As I mentioned a couple of days ago I’m in Barcelona at the moment, and flew here “the long way.” My journey from Tampa to Barcelona routed me via Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. As usual, the flight between Las Vegas and Los Angeles was an interesting one, though taught me two important lessons:
a) Don’t judge a book by it’s cover
b) Don’t make a bet with someone that looks clueless
Let me explain. I boarded my flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, and as usual the crowd was an absolute disaster. As I Tweeted about, the lady sitting next to me was easily over 50, though wearing fishnet stockings and “stripper boots.” Sadly she was one of the more “normal” people in the cabin. The last two rows of first-class were taken up by an Australia family. One of the six kids was wearing a tiara and sash that read” BIRTHDAY PRINCESS” (I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve seen enough episodes of “Toddlers and Tiaras” to know those two terms).
As boarding finished up the lady seated next to me said “do you smell fertilizer?” I quickly responded with “sorry, it’s probably me, I’ve been flying for 24 hours.” Not amused, she pushed the call button and called over the flight attendant. “I smell fertilizer, I think someone boarded with it, could you look into this?” He also quickly responded with “all I smell is an MD-80.” I was laughing my rear off, though my seatmate obviously wasn’t.
Then we started talking about travel, and she started telling me about some great hotels. I still figured she was pretty clueless for whatever reason, and eventually, she stated a fact about a hotel, so I said “oh wow, I had no clue about that.” She sensed my doubt, so responded with “you wanna make a bet?” and I said “what do you have in mind?” She said “let’s bet 100,000 miles.” I asked her miles in which program, and she said “it’s your choice.” We settled on American Express points. As soon as we passed through 10,000 feet I turned on my laptop ready to collect my 100,000 Membership Rewards points, only to find out that she was in fact right.
So yes, friends, I lost 100,000 points on a travel-related bet. I think that’s the end of the road for me. I’ve lost my edge.
But the bigger surprise was that she was actually one of the most interesting people I’ve sat next to. She was the CEO of one of the most unique companies I’ve heard of, and she flies just about as much as I do (though actually pays for first and business class with cash).
So as much as it annoys me when people assume I don’t belong in first or business class because of my age or how I dress (what beef do people have with pajamas again?), subconsciously I find I still do the same thing to others. Time to force myself to stop doing that, and time for me to make the painful points transfer to her account…