At 11:30 pm Saturday, I discovered that the precious points I had been accumulating since 1996 would expire on 31st August 2001.
Instead of going to bed, I stayed up trying to find out if my other airmiles would also follow the same fate. These expiring airmiles would fetch me a roundtrip ticket within the 48 contiguous United States, one week free car rental, ticket upgrades, or substantial gifts.
These discoveries gave me a sleepless night.
If I hadn't known about these side perks, my life would still be the same. But knowing the possibilities made all the difference in the world.
The continuous rain on Sunday made it impossible to work outside, as I had previously planned. So I spent almost the entire day sorting out my various airmile, car rental, and hotel memberships.
Like the pauper who dreams of possibilities but doesn't do a thing about them, I sat there immobilised by the thought of these newly discovered privileges. I could fly to Maui, stay in a five star hotel, rent a car, ..... all for free. I could invite my mother. I could invite some lucky friend. If I consolidate all my airmiles and points, I could even fly to the moon!
But a las! I'm short on time. The reason why I have never organised all these "perk privileges" is because I never have the time. I simply stuff the mail shots in the binder, hoping for a rainy day to sort them out.
I now see why my jet-setting professor friend declined joining any flying club or hotel membership. He simply didn't want to be bothered or lured by the possibilities of free perks. Besides, he doesn't have time to enjoy them. But then, how else could my friends in Northern Virginia fly to exotic destinations for their family holidays? Airmiles collected with discipline, of course!
27 August 2001