Monday, November 24, 2008

UAL - Thank you for flying, but to hell with your Premier Status.

Flying back from SFO after a long and frustrating week introduced me to a new rule that UAL gate staff have been asked to start enforcing. Apparently, my Premier status, which I realize is the lowest of the frequent-flyer levels, means even less now than it did in the past.

Over my career, I had settled on UAL as my carrier of choice. Flying out of SFO for the first 4.5 years in the US meant that UAL was the primary choice to get anywhere. After a while, I became a devoted UAL fan when I realized that in this day of limited overhead bin room having Premier status got you the vaunted 1 on your boarding pass.

I could accept that First-Class and 1K flyers got to board ahead of me - hell, they're on a first-name basis with most of the flight crews. This didn't bother me because I knew that I got to board next.

Friday, that changed.

Apparently, the rule is that Premier Executive now rates between the Red Doormat Club and the Premier status flyers.

I have commented in the past about how people who travel a great deal assume too much from their airline frequent-flyer plans. I do not want to become one of these people. All I ask is that this single privilege I had grown accustomed to having be re-instated. I know my travel money doesn't have a huge effect on your bottom-line, but I stuck with you through thick and thin.

But now this is a really thick move, and my patience has grown thin.

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