Lifetime Elite Status with Airlines

Here’s a post from welltraveled88 at that I found neat… being a traveler, it can be useful for anyone who wants to commit to a single program and get lifetime elite status…

Sky Team (to attain ST Elite Plus status)

* Air France KLM AF/KL: Lifetime Platinum after 10 consecutive years of membership at the Platinum level
* Delta Airlines DL: Lifetime Platinum after 4M “Medallion Qualifying Miles”, i.e. from any ST flights
* Korean Air KE: Lifetime Million Miler after 1M miles on any ST flights

Star Alliance (to attain *A Gold status)
* Air China CA: Lifetime Platinum after 1M kms on CA-coded flights only
* Egypt Air MS: Lifetime Platinum after 1M miles on MS flights (or all *A flights ??)
* Asiana Airlines OZ: Lifetime Platinum after 1M miles on Star Alliance flights
* South Africa Airways SA: Lifetime Platinum after 6 consecutive years of membership at the Platinum level
* United Airlines: Lifetime Premier Executive after 1 million miles on UA or CM only

One World (to attain OW Sapphire status)
* American Airlines: Lifetime Platinum after 2M miles from any source [However, NB: as AA Platinum, you get no lounge access in AA lounges when travelling on AA domestically, while you would get access as OW Sapphire with another airline

Why I Travel Economy Class and Sleep in Budget Hotels

When I tell my friends, I travel a lot, they imagine a life of opulence and luxury, but it could not be farther from the truth. Traveling takes a toll on a salesman and anyone in the profession can attest to its challenges.

I travel in cramped seats in economy class for 12 hour flights. I fly red-eyes to make my meeting on the East coast and to save a day in a hotel. I sleep in budget hotels so I can save every little dime I can for my company. Those who know what I do immediately ask me, “Why? Is your company too cheap to pay for that?” The answer is no.

If I wanted, I could live between 5-star hotels and fly business/first class, but I can’t find the value in it. I don’t deserve it; I can’t justify it. For a business class ticket to Asia, it costs between $3,000 to $5,000. After honing my flight seeking skills, I can find a ticket on economy between $700 to $800 during non-peak seasons. For the price of a single business ticket, I can travel round-trip to Asia 4 times (just for calculations, sake – I realize that time and other expenses need to be taken into account, but I’ve just done this for simplicity’s sake). If I can save over $150 on a hotel every night that I’m away from home, my coworkers in Korea can receive a little bonus, a better salary, or even a single night out on the company’s dime.

People who work in our factories live hard, arduous lives. The unfortunate decisions that they have made strayed them into a life of physical labor. They haven’t developed any other skills so they don’t have too many opportunities to get out. That’s why I have to build it for them. I have to invest myself into work that much harder so they can feel that much better. That’s why I do it. And I’m content with living like this.


Airline Lost Luggage? Tips and Tricks

Through my travels, I have fortunate enough to land at my destination with my luggage sitting there and waiting for me. That is, up until 2 weeks ago. I have probably flown over 200,000 miles to date so I know I’ve been lucky… But in the last two weeks, United Airlines failed to get my luggage to the appropriate destination. In two weeks, I’ve flewn UA two times… and both times, you’ve made a mistake. Shame on you. I should say, the first time that they lost my luggage, they did give me a $150 one-way travel certificate, which is nice, but doesn’t cover even a fourth of what I paid for.

Both times, I needed my luggage for a presentation. If I could, I would have carried it on, due to size constraints, I have no choice but to check it.

Here are some tips and tricks for my reference and yours:

Before flying

  • Place name tags both on the exterior and interior of your luggage so someone may identify.
  • Create a marker on the exterior of your luggage. This could be something simple tying a bright neon ribbon on the handle. This way you can distinguish your bag from anyone else’s.
  • If at all possible, book a direct flight. The most common reason for lost luggage is airport workers are not able to load the bag on the flight you’re on, on-time.
  • Take photos of the materials you are packing, itemize your belongings (if they have a lot of value), keep receipts of these items. If on the slight, your luggage is lost, you have all of the necessary information for a claim. Your organization will be critical at this time.
  • Pack a one to two day supply of necessities in your carry-on, just in case your checked bag does not make it.
  • Remove any tags that were previously attached to your bag from earlier flights. I know, laziness commands you to not do this, but sometimes old tags can be the reason for your luggage to get “lost.”
  • When checking your bag, confirm with the attendant that the bag is intended for the destination you need it at. Depending on your flight itinerary, sometimes they ship it to  the incorrect destination.

After flying

Well, if you’ve made it this far, I can only assume your baggage was lost.

  • File a claim at the airport. Make sure you have your baggage tag. Don’t throw it away. Log everything you discuss with the agent working at the baggage claim, including names, case numbers, phone numbers, and the time you reported the claim.
  • After you have received your luggage, file a complaint to the airlines in a respectful, non-belligerent way. Show that you’re frustrated, but acknowledge that the person handling the claim is not the person responsible for losing your luggage. Many times, if you are courteous, they will compensate you in the form of mileage or a travel certificate.