Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Reaching Silver Status Part 2: A United Fail

When I wrote my last post about frequent flyer miles I was inches away from being awarded the illustrious silver status from United Airlines. I was so taken in with the idea of gaining more travel benefits that I even opted to pay more for my flights to reach the next level. I had visions of being upgraded on all of my flights, earning tons more miles, and easily being able to keep these benefits for a very long time.

That was about a year ago, and I have been upgraded once. And even though I was flying first class from Seattle to Washington D.C. on a red eye, I was not given a meal or provided with in flight entertainment on my cross country flight, nor did I have one of those seats that reclines into a bed. I did, however, get a drink in a real glass. Woo Hoo! I was infinitely happy that I did not pay any extra money to be sitting there. The service wasn't any better, and I have seen a sharp decline lately in United service in general. I'm hoping that the new CEO will be an improvement.

While it was a bonus to be able to choose a seat in economy plus (extra legroom) upon checkin for my other United flights, there wasn't really any additional benefit of the silver status I had worked so hard to earn. The free checked bag and early boarding were already perks with my United Mastercard.

So was it worth it? I would say no. Unless you are a business traveler or spend beaucoup bucks using your flight-linked credit card and can reach gold, average gals like me will continue to peek through the mesh curtain wishing the kid behind me would stop kicking my seat, pining for the good life in the front of the plane, and paying the lowest fares possible. Because the travel is much more important than the transit.