60 Seconds with Alaska's "West Mostest" Flyer-Greg Yob

60 Seconds with Alaska's "West Mostest" Flyer-Greg Yob

Some frequent flyer programs really know how to reward their most loyal customers. For this issue of InsideFlyer, we checked in with Greg Yob, resident of Gig Harbor, Wash., and proud owner of a brand new Pontiac Solstice and a couple of first class tickets to Maui after being declared Alaska Airlines’ “West Mostest Flyer.” Yob logged nearly 100 flights up and down the West Coast during the past year on Alaska Airlines to earn the title.

InsideFlyer
What do you do for a living that requires you to fly so much?
Greg Yob
I live in Gig Harbor, but my business is in San Francisco, so I fly down to take care of business for a couple days a week. You know, to be there personally.

IF
How did you feel when you received the new car and the vacation?
Yob
It felt like a game show; I haven’t been so surprised in years. It was very cool. I was actually in first class, so I was the first guy out of the plane and was greeted by cameras and my family and the representative from Alaska holding a sign that said “West Mostest Flyer.” I thought the only thing I was getting was a free trip to Maui, but then I looked down at the tarmac and a car was sitting there with a cover over it just below the plane. Then a guy pulled the cover off and it had my name on it! I think they really enjoyed rewarding me.

IF
Have you used the tickets to Maui yet?
Yob
We’re going to go to Maui at the end of July. They gave us four nights and we’re going to extend it another four because I haven’t been away from the West Coast for so long.

IF
We read you use your award flights to supplement your business travel budget. Do you ever use your miles for trips other than West Coast flights or non-flight awards?
Yob
I don’t think so, haha. My wife will go with me on business sometimes, so we’ll go to the coast, Monterey, San Diego or San Francisco, but I haven’t taken a long vacation away from the West Coast in a while. I think that’s part of the reason they gave me the free trip to Maui.

IF
How’s the car? Do you drive it to the airport?
Yob
It’s great! I didn’t even know what a Pontiac Solstice was before I was given one. Haha. It’s really nice though. I drive it all over, including the airport.

IF
What is it like being an Alaskan Airlines MVP Gold member?
Yob
Nice, it really is. I don’t think I could have done this so long without that. I get to go right to the front of the security line, which is huge; it saves me tons of time. I probably get upgraded to first class just about every time I fly, which is also huge. I also get 150 percent of my actual miles flown, which helps me get my award tickets a lot quicker. Plus, I get to board first, even if I don’t get a first class ticket!

IF
How has Alaska’s program changed over the 18 years that you’ve been a member with them?
Yob
In all fairness, just some cost cutting, like everyone else. When I first started flying with them, I think Alaska was noted for their full omelets in the morning. In fact, I remember one time there was a chef who walked around to each person and asked them what they wanted on their omelet! But that was way back. I don’t really blame them for cutting back on extra perks like this to stay competitive with the other airlines. I’m in business myself and a cheaper ticket is just as important. But they haven’t shied away from trying to make you comfortable and having a good attitude 95 percent of the time.

IF
Do you have any advice for other frequent flyers? How can they maximize their miles and get the most out of them?
Yob
Gosh, I don’t know, I guess just staying with the same airline. I don’t know any tricks or anything, but staying with Alaska has really benefited me. Without the perks of my elite membership, I know I wouldn’t be able to have done this for so long.

IF
What is your favorite part about flying with Alaska?
Yob
All the perks of the Gold membership. Flying as much as I do can really wear on you, so having my elite membership has made all the difference. I also appreciate the personal attention that I get from everyone who works there.

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