By Valerie Quintanilla
- Economy Plus Seating: Believe you me, that extra two fists of space makes Econ Plus coveted seating. Have you tried opening your laptop in the back of the plane? Puh-lease.
- Priority Boarding: My carry-on (to-date) always resides in a nearby overhead bin. That’s about 10 to 30 minutes of my life I get to keep – NOT waiting (im)patiently at the baggage carousel. Seriously, what do they do at DIA from the time the plane hitches to the gate to the 30+ minutes it takes before my luggage dumps onto the belt? Sheesh.
- Airport Security Priority Lanes: I (usually) cruise through airport security in the lane labeled, “Premium Passengers”. Way to make a gal feel special! PSST, PSA to you other frequent fliers: You don’t have wait for the one TSA agent in front of that line. The line won’t get so long if you’d go to the guy next door.
- Checked Bags: I get two comp’d checked bags – generally only important to me when I am traveling for more than a week, and said travel includes wine adventures (don’t kid yourself, I find wine worthy purchases most everywhere; it’s not a drinking problem, it’s a spending one). I also get a tag that says, “Priority” on my rarely checked bags; I have no delusions here – I know this is just for looks, but everyone needs a placebo once in a while.
Here’s a breakdown of how the tiers play out:
- Premier 1K: 100,000 Premier qualifying miles (PQM) or 120 Premier qualifying segments (PQS)
- Premier Platinum: 75,000 PQM or 90 PQS
- Premier Gold: 50,000 PQM or 60 PQS
- Premier Silver: 25,000 PQM or 30 PQS
- Changes in bonus award miles
- Changes in seating allowance: now us lowly 25k to 49,999k travelers can’t access Economy Plus till the day of the flight.
- Changes in luggage allowance: riddle me this: why do the other three tiers get three bags free, up to 70lbs, while the newly minted “Premier Silver” only gets one comp’d bag, up to 50lbs? Can you dock Premier Gold a bag to hook up the little people at Silver? C’mon, how many biz travelers really check one bag, let alone three?
So, inspect the 2011 policy and compare it to the 2012. Please share your likes/dislikes about the updates. Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @valeriekq!