Ah, a new year means a new canvas in the world of points and miles, and I’ll be honest – I took a little bit of a hit in terms of status for 2015. But guess what? I’m OK with it. With so many devaluations, and my evolving travel patterns/family life, I’ve learned to prioritize what’s important to me… and chasing status is just not something that I see in my immediate future for the time being.
Here’s where I’m going…
United Premier 1K to Premier Silver
I did this on purpose. As a true United/Continental enthusiast for many, many years, I truly have to say United did nothing but disappoint me as a 1K. From the way they handled my canceled EU flight, having a terrible product in general (GlobalFirst), to breaking my stroller (twice), and general rudeness from their employees as a top-tier elite, I voluntarily decided they are not an airline I want to “invest” in anymore.
Even though I flew over 50,000 PQM this year, I decided to not even waste my energy “spending” $25,000 on their co-branded credit card just so that I could get a PQD waiver. Besides, with MileagePlus becoming revenue-based in a few months, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to say goodbye to the airline.
So yes, I’ll be a Silver now starting in March 2015, and to be honest, I’d be happy with no status at all. As a final farewell, I decided to gift my expiring GPUs and RPUs to friends who are flying United before the end of the month. Good karma always comes.
Kimpton Inner Circle to Kimpton Karma Tier 1
Speaking of karma, I am sadly saying goodbye to my Kimpton Inner Circle status and “welcoming” Kimpton Karma Tier 1. Kimpton is amazing. Everything they do is right, and I can’t say more good things about them than I already do. This downgrade might sting, but I will still continue to include Kimpton in my future travels because they are genuinely pleasant, and I love what they do.
The good thing is that I am excited about IHG’s acquisition of the Kimpton brand, I wonder how my IHG Platinum status (from being a credit card holder) will reciprocate with Kimpton in the future. I am also excited about the possibility of using IHG points for Kimpton properties (??).
Club Carlson Concierge to Club Carlson Gold
In late 2013, I participated in the “NordicDo”, a frequent-flyer event in which Club Carlson sponsored. Club Carlson generously surprised all of the participants with a full year and change of their top-tier Concierge status. Prior to the sweet status upgrade, I was Gold by default due to being a Club Carlson credit card holder.
I always found Gold status to be sufficient (upgrades, amenity, occasional free breakfast, etc.). And while their Concierge status was nice (lounge access at Radisson Aruba), I often felt “funny” checking into a Country Inn & Suites and having the front desk agent look astonished that a Concierge member was standing in front of them. In fact, they were almost always inclined to shower me with not one, but two “welcome gift bags” of an apple, water bottle, and chocolate bar even though I insisted I was ok with just a water bottle. I’m guessing not many guests qualify for Concierge the “real” way (which is understandable, since you need sooo many nights).
The transition back to Gold will be painless.
JetBlue Mosaic to JetBlue TrueBlue
In 2014, JetBlue generously matched top-tier elites from other airlines to their Mosaic status. 2014 was also the year in which I took my first JetBlue flight in over 5 years (sorry, I hate JFK). The fare was pretty irresistible, and it was probably the only time I’d realistically get to experience having Mosaic status.
To be honest, I didn’t really notice any “perks” during my flight experience. After all, when they called Mosaic boarding, there I was with my stroller and lap child, where I was stopped by this: “miss, we didn’t call family boarding yet…”. The gate attendant apologized after seeing the little mosaic symbol on my boarding pass (ugh, elite discrimination really needs to stop).
I’m not too worried that I am entering 2015 as a standard TrueBlue member.
Now there’s two other programs I am not too sure I’ll have in 2015 -Hilton HHonors Gold and Marriott Gold. HHonors Gold is fairly easy to get in general (and has some pretty generous perks, such as free breakfast). I received a complimentary boost to Marriott Rewards Gold simply for being a United 1K member in 2014 with their reciprocity relationship.
At the end of it all, I’m not too bummed about my status downgrades this year. How did you measure up? Anyone else in the same boat?