Hello all – it has been a while since my last blog post. Angelina threatened to cut my pay (still zero) if I did not fulfill my quarterly blog post quota. Well, for the most part, the last two weeks have been fairly busy for this points dad, aka soon-to-be points grandpa (sounds old, I know).
I started out by flying to Chicago for a business conference, and a few days later, I flew to Rio de Janeiro for Labor Day Weekend with several other points and miles enthusiasts on a mistake fare that we all booked a few months ago. I ended up meeting a great bunch of travelers, and we visited the main tourist attractions, including a soccer game. The trip was only 3 nights, but it was well organized with great food, people, and tours. I even earned enough miles to reach the “Silver” level on United – my very first elite status milestone.
Right after that, we flew into Charleston on a cheap fare to meet with our friends at First2Board, and to also visit my son who drove down from Aiken, SC to join us for the weekend. We really enjoyed the southern hospitality. If you’re in Charleston, definitely eat at Magnolia’s – the food was superb; thanks to Stacey and MarkinCHS for the recommendation.
Now to dive right into my post – my rant on boarding groups:
Ang recently blogged about her “wearing the points” problems, and I have a rant of my own – the boarding process. In short, I felt like Greg Focker in this scene:
When I attended my 3-day conference in Chicago, the conference sponsor paid an insane price of $883 for me to take a two-hour flight in economy. What’s even more of an ouch factor is that my boarding ticket was marked boarding group 5. That means I am the last person on. You know, the guy who prays for overhead space to hold his carry-on.
The group number boarding nonsense is unfair to over-50 dad’s with a regular job, not too much business travel, and no status. It doesn’t seem fair that my ticket cost more than a first class ticket, and I board last. Boarding should be first on line, first on, right?
That was my experience traveling alone; however, when I traveled to Rio with Angelina, I had a taste of the other side – boarding group 1.
Since Angelina has elite status with United, we were both upgraded to first class on our first segment. Before boarding, we were able to grab a quick breakfast at the United Club because she previously did a status match to Turkish Airlines. We ended up landing in Orlando ahead of schedule, so Angelina suggested that we stand by on the earlier flight headed to Houston.
The gate agent shows a 20+ list of of standby passengers, looks up at us, and he says there’s no chance we will get on the flight. Angelina politely asked to be added to list anyway. Five minutes later, we get called to board plane, and Angelina even gets upgraded to first class.
Where is the justice for these non status guys? On the Charleston flights, Angelina even strategically booked a lower fare of $100 a ticket, solely banking that she would be able to do a free same day change to the flights she really wanted (and it even worked).
The boarding group process really comes down to this simple math:
- Airline Status = upgrades+lounges+free stand-by+free date changes+fancy pants things
- No Airline Status = Paupers in Group 5
As Angie always tells me when I owe her money, “fair is fair” – she gets “better treatment” as a result of her loyalty to the airline, I get it. So to make light of the situation, I came up with my own boarding group classifications:
Group 5 – the haters, people that think the government owes them everything, politicians and others that steal from fellow men, those that think they are entitled to everything without hard work and sacrifices… and lastly… all you bloggers (just kidding).
As I write this, I need 12,000 PQM to qualify for Gold status so that I can rise in the ranks. Please send cheap mileage run suggestions.
Cheers and Happy Travels,