Traveling Salesman

I have a travel pet peeve.

(OK, I travel frequently enough to have many travel pet peeves – but I’m sharing this one today.)

I really detest it when the flight attendants make their sales pitch on the airline’s mileage plan credit card. It annoys me on many levels.

If it were a telemarketer calling me with the same spiel, I’d hang up immediately. I don’t have that option when I’m on the plane, I’m a member of a captive audience, and hearing is the one sense you can’t turn off.

I already paid a pretty penny to be a member of that captive audience, and I shouldn’t be subject to intrusive advertising while I’m picking through my .75 oz of pretzels, crouched in my tiny, uncomfortable seat with the guy in front of me reclined into my lap. It’d be different if I received a discount for being willing to be bombarded with ads, because I didn’t. I wouldn’t take that option!

I especially hate it when it’s a night flight and they wake the whole plane up early to make their sales pitch. Yeah, I’m sure that’s real effective.

The airline needs to consider their demographic. I’d guess that 99% of those flying booked their ticket using a credit card; having access to credit is an entry criteria for air travel. In my case, I’m a frequent flyer. I have to listen to their sales garbage on a really frequent basis. I clamp down on a strong desire to trip them when they come down the aisle – twice this time – waving credit card applications around like they’re major league baseball tickets.

The Alaska Airlines marketing pitch is currently quite misleading, with a hard sell on the “receive 20,000 mileage points, enough for a free ticket anywhere Alaska airlines flies!” Those who read industry news know that AK Air is raising their mileage ticket award threshold to 25,000 points later this fall, so the whole hard sell seems slimy to me.

You know, I already have one of their freaking credit cards. The flight attendants even addressed the existing cardholder issue this time around, with “You can get the mileage bonus if you apply for a business card in addition to your personal card.”

Let me get right on that. What the U.S. economy surely needs now, in this recession, is more access to credit and more people spending themselves into debt.

8 Responses to “Traveling Salesman”

  1. mattw Says:

    I haven’t encountered that particular sales pitch when flying yet, but damn that sounds annoying. I guess that would be the time to crank up the ipod and stare off into space. I still think the Ninja Airlines is the way to go (via BoingBoing). A ninja comes and knocks you out with a dart, then you wake up in your hotel room having received the antedote with all your clothes put away. No muss no fuss.

  2. Beast Mom Says:

    I came to see if you blogged about AK’s governor. Curious what you think about McCain’s pick…


  3. Jeri Says:

    BM – I emailed you – I’ll have time to blog my thoughts more intelligently later this weekend.

  4. John the Scientist Says:

    Wow, I have not sen this one either. Must be an AK Air thing. Doing that on the international flights I travel on would get the staff killed – 14 hours of jet lag means you need all the sleep you can get.

  5. MWT Says:

    I’ve seen it. On Delta, I believe it was, while I was flying back from Hawaii in May.

  6. Becca Says:

    They do it on United, too. If I want your product, I know how to go about getting it. Thank you very much.

    I too, would like to know what you think about the choice of Gov. Palin.


  7. Jeri Says:

    Becca – I’ll email my brief thoughts to you as well, and write a more detailed and thoughtful post tomorrow. Today, of all days, my ‘puter is undergoing a hard drive upgrade. I’m using the hub’s ancient slow PC to respond to comments.

  8. Beast Mom Says:

    Thanks for the info, Jeri. I really appreciated the email.

    Have a great holiday weekend!