My fiance Josh and I just recently returned from a trip to the island of Utila, just north of the mainland of Honduras. That trip absolutely ruined him for life, and it’s pretty amusing how it all happened.
As someone who travels quite extensively primarily for pleasure, I’ve been made fun of by various close friends, my fiance included, on how strategic and efficient I’ve become at navigating the chaos of air travel in addition to exploiting the benefits of my frequent flyer status.
I have no shame priding myself in the status I hold with United’s MileagePlus frequent flyer program (currently Premier Gold, and will hit Platinum by the end of the year), all the perks that come with that status, and flying through TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry faster than someone in the 10-item and under express lane checkout line at a grocery store.
15 minutes – from hitting the automatic sliding doors, checking my bag, clearing security, and getting on the train to Terminal B. 15 minutes.
When you’re in a long-distance relationship jumping on/off flights almost on a monthly basis, getting through it all in 15 minutes can be as glorious as getting in the express toll lane on I-25 during rush hour traffic. Josh hates how I always show up to the airport close to 1 hour prior to departure. He is of the 2 hours early persuasion…I am too but only for international flights. Hehehe.
The other thing he makes fun of me is when I get upgrades, whether complimentary or using miles. As a kid I remember getting served proper meals with real silverware whenever I flew. Even on short haul flights sitting and while sitting in coach. Now days you’re lucky if you get a packet of pretzels or have the ability to buy a snack box (Tapas box FTW!)…unless of course you’re sitting up in first class.
Priority boarding. Pre-flight beverage served in a glass. Extra-wide seats and ample leg room. Warm towels to wipe your hands and tray table. Warm mixed nuts before your meal. Heated meal served on a tray complete with silverware, cloth napkin, and dessert. This is how flying should be. Not rushing on the plane trying to score storage in the overhead compartment and the best seat on board to only find that someone is changing their kid’s diaper next to the only seat available. Yep, that happened to me once many many many years ago. Never again.
Let’s not forget access to the United Club Lounges. Having a quiet spot to recharge your electronics while sitting in a comfy leather seat, free and reliable Wi-Fi, access to a complimentary food buffet and beverages, and in the company of other seasoned travelers who understand the proper volume of inside voices – you definitely get spoiled.
When booking our air travel for the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, I couldn’t pass up a smoking deal on first class round trip flights, on United of course! Little did I know this would ruin Josh forever. Previously loyal to Southwest Airlines and their fun flying atmosphere, Mr. Hughes has turned.
Here’s a bit of the text message exchange I received from him on his flight back to Maryland:
Josh: There are three 1st class seats open. Oops make that 2
Me: Awwwww. I ruined you.
Josh: These common seats are so small
Me: Spoiled rotten
Josh: Yeah I am going for status lol
How are the friendly skies treating you now my love? Lol.