All good things come to an end, but good things end sooner when they are abused. For example suing an airline for not giving you $50 tickets to Europe. Good lawd! Get over yourself.
What I don’t understand is if the hobby attracts entitled pricks, or if it creates them. I personally say that I tend to have more feelings of entitlement now than before, and when I feel them I try to beat them off with a stick.
I walked into a beautiful room in a 5 start hotel where I’m not paying a dime and thought, “why no upgrade?”.
But here’s the deal. You are entitled to the same thing every other human being is entitled to. We are all blessed with a life and opportunity to pay for overpriced airline tickets, and the hotel class of our choosing and budget.
But a few of us in life have been extra blessed with an introduction and a knowledge of the frequent flyer hobby. We sometimes get away with really cheap tickets, we smart our way into great redemptions, and are gifted with upgrades to suites.
You are not entitled to any of these things. The second you get this switched… how can I put this nicely.
Do you have anyone in your life who is really self-entitled and gets upset when they don’t get what they want? Ask yourself how much you enjoy being around that person.
Then ask yourself what kind of characteristics you want to cultivate in yourself. Do you want to be the kind of person that feels entitled to things others aren’t? Do you want to be the kind of person that complains a lot until they get what they want?
Do you want to be the kind of person who is grateful to get any room in a hotel, or do you want to be the kind of person who complains if their suite isn’t just right?
The United Mistake Fare
In regards to the United fare; big surprise! It involved manipulation of a site, and breaking a fare’s rules. No one should have to honor such a ticket. Also, the DOT has ruled in the past that a ticket not originating in the US doesn’t fall into the same jurisdiction.
There’s no legal ground. But I think we all know the real issue, “but I want it!”.
And, it was a genuine error. Do you know what happens to a business who has a genuine error outside of the DOT? They don’t have to honor it!
The future of mistake fares
But it’s complicated with airlines because they sometimes really do have really good sales to get press. Air Asia gave away free seats on flights, but it was very limited and under certain conditions. It happens. So it’s not always clear what’s an error and what isn’t.
But what I see happening here is the DOT getting flooded with this issue (that shouldn’t really be an issue as it was clearly an error), and ultimately I see them changing the rules.
What I don’t get is that the people dogmatic about airlines and hotels honoring the rules, are the same people saying “don’t call the airline”. Now they’re the ones calling the DOT.
Good. If I’m the losing team of an ethical argument, may we lose.
Am I disappointed when my mistake fare gets canceled?
Yes, often. Do I complain? Never. Not that it makes a difference to the ethical arguments, but I have been in the position many times. In fact, I recently found out that a mistake fare wasn’t going to be honored at check in.
Apparently the Hilton wasn’t going to give me the presidential suite for $20 a night. Bummer. I didn’t complain, threaten to complain or sue, argue or anything. It’s easy to be disappointed, but it’s hard to feel entitled to the presidential suite that goes for thousands of dollars a nights for the price of a hostel. I don’t deserve and if they did give me the room I would be nothing but grateful and lucky.
Who cares? I believe in doing the right thing. Sometimes the business does wrong and sometimes the consumer does. It’s not black and white to me, just like anything.
Nailing a hotel for not giving a welcome gift in order to get $200 cash would be an absolute douche move in any other situation. If your friend said he was going to do something and he forgot, you don’t sue him. But if a business honestly forgets something it’s “holding them accountable”.
Hmm, I can’t help but notice the accountability always goes in favor of getting what you want…
Either way, the big issue for me is character. Even if you are entitled to it… it’s not nice.
Be nice. Why is that so hard? Why doesn’t that apply to miles and points hobbyists?
I’ve decided to start practicing gratefulness. This sounds like some hippy dippy crap, but I’m serious.
When I walk into a nice hotel room, I remember that it’s a nice hotel and I didn’t pay for it. When things are extra nice I try to verbalize and dwell on my gratitude. We got a suite at the Radisson Blu Vienna that was really nice, so I told the staff. Similarly, we got a standard room at the InterContinental Vienna, and it too was great, and I dwelled on how lucky we are.
We didn’t pay a thing… like actually, we paid $0 and 0 points due to IHG’s BRG. How many people are in the hotel? Hundreds. And think of the average nightly cost for these people. And here I am in a 5 star hotel in Vienna for free.
I don’t deserve in any way the lifestyle we have. We are lucky and forgetting that would be… well, not the kind of person I want to be.
Hopefully, I’ll be better and better at remembering that. Please join me in that.