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"Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

"Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

Old Dec 6th 2012, 10:59 am
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Default "Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

From Linkedin - http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/a...e-air-traveler


5 signs you're an "entitled" elite air traveler
Christopher Elliott
December 05, 2012

Admit it: You clicked on this story because you thought I was talking about you.

Maybe you fly hundreds of thousands of miles a year, spend more nights in a hotel than at home, have enough gold in your loyalty cards to qualify for a Fort Knox ZIP code.

Or maybe you're just offended that I'd use the term "entitled" and "elite" in the same headline.

Relax. Most road warriors are as far from entitled as you can imagine. They don't take the special treatment they receive for granted, don't believe they're owed anything except maybe a safe trip. And they are unfailingly honest and polite.

If that's you - and I sincerely hope it is - then you're off the hook. Please feel free to stop reading, or to visit the new business travel group on LinkedIn, where you can learn from other level-headed, well-mannered business travelers.

But there's a shrill minority of frequent travelers I am talking to, and you know who you are. They're particularly outspoken right now, at the end of the year, when they engage in one of the most bizarre rituals known to air travel: the foolish end-of-year mileage run.

Some say these entitled elites are destroying the airline industry from within. They argue that their petulant demands have turned air travel from a sane, comfortable experience a few decades ago into a feudal microcosm, with the "haves" in the front of the plane getting everything and the peasants in steerage class fighting for scraps.

I'm inclined to agree.

Entitled elites are not making travel better. But how do you know if you're part of the problem?

You think that if it doesn't have wings, it's not important. Entitled elites often suffer from tunnel vision, believing that "real" travelers only fly to their destinations (and only in business class). Cheering them on are a small group of bloggers and newspaper columnists who talk up toxic awards programs and can't seem to wrap their heads around the fact that most business travelers drive everywhere. These apologists are also unaccustomed to being challenged, so they will probably react with the predictable confusion and anger when they read this story.

You would do anything for a mile. Entitleds often spend an absurd amount of time and energy earning miles and qualifying for coveted elite status, including wasteful mileage "runs" - or roundtrip flights to nowhere. Why? They seem to require special treatment when they fly, and believe that by collecting enough brownie points with their airline, they'll earn the right to be treated better than anyone else. The lengths to which these mileage addicts go to prove their loyalty is laughable. Unless you're their employer and you're footing their travel bill.

You whine when you don't get an upgrade. Next time you're at the airport, watch the screen above the check-in counter with the upgrade list. Observe how the elites in their blue blazers and business suits line up, insisting they be upgraded. These frequent fliers believe there's a seat with their name on it in the forward cabin, and when they don't get an upgrade, they pout like little children and fire off complaint letters to their airline.

You refer to the passengers in economy class as "the little people." One of the telltale signs of "entitled" elite-ism is the notion that anyone who doesn't fly as much, or collect miles with as much skill as you do, deserves to be summarily tossed into the back of the plane. Maybe you've never called them "little" people, but you have referred to them as "amateurs" or "leisure" travelers in a FlyerTalk discussion, and everyone knew what you meant.

Loyalty programs are your religion. For a select few entitled elites, frequent flier programs have even metastasized from a simple, well-intentioned effort to reward customers into what can only be described as a cult. To even question the value of these addictive programs is to challenge a basic tenet of your faith. When you have a pew named after you in the Church of the Elites, criticizing frequent flier programs in any way is nothing short of blasphemy.

If you can say "yes" to one or more of these points, I have some bad news: you might be an entitled elite.

Ah, but what's so wrong with being a little entitled? Doesn't every industry have its share of difficult customers that it coddles because of their high value? Sure.

Few are this harmful, though. Entitleds make the air travel experience worse for almost everyone else. The net result isn't just that airlines lavish more perks on these chosen few while letting the rest of their passengers languish in the back of the plane. It's that airlines strip away amenities from the folks in the bleacher seats in order to give more to their insatiable frequent fliers.

Think about that the next time you're deprived of legroom and food on a transatlantic flight while the first class passengers complain because their ergonomic headrest won't adjust properly or that their Chardonnay isn't chilled to the right temperature.

This would be the way to fly … if you lived in 18th century France.

Don't worry, entitled elitism is a treatable disorder. After you've left an angry comment below, telling me that if it wasn't for customers like you, airlines would go out of business (or something similarly delusional) just keep reading my posts.

I'll help you find a cure.
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Old Dec 6th 2012, 12:57 pm
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Default Re: "Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

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Old Dec 6th 2012, 3:24 pm
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Default Re: "Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

When I see one, almost invariably a bloke, I pity them if I see a ring on their finger as I have heard so many bored and lonely and left behind wives and children express their sadness from being separated from their loved one. That's not a life.
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Old Dec 6th 2012, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: "Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

Some years' ago when Mr H was returning from NYC he was checking in at the business class BA check in. He was allocated a window seat which was fine - he intended to sleep the entire journey back to LHR. The guy at the next business class check in desk started creating a real fuss because they couldn't give him a window seat. So Mr H said to the check in person, "just give him my seat and give me another seat, I'm not worried" which is what they did. Check in staff told the shouty man that Mr H had given him his seat and he didn't even say thank you. Anyway, Mr H went to the departure lounge and was upgraded to first class for being so helpful. What goes around comes around.
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Old Dec 7th 2012, 2:34 am
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Default Re: "Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

Things I Didn't Know Until Now:

No. 763: People fly just to get their frequent flyer status raised.

WTF?????

So people spend, say, AED 10,000 to get to a higher tier - a move which brings them no financial reward or compensation whatsoever......... I suspect this is an ego trip, pure and simple............. "You're only a silver member????"
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Old Dec 7th 2012, 7:59 am
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Default Re: "Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

Originally Posted by The Dean View Post
Things I Didn't Know Until Now:

No. 763: People fly just to get their frequent flyer status raised.

WTF?????

So people spend, say, AED 10,000 to get to a higher tier - a move which brings them no financial reward or compensation whatsoever......... I suspect this is an ego trip, pure and simple............. "You're only a silver member????"
While I think the original article is a disappointing waste of a potentially good topic, what I think was meant here is that business travellers - whose tickets are being paid for presumably by their employers - make spurious trips towards the end of the qualifying period in order to ensure they qualify for elite status. I think cost controls in most businesses are now strong enough to make worthless trips unlikely. Which company doesn't require approval with justification for a business trip that involves a flight?

Like almost everything in this article this point itself is spurious. Very frequent travellers don't have to make extra trips because they will qualify anyway - it's the less frequent travellers who might need to do this thus undermining the very premise of the piece...
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Old Dec 7th 2012, 8:44 am
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Default Re: "Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

Originally Posted by The Dean View Post
Things I Didn't Know Until Now:

No. 763: People fly just to get their frequent flyer status raised.

WTF?????

So people spend, say, AED 10,000 to get to a higher tier - a move which brings them no financial reward or compensation whatsoever......... I suspect this is an ego trip, pure and simple............. "You're only a silver member????"
I hate traveling with work, it's just a necessary evil. I'm a lowly Skywards silver card and never fails to amuse me hearing people on check-in/boarding "I'm gold". I'd much rather be Skywards Blue and spend more time at home.
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Old Dec 7th 2012, 9:40 am
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Wink Re: "Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

Do you mind a prolific lurker who has finally registered joining in here?

Totally agree with NorthernLad ..... I was once a lowly silver aquired by flying to Kuwait on a weekly basis for nearly a year .......not much fun in that I can tell you! Far happier being back in the blue these days!
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Old Dec 8th 2012, 1:00 am
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Default Re: "Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

I've been a skywards gold for 7 years. A couple of BC flights to Houston and Singapore see to that..

Perks..lounge access, no issues at all with getting the economy class seat I want when using airmiles for tickets.

Also just flew back from Glasgow on a rewards ticket with 75kg's worth of baggage (christmas and birthday presents for my daughter from all the family)

Played the "skywards gold for 7 years" card with the ground crew and dropped a few names of EK staff I know in Glasgow and bob's yer uncle..no worries with baggage (now how much did that save me??) And I got an apology that they couldn't upgrade me to BC on this occassion.
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Old Dec 8th 2012, 2:34 am
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Default Re: "Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

Originally Posted by commander View Post
I've been a skywards gold for 7 years. A couple of BC flights to Houston and Singapore see to that..

Perks..lounge access, no issues at all with getting the economy class seat I want when using airmiles for tickets.

Also just flew back from Glasgow on a rewards ticket with 75kg's worth of baggage (christmas and birthday presents for my daughter from all the family)

Played the "skywards gold for 7 years" card with the ground crew and dropped a few names of EK staff I know in Glasgow and bob's yer uncle..no worries with baggage (now how much did that save me??) And I got an apology that they couldn't upgrade me to BC on this occassion.
Folks, we have a winner!
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Old Dec 8th 2012, 7:55 am
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Default Re: "Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

Originally Posted by Miss Anne Thrope View Post
Folks, we have a winner!
Exactly..a winner. You are spot on.
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Old Dec 11th 2012, 3:33 am
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Default Re: "Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

Oh dear...(from an e-mail shot)

Get yourself an Etihad Guest Gold Number to remember!

Etihad Guest is giving you a unique opportunity. You can use your Etihad Guest Miles to place a bid in the first ever ‘Special Number Auction’. The two numbers available are 600600600600 or 101010101010 The auction for both numbers will run simultaneously. To own one of these special numbers, all you need to do is visit our Reward Shop and participate in the auction.
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Old Dec 11th 2012, 4:44 am
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Default Re: "Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

To be honest, the only Skywards card with any real clout (or worth in having) is the black one.

The ability to bump anyone off a flight (even Skywards Gold card holders) because you want a particular seat that is occupied on a full flight would be amazing.

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Old Dec 11th 2012, 5:04 am
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Default Re: "Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

Originally Posted by saudiflares View Post
Oh dear...(from an e-mail shot)

Get yourself an Etihad Guest Gold Number to remember!

Etihad Guest is giving you a unique opportunity. You can use your Etihad Guest Miles to place a bid in the first ever ‘Special Number Auction’. The two numbers available are 600600600600 or 101010101010 The auction for both numbers will run simultaneously. To own one of these special numbers, all you need to do is visit our Reward Shop and participate in the auction.
Yeah - Deanetta and Deanlet got that e-mail. They are Etihad Gold already - does that count for anything any more?

"Yes - you are a Gold status member, but I'm afraid you don't have a personalised membership number........... "
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Old Dec 11th 2012, 5:19 am
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Default Re: "Yes, but I'm Skywards GOLD!"

Originally Posted by auzdafluff View Post
To be honest, the only Skywards card with any real clout (or worth in having) is the black one.

The ability to bump anyone off a flight (even Skywards Gold card holders) because you want a particular seat that is occupied on a full flight would be amazing.

Look at Me!! post

I can do this with Etihad Gold Elite - as long as I pay full price for a ticket (not discounted multiflyer) and do it 24 hours before.

Haven't used it yet but may have been on the receiving end as I got bumped off a codeshare from Milan a couple of Xmases ago - I had booked via poor relation Alitalia at under half of what Eti-thieves were charging.
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