You're enjoying a backyard BBQ when the conversation turns to the latest Prius and its miserly approach to the pump. "You want to talk miles?" you shout, beer in hand. "Try 100,000 on American - I'm Executive Platinum, baby!"
You are a frequent flyer program elite, alright. You may also be a travel burnout.
The symptoms aren't always obvious; it might take a little digging on someone's part to learn your phone features more airline apps than you've got friends on Facebook. Or that your first child isn't named Richard in honor of your father-in-law, but for Virgin founder Branson (and you keep picturing the kid with a silver goatee).
If any of the other following scenarios apply - then you, my friend, are a travel burnout for sure. See the simple scoring key at the end.
Top Ten Signs You're a Travel Burnout
1. You promised the kids a dog so you visit the local pound. They fall in love with a stocky, jowly pup, but you exercise your veto, stating, "Sorry, but Delta quit transporting all snub-nosed canines as checked-baggage back in December of 2011, and that includes this English Bulldog." As the kids cry, you head for home.
2. The spouse pulls a pan out of the oven for the school bake sale, and you grow maudlin. "Why oh why did Frontier drop its freshly baked chocolate chip cookies?" you ask sadly. "Now I've got to pay three bucks for a puny bag of potato chips."
3. Just then, Uncle Elmo pops into the kitchen for a Heineken. "That would cost you five bucks on Southwest," you say. Elmo responds, "Not so fast; I've got an unexpired drink coupon." Then your son Richard comes in looking for a soft drink. You and Elmo chorus, "Three bucks on Spirit!" Burnouts know all the fees.
4. You reach for a cookie but the spouse slaps your hand. "Do you want to get too-fat-to-fly?" You indignantly remind her that you can still get both armrests down. "But what about that excess-tissue overflow below which encroaches on your seatmate?" You decide that from now on, you'll only fly those new 320 planes with wider seats which Airbus specifically designed "in response to requests from airlines who say travelers' expanding size has become a major headache." You then eat the cookie.
5. Later, forced to "go out and get some exercise" you take young Richard to the zoo but everything reminds you of the airport. Your son sees kangaroos, but you see Qantas. He admires a lynx but all you can think of is Frontier's 'spokesanimal' Larry. You notice a listless ape and think, "If only he had an American Tourister bag to toss around." It also occurs to you that most people think the old TV ad featured Samsonite luggage. "Pretty ironic," you muse, "since Samsonite eventually bought out the other brand." Burnouts know all this stuff.
6. On the way out, you run into an old friend who notes how tired you're looking, "Like you've got a couple of 50-pounders under each eye." You then rattle off the checked-bag fees of several airlines while noting you only travel with a carry-on. "Except on Allegiant or Spirit," you mutter, "since they charge up to $100 for onboard luggage." Your friend hurries away.