After ten years I lost platinum status with Qantas. I fell about 8% short of the status credit target so find myself in the unexpected position of carrying a gold rather than platinum frequent flyer card on my many travels. Time away from the black card has allowed me to reflect on what I am missing and the value of platinum membership. I have decided that losing platinum status is like breaking up with a gorgeous but temperamental eastern European super model. They looked beautiful, your friends were impressed and the promise for excitement was high. But in reality you were treated really badly, the private times never matched the public promise and all that sticks in your mind long after the relationship is over is how often you fought over the stupid things they did but refused to apologize for. So how is losing Qantas FF platinum like breaking up with Ivanka - let me tell you.
I try to remember the fond times but there are too many painful memories. Like Ivanka refusing to take me to the coolest nightclubs in case we are spotted by friends, QANTAS revoked my anytime lounge access via an email promising enhancements to the program. Somehow for QANTAS the word enhancement does not mean improvement.
Like Ivanka refusing to do anything around the house "not with these hands" she would cry - there was the look that a long-haul QANTAS staff member would give you if you pressed the call button and asked for a glass of water during what they had clearly designated as "nap time". That is anytime between two hours after take off and two hours before landing.
Like Ivanka looked good around technology and always had the latest high-end gadgets and gizmos but never knew how to use them - there was the two year stint where QF was claiming to have the best in the air video on demand system despite the fact that SQ, CX and many more clearly had better system. Critically I had two years of flights where the Qantas entertainment system crashed every single time.
Like the time Ivanka told me "it was simply impossible (darling)" for her to be able to change her plans to meet my sick mother but then miraculously found a way when she discovered that my mother was drafting her will - there was the time QF told me that there was nothing they could do to get me on a flight. "The system simply won't let me". Only to change their mind and miraculously find a way 1 minute later when told by a colleague you'd better get them out a storm is coming (story here).
But there is an Ivanka moment I will never forget and always be grateful for. Like when she drove through the rain for two hours to pick me up at the side of the road with a flat tire - there was the time I had to get out of Bangkok but there were simply no seats on the QANTAS flight. I went to the airport 2 hours early and sat and waited. With 30 minutes to go before departure there were 40 people queued up trying to get on this flight. From the far right hand corner of the airport the chief check-in agent waved to his colleague staffing the front of the queue and held up two fingers indicating how many seats there were. Without blinking or pausing the agent then pointed to me and one other passenger - granting us the magic tickets home. Sure I had to downgrade to a middle seat economy. But 38 other people went back to there hotel rooms and cried.
So farewell Qantas Platinum/Ivanka. In my dark moments I miss you and wish I was still part of the in-crowd that gravitated around you. But without you my life has less missed expectations and fights on the side of the curb....my friends say I am better off.