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All Is Fair In Love, But Not Frequent Flier Miles


After a break-up, no matter the reason, regrets often appear in your mind. Maybe you could’ve worked harder, maybe you should’ve paid closer attention to the signs that it really wasn’t working … and sometimes, despite moving on—a small realization can really piss you off, especially when you are a woman who lives to travel and travels to live.

At the top of the year, I participated in a bit of a personal romantic experiment aka I seriously dated someone. In the past I’ve been what friends have called “quick to cut” with folks, meaning after a month or so,  I’m over it. But with this guy, he literally came out of nowhere and his approach left me intrigued. So I took a chance, and gave him a chance without walking away at the first “warning sign” per the usual. In return I got a wonderful life lesson that all is fair in love, but not frequent flier miles.

A few months into dating, he asked me to accompany him on a trip. When it became apparent that I needed to take control of logistics, I went for it. Any frequent flyer (including Biggie) will tell you that there are rules to this shit—loyalty programs and mileage accrual is key and we don’t do just any seat. When it came time to purchase the plane tickets, we combined his credit card with my airline status and we were off.

After a serious overnight delay my intuition was in overdrive because you can tell a lot about a person by how they handle surprise travel drama. To smooth out the remainder of this adventure, I stated my displeasure and was automatically upgraded to first class for our return flight. Because he didn’t have status with the airline, his seat upgrade had to come from my frequent flier account’s upgrade credit bank. In the moment, it was all good. It was only three “stamps,” it tickled me to see his reaction to the first class treatment and I really needed a mimosa.

Fast forward a few months later, my intuition went from a whisper to a shout, funny business was discovered and I ended our relationship. In the weeks after, the mental choir of regrets began to quiet and I processed our exchange, patted myself on the back for a lesson learned, made travel plans and looked forward to business as usual. That is, until I dug deep into my mileage activity and realized that my openness during our trip earlier this year had taken more from me than I thought.

Simply—I want my upgrades back!

More than the countless hours of support, more than my trusty red thermos (!!!), more than the time I could’ve spent being awesome somewhere else, I want those upgrades back! They were earned through months of careful planning, consistent airline loyalty and some seriously meticulous flight plans. They are the equivalent of another first class seat, they are mine and I want them back.

Of course it’s completely unrealistic, slightly selfish and a bit silly, but in the fly girl frequent flyer world this is a lesson that I suppose had to learn. Listen to your intuition, go above and beyond only for those that are doing so for you, and when it comes to your upgrades—keep them reserved for best friends and husbands or wives. After all, they’ve earned the status in your life, with or without your miles.

Yes, I’m aware that this is a #FirstWorldProblem but it’s still a problem, right?

Last 5 posts by Shannon Washington