Are Airline Credit Cards the New Travel Credit Cards?

by : Scott James

Sometimes when you travel (ask most seasoned travellers) it just seems that there is only so much plastic in your wallet that you can take.

The reason I make this comment stems from a situation that arose several years ago from an abortive shopping trip for a new gentleman's wallet. The reason for this was that the old one couldn't take any more plastic cards and having crucified it by trying to jam more cards into it than it would reasonably take it expired rather spectacularly in the duty free area at Terminal 1 in London's Heathrow airport where it proceeded to explode credit cards, driving license et all over a rather embarrassed sales assistant in the wines and spirits section!

Having failed in my search for an even larger wallet (not to do with earning larger and fatter fees I might add just laziness) I was told by one salesman that "perhaps you are carrying too much sir".

The reason for this all is that hardly a day appears to go by without some travel organisation or other trying to foist some new rewards programme or Credit Card scheme onto us poor unsuspecting traveller. Sometimes when you are rushing through the nearest terminal on your never ending rush to get to the departure gate before the flight closes life can seem like a re-enaction from a seventies computer game. Very much in the style of a Pac man you find yourself trying to dodge one sales person after another trying to politely ask you "have you this card sir?" or have you tried this colour of card, with this free bonus etc?"

In appreciate that in the deepest recesses of some advertising agencies creative department someone has come up with the bright idea "I know where we'll sell some new Travel Credit Cards? Let's sell them where people are already in the mental mode of "travelling". Let's sell them at Airports and Railways Stations." Great idea lets try and sell something that essentially people don't want at places where they really don't want to consider buying it. Let's really try and annoy people further!

I would be very interested in seeing the marketing statistics behind this logic because I for one do not wish to have to step round or dodge one more sales person trying to sell me something I really don't want to buy in my quest to get home on time. Now I know these marketing geeks will argue very persuasively in the marketing data to support their campaigns but when confronted with this type of statistics based logic I am always reminded of the age old maxim that "there lies, damn lies....and statistics!"

Very much like the character played by Steve Martin in Trains Planes Automobiles (one of my favourite travel films) when I get to the airport late for a plane. I don't want to be accosted constantly by some "effervescent, ever pleasant" sales person asking me "do you have such and such a card etc?"

I just want to get home, Is this too much to ask?