Early in my career at Microsoft I was traveling 50,000+ miles per year. It was of course in the good ole days when First Class was still almost first class. You know, back when they still had good food, drinks and sundaes. After making America Advantage Platinum a few years, I realized flying that much was really for the birds.
Of course for the mere mortals that travel between 25,000 and 50,000 miles each year, you have the privilege of making the “Gold” club. What do you get for being gold these days? Group 1, that’s it. For the uneducated, Group 1 gets to board after the First Class and Platinum folks. For people who carry on a backpack and a roll-a-board, this is important because you pretty much guarantee a spot for your bags in the overhead.
What else do you get for being gold? That’s pretty much it. It used to be the days that Gold members could have a reasonable shot at an upgrade on one of the longer flights. Those days seem to be long over. Either there are more Platinum folks these days, or fewer flights and therefore fewer seats. I think it’s the latter.
So my gold status is getting ready to expire, and I don’t think I’ll even notice. I still book far enough in advance that I’ll generally get a decent seat. I will now be a lowly Group 2 or Group 3. Who cares? The airline sure doesn’t. Wait, I take that back. They cared enough to ask if I wanted to pay for a year of Gold status. I think the price was like $400. Are they kidding? Maybe for $50.
Maybe I get honorary Gold status when I hit a 1,000,000 miles. Big deal. Gold has no value now. Unless of course we’re talking the mineral Au.