Thursday, January 05, 2006

All That Glitters Isn't Silver

Many people strive for academic or occupational accolades. I, on the other hand, strive to accumulate airline miles and flier privileges. My dreams recently came true when Delta crowned me a "Silver Elite" member. Not gold or platinum--did Delta consult Plato when contriving this program?--but silver. Perks include priority check-in and seating, but what everyone wants most are the complimentary first-class upgrades. Given my low position in the elite hierarchy, imagine my surprise when I received such an upgrade for my first post-coronation flight from Atlanta to Austin.

So how was it? Well, the extra legroom and absence of crying babies was enjoyable, but beyond these amenities little else proved to be "first class." Ok, there was free alcohol, which I gluttonously imbibed at 11AM (breaking, not for the first time, my no drinking before noon rule), but no meals or special snacks. We munched on the same snacks served in coach, except we got to grab them in handfuls from a big basket instead of having them handed to us on a "Good goes around" napkin. My "lunch" included Lance "cheese" crackers and peanuts. I'm not certain if Delta has discontinued its use of SunChips, but they certainly weren't offered on this flight.

Then this morning I discovered more bad news. My upcoming flight from Atlanta to San Jose, California lacks a first-class cabin. That's right: "restructuring" claims another perk. I can't say that the privileges are completely worthless. I still have priority access to exit-row seating, but risking one's life to evacuate a burning plane falls well short of "elite," I assure you. Guess it could have been worse: had I accumulated 50,000 miles last year instead of 25,000, they would have conferred "gold" status upon me. Talk about getting shafted.


Blogger Evan said...

Sounds like you had a nice experience for being on an MD-88. I was given the option of upgrading to Business on my Airtran flight this afternoon, but I declined. The flight was an hour, and there was one fucking hot guy 2 rows ahead of me (albeit with his mommy).

'Glad to see the blog up and running. I will begin my contributions shortly.

8:15 PM  

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