Thursday, May 17, 2012

22 out of 23

Everyday you learn something. "But I haven't learned anything yet today", you say in an incredibly destitute and low income voice.

ULTRAFALSE™! By reading this post, you're going to learn infofactoids™ so hard in your brains that you might actually die.

The previous sentence may or may not have made grammatical sense, its no matter, this sentence probably doesn't either. But who cares? I'm a premier 1K and I just don't give a slam. United airlines loves me and values my business. Thats why they hold planes at gates for me and never ever nickel and dime my wallet into oblivion. Thats established fact. Or is it? You might be surprised to learn that thats complete bullcrapulance™.

Consider what happened to me a few weeks ago while I was flying home from Indiana. I had a flight that eventually got me to LaGuardia, but connected through Chicago first. I booked this flight because it was much cheaper than flying directly to Newark. What I didn't anticipate was how irritating it would have been to land at LaGuardia at 11pm only to miss out on getting home at a reasonable hour to spend time with my wife and some ultrafriends™ who were staying with us (we don't commune with regular friends).

So while I was at the airport, RELAXING TO THE MAX (like it was 1997... or France), I noticed that the flight to Newark was about to board at a gate right next to my Chicago flight, which wasn't scheduled to leave for another hour and a half. So I walked over to the gate agent at the Newark flight, handed him my boarding passes and asked if I could just hop onto this flight instead. The flight was empty, so I couldn't imagine why it would be a big deal for me to just take this flight instead.

The gate agent started clacking away at his computer, then had to get on the phone to United headquarters. He was on hold for a good 20 minutes while the flight started to board. I stood there, while people boarded before me (I hate that) becoming more and more anxious as the push back time was approaching. Finally, within minutes of them shutting the gate, the GA said, "Ok, its going to be $476, would you you like to put that on the Visa we have on file"?


I'm a 1K! Why do I have to pay ridiculous amounts of money to hop onto a goddamned empty flight!? Why should anyone!? The gate agent said its because the destination is a different airport. I said its because... WHAT THE ASS!

I learned that day that we're all proletariat in the eyes of the airlines. Cattle to be milked for precious dollarmoneys, to fuel the driving greed of the chairmen and tablemen on the board of that corporation. They don't care about me, or my 1K status. In fact, when they look at me all they see are dollar signs. There's a guy who travels a lot - I'll have his money please.

There is a good ending to this story. One thing I was concerned about was that I'd lose my first class seats I had on my ticket to LaGuardia. But intriguingly enough, when the gate agent handed me my last minute boarding pass to Newark, I looked down at the class of service and noticed that it was United First. So, my 1k status was able to instantly upgrade me, which was nice. The first class seat next to me on the flight was empty, which I had never seen before. In fact, most of the airplane was empty, which I haven't seen since the golden days of the 90's.

Running total of upgrades to First: 22 upgrades out of 23 flights so far in 2012.
1K - do it.

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