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We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne

So, to start the New Year off I simply have to blog about Air Canada. I have worked diligently at propelling Ryan as rapidly as possible into the echelon of Elite status. It was one of the perks of getting fired.

The Canucks of course flew everywhere privately, so while Ryan was pampered in planes where every seat was a business class seat, his Super Elite status gradually dwindled away to nothing. He boarded his last private plane (to Chicago) in May and started collecting those status miles in June, one week after hip replacement surgery, truth be told. As I hustled him out the door to motivational speeches and leadership development seminars across the continent, he surpassed the 35,000 miles required for Elite at some point in October, although Aeroplan took its time acknowledging this. I have no idea why reaching this milestone wasn`t as significant for them, but finally in late November (or was it early December) there it was on Ryan's Aeroplan page, Elite splashed everywhere.

I lost no time emailing the good news to Ryan. I think he was in the Ottawa area (courtesy Air Canada, of course). I excitedly shared the good news with him that he could now check in at the Business Class counter for his return trip and not worry about the weight of his luggage, which can be loaded with an assortment of books, tarps, and stuffed animals at any given time.

Even though the Aeroplan website had finally acknowledged that Ryan was once again elite, no one appeared to have informed any of the Air Canada officials. We were a bit surprised after 6 of us checked in at 5 am to kick off our Christmas holiday, for example, only to be politely advised to use the economy class area next time. And on our return flight on New Year's Eve, Ryan was semi-reprimanded for trying to check in at Pearson's Executive Class counter, at least until the very polite agent deduced that Ryan had been informed of the change in status a month earlier. That wonderful woman fixed everything in the system because she assured us it would "make a difference at the gate."

Boy, did it ever! As we stood in the line for general boarding we heard a request over the loud speaker for passenger Walter to approach the agent at the counter. We just assumed there must be another passenger Walter on our flight. Still, when I handed my boarding pass to the attendant she took quite some time scanning and re-scanning it before exchanging it for a new J class pass. Sure enough, we had been upgraded. What a wonderful way to celebrate New Year's Eve. Thank you, Air Canada!

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