Monday, August 26, 2013

Mileage Running: "Oh my God, why would you do that?"

So....this is what comes up when you google image search 'lounge dragon.'  Okay, now you KNOW you have to read the rest of this post to find out what the little guy's doing here, don't you??

The following is because it’s Monday, and because ‘why not?’.....

A few months ago, while cruising around for some travel gossip, I came upon this YouTube video wherein the author reenacts through animation himself trying to explain mileage running to a coworker.  I know, I know, it's dated as Continental no longer 'exists' as such, and the new United/Continental mess has basically eliminated mileage running with their oh so painful 'revenue requirement,' but still... (link also here- )

I laughed, I laughed a lot.  Then I promptly shared the link with friends, most of whom did not laugh….well, maybe a polite chuckle here and there, but that’s about it.

After reflecting on this, and possibly while trying to decide whether I have the nerve to try and get the rest of my 100k miles on AA this year by flying to Dubai and back ('s a great deal, promise) without leaving the airports (insert ‘oh my God, why would you do that’ here),it occurred to me that a little insight, and definitely levity was needed.  So I thought the best way to do this, was to try to find a little common ground with others who might share my affliction.  So, without further delay- weather, mechanical, or otherwise, I give you…...

“You might be addicted to travel status if:”

-You’ve started to believe that your trifecta of chosen airline, hotel chain, and car rental companies really says something about ‘who you are as a person,’ but you have no idea what that is.

-You watched “Up in the Air” and took no issue with Ryan Bingham's goals or compulsions, just the fact that no one in their right mind carries their rollaboard up that circular staircase in the Admiral’s Club STL when you know there’s a perfectly good elevator around the corner.

-You get a little thrill from hitting ‘Find Flights’ or similar buttons on ticket search engines, akin to spinning the roulette wheel in Vegas.  

-Being denied TSA PreCheck leads to a microcosm of the 5 stages of grief, especially the anger and bargaining ones as you (somewhat politely) stomp off to the regular screening line.   

-When someone asks for advice on what credit card to apply for, and you solemnly reply that that’s a complicated question, and start asking them about their life goals, travel patterns, and astrological sign before offering an answer.  

-You’ve ever wished your airline’s website offered an ‘at LEAST __ stops’ option on the search page.

-You know what a ‘lounge dragon’ is, and it has nothing to do with comic books or multi-sided dice.**

-You know the difference between a TATL, TPAC, and a Transcon and can estimate the CPM for each when given a price.

-You revel in the minutia of airline and airport trivia, and will explain 'fascinating' things like the difference in seat plan between a 767-200 and a 767-300 until someone aggressively changes the subject. 

-You sometimes feel you’re the only one who adequately respects the sanctity of shared overhead bin space.

-You have very, very strong feelings about the metaphysical and psychological differences between preference for ‘window or aisle.’

-Simply hearing the word ‘upgrade’ in just about any context raises your pulse at least 5 bpm.

-You honestly consider a ‘destination airport’ to be a legitimate draw when planning a vacation, as in- “Sure I’m looking forward to going to Sydney to see the opera house and maybe pet a kangaroo, but what I really can’t wait for is to check out the Qantas First lounge at SYD.”

-The thought of checking luggage causes an immediate and uncontrollable facial tick.

Well, did it work?  What did I miss?

Okay, maybe that didn't come close to explaining the whole ‘flying for the miles’ thing….but it was fun anyway, right?


PS, I have some legitimate and hopefully informative trip reports on the way….so bear with me.  

**For those still wondering about the cute lizard up top, 'Lounge Dragons' are the agents at the front desk of airline clubs in airports who make sure you're entitled to enter.  They're not known for their rule-bending or compassion about your 8 hour layover if your membership isn't current.