Monday, January 01, 2007

Who Me?

I originally wrote this in the comments section of a post at The Other Side of The Ocean, Nina Camic's wonderful blog. On reflection, it should have been posted here. This place could use a bit of levity.

Nina's post was about taking a flight to Minneapolis in order attain the magic number needed to maintain her frequent flyer elite level status. (How someone who flew as often as Nina did but didn't qualify for elite status long ago is a good question.)
[FYI, Nina answers that question in the comments.]

A few years ago, I was busy making plans for a similar trip to keep my elite status when I discovered that I had flown out of New York a week or so before, landing in Dallas. I must not have liked Dallas much, because 2 days later I was winging my way south to Guatelmala City. This was all terrific fun and highly fascinating, because I was also home and very much alone in Portland, Oregon at the same time.

As far as I know, I have yet to return from Guatemala. I like to think it is because I am far too busy climbing up and down remote mountains in search of the perfect bean to make the perfect cup of Guatemalan coffee, and that I shall not return until I do.

In any event, I am glad that I saved myself a quick trip to nowhere. I'd like to thank myself, if ever I do return, but I'm not sure I'd recognize me.

Then again, meeting myself might not be a very good idea. I can't help but wonder about the passport I carried as I flew first class all the way. That means a lot of people addressed me by name at the airport counters and lounges. And on the plane. At that time, a top level elite member flying first class was neither ignored nor referred to as "Hey you!" And my tickets must have had had my name as they were matched to my passport by all and sundry along my merry way.


nina said...

The thing about elite miles is that they start afresh each year. And, I aim for the super elite, because on the airline that I use, super elite almost doubles the miles that you earn. And it gives automatic upgrades on all domestic flights. (The latter is less of a deal, but I am a miles hog; plus, I like airport lounges as I spend many many hours at airports.)
I hadn't realized this year that an overseas flight bought on the Internet did not give full mile value. So I lost 10,000 miles right there and then.

Anyway, the airlines are tough on us miles hogs: they insist we take the flight before they give us the miles.

Happy New Year, IR!

[BTW, my email address on my blog had an error, now corrected!]

Internet Ronin said...

Nina, I definitely agree about the advantages to be had by attaining that level. Well worth the trip to Minneapolis. The mileage factor alone more than pays for that, I'm sure!

I got quite used to the lounges, and the free upgrades ("Who me? Coach? I don't think so!" ;-), and the comfortable quarters on the long hauls. I'm only 5'-9" so business class was quite comfy enough for sleeping half-way to Taiwan.

The way they calculated miles at that time allowed me to upgrade to business, get credit as if I paid for business, and, after the elite bonus mileage credits, end up with more miles than spent in the first place.

With what I imagine to be near universal internet access these days, the lounge is a great way to compensate for getting to the airport early, and enduring all the falderal of airport insecurity without feeling like it was a complete waste of time.

P.S. Thanks for stopping by. And I just noticed that you put me on your blogroll. How very kind. Thank you!