Over the last few days there has been several announcements of airlines and hotel groups extending Elite status for their customers. Many companies have opted to outright extend elite status to the end of 2021. This way, even if someone does not travel in 2020, whatever status was earned in the 2019 program year would apply to the 2020 and 2021 years. We’ve seen major carriers like Delta extend elite status through 2021. Meanwhile, other airlines such as American and Southwest are playing the waiting game.
During the last few weeks, people have been expecting airlines, hotels, rental companies, and other travel companies with reward programs to provide loyal customers with extensions. The idea is, once this is over you will return to your favorite company. Meanwhile, we do not know when social distancing will officially end, and people already expect answers. To me, this is somewhat ridiculous. Especially when you think how frequent flyers typically respond to elite status promotions and hand outs.
Everyone wants their own status protected, but typically no one wants to share. That’s right, typically road warriors are among the most entitled and hypocritical individuals I know. Not all of them of course, but a lot of them. From Flyertalk to twitter to the blogs, nearly everyone wants and expects an elite extension. It’s not their fault they can’t fly. Nor is it the hotel chains or airlines fault either.
Given the state of the world, many people have the idea that they are entitled to an elite status extension. Yes, it is goodwill of the company to extend status, but the notion that the companies need to do this truly stems from the DYKWIA mantra.
Elites frequently get upset when airlines offer status matches or challenges. Elites are the first to complain when there’s other people “flooding the ranks”. After all to get their status, they worked hard. If everyone has status, no one has status. The top tier elites, and even mid tier spend days on planes and/or in hotel rooms. Therefor they believe they deserve the upgrade and added benefits. Meanwhile, Joe Schmo, the new hire and soon to be road warrior from KPMG should have to work his way up the rank. Joe doesn’t deserve the same status as “me”, because he hasn’t earned it.
I hear and witness this behavior consistently among elites. Yet now, so many of us have our own hands out begging for extensions. I’m not saying that it’s not great that companies are offering extensions. I just want to remind everyone, that next time there’s a promotion for elite status, a status match, or fast track and you’re not included, remember what is going on today. It’s unprecedented times we’re living in, but the hypocrisy among frequent travels runs deep.