TravelWise: NEVER FLY COACH AGAIN

Jan 1, 1999 12:00 PM, DAN DALEY

Polls


Mix Regional

The Mix Regional section for Mix's September 2014 issue focuses on Miami. Send us your studio news: updates, sessions, new rooms, plus club performances and installations. Let the Mix audience know what is going on! Send photos and descriptions to mixeditorial@nbmedia.com.

Well, maybe not. But there is a way to increase your odds of getting out of the zoo at the back of the plane. The key is to be flying a decent number of miles already. If you're racking up more than 25,000 miles per year, you can deal. That's the minimum amount set by most major airlines to achieve the first of several elite status levels.

The first thing you want to do is consolidate your flying. Choose one airline that best suits your usual destinations, enroll in their frequent flier program and concentrate your air travel with them. Once you hit 25,000 miles, you've qualified for elite status for the following year. At that point, contact the airline's elite desk (call the general reservations number and ask for it). Then request that you be awarded elite status for the remainder of the present year, as well. Indicate that you intend to keep flying this airline if they agree. There's a good chance they will. If not, ask for the name and number of the local marketing manager for the airline and talk to him or her about it.

Once you achieve elite status, you can start to upgrade yourself out of coach. This gets easier as you hit successive levels of elite-50,000, 75,000 and 100,000. Most airlines have a set number of miles for upgrades (and won't negotiate them or their annoying overnight delivery charge if you don't request them well in advance) or will use set amounts of "sticker" upgrades. However, frequent fliers can often negotiate a free upgrade at the gate. Airlines generally hold two "revenue seats" for paying passengers until two to four hours before departure. Get to the gate early and ask if you can be on the wait list for these.

I've found that reaching the highest level possible on one airline makes the most sense in terms of getting the perks. However, at that point, or at any time after reaching initial elite status, you could also start lining up a second airline. Being elite on a second carrier will allow frequent flyers to play them against each other to a degree.

One way to get a second carrier on your side faster is to fax or mail a copy of your most recent mileage statement from the airline you have elite status with, stating that, if they would grant you basic elite status for the remainder of the year, you'd start flying with them. The more active your statement and the more miles you've flown that year increases your chances of a second carrier saying yes. The quid pro quo is that they'll request that you fly at least the minimum miles necessary during the rest of the year to qualify for that same level of elite for the following year.

Again, the key here is to be flying at least 25,000 miles a year to start with. Anything less and your petitions will wind up in the round file. But if you do fly at least that much and follow the plan, you, too, can get free drinks to go with the free peanuts.

Mixarchives.com






Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Mix Books

Modern Recording and Mixing

This 2-DVD set will show you how the best in the music industry set up a studio to make world-class records. Regardless of what gear you are using, the information you'll find here will allow you to take advantage of decades of expert knowledge. Order now $39.95

Mastering Cubase 4

Electronic Musician magazine and Thomson Course Technology PTR have joined forces again to create the second volume in their Personal Studio Series, Mastering Steinberg's Cubase(tm). Edited and produced by the staff of Electronic Musician, this special issue is not only a must-read for users of Cubase(tm) software, but it also delivers essential information for anyone recording/producing music in a personal-studio. Order now $12.95

Newsletters

MixLine

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine takes you straight into the studio, with new product announcements, industry news, upcoming events, recent recording/post projects and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

MixLine Live

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine Live takes you on the road with today's hottest tours, new sound reinforcement professional products, recent installs, industry news and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.