Tag Archives: frequent flyer

You gotta get the right seat

It’s very important – and airlines know it.  That’s why so many are charging for the privilege of selecting your seat in advance.  What to do?  Pay up or take a chance with the 24 hour check in.  It depends how neurotic you are about where you sit on the flight.  And believe me – I think most of us are totally neurotic where you sit on the flight.

That’s why websites like http://www.seatguru.com are essential in order to prepare.  Some seats look perfectly innocent on the airline’s website seating plan.  Go check that same seat on seat guru and you will find that it doesn’t recline fully or there is an obstruction on the floor minimising your leg room or maybe it is too close to the washrooms or the galley.  Yup – thank you seat guru people for this advance information.

However it can be a problem knowing up front that you have a crappy seat.  Let’s say you have booked a last-minute flight and you have to take what you can get.  You go onto seat guru and read that your seat has limited recline and limited leg room.  Aaargh – now you have to stress about that until you get to the airport.  Then you can try to change your seat at the gate.  Isn’t it funny how there is always that crowd of people hanging around with boarding passes in their hands and hopeful expressions on their faces.

Unless of course you happen to be that Double Platinum Uber Frequent Traveller – well duh!  Of course they are going to change your seat – right?

Mmmm – maybe not.

The people at the desk have the power.  THE POWER!  They can get onto that keyboard and click away – for AGES – doing stuff.

You ask them nicely.  Always a big smile – that helps.  Click click clickety click.  Don’t try to see what’s on the screen.  It won’t make sense to you anyway even if you could.  Click click click.  Mmm – does her face look hopeful – is there any clue you can glean from her expression.

You did tell her that you have difficulty in a middle seat because of your small bladder.  Explained it was a genetic problem.  If she could … perhaps….it would be wonderful …. really appreciated… realise she is very busy….etc etc.

Still no eye contact but suddenly brrrrp brrrrp brrrp – and your new boarding pass is being printed out.  Here you go – she says.  Just hands out the boarding pass – no information about where or what or if she has changed it.   And then she is off to the next person.

You go back to your seat – sit down and put on your glasses.  Look at the boarding pass.  HOLY MOLY!  You have hit pay dirt!  Aisle seat in emergency exit row.
Yeah Baby!  You take that you Platinum Double Edged Diamond encrusted frequent traveller.  I am a NICE person and I deserve this.

So what’s your point?

Aeroplan? Flying Blue? Flying Backwards (just kidding). Who dreams up the names for the frequent flyer points? They conjure up strange and wonderful things. Take Virgin Airline’s frequent flyer program – it’s called Elevate. Well that’s helpful I guess – you do want to go up and probably come back down again. Virgin Australia uses Velocity and Air Pacific invites you to join its Tabua Club. (mmmm sounds taboo to me). Air Nigeria is Eagleflier (when it flies) and now defunct Olympic Airlines used the name Icarus for its frequent flyer program. Now there’s a good one – best of them all I reckon.
Icarus falling

It’s all hype to try to buy loyalty and we all fall for it.  Collect points on every flight, every time we fill up at the gas station, pay extra at the sports shop because they give miles and then …………. we try to use them.  (I can almost hear the hysterical laughter of a those airline executives somewhere in the distance.)  Booking reward travel –  now there’s an exercise in futility, frustration and extreme patience.  Still it does sometimes work and saves a lot.  If you want some good tips try www.webflyer.com.  It will also give you a chuckle with their excellent cartoons relating to the woes of trying to use up all those points.
 

I Love Istanbul

I Love Istanbul