The Status Games are a series of rituals which elite travelers go through each year when they hope to re-qualify at the top tier level with their airline. It’s a little like the Hunger Games and if you fly enough, the drama can seem just as real.
So now that we’re in December it’s that time of year again when intrepid travelers begin to take stock and wonder if they racked up enough miles to achieve elite status on their airline of choice.
Let the Status Games begin.
I know some travelers will book end of year flights to try and bank the extra elite miles needed in order to creep up a category. I have heard stories of people flying from New York to London and coming straight home on the same flight just to reach that Gold or Diamond level.
On the other hand, I also know of elite travelers who have reached the top tier already who try to postpone any travel until the new year as they’re already worrying about re-qualifying next year.
There’s a lot of anxiety and strategy and stress around achieving elite status these days which begs the question, is it really worth all this work?
Well the answer is yes. Every time you get an upgrade to first class you’ll appreciate all the miles you flew in order to earn this benefit. Every time the agent waives a change fee,you’ll know it is worth it. Every time you have a cocktail in a business class lounge you’ll smile that you’re not with the masses in the terminal. Every time an airline goes the extra mile to make sure you get your connection or puts you on another flight you’ll appreciate the extra service. And every time you check into the first class counter you’ll remind yourself that it is truly worth all the effort.
Loyalty memberships can vary dramatically from airline to airline. Cathay Pacific treats their top tier members incredibly well. They will guarantee you a seat on any flight at any time. That has to be one of the best perks I have ever seen. Delta will bend the rules om almost anything for their Diamond members and United will ensure their elite privileges throughout the entire Star Alliance group of airlines; which is something other airlines don’t do as well.
If you are close to qualifying this year but just need a little boost, both Delta and United have sold elite qualifying miles in the past. It can be expensive but if you need just a little bump and you don’t have the time for another round of flights, this may make sense for you.
Here’s to the year ahead, and here’s to being Diamond, Gold, Platinum or whatever you airline of choice calls their most important, top tier elites!
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.