Elite level members behaving badly – Part 1 – Concierge Key

AA plane

Many people will not have heard of the invitation-only elite level at American Airlines – Concierge Key. If you want to find out more you can read this Flyertalk.com thread – which contains one of their helpful Wiki’s explaining all. It is a bit like Global Services at United, but AA didn’t remove benefits from their Executive Platinum’s to create it, which UA did.

Yesterday I got to meet my first Concierge Key in person. It was less than a good advert for them.

‘Miss, MIss, MISs, MISS’ he shouted as the flight attendant passed’.

Thinking back I knew he was going to be trouble when he boarded, accompanied by the special Concierge Key rep. He arrived, clearly flustered, after a delay on his flight from Chicago. Connecting at LAX is usually pretty easy, and there are more than one flight a day to Honolulu, our final destination.  In fact he arrived about mid-way through boarding so there was no need for panic.

‘No, that won’t do, can we move this luggage around, I don’t want to have to go back to row 3 to get mine’. What?

The worst, I thought, was that he was a luggage space hog type passenger identified in my recent article on the eleven types of traveller. But, oh no, it was so much worse. (In the end a passenger offered to move his bag to accommodate the VIP’s bags.)

You can see how the airline made this monster. Some passengers enjoy when the airline goes a little bit out of their way for them as a passengers; others think that means that they can take the whole thing to a new level.

So, let’s examine the behaviours:

– ‘I don’t want my meal now’, when he was offered the tray, serve everyone else and then come back to me. Two minutes later – ‘Miss, miss, I want to eat NOW.’

– ‘Can you bring me the wine bottle so I can choose what I want to drink?’ These are $7 bottles of wine, let’s not get excited about vintages shall we!

– Waving his starter and salad dish about he shouts ‘Miss, take this away now. I need the room for my laptop’.

– Waving his glass at the flight attendant, in the face of the passenger next to him, the flight attendant asked whether he wanted another drink. ‘No, I just want you to take this away now’.

– ‘What red wines do you have?’ he asked having already been shown the bottles, and duly picked one.

During the whole flight he was rude, boorish and arrogant towards the flight crew.

Of course on de-planing he removed his bag from the overhead bin so forcefully that he hit me in the head. Had I not been on the phone arranging my ride I might have been minded to make a fuss. Perhaps I should have done, I doubt he would have realised why, as he displayed zero self awareness during our short time together.



  1. I always wonder when I see people like that on an airplane or train or bus… If you’re too good for public transportation why not get your own jet or car? Oh that’s right because you’re a pretender who will probably never make it to that level with this attitude.

  2. Seems to me like this guy was one of those kids that was never taught any manners and that other people exist in the world. You aren’t special my friend no matter what elite status you have. You are a human being like the rest of us, and when being served by someone you treat them with respect and wait your turn. Your time isn’t more valuable than mine and you don’t get to dictate how the world works.

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