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I rarely fly BA internationally these days, so imagine my surprise when a few years ago, I took my parents who were in their late seventies to see the fall in New England, their lifetime ambition, and it happened.

I am 6ft4 and so try hard to get seats with legroom travelling transatlantic, hence my allegiance is to American Airlines. To maximise my chance of a seat with legroom, I checked in separately from my parents, so imagine my surprise when instead of giving me an exit row seats as requested, I was upgraded to business. I was too embarrased to tell them, so I just got quietly on the plane without mentioning my good fortune, and dreading the moment that my mother came looking for me, although I had decided to let her have the seat at that time if she wanted it. Anyway, I was even more dumfounded when on boarding she waved to me as she boarded saying dad and she had been upgraded to first class.

I was only a blue member at that time and they had never flown BA before, so there was no logic to it all, but I was grateful to BA and wrote and thanked them upon my safe return home