I’ve been downgraded. It happened without me even knowing and now it’s too late to do anything about it. It seems my new life in my dream job has led to a loss I may never be able to recover from. American Airlines has switched my Elite Benefits – to Gold. I’m almost too horrified to admit it – to disgusted and ashamed to put ink to paper and tell the world my new truth – but this is what has happened while I’ve been sitting in a chair in a dingy bungalow in Hollywood – watching the world fly by and not flying with it. The new card came in the mail, which is almost always an exciting moment for me. My first thought was that some dumb company had extended a new line of credit to me – what would I buy – where would I go – apparently – nothing, nowhere and fast. AA was swift to tell me that I had not flown enough to maintain my Sapphire Platinum status – a status I truly enjoyed the benefits of. I never had to wait in line to board a plane, I earned upgrades and most importantly, I earned the general feeling that I was better than all the other people waiting at the airport eating bad food and wearing neck pillows. I was special. Now it turns out I haven’t flown enough miles to keep my Platinum Status and I am left feeling a bit shattered. I earned my Elite miles the hard way too – traveling for work – with a crazy person. We flew all over the globe for a couple of years on trips that sucked the life out of me and made me realize that the Devil didn’t wear Prada – she wore LuLu Lemon – and she was my constant badgering air travel companion. All I had to show for my pain and suffering were those miles and that status and now it’s all gone. No longer will I enjoy thumbing my nose at less frequent flyers as I board the plane and climb into my first class seat. No – I will now be putting the ass in class, flying steerage and taking my place with the great unwashed. I will purchase my cheese sandwich, I will feel the cramps in my knees, I will not enjoy the bevy of movies offered to the elite. I guess I could buy my status back but it just won’t be the same. When it comes to flying – money can buy you class – but earning it felt just a little better. For now I’ll have to live with the memory of my Platinum Status – and accept that I am officially just the Gold Standard. At least when I travel now, it will be for pleasure, and I won’t be tormented while I bullet through the air by a passive aggressive lunatic. Damn you AA. I didn’t think you’d be the double A to take me down.