Persnickety Mileage/Points People

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by newguy, May 30, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Lurker turned member here.

    First, let me say that I don't mean for this to be inflammatory; I'm a tyro, of course, and maybe my perception is just skewed. I really like "gaming" the system, getting free travel, going places you wouldn't otherwise be able to go, but I have this nagging feeling that there is a preponderance (at least relative to the general population) of mileage fanatics who are, well, a tad persnickety.

    Maybe it's just that I'm still young, and a hostel sounds like perfectly suitable accommodations. Of course, this isn't to say that I'm not fond of the luxe life--and most people would be lying if they said they didn't like perks, and a bit of sumptuous hedonism now and then. Still, I'd like to believe that I'm not overly entitled.

    I feel that in part I dislike an overly demanding attitude because, in the past, I worked--for a number of years--in the service industry, at a luxury inn and restaurant. So, yeah, I get the desire to have nice things, I get the need for service to be prompt, courteous, and exacting, but I don't get arbitrary demands. It's like the person who orders a steak medium rare, and it's cooked to perfection, and then he or she sends it back because, god knows why, they feel their culinary knowledge is a cut above (or maybe it's just their pretension).

    If I'm entirely off base here, please tell me, and I'll gladly shut up. But before I get too immersed in the "culture" of this frequent flyer game (because surely I'll still play the game), I'd like to know what your general perceptions are. Are these just a few decidedly demanding apples?

    Edit: I can't figure out how to fix the typo in the title.
     
  2. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    693
    Status Points:
    610
    I'm also young and think that living in a hostel is my idea of a fun time.

    With the miles bug, I can't book a trip without trying to figure out some way to get into the front of the airplane (or into a lounge). More often than not I end up drinking a beer in the terminal bar waiting to board with the rest of the kettles in the back of the plane. When I do sit up front I'm hugely appreciative of the extra service. To me the idea of anyone being overly demanding is a huge sin.

    However the miles game is all about rules. Rules for how to earn and keep status, for clearing ugs, for getting into lounges. Thus when the rules aren't followed I can understand how many people here would be upset --- that can include subpar service. Now, for you and I, the definition of subpar probably differs from someone who flies (paid) F/C a lot and has come to expect a certain level of service. But if they complained about something, I'm not sure I would accuse them of making "arbitrary demands." There is a line between reasonable and unreasonable, but I don't see it crossed very often here.

    There are plenty of the DYKWIA types on the boards... mostly described in amusing anecdotes witnessed by the posters here.

    p.s. welcome to MP!
     
    AmericanGirl and N965VJ like this.
  3. miloki
    Original Member

    miloki Silver Member

    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    87
    Status Points:
    260
    You lost me at tyro.
     
    travelinmike33 likes this.
  4. Take.me.away

    Take.me.away Active Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    46
    Status Points:
    95
    Welcome to the boards! I too am a lurked turned new member

    I think it is always good to be thankful, appreciative and treat others the way you would want to be treated if you were them. I think we would all have better days then :)
     
  5. canucklehead
    Original Member

    canucklehead Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,895
    Likes Received:
    22,059
    Status Points:
    11,070
    First, newguy, let me welcome you to Milepoint and hope you continue to experience the frequent traveler world.

    next, miloki, tyro=newbie

    When I first started to travel, hostels were great (and as you may have experienced, some greater than others!) As time went by and my disposable income grew, my tastes expanded and I grew to appreciate a nice bed, privacy, climate control. I liked the room with my own toilet not one that was down the hall, to the left, two steps down! :p I also discovered the joy of business and first class flying. As you said, who doesn't like the perks!

    For many, as you spend more money, your demands may increase. This is not to say the demands become outrageous, but they may be commensurate with the dollars spent. If I pay for an expensive steak, and ask for medium rare, I would like it brown on the outside, pink towards the middle and red in the center. If the slab of beef is still twitching or has the constituency of a charcoal, then it is worthy or a redo! Most things in-between are fine for me, but a friend of mine will send it back if its shade of pink/red is off! Generally, a good steakhouse will know what the are doing, but they still can make a mistake, so I do not think sending food back is an unreasonable event (FYI, i have never sent food back).

    As for expectations, I am fairly reasonable with my needs, and think most people are. I do not wait on the carpet for hours on end to board, I do not demand I get upgraded or point at others demanding to know why they get upgraded before me. I say hello, please and thank you to almost everyone I encounter. I treat others with respect and hope the offer me the same. I also hope that as a customer, I am accorded respect as an individual and as a frequent flyer. If not and it is a service issue, then I may speak up, and when I do that, I never scream or bellow like a banshee. One does not need to be constantly picky when they travel to maximize enjoyment (and in fact, the more angry you get, the less ideal the travel experience is), but with anything in life, you should also learn when to speak up for yourself and for every individual, that point is different.
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,233
    Likes Received:
    61,782
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I stay more in hostels now in my 30s than I did in my 20s. I fly more in business or first class now in my 30s than I did in my 20s. It is all about what you want to maximize in your travel experience. For me, paying less for the lodgings generally translates into more trips which is what I really enjoy.
     
  7. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    6,846
    Likes Received:
    12,715
    Status Points:
    11,770
    First, let me extend a warm welcome to MilePoint. I hope you enjoy your time here. :)

    Second, I'll just say that I've learned there are ridiculous people in any walk of life you'd ever look into. Somewhere in a convent in the Swiss alps, two nuns are talking about how "persnickety" Sister Mary Agnes is. There are ridiculous people on Star Wars fan forums, F1 Racing forums, and ... here on MilePoint. The mileage game, and life, is what you make of it. Some of us suck, but most of us don't.

    Life is about getting in where you fit in. And I can guarantee that you'll find some likeminded travelers on MilePoint that you'll "fit in" with.

    Again, welcome to MilePoint. :)
     
    AmericanGirl, ducster, N965VJ and 2 others like this.
  8. MrHalliday
    Original Member

    MrHalliday Silver Member

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    90
    Status Points:
    285
    me too...so it is my new word for today... :)

    tyro or tiro

    MEANING:
    noun: One who is beginning to learn something.
    ETYMOLOGY:
    From Latin tiro (young soldier, recruit). Earliest documented use: 1611.
    USAGE:

    "It seems as if the latest young tyro is in contact with his inner old fogey."
    Donald Clarke; Shadow Lands; The Irish Times (Dublin); Apr 22, 2011.

    "So what's a digital-media tyro like you doing at a fusty old-media company?"
    Interview: Jim Lanzone; Adweek (New York); May 2, 2011.
     
  9. lin821
    Original Member

    lin821 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,041
    Likes Received:
    8,475
    Status Points:
    7,010
    But you can have him at hello. :D;)

    ps. Sorry. Can't resist!
     
    AmericanGirl and N965VJ like this.
  10. N965VJ
    Original Member

    N965VJ Silver Member

    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    818
    Status Points:
    635
    You know, even when I was young I wouldn't consider staying in a hostel. Please give me my privacy, own bathroom, HVAC controls, etc. ;) That being said, I detest old hotels with postage stamp sized rooms that are "historic" (Parker House in BOS comes to mind). A Super 8 works for me a lot of times because I'm often in out of the way places. I don't need room upgrades, and I'm not much of a breakfast person. :cool:
     
  11. Thanks for all the feedback guys.

    I guess I just got a little put off when I had looked at some trip reports and seen things where someone was seemingly quite bothered by not getting a "pre-departure beverage", or myriad other little things.

    I couldn't tell whether I should take such descriptions as just the work of fastidious people (which the mile/points community is full of) or whether they were just annoyingly demanding--or even if their demands were legitimate, they felt unnecessary levels of annoyance.

    It's good to hear that, while of course there's some bad apples, the community in general is pretty relaxed, and not overly entitled. Thanks!
     
    AmericanGirl likes this.
  12. Million Mile Secrets

    Million Mile Secrets Silver Member

    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    413
    Status Points:
    460
    Ha! Ha!

    Well, I just wrote a 34 picture Trip Report on the Willard InterContinental in Washington, DC, and noted the following:

    To put things in perspective, this is not a big deal. Stuff happens, right.

    BUT, when the room costs $400 a night I do expect a little more attention and care.

    It's like going to McDonalds and seeing that the table-top has not been wiped down - it's not a big deal and you even expect it! But, an unwiped table at a Michelin-stared restaurant is unacceptable.

    You'll find a lot of detail oriented folks in the miles and points game, and I suspect that they are just pointing out inconsistencies. I hope, they're not genuinely irritated!
     
  13. I completely agree about the point that if you're paying such and such amount for such and such level of service, you should expect that. Arbitrary annoyance is quite another thing. And I'm glad to know it didn't throw you off, or make you irate.

    I guess, probably in part from working in the hospital industry, where occasionally people send back odd and highly arbitrary grievances, I have assumed that such fastidious recollections were because the person was generally annoyed. If indeed, as you suspect, such recollections are mere cataloging of inconsistencies and not angry indictments, then I understand much better.

    Thanks.
     
    Travelsavant likes this.
  14. diver90
    Original Member

    diver90 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,162
    Likes Received:
    3,250
    Status Points:
    1,970
    Nobody born after 1950 says "persnickety".
     
  15. BurBunny
    Original Member

    BurBunny Silver Member

    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    375
    Status Points:
    475
    Want to bet? I use that, and peachy keen and lots of other "retro" phrases my mother used while I was growing up.
     
    Travelsavant, kayet and diver90 like this.
  16. diver90
    Original Member

    diver90 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,162
    Likes Received:
    3,250
    Status Points:
    1,970
    Cool beans!!
     
  17. pokerhammy
    Original Member

    pokerhammy Silver Member

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    111
    Status Points:
    335
    It's all about expectations. Unfortunately, with so much information readily available at our fingertips, the more you know the higher the expectations become. Ignorance is bliss sometimes.
     
  18. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,586
    Likes Received:
    4,078
    Status Points:
    2,570
    I have only complained once to the management of any airline or hotel--but I am still young. In this case the FA accidentally soaked me with water while refilling a reservoir on a regional jet, and while accidents happen and are forgivable, my letter made the point that I was really upset about her poor judgment given that the flight had heavy turbulence and she was doing this after the pilot announced our descent (which would only make the turbulence worse... and made me wonder why she couldn't just wait until we were on the ground).

    So yeah, it's about expectations. Did I mind being spilled on? Yes. Was it worth complaining about? No. But I did mind that this could have easily been avoided. That was why I complained, and hopefully either rules were changed or the FA got a refresher in her training, because if you don't complain then things don't get fixed.
     
    MrHalliday likes this.
  19. PanAm
    Original Member

    PanAm Silver Member

    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    465
    Status Points:
    545
    Indeed. I imagine the fussy, DYKWIA types are no different in the rest of their lives as they are with travel and FF stuff. If any of them are also into, say, knitting, no doubt they rant and rave about their abysmal experience at the yarn store.

    Our daughter is a dancer, and on a competitive dance team. My wife belongs to a forum for "dance moms" (yeah it's as ridiculous as it sounds:rolleyes:). If you think FF forums have some poor attitudes, unrealistic expectations, and anger issues....you ain't seen nothin' compared to these mothers when they get worked up.
     
    MrHalliday likes this.
  20. So long as your were polite to the woman, despite her error, then in this case I do not feel that a complaint was arbitrary or gratuitous.

    I guess the silly kind of thing that "bothers" me is complaints about, for example, boarding procedure.

    I find the red carpet (or whatever other airlines have) so very, very inane. I can understand, say, if you're traveling in a first-class international cabin, and it's some super fancy thing (up high, away from the plebs!). It may be ludicrous to have a BMW or whatever pick you up in the first class terminal and drive you on the tarmac out to the special first-class cabin door--and please pardon me if I'm combining/confusing various perks of various airlines--but even if ludicrous, these details are at least somewhat commensurate with the ticket price, and truly distinguish the cabin as "elite".

    I personally don't really "get" priority boarding. To me, in a single-door loading scenario, it'd just make more sense to board from the back forward, regardless of status, cabin class, etc. But, let's accept that certain people really desire priority boarding. There are three types of people I imagine with such a desire:

    1) Business travelers (either full-fare or upgraded) who actually enhance their own productivity by not standing in a boarding line, getting in early, opening up their laptops and working (and I mean working.)
    2) Full-fare first/business class passengers who, while not benefiting in any serious way by the priority boarding procedure, demand that something differentiates them from the riffraff.
    3) Frequent flyers who have been upgraded and are either "persnickety" (p.s., to the above poster, I was nearly born at the end of the 80s--not quite the 40s) or feel that they should adopt the odd demands of they group described in (2).

    Now, the first groups' demands aren't really arbitrary. The other two, I just don't get. The benefit of boarding first is not even close to the extravagance of the international F experience described above. You're literally walking onto a plane... three minutes before other people... walk... on... to... a plane. And if that perk really matters to someone that much, then I really can't relate.

    All this aside (and I'd love to hear others opinions on this matter), if by some argument or another I could manage to find sense in this odd social status experiment, I cannot see how anyone can really argue (without tending towards absurdity) for the importance of the separate "red-carpet aisle" in any situation where there is only a single boarding lane, and a single employee scanning boarding documents. It's just ridiculous.
     
  21. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,586
    Likes Received:
    4,078
    Status Points:
    2,570
    I was certainly polite toward her while on the plane. Getting mad wouldn't have fixed the situation. But that didn't mean I thought everything was okay. I thought either she had broken some SOP and needed to be reminded of it, or that whatever SOP was in place ought to be re-evaluated.
     
    canucklehead likes this.
  22. FetePerfection
    Original Member

    FetePerfection Silver Member

    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    981
    Status Points:
    700
    They're just the DYKWIA types who are put off by everything. Welcome to MilePoint where we're just plain folk.
     
    Million Mile Secrets likes this.
  23. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    In addition, priority boarding matters for the following reasons:

    Making sure to get overhead in space for carry-on luggage

    Not standing in mob in hot or cold jetway

    Less likely to be standing in jetway or in line near children who might be misbehaving

    Having time for pre-departure beverage in FC

    Less important now, but boarding early gives you "Possession is 9/10ths of the law" rights to seat if there are duplicate seat assignments.

    Boarding early also makes it less likely that you must deal with someone else who has decided that they want your seat and has simply taken it.
     
  24. carsonheim
    Original Member

    carsonheim Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,712
    Likes Received:
    3,803
    Status Points:
    1,970
    For me, it's all about the standard and expectations that the service provider has established. Whether it's a $3 value meal or a $200 dinner, it should be delivered consistent with the brand experience the provider promises. Courtesy is expected by all service providers, regardless of $$$$. Bad service p!sses me off. If a hotel promises X, Y, and Z, but only delivers X and not the rest, it bugs me. If the hotel does NOT promise those things, I don't expect them. But again, I do expect them to treat me with courtesy and respect, just as I do in return
     
    Brit and Jaimito Cartero like this.
  25. I'm sorry, but none of these, to me, seem like major concerns. Is it really so bad to stand in line or to gate-check your luggage?

    Regardless, I really don't get the separate lane.
     

Share This Page