Random Musings - Red Carpet Club

In the last year I have flown an average of two trips (four to eight legs) per month and in the last two months I have flown six out of eight weeks. In fact I spend so much of my time in Denver International Airport, that I am seriously considering researching squatters’ rights in the state of Colorado because it is possible I own Terminal B.

My ‘prime property’ is located around gate B36. It has no seating save for a floor, but what makes it prime DIA real estate is that it has a power outlet and is located behind the United check-in kiosk. This plot is approximately 4x8, offers a fair amount of privacy, and the ability to charge both my laptop and cell phone. What it lacks is free food, the ability to use the restroom without packing up all my belongings, free wireless and most importantly... reciprocal privileges in other airports.

So I face a dilemma for my upcoming trip. First, I only fly into and out of DIA once. From there I will be in Frankfurt, in Paris, in Singapore and numerous other airports where I hold no squatters’ rights or trade secrets. I will be resigned to sitting in one of those tattered pleather, 18” wide, armrest-restricted, chairs reserved for those of us who travel in steerage. I will be left alone in foreign lands where I do not speak the language to fend for a spot in the McDonalds line, to use the public restrooms and perhaps worst of all, to pay $7.99 a pop for Internet connections so slow and unprotected that iTunes will not allow me to download the latest episode of Lost.

This is why for weeks now I have gone back and forth over joining the Red Carpet Club. In the coming months I will be in dozens of airports. I will doubtlessly experience delays and have many hours of time to reflect on the intricacies of mass transit and the effect of grade A jet fuel on our world. After a few moments of cost benefit analysis… $7.99 for WiFi + Quarter Pounder w/ Cheese Combo + self-loathing for eating a Quarter Ponder + Vanity Fair + US Weekly + Economist to balance out US Weekly, multiplied by 15 or so airports, divided by the $500 annual fee, equals a bargain, or at least a justifiable expense.

And so this past week on my way to Cincinnati, Ohio for a pre-trip visit with my family I enjoyed my first legitimate Red Capet Club experience. I kicked it off in Chicago O’hare. I took full advantage of the free Internet (deduct $7.99 from initiation fee). The cappuccino machine (2 lattes, deduct another $8), and had both breakfast, bagel with cream cheese and lunch cheese and crackers (let’s call that $10). Heck at this rate I may make money on this venture.

Comments

Heather's Garden said…
Good move, Rachel, it's hard to go back to the masses once you've enjoyed the Club. God forbid you ever fly private charter internationally, you'll never want to wait through customs and immigration again. It's ever so civilized when the customs agent comes out to your plane. I envy you the trip, but not those long flights in coach.
Anonymous said…
I love the Red Carpet, Crown Room or whatever!

Dad

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