Since I’ve become a travel hacker the only way I travel internationally is in business class. I thought you might like to see what a travel day looks like for me and how I use my credit card benefits to make my trips more enjoyable. Come see what a day of flying in luxury is like!
Recently, I woke up early to catch a flight from Denver to London where I was joining my daughter who lives there for a trip to Istanbul. The flights from Denver to London were going for a ridiculous amount of points so I repositioned to Newark, New Jersey. What this means is that I booked a separate, much cheaper flight from Denver to Newark and then booked my business class flight from Newark to London.
My flight from Newark to London was on Austrian Airlines. I booked this business class flight on United.com. It only cost me 70,000 miles and $36.60 in taxes! You can earn United miles from the United Explorer Card, the United Explorer Business Card, or any Chase Ultimate Reward earning cards.
I arrived at the Denver airport bright and early – very early and not so bright, to be honest. Using my CLEAR membership helped me breeze through the first part of security. CLEAR is offered in many airports and stadiums to get through security systems quicker. I have a $300 travel credit with my Ritz Carlton card and get reimbursed for this every year. When I go through an airport with CLEAR, my eyes or fingerprints are used to verify me, they stamp my boarding pass and pass me on to TSA.
Many credit cards have TSA reimbursement as a benefit so this is free for me too. To get TSA precheck, you fill out an application, pay $95.00 and once approved, go to a designated place to get your fingerprints taken. Easy peasy and talk about saving time!!! Waiting in lines is not for people who are flying in luxury ????.
I had some time before boarding so I headed to Timberline Steak and Grill with my Priority Pass card. Denver doesn’t have an airport lounge so I can order $28 worth of food here with my card. Airport lounges make travel so much nicer! If you are a serious travel hacker you need a card that comes with airport lounge access!
Feeling satisfied and full after a nice breakfast, I got on my plane to Newark (EWR). That early wake-up call left me exhausted so I fell asleep quickly!
Once I got to Newark, I headed to one of my favorite airport lounges – United Polaris by United. I was able to access this lounge because I was flying on a business class flight. There are Polaris lounges in San Francisco and Chicago too. If I am traveling in business on United, I try and route through these cities because I love Polaris lounges. Not only do they have the best buffets with great choices, but they also offer a sit-down menu. I had a delicious chicken caesar salad followed by a brownie topped with salted caramel ice cream and hot fudge!! Yummy!
I was feeling a little tired so I headed to their quiet suites for a short nap on a nice recliner. They had a mask, earbuds, sound machine, and chocolate waiting by the recliner. I could have even had a shower in a shower suite if I had wanted. I seriously could have enjoyed a whole day in this lounge!
Eventually, I did leave and headed to my gate for my Austrian Airlines flight to London. There I found my lay-flat seat waiting for me. I had a great dinner of prawns, ravioli, and the most delicious cherry almond tart with vanilla sauce, watched a movie and then slept for 6 hours! Flying in luxury with a good meal and bed to sleep in is the way to do it! In no time, I was in Vienna for a short layover there.
I did take advantage of the shower suites at this Priority Pass lounge after having a quick, free breakfast. A shower and change of clothes were amazing after traveling all night. I got back on another Austrian Airlines flight (in business class), had lunch, and was in Jolly Old England in no time.
My family thought I was crazy because I had taken a flight with so many layovers but I loved it! I enjoyed all the lounges and food. Two free breakfasts, 2 free lunches, and the best dinner on an airplane were part of the flying in luxury travel experience. I watched a movie, slept for six hours, had a shower and only paid $36.60 for the total experience. Now that is this travel hackers dream!!
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