I’m airborne as I type having just boarded my Delta flight. When I arrived at the gate, the agent was soliciting volunteers. I haven’t had the opportunity to volunteer in years, and I had plenty of time, so I figured, what the heck? The offer was $300 Delta Dollars in exchange for my seat and transportation to my destination a mere 2 hours later. I went for it.

Boarding begins, and things are progressing. Very late in the boarding process the agent asks on the PA “Is MJ still in the boarding area?” I wave at him, and he says we’re probably gonna use your seat, just have a seat and we’ll call you up.” Of course, by this time, carry ons are being checked and they are paging up customers without seat assignments. A final boarding call comes….. “everyone except MJ please board.” They even found the #TeamBoardLast guy and made him board.

Finally, nearly everyone is on…..and things in the gate area are very quiet when I hear my name paged. I go forward and get the news…. “we’re gonna get you on.” One would hope that would be in my original seat, but no dice. At least I got an aisle seat in row 21, and not 39E. I can’t even be mad at the gate agent. He gave me two drink chits “for being so generous.” All jokes aside, I really like Delta’s people, both on the ground and in the air.

I made it all the way up to #7 on the list as a Platinum Medallion (75K level) on this pre-holiday Thursday. Given my record this year, that’s almost as miraculous as my 75 percent upgrade success rate on AA as a Gold (25K level). I once said in one of my many posts defending Delta that they absolutely could do enough to send me away. I was just waiting to see how the frequent flyer end game played out. I meant what I said, and I’m still not quite “there.” I just never imagined that looking at the back of one too many coach seats might turn into what sent me there.

-MJ, May 21, 2015