I usually try to avoid travel over major holiday weekends like this one. The bookends of long weekends are ‘amateur days’. Airports are crowded, planes are full (they are most of the time nowadays anyway) and lines are longer.
Very frequent flyers can get frustrated with once a year (or less) travelers but really shouldn’t. The skies — and the airports — do not belong to us. We put in our time, and we get our perks, we know the drill and it comes easier for us anyway with PreCheck for security, club lounges to wait in, and priority boarding so we don’t lose overhead bin space.
Even upgrades are easier to come by when business travel stops and leisure travel takes over.
Scott Mayerowitz and Candice Choi of the Associated Press gave travel a whirl side-by-side as an elite frequent flyer and without even a co-brand credit card card.
Scott saved more than 45 minutes total in waiting in lines at the airport, avoided crowds and got free food along the way. Candice thought Scott’s biggest advantage was the time he saved. The extra space and food he got seemed nice, but less meaningful for a short trip.
I love the video of the experience.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 25, 2017
But Scott, why didn’t you guest Candice into Delta SkyClub or Hyatt Regency Club…?
Ultimately I think the video undersells the difference between traveling with status and traveling without it because their flight took off as planned. One of the biggest differences is in re-accommodation.
A very frequent flyer will generally get better flight re-accommodation, will populate up at the top of flight standby lists, and be more likely to get friendly help from agents making changes when necessary. That can mean the difference between getting where you’re going the same day and being stranded for two days.