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I’ve been with United Airlines for 10 years now. Yesterday I logged my 971,105th mile. And those are miles sitting in a damn seat on United. Paid trips. Not buying stuff at the mall. Nine hundred seventy one thousand one hundred and five miles.

Each year you have to re-qualify for your “status.” I get that. Last year I fell short of the 100K status I’ve enjoyed. BUT, once I hit one million miles (very soon) I will have lifetime status. Never have to re-qualify.

I have goals. I will log my 1 millionth mile with them.

Life in the Premier line isn’t bad. I still get to board the plane before most of the passengers, enjoy the express security lane and they consider all of my miles (lifetime) when I am on the wait list for a first class upgrade.

What I miss the most – the private number for 100K passengers. Even though I still know the number (have it memorized) the computer asks “To make sure we direct your call to the right place, please enter, or speak your mileage plus number…” And so off to India I go.

I was just told that to change a flight (which, btw, I tried to do online but it said I had to call) they had to call the service desk to manually recalculate the price. It would be about 10-15 minutes to do that – did I want to hold?

Yes. I will hold. I really need to change this flight. And so I listen to the Gershwin tune – over and over and over again…..on speaker phone….cutting in and out as I type furiously.…giving me hope that some United employee with a calculator will tell me how much more money I have to give them to fly in a middle seat on their lousy airline.

It’s hard to describe my frustration. And I thought writing this post would help, but I realize it’s really not. Only adding to it.

Because you see – no one at United cares. Even if I complain to the person who eventually will answer my call. Nothing will change. Sure, I could boycott them – that’ll show them.

On average I spend $45,000 on airline tickets per year. So you could say I’m coming up on a cool half million to fly one million miles with United. You’d think someone in their accounting department is doing the math.

Oh, and I just heard the breaking news – Tiger Woods is going to apologize for his behavior. Wow. That’s a relief. The world is right again……..

I think a lot of people hate the iPad because of what it represents. A dramatic shift in how we view the world. It’s not that we love the world we’re in as much as we simply hate change.

I’m getting ready to lead a group of credit union executives through a day of strategic thinking. Looking ahead to 2020 and visualizing the world. I’m not trying to get them to predict the future – I’ll leave that up to economists,¬†astrologers and Oprah– but rather coax them into thinking like Steve Jobs and creating their future.

I googled “future of banking” and this popped up on the first page. B of A’s failure beta blog. Think about it.

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February 2010