Can we talk?
I feel like I’m in a bad marriage with United Airlines. I’ve been with them for 25 years, flown 1,245,000 miles, and most of the time it feels like they don’t know I’m alive. In our first years together, they treated me like a queen. On my flight coming up this weekend, I may end up in the luggage bin.
A “technical error” caused them to give away my seat.
Admittedly this is a first world problem. My friend Ephraim who lives in Haiti doesn’t spend time thinking about service on airlines. He’s got bigger things to think about like helping people eat. I try to think about that every time I look at the upgrade list and see that with my million mile status, I am #25 on the list.
On the grand scheme of things, a relationship with an airline is not something that should bother me. But when you’ve been committed to someone, it’s disheartening when you feel cast aside. So here are some things I’ve learned from my relationship with United that I will use to keep the spark in my marriage:
-When you put your spouse on hold, don’t try to placate them by singing the same old song. Especially when it’s the same 5 bars you have been playing for 25 years
-The longer you are together, the more bags you should be allowed.
-Don’t send a card through UPS celebrating the years you’ve been together. Save the money and give your marriage an upgrade instead.
-Don’t send them to another country when they call. They’ll recognize the accent. Instead, fly them there for a prepaid vacation.
-When your spouse is checking in, don’t send them to a machine. Extend human contact so they remember who they are married to.
-After 25 years, carry on bags are not only allowed, they are encouraged. There should be plenty of space for them
-Don’t spend all your money on pleasing the CEO. Your spouse has been with you longer and helped get you where you are
-Money may be important, but loyalty keeps you together
-Have the kind of marriage your spouse will talk to others about. Without swearing.
Like I said, in the grand scheme of things, a relationship with an airline is not something to lose sleep over. But these are things to think about in the relationships that are important to you. Especially if you want to keep them.