Your neighbour has suddenly bought an impractical sports car to celebrate her big promotion at work, and a friend suddenly has a boat parked in his driveway. These are status symbols, designed to show off someone’s success. What about frequent flyer status symbols, is there such a thing?

Absolutely. Eagle eyed travellers can quite easily spot those who are above and below them on the totem pole. Whether it is the brand of headphones they’re wearing or something more subtle like the type of luggage they have, you can always tell who is winning at life!

How About The Rolls-Royce Of Baggage Tags?

Japanese craftsmanship and attention to detail is famous around the world. ANA has a Million Miler Program and people who attain the required number of miles receive hand crafted individual baggage tags.

These are created using the technique “Kaga-Maki-E” by Mr Isshu Tamura and can take more than a month to complete. Depending on the tag you earn, it will contain gold leaf, gold dust, platinum, mother of pearl or finely crushed great green turban shell.

You can earn the basic tag at 500,000 lifetime miles, and then there are ones at one, two, three and four million. These all feature the ANA corporate logo and ever since I first discovered them I’ve wanted one. These are the pinnacle of bag tags – I challenge you to find better!

The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

Road warriors are always saying they wouldn’t be able to live without their noise cancelling headphones, and to be fair those who buy them mainly for flight use are certain to be frequent travellers. These headphones block out the real cacaphony of noise that is present on modern airliners, letting a person fall into a mellow, pleasant, solitary state of mind.

Having the latest and greatest to show off to compare with fellow travellers is important to some people. When it comes to frequent flyer status symbols, having the best headphones money can buy is vital.

The Highest Airline Status. Or Better, Invitation Only Cards

You really haven’t made it as a frequent flyer until you manage to score an invitation only card. Some airlines give these out to their very best customers, those in control of large travel budgets, politicians and certain celebrities.

While a gold card is the pinnacle reached by flying, it is often the black card that denotes someone special. Having one of these and the associated bag tags tells all other frequent flyers (and airline staff, for that matter!) who is at the top of the heap.

Other Frequent Flyer Status Symbols

Other people may use their eagle eyes to find frequent flyer status symbols. Perhaps it’s a particular brand of luggage, such as Travelpro, Samsonite, Rimowa, or Briggs & Riley that grabs your attention.

Or, perhaps it is the person who is personally driven up to the plane, getting the full VIP service like Hillary Clinton did when flying British Airways from Dublin to London City. That kinda beats priority boarding, doesn’t it?

Overall Thoughts

There are a number of frequent flyer status symbols around, if you know what to look for. An airline lounge is a good place to spot these, as sometimes a person will be sporting many of them.

Looking at the list above, if I had to choose, I think I would probably go for the ANA tags. There’s something about them that really appeals to me. I don’t know if I would put one on a bag though, they seem a little too nice for that!

I’m interested to see whether you agree with my assessment or have some thoughts of your own on what are frequent flyer status symbols today. Thank you for reading and please leave your comments and questions below.

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Featured image via Singapore Airlines. Sony WH-1000XM3 image via Amazon.
ANA Million Miler images via ANA. Platinum Services car via Dublin Airport.