Sunday, November 11, 2007

Adventures in Travel

There was a time and place when I hated the "class system" in travel, and "elite status." Those smarmy travelers always have the short lines. I didn't seem right--- that is, until I received Elite status. My card was waiting for me at my parents' house. My whole life has changed. Yesterday when I left Minneapolis for Norway, it took literally five minutes to make it from the curb to the gate. But allow me to digress.

Thursday evening I flew on Air Canada from San Francisco to Vancouver. I was staying in San Francisco at the Fairmont hotel-- likely the nicest hotel I have ever stayed. I took the shuttle to SFO-- along with a few other hotel patrons. We had the most interesting discussing a group of random strangers could have. My Air Canada flight was nice. I arrived late in Vancouver. Fortunately the car rental area was right at the airport--- no shuttle necessary. Alamo screwed up my reservation, so I ended up in a black Crown Victoria. Fortunately, they aren't used by Canadian law enforcement, otherwise I would have slowed traffic down wherever I drove. It literally looked like an unmarked car. I settled in to my hotel by midnight-- with a 10am meeting the next morning and a 2pm flight to Minneapolis. I checked google maps to ensure I would have enough time to make it from the meeting location to the airport. If the meeting ran long, it could mean trouble.

The meeting could not have gone better. It lasted less than an hour. I made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. I flew United and ended up sitting next to someone who was a higher up on the Olympic committee for Vancouver. We had a very interesting discussion. The flight had a connection in Denver--- a short connection that was miraculously at the neighboring gate. While waiting, my name was announced at the gate. I was offered a free upgrade to first class. I later noticed that they gave my original row in economy to an enormous man-- the entire row.

On a different note, I am only 11K miles away from Elite Gold. It would almost be worth it just to take a round trip to the middle of nowhere to pad my miles.

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