Part 2: What would you do to get on the A-List?
A continuation of my journey to achieve travel status nirvana
Now on to Part 2:
Sorry about the delay in my story.
As a reminder, at the end of the last post, I called customer service, and you guessed it. I went straight into the phone queue and was on hold for what seemed like an eternity. I didn’t want you to have to endure the insipid on-hold music. I am committed to being respectful of your time. Unfortunately, too many companies haven’t figured out how to do that.
I work in the customer experience industry and should be a defender. I know firsthand how hard it is to manage all of these calls, texts, messages, emails, etc. I also know there is a way to fix it. I get so worked up when I encounter the “endless loop of misery” because I know there is a better way.
But I digress. Back to the story.
When I finally got through to a human, I provided a detailed account of my journey to date. I explained that I only needed 50 more points to reach A-List status before the end of the year. I asked if I could purchase them. I was so determined to reach the pinnacle of airline loyalty status that I was willing to even pay a PREMIUM.
“I’m sorry. The points need to be earned,” she proclaimed with trained empathy.
Okay. I will go online and buy something for my succulent collection on amazon. (That’s another obsession for another time).
“No, that won’t work,” she announced. “The points need to be earned before the billing cycle when we do the synch up, and your cycle synchs on the 25th of each month.” It was the 26th. Cue the sad music.
Wait. What. I’m this close, but I can’t get to the A-List because of some accounting process. Blasphemy. Heresy. Sacrilege.
“I know what you can do,” she proclaimed like a helpful co-conspirator. “You just need to fly someplace by December 31st.” It is between X-Mas and New Year’s Eve. I have a house full of young adults who have regressed to their middle school personas and want to sit on the sofa and binge on SpongeBob Squarepants, play board games, eat all the time, and have an endless stream of dirty laundry. Plus, we are in the middle of a global pandemic, and we are masking and socially distancing from the world, and she suggests I simply hop on a plane and go somewhere.
I don’t think so.
“Is there anything else I can assist you with?” she reads from her script.
Well, you didn’t assist me with anything, so there is no way you can help me with something else. I hang up in despair. So close, but yet so far.
I’m not going to give up on this.
I search their website for customer service. I’m going to right this wrong.
When I finally find the form where you can share your gripe, there is only room for 100 characters. I can’t tweet my way to redemption. Then I have a stroke of genius. I am going to do a Powerpoint Presentation so that they can fully understand the gravity of this situation. (I will send it to you if you would like).
A volley of emails back and forth ensues over the next two months. And then, the phone rings.
“Marji, this is the loyalty team. I’m happy to welcome you to the A-List.” Wait. This can’t be happening. Who is this? I’ve told so many people about my plight, I feel like someone is joking with me. I ask her if she is real?
“Of course I am. We appreciate all of your efforts, and after multiple conversations with our senior team, we’ve decided to make an exception for you. If you head to the website right now, you’ll see that you have officially earned your A-List status through the rest of the calendar year.”
The right thing to do would have been to challenge her comment about “the exception” and go into a detailed dissertation on why they need to rethink the whole process. They have no business without their customers, and if they truly considered the impact of my experience, they would do the math and realize that it is in their best interest to change their monthly synch process.
But instead, I just hung up the phone in delight and let out a scream of joy. I did it. I made the A-list.
I felt like I had won the lottery. I had been accepted into an exclusive society of A-listers. For a full year, I will get as many free snacks as I want, have plenty of room for my carry-on bag, and will blissfully glide ahead of everyone else through the velvet ropes.
Was it worth the effort?
What do you think?
Thanks for reading I like stouts! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
I love the story telling and can feel the push and pull of being gamified and yet knowing it at the same time.
Congrats and I totally get it. I made it to million mile ++ status over the course of 15 years. Unfortunately, not on one airline (over 600K on United in the beginning, over 400K on AA) and a mish mash of airlines after. Would have been lovely to have permanent status but alas, it was not to be. The fact that I even remember that says a lot, eh? 😝 I can understand your quest and thankful I do not travel for work any longer. The experience (especially on board) has completely changed. I guess the motivation to achieve status and a better experience worked LOL