A crisis brings out the best and worst of people. Over the past few days I’ve observed both types of responses from companies, travelers, staff and more. But one thing really irritates me…elite travelers doing stupid stuff right now.
Here’s my rant about this and 4 things travelers should stop doing and what is legitimately ok right now.
- Stop F$#% traveling right now
- Don’t ask about your precious “status”
- Stop whining about upgrades
- Stop trashing travel company staff right now
Plus a quick note on what is allowed right now.
Note: the intended audience of this post is primarily elite travelers behaving like dicks. Not families or individuals stranded, or military travelers, or travelers who still have to travel for legitimate mission critical type activities.
Stop F$#% traveling right now
It should be clear by now. This is serious. Stop F#%$ traveling right now, ok?
Sure, there are a few exceptions to this but it should be mission critical kind of travel. Things like a technician flying out to help repair a hospital’s network that is down or something.
The rest of y’all? Netflix and chill. Pump the brakes on your travel.
Don’t ask about your precious “status”
“Hey Southwest, are you gonna extend my companion pass?”
Hmmm…is that really the question we should be asking right now? Yeah, maybe not. I have no doubt that most travel providers will do the right thing by their customers. And those that don’t…well, you will have the opportunity to take your business elsewhere.
But now is not the time to sort that out.
In other words, don’t be this guy:
@SouthwestAir I worked super hard to get a companion pass last year and had loads of trips planned to use it this year. Are you planning to extend use of it into 2021 for those of us who were loyal to you? @DansDeals @garyleff— Dan Gumpright (@dgumpright) March 20, 2020
You think Southwest is thinking about your precious status right now? Yeah, probably not. They are…I don’t know…probably thinking about how to survive as an airline!?
Stop asking about your first class upgrade
It’s pretty whack that @AmericanAir won’t upgrade one or their loyal Gold members to first class when 7 seats are empty bc I don’t want to use my 500 mile upgrades🙄. Even on @Delta you get upgraded at Silver. $AAL $DAL— Paul Huettner, CFA (@Paul_M_Huettner) March 19, 2020
Yeah, maybe AA should have upgraded him, but tweeting them and bitching about this of all things is not a high priority. Maybe stop traveling altogether (to be fair, I don’t know why this fella was traveling – maybe he really had to), but so what if you didn’t get the upgrade. AA is dealing with far bigger issues than you upgrade right now.
Stop trashing travel company staff right now
I’ve seen some real dick moves made by travel company leadership in the last few days (and some excellent examples in leadership during difficult times. Calling out bad leadership is totally ok. Bad leaders should be held accountable.
But the staff? Nope. Not right now anyway. I’ve also seen elite travelers bashing staff which is not helpful right now. I am talking about the flight attendants, pilots, the baggage handlers, hotel clerks, etc. The people doing the work on the ground (or in the air) for travel companies.
Let’s all agree to cut them some slack right now.
What is allowed right now?
A healthy dose of sarcasm is fine. Some travel humor is definitely healthy. Some whining about not being able to travel is ok (sure we all had vacations or business trips canceled that sucks even if it’s not the end of the world) but keep it in perspective.
And yes, call out the bad behavior by companies and leaders.
That is all. Thank you.
Vent over. You may go back to your regularly scheduled bulk purchase of toilet paper.
If you are looking for stuff to do during your quarantine here’s a few ideas:
- 7 Creative Ways to Travel When You Can’t Leave Your House
- Best New Shows to Watch while NOT traveling (plus some deep cuts)
- Practical advice for leading a team remotely during a crisis
- Well crud…I guess we are working from home: 17 Tips on Successfully Working from Home
- 47 Best Travel Books of all Time
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People are worried about their status because it’s an investment, and their miles are an asset too. They’re worried about their stock portfolios. Airlines have worked to get people to become emotionally attached and create a narrative about themselves that includes their status. This is natural.
In any case, there’s so much to worry about right now obsessing about the little things may be healthy. It’s one of the things that’s easier to control when the world is out of control. And absolutely, loyalty teams are thinking about this. Rather than ‘not focusing on this, focusing how to to survive’ there is an increased focus on high frequency customers precisely as a strategy to survive (it isn’t *only* about cost cutting)
All these arrogant “elites” who fly all over the country on their employers dime whilst looking down their nose the rest of the population will finally get theirs. As their employers close and these people are now jobless that slice of humble pie is going to be mighty hard to swallow. How does that pre-departure beverage taste now?