I Am an Elite Frequent Flyer

Since the late 1980s, I’ve flown a few hundred of thousands of miles. However, I almost always pick an airline based on price/schedule instead of brand loyalty. As a result, I currently have a free ticket on a half-dozen different airlines, but I’ve never made it to premier status on any of them.

Until now. On my last trip, I finally crossed the threshold and joined the ranks of United Airlines’ premier members for the very first time. I feel like I’ve entered the inner sanctum. Will this truly be the promised land of economy plus legroom, early ingress and egress, and bonus miles bonanzas?

It brings to mind an episode of Frasier where the brothers joined a snooty and exclusive health club. When they got in, they discovered there was another level of membership behind a fancy door. This started a sequence of social climbing to enter the increasingly more exclusive areas of membership until, ultimately, the fanciest door is the one that leads to the outdoors dumpster.

In my case, I have no desire to reach the 1K club. I spend too much time away from my family as it is. But once I delight in the privileges of premier membership, will I be able to gracefully regress back to common frequent flyer status if I don’t continue to fly as frequently?