Look, I like US Airways. Yes, I realize that places me a little behind everyone else, but they really are running a reasonably reliable airline. They also sent me an email tonight that details something useful they are offering to some flyers. US Airways is calling it PreferredAccess. Here’s the scoop according to them.
Soon we will extend the PreferredAccess program to allow non-Preferred customers to add priority check-in, security and boarding to their trip during Web Check-in for a fee. This new program will not change your Preferred benefits. You’ll still enjoy complimentary priority check-in and security as you do now. In addition, you and your traveling companions will still board with the same priority – right after First Class and Envoy passengers. Customers who pay for PreferredAccess will board after you. And, you’ll continue to enjoy all the rewards of being a Preferred member, including unlimited complimentary upgrades, waived baggage fees, Preferred seating and more.
This is nothing that the other airlines aren’t doing. Offering certain “preferred” services in exchange for a fee. One thing I will say. This adds fuel to the fire of those who say that entry level elite status is no longer worth pursuing. I mean seriously, most of the airlines are offering the benefits of entry level status to all flyers, either through a credit card or these fee-added offers. Yes, I still get an upgrade to first class from time to time that these benefits don’t offer, but I have to acknowledge that most of the benefits of entry level elite status are now matched by carrying a particular credit card of your preferred airline or by paying a small fee. What do you think?