As I get off the plane at Kansai, there is a charming Japanese lady waiting for me. She guides me through the airport, facilitates the border control procedures, leads into a special security control corridor and thence to the super-duper lounge. She of course sees through me as a pretend VIP instantly.
I have had a lot of this kind of thing recently.
Diligent readers will remember that I was in Tokyo on Thursday. I travelled with my er supervisor. He has all kinds of VIP status, why he knows not. Anyway, I parasite off this and sit in VVIP lounges at airports. These are a bit like luxury jail cells: no windows and they don’t like you to move away from the exercise yard. He also gets very swish limos.
Beyond er supervisor influence, the reason that I am so well treated at airports is due to a falling out with United. After years of super incredible status, they demoted me to zero status without warning. This caused a deeply embarrassing incident at Haneda. I try to check in through the business line and am turned away. I go red faced and bluster that my Platinum status affords me that privilege. They gaze at me with the ” you sad f*ck” look in their eyes and say, “Economy check in is that way, er, sir.” The whole airport is laughing at me as I trail over to the 500 person line.
Anyway, through my usual incredible luck, I run into an United high priest a few months ago to whom I express my displeasure. He fixes everything and adds VIP reception when I fly United.
Why am I telling you this? Because for the next few days I will be in San Francisco, sleeping in a sleeping bag on an inflatable mattress on the floor of one of my sons’ bedrooms.
The contrast pleases me.