Of course, he was able to do this also because I traveled extensively and paid full First/Business class fares. But even so… He walked that extra mile for you.

I remember the time when Christie (Hefner) and I flew back together from Taipei to Chicago. By then they had long introduced Business Class and the company policy dictated that we travel Business. Christie to her credit wouldn’t make an exception for herself. On her outbound flight from Chicago, she was upgraded, and was told by the travel desk that so we would be on our way back. Before we approach the check in, she takes my ticket and rushes to the counter. The girl behind the computer screen checks in our baggage and hands her two Business Class boarding passes. Christie looks at them and handing back to the agent tells her we are supposed to be upgraded.

The girl punches a few keys on her computer: ‘Nothing here says about upgrading!’

‘Did you look at Christie Hefner?’

‘Yes. Nothing.’ This would have been unthinkable in the States or perhaps even in Europe. But the young Chinese girl behind the counter has absolutely no clue who Christie Hefner is! I could imagine how humiliated Christie must feel. So I step up with let me talk to her! Christie steps back. Almost whispering, I ask the girl,

‘Don’t you know who she is?’

‘Who?’

‘Christie Hefner, the President of Playboy Enterprises. She is here to promote Taiwanese Playboy, haven’t you seen her on the news or read about her?’ It draws a blank on her face.

‘I am sorry.’ She answers.

‘Okay. Look. If this would help!’ And I pull out the upgrade certificate issued by the United, something Satya made it his business to acquire and deliver to me along with my ticket. I was holding it back, thinking why waste it if Christie had been guaranteed an upgrade for us?

The girl scrutinizes the upgrade certificate and plugs it into the computer and prints out another boarding pass and hands it to me. She has upgraded me to the First.

‘No. You have to upgrade both of us.’

‘Yeah, but you only have one certificate!’

‘I am sorry, you don’t understand. She is my boss, I can get fired!’

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