You Don’t Belong Here

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You sip your champagne and eat your omelette while savoring the freshly squeezed orange juice. Out of the corner of your eye, you notice someone staring right at you. Emboldened by your first class golden ticket, you make eye contact with the inquisitive stranger. He refocuses his attention back on his printed edition of the Wall Street Journal.

Welcome to the Emirates First Class lounge at JFK or any elite level lounge anywhere in the world. I love lounges for many reasons: escaping the noise and chaos of the terminal, binging on the free champagne, and the false sense of entitlement because I am, for a few hours, VIP.

Obviously, my past antics (see here and here) prove otherwise. Furthermore, redeeming a points ticket for $2.50 instead of paying $14,000 to fly Emirates Shower Class on an A380 only bolsters the stranger’s assumption that I don’t belong here.

Like the stranger, I try to profile guests of the airport lounge trying to figure out who’s here on points and who’s here on privilege. I glance at shoes, watches, suits, and briefcases. Surely, those are indicators of professionals who are waiting to catch their flight to attend an important business conference. But wait, who is this guy wearing pajamas, sporting a Rolex, and in flip flops? Is he another points guru with a false watch trying to carry on the charade of being successful?

Wait, that’s just my reflection in the spotless mirror.


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