What do I have to do to appease the travel gods?

How does one appease the travel gods?
 
I arrived late and missed my first connection.  I was in the restroom when the announcement came for the next flight (which was delayed 30 minutes).  10 minutes after it left, I make an inquiry as to the status.  The concierge looks at me as if I had called his mother ugly and says, "the flight is gone.  It left at 15:47." 
 
So now I’m waiting for the NEXT flight which leaves in about 1 hour.  I will go down NOW and camp out at the check-in desk…..meanwhile the person I report to is wondering why I haven’t logged in when I promised he wouldn’t even know I was gone….there are no RJ-45 connections here (only wireless) and I need to get to a wired connection for VPN.  I hope and pray the hotel has wired or I’m in BIG trouble.
 
I am the travel gods toy right now.
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1 Comment

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One response to “What do I have to do to appease the travel gods?

  1. David

    There\’s not a lot that an airline can do about passengers arriving late.  I understand the angst – I\’ve been there before.  It\’s worse now that airport security (so-called) is what it is …
     
    The only thing that one can to do improve travel is to ensure you have as much leverage as possible over the airline – or simply own your own aircraft.  I\’m assuming most of us mere mortals won\’t be purchasing private jets any time soon, so the alternative is to find some way to get the airline to like you more, and hence, treat you better (even when it\’s your own silly mistake! <g>)
     
    The answer to that is one word:  STATUS!
     
    All major airlines maintain loyalty programs – most often referred to as Frequent Flyer Programs – and although each of them have their own special nuances and benefits, they all have at least one competitive thing in common:  They treat customers who fly the most miles with the greatest respect. 
     
    We fly United Airlines (no plug here …) for the most part.  The simple reason being that they fly more places, have more code-share partners, have a fairly good frequent flyer program, and are convenient to us, since we live in Phoenix.  Phoenix (PHX) may not be a United hub, but it is  a US Air (America West) hub and they have a good code-share  agreement with UA – meaning, when we fly US metal, we earn UA miles. 
     
    The simple goal is to "game the system" as much as possible.  Our target each year is to gain at least 100,000 miles on UA so we can maintain "1K" status.  What\’s that gain us? 
     
    1 – Access to the Premier lines at check-in (Hey, I\’m not an eliteist, but why spend 30 min. in line when you can get it all done in five?)
    2 – Access to Premier lines at security (ibid.  It\’s bad enough to be treated like cattle, but I really get tired of listening to infrequent flyers tell me how horrible standing in line is when the last time they  had to endure it was three years ago …)
    3 – Preference for upgrades (Hey, it\’s a customer loyalty program!  I\’m earning this …)
    4 – Upgrade certificates – UA 1K\’s get two Regional upgrades (CR1) and six System-wide upgrades (SWU) in addition to the 500 mile certificates that can also be used to upgrade.
    5 – Complementary overnight hotel stays in case of weather delays
    6 – Exceptionally flexible award travel
    7 – Automatic "upgrade" to Economy Plus (E+) seating (Hey, I\’m 6\’ 2", 225 lbs!  That extra 4" means a lot)
    8 – Ability to book yourself in exit rows (More legroom) and bulkheads
    9 – The chance of somewhat more privacy in coach (if the airplane isn\’t full, they generally won\’t seat someone next to you.  When was the last time you had some 300 lb., hairy and offensive neanderthal sit next to you in the middle seat for hours and hours?)
    10 – Reduced membership pricing at Red Carpet Clubs (RCC)
    11 – The right to bestow status  upon some poor, unfortunate peon who doesn\’t already have it.
    12 – The ability to look a ticket agent or flight attendant in the eye and tell them you are a "1K" and have the remote  chance they won\’t simply blow you off completely.
     
    There are other benefits, but if you think about it, the ones listed above are nice enough – especially considering that the remainder of the "unwashed masses" (just kidding) not only don\’t have it, but generally don\’t know that the program has such benefits.  Perhaps we should have a discussion about the people who would  qualify if only they knew  what the benefits were …

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