Dear B_st_rd Airways

The following is the letter I have sent to British Airways.

* * *

Dear British Airways,

I had the displeasure of flying with you on the last day of May, 2006.
I was on the 7:30 A.M flight from Gatwick to Reykjavik.

When I arrived a smug little woman, whose nametag read Susan, told me I was overweight. Not that I physically am (I am and that would have been offfensive), but that my bags were. She waved me away towards the customer service desk, where I was told by a smug man named Peter that I needed to pay at ticketing.

There I met another smug woman by the name of Cora. By this point I
noticed that you never include last names on your nametags. Perhaps
you have had to fire so many employees for their exceeding smugness
that you must reuse the tags?

Cora made me pay 68.85 pounds. I used a credit card. She suspected
that the signature on the card and the one on the receipt were not the

“They aren’t quite the same now, are they?” she said between a row of
jagged teeth, not unlike the rocky spires of the Alps inverted and
painted yellow.

“Are you serious?”

She looked at me and raised her eyebrow. Oh, she was serious.,

“Have a party,” I said pulling cards out of my wallet.

She looked at them, her eyebrow going up further. “Well… it is quite

“You should be lauded on your scrutiny. You have a detective’s eye.”

She looked at me with contempt and I walked away, lugging my
overweight bag to the overweight bag depository.

I am not a man of caprice, but if I go to a restaurant and the waiter
spits in my food, I never return. If a dry cleaner wrinkles my clothes,
he will never press them again. If a postal service sends my package
to the wrong place, I will never use it again. While your British Airways employees did not spit on me or wrinkle my suit, they did send me
to Iceland feeling a great contempt.

So if you ever wonder why the name Daniel Heimpel never appears on your bills, or among your frequent flyer members, now you know.


Daniel Heimpel

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