Please wait there Sir, the Concierge would like to see you…..

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I am travelling from Rome today on United, via a rather complex routing. I noticed that my flight was slightly delayed from here, due to the inbound aircraft being late arriving, because in turn there was a mechanical problem in Houston yesterday!

T5 at FCO is a large single story secure shed some distance away from the main terminals and is used for airlines that require enhanced security – United, Delta, El-Al, American. After a ‘shorter than Paris’ questioning session I was advised to go to check-in, even though I had printed my boarding passes already.

The Alitalia (United seem to use them for ground services) employee gave me new passes, stamping on the lounge access instructions (which she then dried so the ink would not stain my shirt!). Just as I had left the desk she called me back.

– Please can you wait a few minutes the Concierge would like to see you.

– Of course, but if it’s about my flight I am sure I can make the connection still

– No Sir, I think it’s nice

Well there is no GlobalFirst out of FCO so its not an upgrade, so I wondered what it was. After a few minutes the Concierge arrived and said:

– We have been given this information about you.

Showing me a printout she said – ‘Congratulations you have been a MileagePlus member for 25 years this month’.

Goodness, could it be ?

I thanked her for taking the time to come down and it got me thinking about my first United flight, that I had been a member for just under half of my life, that United isn’t what it was, (but what is?), and I marvelled that United would know this and make the effort. I doubt I’ll be travelling when I get to 50 years (I’d be 78!), but it was nice to know that someone somewhere had decided to put in an application that tracked these things and then got their staff to say ‘Thank You’.

As I look back over the miles  (currently 3,480,548 miles with United), I wonder where all the time went.

There was no marching band, nor dancing girls of course; no instant upgrade to Global Services, but then, just for 5 minutes in a shed in Rome I felt the warm glow that I used to feel flying United. It’s going to be a good day!


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