60 Seconds with IF Reader Lloyd Peterman

60 Seconds with IF Reader Lloyd Peterman

InsideFlyer
We’re looking at 25 years of programs. How did you first get started?
Lloyd Peterman
I’m not very good at it; I just always did my job, sat on an airplane seat and collected miles. I never really worried about where the points were going to go. I lost lots of points when Pan Am went under. I started flying around the world in 1962; I’m 63 years old now. My favorite airplane was United just like my dad’s favorite car was the Chevy. So I started out with United for domestic and Pan Am for international. United at that time had what they called the100,000-Mile Club. Once you got 100,000 miles, you got to go to the 100,000-Mile Club, which I thought was the biggest perk of all. If space was available, you got upgraded to first class. In 1980 someone got involved and decided to start charging for the rooms, and called it the Red Carpet Club later.

IF
So you had a plaque?
Lloyd
I’ve got that too. That was in-between — that was what they called the Executive Air service. If you went to one place five times you got the gold one, and if you went one time you got the bronze one. I’ve got the main plaque and four subs. They gave that up and went to sending you a picture of their airplanes and a gift at Christmas. One thing that pissed me off was when they decided to give Premier Executive to all the million-milers. But they only went back to where the programs started in 1981. So screw all the years of miles that you did before. I never had a problem with the reward program; they used to offer coupons for hotels and car rentals, which were good for a year. I had stacks of them; in fact, I still have several that I was never able to use because I was always flying. They were easy to transfer. All in all, I’ve never been unsatisfied with the programs, but because I got angry with them I’ve got about two million miles sitting in the account which don’t expire. Then I went to American in 1984. Never have I had a problem getting an award.

IF
With American, United or Pan Am?
Lloyd
Well, with Pan Am, I took my wife and daughter around the world in upper class and burned a lot of miles. When they went under I had about 500,000 miles in there. But I’ve never had a problem getting an award. I’m always giving my miles for family. You learn to be flexible.

IF
What do you think has been the biggest change over 25 years?
Lloyd
Dilution of the mile itself; less time to use the award; you never used to have the Saturday-night stay. But whenever I use an award I use first class, so a lot of those rules do not apply.

IF
Are you still actively collecting miles?
Lloyd
I’m semi-retired for the third time. Last year I was a great proponent of the world tickets. Last year I did 14 around-the-world tickets in the oneworld [alliance] program. I’m going to do what I need to do to maintain Executive Platinum. If I have to become a mileage runner, that’s what I’m going to do. Do you remember when United had the men-only flights? They had Chicago to Newark, men only. This would have been middle 1970s. Flights 212 and 213. I took it all the time. It was first class, you paid a $15 fee above first class and they gave you a bottle of booze that was worth about 25 dollars. It was a lot of fun, people were playing cards and smoking cigars and reading the Wall Street Journal.

IF
What overall grade would you give the programs?
Lloyd
I’ve never been disappointed.

IF
I bet you’ve become popular with your family?
Lloyd
Yes. A lot of usage is to see Grandma.
My United certificate is dated in 1964 and they discontinued the million-milers in 1974. The 100,000-Mile Club began in 1939.

IF
You’ve been flying near 50 years, and you’re still going.
Lloyd
I’m trying to!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *