Tips and Tricks

Mileage Pro: What Is Air Travel Status?

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Conrad hotel Cartagena Colombia

When you’re boarding an airplane and always seem to find yourself in Group 5, I’m the one pre-boarding. Why? Because I have air travel status.

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What Is Air Travel Status?

Airlines, Hotels, and Car Rental Agencies reward their most frequent customers with elite status. Status of varying levels allows those very frequent customers to enjoy special perks and benefits over casual or one-time customers. By offering status and benefits, travelers are more likely to stay loyal, spend more money, and are generally an asset to the travel provider.

Generally, airlines award status once a traveler reaches 25, 50, 75, or 100,000 miles in a year and may or may not have a revenue requirement as well, incrementally increasing from $5,000 to $15,000. The higher the status level, the better the benefits, for example, the entry-level status may include slightly elevated boarding groups and preferred seat assignments while the very highest elites might have free upgrades to first-class even internationally. For hotel chains and car rental agencies, those levels start at 10 frequencies and top out as high as 100.

Why Do I Want It?

Depending on how high your status with an airline, hotel, or car rental agency climbs, the benefits can be worth tens of thousands of dollars every year. For example, I have top-tier status with American Airlines and United Airlines. Boarding faster is nice, free snack boxes in the back of the plane are ok too, but every year I have enough upgrades to move up to business or first class from a cheap coach ticket on any flight. I have flown to Hong Kong on $400 tickets and used my upgrade to move up to a lie-flat bed in a seat that sells for $18,000 – for nothing out of pocket.

Here are some of the benefits flyers can receive with status:

  • Unlimited upgrades to domestic first-class (usually including Canada, Central America, and the Caribbean but excluding Hawaii)
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority security
  • Expedited points accumulation
  • Free and preferred seat assignments
  • Free upgrades on long-haul international flights
  • Airport lounge access
  • Expanded award availability
  • and many, many more
Korean Airlines lie flat business class
Korean Airlines lie flat business class

Don’t forget about hotels, in fact, those are my favorite statuses to hold:

  • Upgrades to suites or preferable rooms
  • Included breakfast or room service
  • Expedited points earning
  • Dedicated check-in and service centers
  • Welcome amenities
  • Waived resort fees
  • and many more
Luxury hotel Bangkok Thailand
Luxury hotel Bangkok Thailand

Car rental agencies offer the following:

  • Free upgrades to preferable cars
  • Stored preferences that allow you to just pick your car and drive away
  • Expedited points earnings
  • Have a dedicated car you select in advance, waiting for you when you land
  • Car delivery and pick-up to non-commercial airports
  • and more
Maserati upgrade from National Car Rental
Maserati upgrade from National Car Rental

How Do I Get It?

At Scott & Thomas we want you to have status. It creates a better experience for our guests, it allows them to save money on extras, and everyone generally travels more. We are happy to help our clients and have a four-step process to ensure they garner the best experience from their miles and points accumulation.

  1. Sign clients up for the loyalty program
  2. Show clients how to access and track progress
  3. Send promotions/tips or help them to maximize the value of their status
  4. Assist in booking award tickets so that our clients can save thousands of dollars flying to their favorite destinations.

Conclusion

Airline, hotel, and car rental status are all important to hold. All of our staff hold some level of status and we have experts that can help you on your journey as well. It’s all part of giving our clients an atypical, world-class experience that they can find nowhere else. Contact one of our concierges today!

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