I've been a regular Cineworld customer for several years now, an Unlimited cardholder for about half of that time, and a shareholder for three years, but I'm beginning to lose all of that love for the chain. Why, I hear you ask? Two words: Allocated Seating.
There's never been any issue with seating at the Swindon site; most of the screens are big enough to accommodate everyone, and only the first night of big blockbuster shows such as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings have ever needed allocated seating. So, why, when turning up to the Saturday, 12.30 showing of "The Fault In Our Stars", am I asked "Front, Middle or Back"? It's an unnecessary stream of red tape that I don't want to have to deal with, and it doesn't give me the opportunity to pick the seat three rows from the back, on the right hand side on the aisle, or K22 as it's better known. To get that level of granularity, you need to book online.
The benefit of being an Unlimited card holder is the impulse view, the ability to just "rock up" to the cinema, get a ticket and watch a film without the hassle of online booking. It seems that to achieve the comfort I'm used to, I'll need to carry my laptop and "Three dongle" around, just in case I have the urge to watch a film, probably sitting in the foyer booking the ticket before waltzing up to counter to collect it. It's positively absurd.