Sunday, February 7, 2010

Still airborne, in good company...

First off, wishing you a late happy new year. I'll admit I started and didn't finish several entries over the last few
weeks but finally buckled down today and put this together. And yes, getting to "100,000" is everything I hoped and more :)


So, here I am again on a flight from Seattle/Tacoma back to LAX after a short weekend at “home.” I haven’t been as good at updating here in the new year. Would you believe that its because I’ve been too busy flying?

No? Well, it was worth a shot.

I’ve been doing some rather long distance flying, necessitating some short nights and long Mondays. This weekend, however, is turning out to be a nice break from that. Thanks to Alaska’s multitude of flights between these cities, not only was I able to take an earlier flight without paying a change fee, but as a bonus I got a nice bit of exercise on my brisk run through terminal C. I ascribe both of these benefits to, as well as the above, my cunning use of, along with its community of ultimate flight mavens.

Let me go back now and explain. Earlier today I realized that I had cut my airport timing a little close (or so I thought at the time) and spent some time trying to figure out how to shave precious time off of the check-in process. Now usually I wouldn’t even think twice about this, knowing how much time it takes and counting on the short(er) AA priority access lanes. However, as I have before ranted on about, American Airlines does not fly between LAX and SEA, choosing instead to codeshare with Alaska. Hence, all of the hard-earned benefits I generally expect (upgrades, club access, priority access and boarding, etc) are no longer available. Further, SEA can have some killer lines.

Enter …

This website is home to the travelers who know it ALL….seriously. They also in large part are the rare breed who consider travel to be the goal in and of itself. These are the people who can put me to shame, the ones who think it completely reasonable to fly an itinerary from BOS-LAX-BOS-ORD-SAN-BOS without leaving the airport, or to fly for a week and sleep 5 of the nights on planes, especially for events such as DEQM. What’s that you say? This acronym doesn’t just jump right off the page at you as blatantly obvious? DEQM is the magical pot of gold at the end of the frequent flyer rainbow, the piece de resistance that tops off the airline calendar, the mysteriously announced “Double Elite Qualifying Mile” offer. A DEQM offer near the end of the elite qualifying year especially will lure these flyers into “milage run” itineraries that make the average person airsick just thinking about.

But I digress…DEQM will do that to a person… *breathe* Okay, as I was saying before, I was wondering how to get to my flight in SEA quickly. To that end I logged on to and asked if anyone had a suggestion and was nearly immediately rewarded with several replies. One in particular read: “Keep you BP (boarding pass) in your pocket and go to the elite lane at the far right hand end, show the first officer your AA EXP (Executive Platinum) card and if they give you any trouble say the ticket counter told you it was fine.” Good advice. I followed it to the letter and successfully line-jumped, getting through security early enough to take the 2:15 instead of the 3:00 (with a little terminal jogging, but hey, I won’t need to go to the gym today.)

The moral? There isn’t one really. But if one were to exist it might be that perhaps even the most scattered of people, the ones who spend so much time seemingly isolated on planes racing around the world, and jumping from one rental car to another, still manage to be there for each other at the drop of a hat…or the click of a mouse.

Well, we’ve begun our decent so it’s time to sign off. Thanks for reading, and special thanks to my anonymous advisors today, hope sometime I’ll know enough to return the favor.

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