Just when I think I’m in …
… they pull me back out.
Rand and I are down in California, visiting my crazy family and trying to relax. We got upgraded on our flight down, which certainly helped, but our experiences at the Alaska Board Room left me, well … ick.
Apparently, Alaska Airlines charges an annual membership fee to use any of their board rooms along the west coast. It costs $375 to join, plus another $150 if you want your spouse to join. And, get this: even if you have gold status, which my hubby has, you can’t access the board room. Not even with a first-class ticket (which, in this case, we had).
I have to admit, this kind of amazed me. It seems so … elitist. And I realize the hypocrisy in that, the fact that I’m upset that my husband’s “elite” status on an airline still keeps us out of their board room. I suppose there’s some sort of deeper root to all of it – something about not being good enough to be let in. Maybe it’s my upper-lower-middle class upbringing that comes in to play here and makes me get a bit defensive (an in-law once described me as having grown up “on the wrong side of the tracks” – which, I guess, is how some people describe Ballard). But more than a chip on my shoulder, I just wanted my husband to have an internet connection and a cup of tea for his sore throat. Considering how much damn money he spends with Alaska, I kind of figured he was entitled to it.
Ah, but there’s that word: entitled. That’s a dangerous thing. No one’s entitled to anything, really, except that bit about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Everything else – coffee, internet connections, a modicum of manners – is a bonus. I need to remember that.
Especially after the reaction of the woman at the front desk of the Alaska Board Room. After we walked in, she snidely told us that we couldn’t enter with our tickets.
“Sorry – your tickets have been upgraded. You can only get in if you paid full-price for your first class ticket. But,” she said, giving us a pitying, saccharin smile, “thanks for asking.”
And I realized, we hadn’t asked her anything at all.
We walked back out, got a bite to eat, and sat down in the food court for a while before heading to our gate. And, as we boarded the plane before everyone else, it got me to thinking, again, about entitlement, and about all the times I passed the folks in the first class, and now I was one.
And you know what I realized?
This whole “class” thing? It’s all just a bunch of b.s. One day the masses will revolt: the coach passengers will take over first class, demanding free alcoholic drinks and real silverware. People will board and sit wherever they please. And on that day, dear friends? I’ll be sitting in the Alaska Board Room. Mark your calendars.
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