What Happens When Everyone Is Elite?

… and when everyone’s super, no one will be.” – Syndrome from “The Incredibles”

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Not the quote you’d think would inspire me to write a travel blog, is it? However, it popped into my head when reading Nick’s post on Frequent Miler about how having Diamond Hilton status may or may not have helped him out on a recent stay. He has top-levelĀ Hilton status because he holds the Amex Hilton Aspire credit card, with an annual fee of $450. He mentioned a comment from a reader introducing the idea that when everyone has access to something, be it status or superpowers, that thing no longer becomes important because anyone can have it.

There was a time, not too long ago, that to achieve top-level status with any travel company, like an airline or hotel chain, you actually needed to use their services and use them a lot. This meant you either had to be a true road warrior, spending much of your work time staying in hotels and flying from worksite to worksite, or a dedicated travel hacker who spent days or more likely weeks making mileage and mattress runs trying to rack up credits for the least amount of money possible.

Those days are gone.

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Hints For Last Minute Shoppers Who Will Buy Just About Anything For Travelers

It’s Christmas evening. Most of the presents have been exchanged but maybe you’re on the way to a party and didn’t purchase a gift for that frequent traveler in your life. Fortunately, several airlines have items for sale perfect for the last minute, non-discerning shopper.

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We Flew Like Frequent Flyers (Which We’re Not) On American For One Flight. What’s Different?

When Sharon and I fly, we’re usually sitting somewhere in the back half of the airplane because I’m too cheap to pay for a better seat and we have no status to allow us to get the better seat assignments. There was the one exception this year when I paid way too many miles for a last-minute seat on a Delta flight and ended up getting upgraded to a Comfort Plus seat, but that was just a lucky break. However there was one flight this year where I knew we were going to get a better seat, unless it was taken away from us. The flight home from New York on the Monday after Thanksgiving on American Airlines.

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How We Went To The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade With Miles & Points (and $22.40)

Last December, when we were putting up Christmas decorations at the house, Sharon and I were talking about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. Despite living in the area for most of our lives, I had never been to see the parade and Sharon last went to see it when she was three. We had a crazy idea that this would be the year we’d head to New York in November.

The first thing I needed to check was if I could get the time off of work over the holiday. Amazingly, space was there so I put in for the time off and it was quickly approved. Then it hit me. I’d need to make hotel and flight reservations during one of the busiest travel times of the year. The one thing working for me was that I had plenty of notice and I smartly took the Monday after the holiday off so we didn’t need to fly home on Sunday.

I’m always up for a challenge, so I started looking to see what was available (and for how much).

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Airline Boarding Groups: The Master List

When you check in for a flight, either by printing a boarding pass on your computer or by using a mobile device, you’re provided with a boarding group. This lets you know when you’ll be getting on the plane. GettingĀ  group 3 on one airline might be great but could be terrible for another airline.

Regardless of that number, just know you’re not getting on the plane when the boarding process starts unless you’re a super elite frequent flyer or a disabled passenger in a wheelchair. The passengers with some sort of loyalty with the airline or one of their partners and the passengers who paid for first class will go next. Why not stay seated until your group (or at least the one right before it is called) cause you’re gonna have a long wait just to have your ticket scanned and all you’re going to is stand on the jet bridge for a while before getting on the plane.

Just be patient and don’t be like the people in this video from JetBlue

 

 

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