Have you ever been to the airport and seen that person dressed to the nines, that skips all the line and has lounge access with many fine wines? Have you ever wanted to be that person but thought it was out of reach? Well it’s not! Over the past few years I have learned a ton of tricks that help you travel like a V.I.P. when you secretly ain’t ish. And as corny as this opening to this blog post is, I hope you utilize these tips to make going to the airport something both exciting and easy instead of dreadful and time consuming.
Seatguru/ Upgrade to economy plus
Before I book a ticket, I always check out the plane assigned to the flight on Seatguru. Seatguru shows you a layout of the plane with the best and worst places to sit. It also lists the features the plane has like in seat movie screens, food options, wifi and if there are power outlets or not. It can save you from sitting in a cramped seat with no entertainment for hours on end.
Another option for getting good seats is upgrading to economy plus. This can mean sitting in the first few rows of economy to sitting in the emergency row. I typically only do this on long haul flights but for an extra typically small fee, you can spread out more and ride in comfort. Also, if they are giving upgrades to business class, they will most likely choose someone in economy plus over regular economy.
Dress to impress
It’s shallow but true that if you dress to impress, you’ll be treated better. I’m not saying put on your finest ball gown, but look clean and tidy and you’ll be more likely to get offered upgrades. This is also a great tip for rental cars. Many rental companies will give you a better car if you’re dressed like you’re important.
Global Entry/TSA Precheck
I hate lines period. I hated lunch lines in 5th grade, I hate standing in lines to pay and I despise being stuck in security for hours. As someone that has very little patience, Global Entry and TSA Precheck is a life and sanity saver. If you mostly only fly domestic, I recommend doing TSA Precheck. This will allow to to use a line that has expedited security screening to reduce your waiting by sometimes hours. This will cost you $85 for 5 years of a membership. If you do a lot of international travel, I highly recommend spending an extra $15 ($100 in total for 5 years of membership) and investing in Global Entry. This amazing program gives you both TSA Precheck and expedited entry through customs at airports and border protection in the U.S. You can also use this card to enter the Sentri line if you are cross from Mexico to the U.S. I really wish I had this when I was coming from Tijuana to San Diego and spent 6 hours waiting in the general car line. To obtain this card you need to apply, pay the fee and then go into an interview center around you.
More information can be found at:
I loveee me a credit card with perks. As of right now I am really happy with the Amex Gold Delta Skymiles and the Venture Capital One. The Delta card comes with a 30,000 point bonus when you spend $1,000 in three months, no foreign transaction fees, a free bag, priority boarding and discount lounge access. The Capital One card offers a 50,000 point bonus on any airline when you spend $3,000 in three months, 2 miles per dollar spent and no foreign transaction fees. If you research hard enough, you can find a card that will benefit you greatly. Some cards come with free lounge access (like a membership to Priority Pass which I will soon talk about), a fee waived for TSA Precheck, free hotel stays and 24 hour concierge service. To maximize your travel credit card, I recommend checking out The Points Guy https://thepointsguy.com/
Here is a website that can help you compare different travel credit cards:
*Also, if you are interested in signing up for the Delta card, let me know! I get 10,000 points per referral
Loungebuddy/ Priority Pass
I use to think that you had to be flying first class in order to use the lounges that are exclusive to the public. I actually just recently learned how wrong I was. Two services that are great if you want lounge access during a long layover or someplace to just chill out for an hour or two before your flight is Loungebuddy and Priority Pass. Loungebuddy is perfect for those that don’t fly too frequently because you pay per lounge you visit. You can go on their website and purchase lounge access at the airports where they offer it. Passes start at $25 and go up depending on what lounge you choose. For example, if you’re flying through JFK you can purchase access to the Swiss, Lufthansa or Wingtips Lounge.
The other choice you have for lounge access is the Priority Pass. While LoungeBuddy has around 340 lounges worldwide, the priority pass has 1,000. This is a yearly membership you can buy at 3 different levels. For $99, you get access to each other their lounges at $29 per visit. For $249, you get 10 free visits and then each visit after is $29 and for $399, you get unlimited visits yearly. While this may seem expensive, for frequent travelers that want lounge access this is very cost effective.
My last tip is bring TSA okayed size booze with you. If all else fails, at least you drink yourself to feeling like a V.I.P. Just kidding….kind of.
As always, feel free to leave your ideas in the comments!