I've never really been partial to one particular airline. My dad, for one, LOVES Southwest. He won't fly anything else. If I HAD to choose one...I'd say that Virgin is the best. It's by FAR the nicest and most accommodating of the domestic airlines. If I had my choice of loyalty...that's where my loyalty would lay (lie? I always mess this one up).
That said, a few years ago...I flew to India for work. India is VERY far away. I didn't get to choose my airline and we flew American. Because of this trip, I was upgraded to American Gold Status.
I must say, it's pretty nice. Gold Status comes with two free checked bags for you and any travel partners, you get to pick any seat you want on the plane with no extra charge, you can skip the lines at security by going through with First Class passengers, to name a few perks. I mean, most these things should be standard, but let's face it...they are not.
I don't even really like American Airlines. Like almost all the domestic airlines...they are a terribly run business. The customer service at American Airlines certainly leaves something to be desired. I kind of hate American Airlines. But, here's the thing...that Gold Status keeps me coming back. They hook you with it!! Being loyal to one particular airline certainly does pay off. I even got the credit card to earn miles.
Sadly, I couldn't cut it. As much as I fly...it just wasn't enough. Like any company out to get its customer's...American Airlines has lots of little rules and caveats that cheapen the miles you fly. Gold Status is hard to keep. I lost it :(
It was a sad sad day for me the first time I flew back in steerage with the rest of the paupers ;) Looonnng lines at check in and security. I still get free bags because of my credit card, but I had to sit in a middle seat in the back of the plane. Wompa wa.
American Airlines emailed me to ask if I wanted to BUY Gold Status for SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS!! Um, no. I'll take my middle poor person seat thank you very much :P
So, I thought...welp, I guess I'm free of these losers. Horray. I'll cancel this credit card...and just start flying Virgin as much as possible. But then, I got this in the mail:
They are ever so graciously giving me my Gold Status back...but only until November 15th. I can keep it if I can manage to fly 6000 miles before then. Oh man, I'm SUCH a sucker!!