The Kindness of Elites

Old Apr 8, 19, 4:22 pm
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The Kindness of Elites

Im sitting up front, still at the gate, on UA 340, IAD to SFO, and the gentleman near me (GS or 1K, IDK) was asked his meal order. He was very specific in turning down the salt-heavy offering, even talked up the burger sans bun as a go-to healthier choice, in his request to stay hydrated (water, no booze) and in his very generous closing remark: Let someone else have their first choice. I thought that was cool.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 4:26 pm
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With that title, I expect this will be a very short thread..
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Old Apr 8, 19, 4:51 pm
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I remember when I first joined FT, there was a thread in the old United forum about an FTer that gave away any and all gate upgrades for a year. I believe it was a wager with another FTer. He then proceeded to find someone in the gate area to gift his upgrade, and he would record the conversation that took place. Those were the days.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 5:44 pm
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
With that title, I expect this will be a very short thread..
Honestly, my favorite part about elite status is flying with other passengers who, generally speaking, have boarded an airplane before. The people who know that the person in the middle seat needs a little extra armrest access, puts their rollaboards wheels out so the bins can close, moves to make the plane load quickly, doesn't get too schnockered (but orders a drink or two), etc. These people tend to be kind to other travelers who reciprocate and are just so much more pleasant in my row and on my flight. And mods, feel free to remove if off topic (although this whole thread seems very Omni to me), but Southwest seems to sit me next to the other elite most conscientious traveler.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 6:12 pm
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Not necessarily intending to toot my own horn but sometimes you find out when your seatmate isn't too aware of how different cabins work and assist accordingly.

Posted in the United First Let's Eat thread earlier this year, I offered to the Purser to give my first and only asked choice of a salad to the person sitting in 1E since he a) didn't have at least 1K status and b) wasn't a meat eater and c) was being asked for his second choice which was the buffalo mac-n-cheese. (also, that flight was the latest (as of Feb-2019) spotting highlighted in the FlyerTalk Spotters' Game where I found @cakehorn 's sign in the Hemisphere's magazine.)

Fundamentally, you help where you can. Not sure if it is an "elite" thing, but when I'm sitting near/adjacent to the 772 lavs especially but any UA plane with bi-fold lav doors, I try to point out to folks puzzling on how to open the door to "_push_" since they'll start to fiddle with the ashtray or look for a door knob or handle. Same thing goes when I'm sitting up front on evening/night flights where the F/J cabin is dimmed/dark - I'll turn on my overhead light so that the FA who's trying to ask what I want to eat or drink - and is trying to write in the dark or holding their cell phone so that they can see and not have to juggle multiple items simultaneously why trying to annotate the manifest (and you also wonder why UA doesn't simply provide a tabular sheet to the FAs in F/J so that they can know who's in which seat and have space to write their 1st/2nd meal choice + drink(s)).

There are plenty more things that you learn simply by being observant of what's going on in the plane and you (try) to pass these good behaviors on to your fellow travelers. It also helps a lot if those who aren't aware/aren't elites are nice and polite as well but I digress..

All I'll say is that the person who I've found to be the greatest gentleman traveler of all UA elites is @ua1flyer .

David
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Old Apr 8, 19, 6:48 pm
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On my last trip after taking my order the I overheard the FA telling the passenger behind me that they didn't have any of his first choice left, which was what I had ordered. Not having a preference I told the FA to give the passenger mine and give me what's left.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 6:49 pm
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My usual meal order has always been "whatever you have left over". There is rarely a real difference in my mind.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 7:03 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
My usual meal order has always been "whatever you have left over". There is rarely a real difference in my mind.
This might be for you:

https://www.ispot.tv/ad/ARcJ/whatabu...-missed-flight
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Old Apr 8, 19, 7:26 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
Fundamentally, you help where you can.
IME there are two species of elites in the air. The first kind thinks this. The second hoards maximum perks, options and amenities and celebrates when others miss out.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 7:48 pm
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Who here hasnt guested a stranger into a lounge or used their drink coupons for a stranger?
We've all done it
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Old Apr 8, 19, 8:42 pm
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I consider myself a normal reasonable human being. Not particularly selfish, and not standout generous.
  1. I'm very generous with my drink coupons, which is easy for me because I rarely drink, and if I did, I'd get the 1K freebie anyway. If I'm in coach on a flight, I just hand them over to the FA and say buy everyone a drink. Usually most of them come back to me.
  2. I'm less generous with my miles and upgrades - in that they get used on family and friends. I used to use the 500 mile certs on strangers if I was running out, so perhaps I was kinder back in the day
  3. Meals, I'm a little tighter with. I want my Thai Chicken or Lemongrass Chicken in Polaris. Outside of that, I genuinely don't care and ask them to surprise me. FA's are usually very grateful for that, but in truth it's not an act of massive kindness - I really do not care.
I have to say, I believe that most people, and by extension most elites, are pretty decent people. It's just that the obnoxious ones stand out. Negativity bias is a thing.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 8:54 pm
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I boarded ORD-IND (mainline) last year. I was the first one on and in 1E. Right after me a soldier in an aisle chair boarded who could not walk at all. I told him to take my seat and I would take his. He refused. I continued to tell him I would like it if he took mine and told him I fly in F all the time and it would be much easier for him. Nope, he wouldn't. So the flight attendant who was in the galley came over to me to ask what the issue was. I told her and she was so touched that I would do that. Had some of the best service ever (unfortunately it was only a 30 minute flight).
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Old Apr 8, 19, 9:06 pm
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
Who here hasnt guested a stranger into a lounge or used their drink coupons for a stranger?
We've all done it
This is true. I find that most very frequent fliers are considerate of the others around them because they, themselves, have suffered through years of, "...The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune", in their travels.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 9:10 pm
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
Who here hasnt guested a stranger into a lounge or used their drink coupons for a stranger?
We've all done it
Also applies to Priority Pass. Small moments where you can save someone who's obviously about to purchase access some money make their day, and thereby mine
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Old Apr 8, 19, 9:16 pm
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When a nervous traveler across the aisle from me asked me to just talk to her so she could relax a little, I was more than happy to help out. Normally, as an introvert, I keep to myself on flights but this was a request for help and I was more than happy to assist. I gave her a drink coupon too (for the 50 min flight), which she used, and we had a nice little conversation.

I know there are horror stories and Seat Switching threads etc that can show the worst of all of us, but reading about kind acts on United flights can be really uplifting...
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