Iâ€™ve experienced quite a few life events during the past yearâ€¦ wellâ€¦ the past 14 years to be completely honest, which have significantly changed who I am as a person. But the happenings of the past few months in particular have been instrumental for a major change in my identity composition.
And theyâ€™ve altered my seemingly hard-wired need for elite status with airlines, hotels or anything else really.
Flying and travel will always be a requirement in my DNA makeup for overall happiness. Iâ€™ve never felt more serene, enlightened and satisfied than I do when I fly, travel and explore the world. That will never change.
But what has happened lately is a realization that a portion of my â€œsickness,â€ if you will, has been an irrational attachment for needing to sit up front, needing to be first in line and needing to be recognized as important in the travel industry.
I touched on this briefly in my post, Buh-Bye Upgrade Phobia: Rediscovering the Joy of Coach Travel, where I wrote, â€œChasing the high of earning top-tier status and getting upgrades these past few years has really suppressed some of my natural joy.â€
I want to come clean even more than that with a full-scale confession of sorts. And so, Iâ€™ve decided to write a few posts (I donâ€™t know exactly how many yet) explaining my history of elite-icism, its progression and some embarrassing, yet revealing DYKWIA (do you know who I am?!) moments. Itâ€™s a healthy exercise for me, and I thought it would be an interesting diversion from my normal blog topics.
Donâ€™t misunderstand what Iâ€™m writing, though. There are enormous benefits to holding airline and hotel elite status. And I will certainly still be monitoring, blogging about and probably participating in (when theyâ€™re of true benefit) many of the status-inducing promotions and programs.
That said, there are some over-the-top and ridiculous articles out there reporting that airline loyalty and holding elite status is a sham (yes, Iâ€™m looking at you Christopher Elliott). But there are others more thoroughly thought out and meaningful rebutting such claims, such as always spot-on Gary Leff, aka View from the Wing.
What I want to do in this series is reveal my experience with travel loyalty programs, their addictiveness, and why and how Iâ€™ve â€œwoken upâ€ to a different reality â€“ beginning with where it all started.
Stay tuned next week for the next installment, â€œThe Quest, the Challenge, the Addiction Begins.â€
â€“ Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.