I was flying back home to Harrisburg from Orange County this morning. I entered the terminal with a big box set precariously on top of my wheeled luggage, wearing my Michigan long-sleeved shirt and a pair of jeans. Glamorous, I was not, but nor was I grungy. At least I didn't think so...
I walked through the "Premium" line to check-in, then saw and heard a woman behind the United counter saying I should use the Easy-CheckIn terminals "over there."
"Why, is this one not working?" I asked, gesturing to the one right in front of me.
"Oh, it's working, and I guess it's okay for you to use it - there's no one really here, but it's for Elite Status members, like if you were Premium," she answered.
"I AM Premium," I countered, at which point she stammered something about how she just got in from LA and was ... didn't catch any of it, but I don't think I heard the word "frazzled" or "crazy," which I would have accepted as an apology. I'm not that picky.
Before I could stop myself, I mused aloud to myself, "Is it because I'm not wearing a suit?" She looked sheepish.
I suppose if I were to look at the situation as an outsider, I would have seen a casual-looking woman coming in with a butt-load of luggage, and I might have also assumed that I was a traveling neophyte - I mean, really, who comes in with a cardboard moving box teetering on a suitcase on wheels? Just the woman with Premium status who happens to be transporting some cherished items of her parents' after a visit home...