Sunday, April 09, 2006

A rewards program Thurston Howell VIII could love

Emirates frequent flier program offers what is probably the world's most extensive list of honorifics, according to this article in the New Yorker. Some of the titles include: "Al-Haj (denoting a Muslim who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca), Archbishop, Archdeacon, Baron, Baroness, Colonel, Commander, Corporal, Count, Countess, Dame, Deacon, Deaconess, Deshamanya (a title conferred on eminent Sri Lankans), Dowager (for a British widow whose social status derives from that of her late husband, properly used in combination with a second honorific, such as Duchess)."

Amtrak, this blog's favorite means of luxury travel, cannot compete with the international and very British flair of the Emirates program. Nevertheless, Amtrak offers and impressive list of titles, heavy on military titles such as Chief Petty Officer and Chief Warrant Officer. Amtrak also offers a list of suffixes not found in the Emirates program, which the New Yorker recommends to the great-great-great-grandson of the Jim Backus character on “Gilligan’s Island."


Blogger Ben said...

Thanks for the post. I never knew there could be such hierarchizing in a rewards program. It's interesting, though, that Emirates uses a military rather than a platonic model.

9:29 PM  

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