Post 8 – Importance of Status and Elite Benefits

I think I’m one of the few people that I know that actually enjoys going to the airport.  From the priority check in counter to the TSA PreCheck to the airport lounge, the fast boarding, the first class upgrades… oh wait, you don’t have those same experiences?  Welcome to the world of elite and preferred status… keep reading to find out how you can have the same.

1. How to choose your best program.
2. Understanding the ins and outs of your program.
3. Earning with program partners and redemption.
4. How to earn apart from flying on planes.
5. The hidden DNA of credit cards.
6. Not all points and miles are the same.
7. Aspirational rewards and good mileage values.
8. Importance of status and elite benefits.
9. Manufactured spend basics
10. Searching for deals. Mistake fares. Mileage runs.
11. HUCA

Now a days, most airlines have partnered with credit card companies to offer shortcuts to elite benefits.  By simply holding the co-branded credit card, you can get free checked bags, priority boarding, priority checkin, and more.  But the truly amazing benefits come by simply flying, a lot.  B.I.S. milesor simply put, butt-in-seat miles.

Free Luggage

When traveling as an elite member on most airlines, you’ll get at least 1 free checked bag, and sometimes 2 or more.  If you’re heading home for the holidays or just like to take lots of changes of clothes, then this is potentially something that could save you hundreds of dollars over the course of the year.

Priority Boarding

“Zone 1, now boarding zone 1…” No more waiting until the very end and having to check your carry on luggage because there isn’t any space left.  Hop on first and get into your seat comfortably and without the stress.

Priority Check-in

Look at that long line of people who didn’t check in online and have problems that need the attention of an airline rep, and look at the priority line with only one person in front of you.  Head straight to the front of the line, and get a representative to assist you in (usually) under two minutes.

Preferred Seating

Hate having to pay for seats?  Or better yet, there’s only middle seats left in the “free” section and up front there are dozens of seats available, but you’d have to pay for those?  Not as an elite.  Choose those seats for free and enjoy a more comfortable ride.

Fee Waivers

Had to cancel your flight at the last minute?  Want to redeposit those miles back in your account for canceling a flight?  How about when you call in to the call center and you’re informed that you’ve got to pay a $25 per ticket booking fee.

Priority Call Center

For me, this is possibly the best feature of all.  Well, no that’s a lie, those are the upgrades… but it sure is pretty awesome.  No more 2 hour waits on the phone.  No more offshore call centers, just a direct line to someone who picks up the phone right away.  This works out especially well when there are irregular operations such as weather delays or flight cancellations.

Lounge Access

The airport lounge, a refuge from the chaos, hustle and bustle of the terminal.  Free food.  Free drinks.  Free wifi.  Plenty of seats.  Clean(er) bathrooms.  I love that you can feel safe enough to leave your luggage unattended and go get something to drink as well.  Also, they are staffed by members of the airlines that can help you in rebooking fights, changing seats, etc.  Usually the lines are shorter than the regular lines in the terminal as well.


Ok, yea this is the best part of being an elite member.  Those big comfy seats in the front of the plane with free meals, free liquor, free movies, and personalized attention.  No one squeezing their elbows into your space.  Plenty of recline.  And all of them available to you, if you’re an elite…

And the list goes on…

This is just a small listing of the benefits that come to you as an elite member.  You also get bonus miles on each flight taken, discounts on lounge memberships, standby benefits… in short, you get a lot.  So while the majority of these benefits come to you for flying (usually 25,000 miles in a year) you’ll see that a lot of them can be had for signing up for a credit card.  Now, some of the airlines are even giving you the opportunity to buy those benefits outright.  Airlines have often allowed upgrades at the gate for a fraction of the cost.  Delta and American airlines are currently allowing you to pay a little bit more at time of booking your ticket for the right to have priority boarding and checkin.

What do you think would be the most useful elite benefit for you?  Comment below and let us know!

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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