Taking advantage of elite status lines (tastefully)

TPG posted a video last week an answer to a question about someone asking whether it was appropriate to use elite status lines to skip the lines.  The answer was yes, but he did offer a few tips to do so tastefully.

However, there was  one point in particular that I identified with.  He mentioned people that start crowding the gate at the beginning of board, referring to them as gate lice.  That’s one thing that annoys me so much.  I am usually able to board with one of the earlier boarding groups, and I tend to stand back from the gate until my turn comes up.  However, half the time when I walk up, there’s tons of people standing all around the area, and I can never tell who is in line, or who is just being a “pest” by blocking the path well before they can board.  I suspect part of why people are so early to board is because of their carryon bags, which I believe the airlines are wrongly incentivizing people to bring on the plane).

An aside, I was reading about Spirit’s policy of baggage fees recently, and I learned that they do charge for carry-ons.  Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the link I was reading, but there was a lot of controversy over their newly announced $100. Crank Flier wrote about the media hubbub over Spirit’s $100 carry-on fee. Realistically it’s not $100 as long as you know to pay for your carry-on ahead of time (and there are multiple opportunities to do so, but if you decide to try and sneak your bag on, they slap you with a $100 fee (or I guess if you’re completely ignorant, though I supposed some people that don’t travel often will get caught up in this rule).  Anyway, the important thing is, someone does successfully charge for carry on bags, which as I outlined before in the past post linked above, should be what airlines are doing to properly incentivize customers to make the boarding process smoother.

Um, that was a long aside.  I was also going to share another random story about elite lines and boarding.  While boarding a flight leaving Las Vegas last year, there was a huge group of elites waiting to board a CO flight.  They had called elites to board with first class.  Some lady seemed flustered off to the side, and exclaimed, “There can’t possible be that many first class passengers,” and she got a reply of “elites!” from out 10 people in unison.  I think she was trying to figure out whether she should get in line (and was probably worried about her carry-on).