It is 7:30 AM and I am headed to Orlando on Southwest. Their new planes are really nice. The chairs are comfortable, the Wifi is awesome, and despite the many children that are excitedly discussing their trip to Disney, it seems like a good trip.
It helps that no one is sitting in the middle seat.
Southwest is like the democracy of air travel. Yes, there is a business class but as soon as they are on board, the business class elite are like everyone else. Southwest's efficiencies are well known in that regard - getting everyone on board quickly is one of them. This plane starting boarding at 6:55, and by 7:15 we were in the air, right on time.
There are many reasons to love this airline. It's friendly, fun and the flight attendants seem to go to "smile school". I've never had problems flying them and it's sometimes like an adventure.
But, I can't bring myself to give up my United status. Lately I've been having some back issues so status on United is the shot at first class, which makes my trip bearable. But even before that I would not have flown this airline given the choice, even knowing what I know. What is it about status?
As a frequent traveler, status is everything. Gets you onboard quickly so you can be sure your luggage will be with you. Gets you upgrades, sometimes - the best room available or a better seat. Gets you guarantees of a hotel room, even when they are fully booked.
For me, at this time in my career, my goal is being comfortable so that I can keep working, and making sure that I have what I need. For others, it might be the pure joy of status.
But for today, it's the Wifi, the empty middle seat and an early arrival. I'll try not to think of the miles that are not being applied to United, and smile back at the flight attendant. Life is good.