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AsiaAsia CommentTaipan

Tread softly, you tread on my dream of an upgrade

Lately I’ve been reading the poetry of W B Yeats — part of a desperate attempt to calm my nerves. “I have spread my dreams under your feet,” he wrote. “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

I have a strong sense that Yeats was writing directly for me, addressing the emotional torment I’m now enduring. My dream is a simple one: to become a Diamond class member of Cathay Pacific’s frequent flyer programme and wave the sleek membership card in the face of all of my friends while laughing manically. But global events are treading on my dreams.

Has the world ever been so unjust? Have I not earned my upgrade? Cathay Pacific would argue that no, in fact I haven’t. However, that’s an answer informed only by facts, not feelings. Yeats would surely understand my point of view. 

Last year was a particularly busy one for me. I circled the globe a handful of times, as well as taking many short trips between Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing. I climbed the ranks of Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo club programme. After many false starts, the club's Diamond tier — the top echelon of Cathay travel — was within my grasp.

I even booked a ticket to visit my ageing mother in the UK, just so I could get the last few points I needed. She’s an awful person, so that was truly an act of self-sacrifice. But what’s the point in self-sacrifice if you don’t get anything from it?

I got nothing. My flight was cancelled, my business travel has ground to a halt and now I’m quite sure I’ll never have a chance at Diamond again. And if I’m perfectly honest, Yeats is proving no help whatsoever. Poetry is fine; preferential treatment by large airlines is better.