'You Have No Seat On The Plane, Sir' - How Not To Start Masters Week

A nightmare start for our man on the ground in Augusta. This is how not to get Masters week underway

British Airways Augusta
(Image credit: Future)

It all started to go wrong a few weeks before go time. “We are sorry to inform you that the reservation you made for 4th April, 2023 is cancelled since there is no availability of rooms at our hotel. Thanking you, Days Inn, Augusta.”

Booking.com, my reliable travel agents, weren’t concerned – they would find me alternative accommodation at a similar price. They wouldn’t, of course, on the basis that there is this annual golf tournament that occurs every year in Augusta at this time of year that tends to push prices up, considerably.

At the time of writing, I’m sat in a motel room belonging to the Economy Inn. The name should paint a fairly clear picture. One coat hanger, a slightly disturbing smell, stains on the walls. Credit where it’s due, however, the Wi-Fi is extraordinarily quick.

Hotel cancellation Augusta

(Image credit: Future)

Anyway, I’m fortunate just to be here. Anything Days Inn/Booking.com can do, British Airways can do worse. Here’s another line you don’t want to hear just before you’re about to head to golf’s equivalent of Disneyland. “Sorry, sir, there are no seats on the plane,” said in rather too casual a way for my liking, like he was telling me there were no seats on the 21C bus into town.

To cut a long story short, the big bird all 500 or so passengers were due to travel on was now a medium bird. I hadn’t made the cut, apparently – no pun intended. Only I had, I was advised eight minutes before the plane was due to take off. “You better run,” were the last words the customer services agent told me – and off I sped.

Travel Augusta Masters

(Image credit: Future)

This was not the way to do Masters week. I clambered into my seat dripping with sweat much to the disgust of the passenger sitting in seat 33E, who, now this is sickening, had been downgraded from Club to Economy. He did at least get offered a glass (plastic cup) of champagne at about the same time as our 747 (medium) edged over Canada. I asked him if it was worth the wait. A small smile. We were friends now, both innocent victims of a British Airways fiasco.

My grievance with BA was about to crank up a notch. I may have been one of the lucky ones to get a seat (I say lucky, I did pay hundreds of pounds for it last year), but I wasn’t going to get my luggage… or golf clubs. My Tuesday morning round at Stone Mountain was not going to happen. Nor was I going to pull on a fresh set of clothes in the morning. This was just too much to ask.

Where are my Titleist irons, my six sleeves of Titleist Pro V1s bought especially for the slight chance that my name may get drawn in Monday’s media ballot to play Augusta National? Only British Airways knows – or do they?

Having spent $700 in JCPenney on replacement gear (I’m counting TravisMathew polos as essential items of clothing that can be claimed back from BA), I’m drawing a line under this whole unfortunate episode, just like Greg Norman needs to draw a line under his constant LIV Golf chatter.

Let The Masters begin. Let everyone come together for a pimento cheese sandwich, even those who haven’t shaved or changed clothes for two days.

Michael Weston
Contributing editor

Michael has been with Golf Monthly since 2008. As a multimedia journalist, he has also worked for The Football Association, where he created content to support the men's European Championships, The FA Cup, London 2012, and FA Women's Super League. As content editor at Foremost Golf, Michael worked closely with golf's biggest equipment manufacturers, and has developed an in-depth knowledge of this side of the industry. He's now a regular contributor, covering instruction, equipment and feature content. Michael has interviewed many of the game's biggest stars, including six world number ones, and has attended and reported on many Major Championships and Ryder Cups. He's a member of Formby Golf Club.