Stumbling upon this piece on abcnews.com about frequent flier programs during these hard times reminded me of just how frustrated I am with United Airlines. I know what you're thinking: " Voicing your frustration about an airlines? Hey that's what Twitter is for!?" The airline/airport bitch is a cliché, but here's why I don't fly United anymore -- in more than 140 characters.
I flew quite a lot from 2003-2007. Getting over my fear of flying was aided by the notion that I could treat it like a competition and earn points and by 2006 I was flying 100,000 + miles per year. These were work-related trips, so by the time 2007 rolled around and I was pregnant/new mother, the air travel ceased abruptly. Here's a breakdown of my United status (the status is earned the previous year):
2004 - Premier Executive 2005 - Premier Executive 2006 - 1k status 2007 - 1k status 2008 - Member!
"Member" is the ultimate blow. It's the airline equivalent of the points you get for getting your name right on the S.A.T. Collecting miles was my addiction and I went from being on the ultimate high to quitting cold turkey.
But that's the thing that frustrates/confuses me about United. With the loss of my 1k, they completely loss a customer. Not because I think it is unfair and am protesting, but because I have absolutely no incentive to fly with United anymore. I'm not going to work on next year's status because the experience of traveling to earn that status is just so damn poor. How hard is it for them to grant some sort of emeritus title for a year and see if I build it up again?
Considering that they now charge for baggage and water, my elitist rant about their loyalty program is the least of their problems. Besides, I'd rather fly coach on Virgin America than deal with United full-stop. And yay* for Virgin for finally launching their own loyalty program.
I’m an unabashed Norman Rockwell fan. My family had a couple books about Norman Rockwell in our home when I was growing up and I spent a good amount of time (probably more than the average kid in 1986 did) staring at Rockwell’s illustrations.
In my Ted Talk from 2006, I mentioned this fascination with Rockwell and how I viewed blogs as a sort of equivalent to his illustrations. Just as Norman Rockwell’s work is mocked for its sentimentality, commercial and pop culture appeal (and so not considered high art), blogs are often mocked for their mundaneness and far too personal touches. Especially when contrasted with pure journalism or published writings.
That’s why I was pretty excited to go and see Rockwell's America: Celebrating the Art of Norman Rockwell at Charlotte’s Discovery Place Museum. Even though it was created for children and their fun little imaginations, my parents and I (and Penelope) had way too much of a good time walking around within the recreations of 20th century living and Rockwell’s covers.