Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Forgoing an opportunity

Gotta hand it to my boss; he knows I like accumulating frequent flyer points and so, when it became apparent that someone was needed to travel from here to Singapore to pick up a couple of circuit boards and bring them back he sounded me out; was I willing to spend something in the region of 50 hours travelling back and forth half way across the planet?

Damn straight I was. Do that three times and I've got another free return flight to Australia! And how do you think I got my MP3 player? I also have my 1K elite member status to think about.

Now there's an exercise in snobbery. Having accumulated more than 100,000 miles of travel last year I get to check in at the business class counter even on an economy ticket. I also get to board the plane at any time instead of waiting for my row to be called. Wow! (I hope the sarcasm is shining through!).

Actually that little perk does work well for domestic travel on America West; it means I can get on the plane early enough that my laptop is stowed in the overhead lockers instead of having to go under the seat in front. If you haven't travelled US domestic lately let me tell you; the overhead locker space is scarcer than hens teeth! I like the leg room too much to want to share it with the laptop.

Incidentally, I never tried the 'elite' boarding thing until I had the card to prove that I was entitled by their rules. But they never challenge and nothing extra is printed on the boarding pass. Draw your own conclusions from those observations! :-)

The only other worthwile thing I've seen from the status so far is access to the airline lounge when travelling international. Yeah, it can be nice to grab a few free sangers and a beer but it's really not that big a deal.

But alas, I was unable to take the risk. If they could have guaranteed I'd be back in the US on Friday I'd have jumped at it but there's a small chance that the return might slip to Saturday. Given that the flight I'd be on lands in Los Angeles at 5 PM and I have to be in Flagstaff at 5:30 Saturday for Shelby's wedding vows you can see the problem.

As for why someone would travel like that? Neither Fedex nor UPS will guarantee delivery in such a tight time frame and a specialist courier would charge three times or more the price of the return ticket. Why do we need such a fast delivery? I have no idea. *shrug*

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