We are now welcoming guests . . .
Sitting in my own flight’s holding pen, I hear loud loudspeaker announcements without end, amen, from Another Airline. They seem to have several flights departing from adjacent gates within a few minutes of each other. Thus do their standard boarding announcements gradually repeat themselves into my consciousness.
I frown thoughtfully. Over many years of association, my airline has given no sign that it considers me to be a welcome guest. A nuisance, perhaps? A necessary evil? While I consider my category, the standard announcements continue.
. . . with Elite, Platinum, Executive, Pre-eminent,
Tier 1, Select, or Peerless status . . .
My thought that Another Airline might be fundamentally different — more egalitarian, perhaps — evaporates with the recitation of privileged statuses. Perhaps my memory exaggerates. Perhaps not. But the more pertinent point is, I think, this: Why do all airlines consider early boarding a perk, rather than a punishment? Wouldn’t it be more desirable to have time and space saved for us to board at the last minute?
But we’ve only just begun with points to consider.
or with gold credit cards in good standing;
or with any level of our very own airline credit card
available immediately from the friendly gate staff;
Good grief. Did I hear that aright?
or who gave us a good review on their last customer survey;
Huh? Maybe I am hearing things. I give my head a shake.
or who’ve flown with us in the last fortnight;
Now just a minute. This is getting ridiculous.
or who can define “fortnight.”
Well, OK. Finally. Pick me. It’s good to know that I could board early if I were flying the friendly skies. And yet, at this rate, everyone will board early. Is that even possible? I guess they don’t think so . . .
We ask all others —
anyone pathetic enough
not to fall into one of the aforementioned categories —
to sit down and shut up.
I mean, please wait to be welcomed aboard.
Now it’s just barely possible that I misheard, misremembered, or misimagined these boarding announcements. But I contend that I got the gist.