Would You Rather Be Referred To As “Loyal” or “Elite”?

Dogs are loyal. Spouses and employees are expected to be loyal. Loyalty is rather easy to achieve insomuch as it is completely within your control and anyone can do it.

But to be elite takes something special. Professional athletes are elite. The top 1% of the wealthiest individuals in the world are elite.

Not everyone can be elite.

If you hold “status” with an airline or hotel program though, well then they put you into that “elite” category.

Admit it, it feels good to be called elite doesn’t it? But over on the V-Flyer forums, some are wondering if terms like “status” and “elite” are being used to manipulate us.

The fact that airlines have called it “status” is very clever, it makes many feel valued far more than the cold reality of the thing … what is this really worth? So what if I have to spend 15 minutes longer checking in, so what if I don’t get to sit in a lounge – in the grand scheeme of things, airports are not a place you would choose to spend time … I am seriously considering just forgetting all this airline loyalty stuff … This will give me freedom to try other airline products, to take the best routing, to mix and match airlines and take my self-imposed pressure off to maintain my “status” ~Concorde RIP

Status is a word which helps to manipulate us ! When I first lost Silver Status with VS I felt really let down. Then suddenly, as I started looking at other airlines and different routes, I realised I had been liberated and it was all rather exciting again. ~hiljil

This discussion is rare in that the topic is at once philosophical and practical.

And it does make you wonder; if an airline or hotel labeled its tiers “Base Loyalty”, “Mid Loyalty”, “Strong Loyalty” or even “Loyal Silver”, “Loyal Gold”, “Loyal Platinum” – would our perception of the programs be radically different? And how might our participation be affected?

Read the thread in its entirety: Status – what’s all that really about?

Ten toes over the line …. Elite Status!” by Larry Johnson. CC BY 2.0.


  1. Loyal.
    I’m not elite because I spend hours of my life that I can never get back sitting in a metal tube at altitude getting increased radiation exposure. The term has always annoyed me a little.

  2. somehow the old line “you can call me anything as long as you don’t forget to call me for dinner” comes to mind when reading this.

  3. Ah, but @WhiteDesert doesn’t that depend on which part of the metal tube you are sitting in and how you are being treated? If you are sitting near the front, those in the back would probably refer to you as elite – though they might do so with a snide tone in their voice.

  4. @mike I tend to agree – short of calling me “Platinum Turd” I wouldn’t really care as long as they are giving me some decent benefits.

  5. HaHa–Yeah, they likely do. Last year I sat in the front ~88% of the time I was in one of those tubes. And I do notice the looks as First Class boards.

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