I’m not one to really follow celeb rants, but when I saw a story about actress Danielle Brooks tweeting that she was offended by a gate agent congratulating her for flying first class trending in my Facebook newsfeed, I couldn’t help but to relate because… girl, I know.More often than not, I have been told by a gate agent to “wait ’till my boarding group was called” when I boarded in the first class line. Or that one time when I was entering a United Club, and before I even had a moment to hand over my boarding pass, the agent said, “Are you buying a day pass? You know it’s $xx, right?”
Or that time when I was boarding a JetBlue flight with my infant son during Mosaic boarding, only for the gate agent to tell me that “no one called family boarding yet”.
My favorite was when I was number 1 on the upgrade list for an American flight. I asked when upgrades might clear, only for the gate agent to snap at me in the most condescending way with, “Sweetheart, you have to be on the list for an upgrade. That’s how these things work here”. Her face went blank when I said, “Yes I know, let me know when I can pick up my boarding pass, as I’m #1 and I know how things work here.”
Lastly, I even had a man come up to me out of nowhere in a lounge and say that I look “awfully young” to have a Platinum card.
Whether we like it are not, there are way too many stereotypes about who “belongs” in first class, and it’s something I like to jokingly-call “elite discrimination”.