What is a lifetime of travel? A million miles in the sky? Five hundred nights in a hotel? For most mere mortals, either number is just about unimaginable. More than an entire year of your life spent in a hotel? More than forty times around the earth? For the greatest lifetime benefits in the world, your'e actually only just about half way there. Here are a few statuses which if you're crazy enough to be close to, are worth powering through to achieve....
Starwood Preferred Guest Lifetime Platinum
Starwood Platinum is "suite" and means major perks. You are automatically upgraded all the way up to a standard suite (when available) at check in, just about every standard paid amenity like internet, breakfast an club level services are free and your every need is taken care of. When you reach fifty nights you are able to snag ten "suite night" awards allowing you to upgrade your stay in advance. Seriously nice vacations. Having this for life? Just about priceless.
Oh it's simple (hah), just stay Platinum with Starwood for ten years by staying at least 25 separate times in a calendar year, each year. Regardless of length of stay you must check in and check out 25 times per year. Let's hope for a couple longer stays in that ten year period as well, you'll need them to make sure you have 500 hotel night or more in that ten year period. The good news? Platinum is yours for life.
Delta/American/United Two Million + Miler
Believe it or not, a million miles of loyalty doesn't get you much more than a free checked bag these days. Two million is the number to aim for. With each of these US legacy carriers two million miles is the threshold to achieve benefits worth aspiring to. If you're willing to fly around the world a whopping 80 times with one airline, you will receive a status for life than allows for business class check in (regardless of what cabin you're sitting in), priority security, extra priority baggage, complimentary upgrades and lounge access on partners.
Like I said, just 80 times around the world better known as two million miles will do. The amazing thing with these statuses are that there is no "hack". Airline million mile statuses come from butts in seat and you will be looking at a seriously sore rear end from all that travel. Rejoice though, the airport won't ever suck again once you get there.
Hyatt DIamond Lifetime Status
Hyatt Diamond is big. Diamond members automatically receive the largest "non suite" room at check in, club level access providing a full breakfast and afternoon hors d'oeuvres (occasionally some champagne), nightly room refresh and the grand dame four suite upgrade awards annually. You see, with these suite upgrades; you can book the cheapest room available at one of Hyatt's five star properties, cash in one of your four annual suite awards and change your stay from a large closet to having closets in multiple large rooms. Park Hyatt Maldives or Paris Vendome? Suite!
To put it simply you or your employer need to spend at least $200,000 on hotel stays in a ten year period. The more the merrier. Hyatt Lifetime Diamond is awarded after 1,000,000 Hyatt base points are achieved. The negative of course is that someone has spent nearly a quarter million dollars on hotels and that all of that money needed to be credited to the Hyatt program and not a partner. The upside is that you simply need to be a Hyatt loyalty program member for ten years rather than being their top elite level during that period and if you need a bit longer it's okay, you just need to reach the spending, however long it takes.
Virgin Atlantic Gold Lifetime
The US legacy carriers let you use their nicer check in and get some upgrades when you reach lifetime status but they don't give you cocktails and jacuzzi's. Virgin Atlantic Gold means that every flight you ever take with the airline will give you everything Upper Class has to offer minus the seat itself. Upper Class Check in, Virgin Clubhouses for you and a guest and fast track through Heathrow. Travel like royalty whether you're in the back of the bus or the front every time. If you're a Londoner this one is seriously nice. Oh and you get a special gift for reaching a million. Everyone likes presents.
My best advice is to work for a company that makes a lot of money and thinks that you are valuable enough to fly in Upper Class for a ten year period of your life at least four times a year. You'll need to stay Gold for ten years and accumulate 300 tier points during that period. For a discounted business class ticket you would earn 10 tier points round trip and you'll need 40 tier points in a calendar year to reach gold. Ten years of that and it's all the caipirinha's you can drink whenever you travel with Virgin. Anyone want to pay me to fly business class?
British Airways Lifetime Gold
This one is complicated. British Airways Gold is tremendous and offers a first class experience on everything minus the plane. As you may have guessed lifetime Gold means all the benefits of first class check in, first class lounges, fast track through the airport and top tier status across all of One World alliance giving access to a wide range of benefits on a bigger range of airlines. The complications are that British Airways offers some cooler statuses like Concorde Room card holder or Gold Guest List for those who fly an extra insane amount every year. I guess Gold for life is better than Concorde for a year. All put together would probably deliver the most luxurious experience available to man in an airport.
As usual, be rich or be valuable to someone. You'll need to collect 35,000 lifetime tier points to reach Gold for life which after these changes is not the easiest of feats. If it makes you feel any better you can earn roughly 500 tier points for a long distance business class flight on a discounted fare. By that math you'll only need to fly about 70 long distance round trip business class flights to get there. It's not as crazy as it sounds for some...
I guess by worth achieving I mean, I would take it if it's given or nearly in reach. I am not someone who would go far out of their way to receive benefits I can already achieve for the most part by cleverly using miles. I suppose the feeling I am left with at the end of this post is sadness. Seemingly the best you can achieve after multiple lifetimes worth of travel is just the service you had been receiving, really nothing more. I think multiple million milers and those who stay the most in hotels should receive more tailored experiences representative of their loyalty. I'd love a plane named after me... sadly I think it's about seven million miles to get there. That's a lot of earth.
As Always, GodSaveThePoints@gmail.com