My old boss used to sneak us “Comp Days” under the table. We didn’t used to get overtime to fly, so if we flew on a Sunday, or worked a Friday and flew home Saturday, she would give us a comp day. Comp days were cool; they were essentially a day off that only you and your boss knew about. She kept a spreadsheet (privately) so she knew how many we’d each earned. We all knew they came with some rules though, like you can’t accumulate more than 5 of them without using them, you had to use them one day at a time (you couldn’t take a week of comp time, for example), you could never EVER let corporate know that you were taking a “comp day off,” and if you quit or left the company you certainly couldn’t expect to get paid for them. Vacation days were different. You earned them at the corporate level by planting your butt in your office and working for so many months or years to earn them. You could use them however you wished, though, they were “official!” We all traveled so much, we had ridiculous amounts of comp time and oh, how we wished we could have had those as official vacation days!
Every frequent flier knows there’s a huge difference between elite qualifying miles and standard frequent flier miles. Your average frequent flier mile is easy to obtain. You can earn them with credit card purchases, by signing up for various promotional programs, etc. Elite qualifying miles are harder to come by. Your butt actually has to be in a seat while your airplane wings through the air for the exact number of miles it takes to get to your destination. To obtain various levels of status with your airline, it’s the elite qualifying miles they want if they’re going to award you the level of status you crave. In other words, your butt has to fly through 25,000 miles of airspace before you get silver, 50,000 to get Gold, etc.
Flying 75,000 (or more) miles in one calendar year is tougher than it looks. It’s almost impossible if you don’t fly internationally. Still, sometimes you get lucky. One year, I went to
Wrong! Delta has answered! Now, “Diamond” level comes after platinum, AND, any elite qualifying miles that you earn after your top-most level get rolled over to next year’s total! That’s huge! Now, you have personal motivation (on top of corporate motivation) to fly through the holidays! You also have motivation to discover exactly what benefits lie in wait for those flight warriors who obtain Diamond status! Perhaps they’ll be allowed to actually fly the plane? Rumors are rampant as Delta is still sorting out the benefits and perks that Diamond and Platinum fliers will receive, but one thing is for sure… it will be easier to get there now that you can roll your elite miles over!
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please send an email! Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in his Ask the Expert podcast show.