How the Best Dress Ever Got Me a Free Cab Ride, an Upgrade, and Free Cocktails

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So while I was recounting my travel adventures from last weekend, I left out the most random and entertaining part of last Saturday. The effect my dress had on the traveling public.

And to caveat, it’s not uncommon for Jeanne or I to get compliments on our choice of airport attire, but it is rare that I get widespread attention on any given day. Therefore I can only assume it was the dress!

The day started at 7AM when I boarded the hotel shuttle and the driver offered me the seat up front with him, which was easier to get in and out of. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but was surprised how he hustled to help me in and out of the van.

A little later while I was first trying to figure out the Trip in Vain option a grandfatherly gentleman approached me in the lounge. “I have to pay to you a compliment. You’re the only woman in here in a dress and heels and you look magnificent! So lovely, I just had to come tell you.”

Awwwww. That certainly made a stressful morning better. I beamed my appreciation and walked a little taller on my way to the special services counter, where they not only honored my request for a Trip in Vain but upgraded me to First Class on the flight back.

Once I was back in the lounge waiting for my rebooked flight to DC, another business man approached my table to compliment me on the beautiful red color of my dress and eventually suggest drinks next time he was in DC. Two minutes later one of the employees in the lounge, recognizing me from the day before, stopped by to ask after my flights. He had just left when the bartender came over to ask me why all these men were coming up to talk to me.

I replied that I honestly didn’t know, that this never happened. He said he knew, it was because I was “cute” and continued to pop by my table to chat and refill my wine glass. I’ve never had table service in domestic airline lounge before!All of this unexpected attention put me in good spirits, even with the cancellation of my trip, and the flight home passed uneventfully. I stopped in the restroom before heading out to ground transportation and was approached by a woman remarking she had the “utmost respect for me” mentioning she’d never be able to make it through the terminal in heels like that.  My spirits rose even more and I was feeling positively friendly towards everyone at this point!

I’d gone back and forth about whether to be frugal and take the metro or cab back to my car, finally deciding to save myself further hassle and just go with a cab. My cab driver was a delightful 60 year old man from Afghanistan who immediately started chatting with me and we compared travel notes. Halfway through the drive he announced he was honored to have such a beautiful, warm-hearted lady in his cab. A little later he announced that he wished he was younger so he could be a “special friend” but that I would probably reject him, so perhaps he could just be a regular friend?

As we pulled up to my office, I gave him my Chase Sapphire credit card, but his credit card machine was old school and needed raised numbers. I pulled out a different card to give to him, but he instead declared that I was his guest and refused to take any payment for the ride. At this point I was completely overwhelmed with such attention and gave him a big hug.

So what was this magical dress? One might assume it had a plunging neckline, short skirt, or form fitting design.  Instead it was quite the opposite!

I’d picked my Laundry By Design Tic Tac Toe Shirt Dress because it’s incredibly comfortable, modest, and has bright colors that help offset the gloom of winter weather. Now I’ll just have to resist wearing it for every future flight!Looking for one of your own? The dress is available online at Sierra Trading Post or you might be able to find it in department stores that carry the Laundry by Design brand.


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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

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