I am a silver status flier with Delta (yes, Mrs. Bruninga from the 5th grade, I made something of myself), and it has changed the way I fly for better and worse. But mostly worse. Just in case you didn't know, silver is the absolute least amount of status you can have, while still offering the illusion of elitism. For me, this means feeling entitled to everything, but actually get just maybe one notch above nothing. You don't even get to line up all that early. But even still, it's pretty great. I get upgraded to first class once or twice a year, and getting upgraded to first class feels like what I imagine getting asked to prom would have felt like.
I recently booked a last-minute flight to New York for the Fourth of July, but everything on Delta was close to 1k week of, and I just drain my Skymiles the moment I get them, so I was on a cash-only budget. I booked with United and had a "see agent" kind of seat assignment. Exciting! When I got to my gate, I noticed that FRA, M. was listed for a first-class upgrade. Um, that's me! I didn't totally understand this l because I haven't flown with United....I think maybe ever. But I accepted it, figuring Delta must have called them or something. Or that my name was recognized as an occasional first-class flyer. I sincerely thought this. So I waited and waited for the gate agent to give me an assignment. She forgot about me once. No problem, no problem. I went back again. And she gave me my ticket. 28B. I told her, No, I'm sorry, my name is actually on the screen for an upgrade. 1B? FRA, M? First class?
You? No. That's not you.
I crawled to the back of the bus and kept an eye on 1B during boarding. It stayed completely empty, which drove me nuts. I got off the plane just before the last person got on to check one more time with the gate agent.
I was just wondering if maybe I was upgraded to 1B?
What? No. That's not you.
Oh. I just thought I had been upgraded. Because the screen?
Why would you be upgraded?
(Panic. Say something powerful.) Oh. Because I called someone.
You called someone?
Yeah. I thought I had been upgraded.
No. That's not you. You're not upgraded unless you paid for it.
Oh. Ok. I'll just get back on the plane then so we can take off.
So the only difference between the non-status me, happy to fly on Southwest, and the minimum-status me is 1 or 2 first-class upgrades a year, and the audacity to walk off a plane to passive aggressively demand better treatment than everyone else. Drunk. On one shot of power.
28B, I think you're gonna be good for me.