I read a lot of articles about travel each day. One thing I’ve noticed recently this that travel writers spend all of their time in advice columns telling you to, “achieve elite status” on your favored airlines. They act like this is the holy grail of flying. The idea being if you’re “elite” you’ll get upgrades, your missed flights will be re-booked faster, and you won’t pay fees. Well that last one is true, but the first two are completely at the airlines’ discretion. Being an elite member is certainly a good thing, but you are not alone up there. United Airlines elite members are legion as are American’s. The truth of the matter is you shouldn’t need elite status just to get to your destination without inconvenience. Airlines are a service industry. That should be part of their basic contract of carriage.