded to the gate for the United flight.

BMI is known as a discount carrier. I have a theory that United, which does not want the reputation as a discounter, sells excess seats to BMI. That may be why we were seated in the middle of the very last row of the very large plane. But we got to London a half hour early.

Note: If you Google "MBI" you'll get several sites about body mass index before you'll find British Midlands.


Post a Comment

<< Home