I was reminded today about a friend of mine that has mentored me in the art of travel. Why today? Well, in short, sitting on a flight bound for DEN I found myself “working” the system before anyone was aware of what was going on. End result…bingo! I’ve watched my friend use his resources (Tripit, ua.com, 1K line etc.) to make sure if there is one seat available on a flight, after his current flight is delayed, he is the one who snags it. Crafty - yes. Resourceful - absolutely, Smart – without question. This short thread goes out to all of those who are “Mentors” of those of us still learning the ropes. Do you have someone who has mentored you in the perils and thrills of travel? Are you a mentor who has taken someone under your wing to “show them the ropes?” If so, lets sound off! I think its an under appreciated group who weathers the battle field we call travel and yet squeeze every benefit we can out of a somewhat stingy industry. I’ll go first: So I’m on a flight today (Mother’s Day no less) out of ORD bound for DEN. Sitting on the aircraft in my desired window seat I see that the clock is ticking, the bags are loaded and we’re….you guessed it….still sitting. So I pull out my trusty iPad (thanks Sensei) loaded with the ever handy, Tripit. Pull up the flight and, yep, delayed. So I start researching flights under the “Available Flights” tab to scope out my next chariot to DEN. Within 5min the captain comes on and tells us we have a maintenance delay due to a brake problem. I’m assuming we need those. It’s 10:15am (30min past orig departure), the next flight is at 11am right next to us. So, I pick up my trusty cell phone, dial up the Premier line and bingo, put myself on standby for one of 3 seats left. 10 more minutes go by and the captain comes on again and tells us that at minimum we are 20 min from departure, if at all. I flag down the FA, ask if I can de-board the plane (no checked bags, thanks Sensei) and off I go. I de-board, walk across the terminal from B18 to B19, check in, get my F class ticket thank you very much (I was in E+ on my last), and off I go to DEN at 11am. There is no amount of thanks that I can offer for the endless lessons I’ve learned from my Sensei. As I sit right now in the RCC at DIA the rest of my previous travel cohorts are still sitting at ORD waiting for their, once again, delayed 2pm to DEN. So thankful for those that go before us and show us the ropes. OH…and by the way…somewhere over Nebraska I moved from Premier to Premier Exec. Boooyaa!!