Sunday, June 17, 2012

Power of loyalty, frequent flier status, and losing it all

Listening to NPR radio last week, I heard an interesting interview with Jacques Vroom on his experience flying over 40 million miles using “unlimited first-class” travel pass.
With a transient, nomadic life, it is natural for consultants to crave the few perks available to them: the “elite” status at airlines and hotels, and the miles and points that come with the status; kind of like George Cloony’s character in the 2009 movie Up in the Air (re my blog)
Mr. Vroom’s story of travel, status and the fall-from grace fascinated me all the more since I too had enjoyed elite status with a few airlines (Platinum Medallion with Delta and United Airlines) and hotels (Platinum status with IC Group and Marriott) and rental car companies (President’s circle with Hertz last year)

There is another aspect of Mr. Vroom’s story that former-frequent-travelers including self can relate to: the abrupt end to perks when one loses the an elite status. In the past six months since transitioning from a consulting role, I have seen my travel reduce drastically. With that comes the gradual erosion of my elite status with Airlines and hotels. (graph above).

I still have hundreds of thousands of points in my accounts which are sure to fizzle away soon...



  • The frequent fliers who flew too much - LA Times
  • American Airlines' Lifetime Pass: How a Marketing Ploy Turned - The Blaze
  • American Airlines Cracks Down On Ultimate Frequent Flyers - HuffingtonPost
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