These guys! These AVgeek nuts. They flew out to Las Vegas to join me flying to Brussels for dinner. How uber cool is that? Gosh, I wish I could do it all again in 2020 (am I giving away too much from the get-go?)!
The investment in this little dinner was not cheap. I mean take a look at the price (granted – really cheap for a business class round trip to Europe but still) and the final cost was offset by the large chunk of Skymiles I earned as a Diamond. Plus I did have a bunch of vouchers I applied that lowered my price out of pocket even more but it was still not free. So was it worth it?
I started my adventure out of AZO or Kalamazoo because Delta has so jacked up prices at my home town SBN airport that it is worth driving a little bit further from home to get on a jet.
But along the way to meet-up with my “BRU Boys” I had a number of treats. I saw Delta gate agents really “Strive for Five” in an effort to reward loyalty. I got to again try the famed Delta burger at 32,000 feet.
I was “ambushed” by other frequent flyer friends who flew in from other states when we connected in ATL at the F Skyclub. They flew up to just say HI! I truly was floored – what a cool bunch.
I got to try out a KLM business class experience over the pond I had yet to enjoy. Not just that, I was pleasantly stunned just what a 30 minute business class flight could be like. Well, at least intrigued shall we say.
I did accomplish the “point” of the trip that is dinner in Brussels and enjoyed the brisk winters eves walk to the restaurant as well as the chance to burn up some leftover orphaned Uber Euro credits that were soon to expire anyway on the way back to our hotel.
I have dear friends who fly to Brussels every year so a chance to see the lounge they enjoy before they fly home was fun (not a Delta club btw).
I got not just one but two “last flights” on the classic old now dead 767 forward facing Delta One seats that I have flown oh so many times to visit family in Sweden. I will miss those cherished memories.
I also achieved my goal, later in the year than ever before, of re-qualifying for my Delta Diamond status. I also benefited from it in January and February on my trips to Hawaii in Delta One as well as my flights from my Norwegian Getaway cruise. Then COVID stopped everything for us all and pushed everything to 2021. But, had I not gone for my status to end the year I would not have this “push” to now look forward to when we can safely start flying again at some point in 2021 (we all hope anyway).
So was it worth it? Would I do it again?
In a heartbeat!
There were so many tiny moments with all in this group that makes me smile from ear to ear and now, during the pandemic, I treasure them more than ever! A “fun run” with other Avgeeks is uniquely memorable experience. True – it is more fun if you can spend a few days at the end point or even along the way – but sometimes you just have to enjoy the run itself and all that it can give you.
Was the price worth the perks? In a normal year I would without hesitation jump and say “you bet ya“! Now, with COVID, it is much harder to say yes without reservation. For example, in a normal year I would never EVER even consider cashing in a Delta Choice Benefit for a gift card to flip for spendable cash.
When I travel the adventure and the fun begins as soon as I get to the airport. I love all of it. I have status and TSA PreCheck and Global Entry to avoid the ugly parts of travel. But if the travel fun is all but trashed with masks, pre-wrapped food, VERY limited business class experience and nothing but hassles at the end points – what is THE point (disclaimer: I am all about masks ALL THE TIME time, but I would rather not when I travel).
I really really really hope that 2022 could again be the year that travel fun insanity once again returns as it once was. I would love to fly all over the planet on back to back runs strung out to span the month of January 2022 to earn my status for that year and the one to follow. I would love to be back in the game and have the fun we once had.
We shall see if what once comes again! – René
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