I just checked my year-to-date miles and I noticed I am 326 miles away from warning elite status with Continental Airlines. I have been devoted to flying only Continental this year, to ensure I gain some status with them – as opposed to just flying the cheapest airline and spreading out my miles.
The main advantage, for me at least, with elite status is being able to secure an overhead compartment before they are all gone. Typically, when they board elite status members, about half the plane qualifies. So by the time I get on the flight, there are often not enough spaces above my seat for my bag. Sometimes I can move things around to get my bag up there but…
(1) I hate doing that, it makes me feel sneaky
(2) If there is no room, they got to put it under
I typically only fly with just a carry on, so when I time things, I plan on not waiting for baggage.
Anyway, next flight, I am pretty much guaranteed elite status. So now I can be like the other half of the passengers, at least from my next flight throughout 2009.