Hello, my name is Nick Nett and I am an airline status hoarder and will do anything to keep my statuses.
One of the consulting perks with Kalypso is called alternate travel. Most weeks, we are on the road Monday-Thursday; instead of flying home on Thursday night, alternate travel allows us to fly to a different destination for the weekend. For me, this is a huge perk as I love to travel. The flight cost is covered, hotels are purchased with points and I can normally manage a free rental car (via points). A perfect and cost-effective weekend getaway.
I don't live in an airline hub city, so I have several airline options. My strategy is to try and keep status on at least three airlines every year; this way, no matter where I am staffed, one of those airlines will get me there. But the larger objective is keeping the status. I must keep the status.
People think I am crazy when I tell them what I’ve done to keep my airline status at the appropriate level. Here are a few examples:
- The Texas Tour: I needed six segments to keep my American Airlines status. So, one Saturday morning, I got up, headed to the airport with my iPad and earphones and spent the day flying around Texas to get the segments.
- London Bridge: I was working on a project on the west coast and needed to keep my United Airlines status. I researched the furthest direct flights from LAX and London called my name. I left on a Thursday night and spent 11 hours on a flight to see whether or not the London Bridge had fallen down. I arrived Friday morning, worked from the hotel for the day, and then spent Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday morning touring London. I returned to LAX on Sunday afternoon.
- Finding Nemo: Over the course of my career, I’ve been on projects all over the country, which makes it easier to explore new regions. When I was staffed in Los Angeles, I realized there were several daily flights to Hawaii. In fact, the Hawaii flights were cheaper than my flights home to Texas. So I decided to spend a few weekends in Honolulu and Maui for some SCUBA diving.
My consulting career has had plenty of perks – and I’d say travel is one of my favorites. I enjoy eating my way through new cities, mingling with locals, and exploring the small treasures each new community has to offer. Getting upgraded to first class every once in a while doesn’t hurt either!