Sunday, March 08, 2009

All good things must end

I've known this day was coming for some time, but that doesn't make it any easier:

As of the end of February, I no longer have Senator status on Lufthansa.

Back in my globe-trotting days, I got spoiled by the extra benefits that came along with this status: shorter check-in lines (usually), priority luggage arrival at baggage claim (at least in theory), and most importantly, access to the lounge even if I wasn't flying business class. As someone who loves to travel but doesn't like to fly, having a little calm before the flight was always a big plus. (The exception being Frankfurt, where the lounges are just as crowded and unpleasant as the rest of the airport--but once Lufthansa bought Swiss, I could use Zurich Airport instead, which is infinitely nicer.) So, for example, when I flew to Mexico City a couple of times last year, I could still use the lounge even though I was flying coach. A big plus, especially when a few days in Mexico have you feeling exhausted and not feeling well.

Lufthansa is fairly generous in that you keep your status for quite a while. In my case, I last reached Senator status in 2006, and since they sent my card in early 2007, I was somehow allowed to keep my status through February 2009.

Alas, now it's back to hanging out in the terminal with the hoi polloi! I'll just need to use my iPod to tune out the world and create my own virtual lounge amidst the chaos...

(And just for the record, no, I don't expect any sympathy.)