If everything goes to plan, this should be my last trip this year.
We were still standing at the gate. Most passengers were on board. I had settled down in my window seat with my laptop in my lap shooting off some last minute emails. Thru the corner of my eye, I could see two more passengers walking down the aisle.
“Mr. Roy?”, I heard somebody ask.
I looked up. It was those two passengers. Except they were not passengers. They seemed like security folks. White shirt, all sorts of badges, formal headcaps etc. etc.
“Uh! Oh! What now?,” I muttered to myself. Got a bit worried.
“Yes, sir!” I replied.
Too many things happened. First, in my mind, I was racing fast. These could not be security folks. They wore short sleeve shirts that did not look exactly like law enforcement uniform. And were smiling too broadly for this to be a security situation. Maybe they wanted to move my seat?
It took me 30 seconds to sort it out.
It was actually the captain and the first officer of the plane. They had come out of the cockpit to congratulate me on being a 360 member.
That was a moment rich with embarrassment. Every passenger around was looking at me. I just kept profusely thanking them. Really, I was so confused and relieved at the same time that if one of them had asked “So, where are you going?”, I would have said “Thank You!” instead of some smart Alec “What? You do not know where you are taking us?” or something like that.
That episode ended soon with smiles all around.
The contrails, however, lingered on.
The gentleman next to me asked “Are you a corporate big shot who comes on MSNBC?” I was not sure how to feel about he being so precise and yet being so off. I assured him nothing could be further from the truth.
Another gentleman across the aisle asked “So, how do you become a 360?”
“I really do not know.” I told truthfully. “I have asked a few Delta staff – nobody seems to know.”
I now suspect there is a cabal of Delta executives who pick every year a few hapless passengers like me to embarrass!! You remember that incident when they had the balloons and certificates? Or when we were traveling with our friends and early in the morning, a whole bottle of champagne was delivered?
As embarrassing as it was, I give more than full points to Delta for creating some of these special moments for me in what would have been otherwise a litany of tiring journeys in a small aluminium tube six and a half miles above ground!
Gotta thank Delta for that!