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.