looking young & being elite

 
Old Apr 30, 03, 2:44 pm
  #1  
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looking young & being elite

I'm 26 years old, but when spending the day flying, I usually don't wear makeup and dress in something that doesn't wrinkle, so I probably appear younger.

I'm elite and get my fair share of upgrades, but at the airport I seem to be treated like a second class citizen.

i.e.
check-in: instead of calling out "Next person in line", I hear "That is the first class lane, general check in is over there" ... or worse I've gotten skipped altogether! When I say I am in first class or remind them it is also Elite Checkin they seem annoyed.

At The Gate: At pre-boarding, I've had other passengers tell me they are only boarding first class.

Anyone else run into this??
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Old Apr 30, 03, 3:00 pm
  #2  
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Wear your Elite card around your neck on a lanyard. That way, you can shove it under annoying people's noses. :-)
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Old Apr 30, 03, 3:06 pm
  #3  
 
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I'm also 26 and have been flying at elite levels for 4 years. I have had way to many experiences similar to yours, but more from agents in the lounges and older travelers in the first/elite check in lines.

Just last week, I was next in line at the first class check in line at my home airport for an early flight. I was wearing jeans and a hat (i'm not dressing up to fly to Vegas). An older woman, decked out in a fur coat, dress hat, dark sunglasses (it was 70 degrees and 6:30am) walked right past me. I said "excuse me" to which she very rudely replied that I was not in the proper line. I told her that I was in the proper line and that she could get in line behind me. Turns out that her upgrade didn't go through (f/c was full) and she sat in the back.

As for the lounge agents, I'm glad that NW started checking everyone's photo ID's for entry. I was constantly asked for mine and if this was my card or if I was using my fathers.
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Old Apr 30, 03, 3:09 pm
  #4  
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I have run into this from time to time, though not entirely that frequently. I have held my elite status with CO since I was 17, flying back and forth from school, and now (I'm 24), on my own personal travels.

Every now and then, someone would mention similar comments, "This line is for FC/Elite," or "They're boarding FC right now." Never really bothered me...Although sometimes I would have a chuckle at people glancing down at my BP after making the comment about only boarding FC, as though to "check". I'd generally respond with, "Oh, great. I'm in the right place then..." or something similar.

I never really let things like that wind me up. Life's too short to concern yourself with what other people are thinking. I always viewed things like this as their issues, not mine. I knew where I belonged, and that's all that mattered.
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Old Apr 30, 03, 3:10 pm
  #5  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">
Originally posted by geoffco:
Turns out that her upgrade didn't go through (f/c was full) and she sat in the back.
</font>
Gotta love it ... hope you had drink in hand as she took the long walk back past the curtain.


[This message has been edited by jspatchwork (edited 04-30-2003).]
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Old Apr 30, 03, 3:33 pm
  #6  
 
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Yup, been there, done that :-)

A whole other thing which you may not have considered, is what comes into play when you're young, elite, and female. I think as females we have yet another 'strike' against us

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Old Apr 30, 03, 3:37 pm
  #7  
 
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Amazingly, I have never had those problems with CO. I got Gold status in 1996, when I was only 15 years old! I still have it to date at 21, and still going strong.
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Old Apr 30, 03, 3:54 pm
  #8  
 
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i'm 25 and have been an elite (platinum for 3 yrs) now back to a silver and have had similar problems many, many times at check-in. actually, the northwest staff is worse!
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Old Apr 30, 03, 4:04 pm
  #9  
 
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This is kind of like being carded when you want to buy liquor. It's really annoying until one day you realize that you're not being carded anymore (or people start treating you like you're old enough to be in the elite line).

Carpe Diem ! Enjoy your young appearance !
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Old Apr 30, 03, 4:19 pm
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Hmmmm...I'm 25 and regularly fly CO, NW and UA as an elite, premier, whatever, for the past few years I've never had any problems--at least any rudeness because of my age. Once at LAX I was repremanded for using the FC check in line when I was actually travelling in FC, but it wasn't a big deal. I think more often than not a lot of passengers wonder why the heck I'm seated in FC. I used to wonder how the heck some people got up there. Now I know

I'd imagine that dealing with airline staff is much like dealing with people in any other field--there's some bad apples out there, but generally if you are polite and respectful, the kindness will be returned.
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Old Apr 30, 03, 4:23 pm
  #11  
 
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i've been sitting in f/c and had my seatmate ask me what i do for the airline, as if thats the reason i'm up front.
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Old Apr 30, 03, 4:25 pm
  #12  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by 767-322ETOPS:
This is kind of like being carded when you want to buy liquor. It's really annoying until one day you realize that you're not being carded anymore (or people start treating you like you're old enough to be in the elite line).

Carpe Diem ! Enjoy your young appearance !
</font>
Speaking of which--I ALWAYS get carded--lately a lot in the air too.

I went to go pick up a case of Newcastle the other day and when I went to my wallet I realized I had taken my license out and left it in a UA ticket jacket (I always stick it there in the airport so I don't have to fish through my wallet 29 times.) To make a long story short I got lucky and was able to talk the clerk into selling me the beer with my prescription insurance plan card (it didn't even have a picture or birthdate on it)

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Old Apr 30, 03, 4:55 pm
  #13  
 
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I've been surprised that this hasn't happened to me. I've been an elite since I was mid-20s and usually travel in jeans and a light sweater. Once I had someone in line who looked like they were going to say something, but noticed the elite tag on my carry-on and wisely shut his mouth.
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Old Apr 30, 03, 5:36 pm
  #14  
 
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My "young" days are long gone but I have experienced the same things just dressed down with my wife and daughter. I've been Plat. for several years now and still get the brush by rude, I'm more important than you, type of folks. This happens mostly at boarding time. We'll be in line next to the gate when they announce 1st and elites then it never fails that a single male or a couple will try and push through. I typically smile and let them go but always wonder what it is that makes these people so intense.
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Old Apr 30, 03, 5:43 pm
  #15  
 
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I was at EWR a few weeks ago and used the Elite check in line at security. The regular line was snaked all over the place. People were waiting at the down escalator.
Was dressed in jeans and generally non elite looking.

Older couple waiting in line in front of me said. "This line is for first class only"

I opened my card folio with my AA Plat, HP Gold, CO Plat, Hilton Gold,President Club access card, Admirals Club & SPG Gold. I showed them my passport that also has stamps from all over the world. They promptly turned around, quieted up and acknowledged my eliteness. Pretty funny.
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