Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Road Warriors

Tomorrow, I'll be sitting in an airline club, tuning out the other road warriors. "Just checking in" phone calls to the home office shouldn't last twenty minutes.

Extreme road warriors cluster around departure gates. One may be begging for an upgrade, others are making sure they board ahead of the next-lower class. A common topic of conversation is so-called status: a Diamond ascertains he's chatting with a Platinum.

Airlines know what they need to do to breed loyalty.

A boarding area is not egalitarian. Delta boards in the following sequence:
1. Those needing extra time
2. Families with children under 2
3. Premium Zone (including First/business class)
4. Sky Priority
Boarding continues with increasing levels of cheapness and disloyalty to the airline.
5. Zone 1
6. Zone 2
7. Zone 3
8. Zone 4
I suspect some Premium Zone people think they are better than the Sky Priority people. That is, except when they fail to get an upgrade and are relegated to Sky Priority or Zone 1. I've seen evidence of these people when they cut into the Sky Priority line.

Zone 1 people are flummoxed: they're fifth in the sequence.

Once, a fellow contractor announced "first class boards first" before abandoning me and a decent glass of wine in a real glass in the airline club. He preferred to nurse a plastic cup, sitting in a tube, while "lower classes" shuffled past, unimpressed.

For the next two months I'm a road warrior, working for a paycheck, accepting occasional upgrades, claiming precious overhead bin space.

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