Before I met my husband, Clyde, I had been on a jet only once. About four years into our relationship, we discovered our shared passion for travel on our very first international vacation (to Thailand, Singapore, and China).
Fast forward a couple of decades, and here we are, two days before our 23rd anniversary. Last week, during the return flight from our Canadian cruise, I reached the milestone that inspired the name of this blog: one million miles flown on Delta airlines.
Once, airlines recognized passengers reaching the million mile mark with extravagant celebrations. A friend recalls a small crowd of Delta staff members showing up at one co-worker’s office with champagne and a shower of expensive travel-related gifts.
But as business travel increased, so did the number of people winning recognition, and today, celebrations are more sober: you receive an email with a link empowering you to choose luggage from Tumi or Hartmann or jewelry from Tiffany’s. All items in Delta’s million mile gift collection look to be in the $700 range, so, despite scaling things back, the gesture made to million milers is still a generous one.
Million Milers also get lifetime Silver Elite Status (a sore point with frequent fliers, who note other airlines award Gold status and accuse Delta of being stingy).
Of course, unlike my road warrior friends, my million miles were flown almost exclusively for pleasure — to vacation destinations in Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, China, Viet Name, Cambodia, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, England, Ireland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Iceland, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Canada … and all over the United States, too. (I’ve been other places. I just didn’t fly there!)
And, of course, my faithful companion and husband, Clyde, was with me for every single one of those journeys. In fact, had he not suggested that first trip to Thailand nineteen years ago, I wouldn’t be MillionMileMark today.
I’m proud of the miles I’ve logged flying around the planet, but I’m most proud of and thankful for the journey Clyde and I continue to share. Delta may call me “silver for life,” but I’ve got a diamond with me every time I travel with Clyde.
More miles to come when we depart for our return to Iceland in sixty-eight days!