Life of a #LuxuryTravelHacker? – Not Always What You Might Think…

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In an attempt to help gloss over my colleague John’s recent travel hacking fail (he is getting a little old after all…), I thought I’d share my own latest tale of ‘travel woe’ too.

My usual lunch, apparently.

Most of my friends and family seem to be under the impression that I spend the vast majority of my existence stumbling merrily from luxurious champagne-stuffed airport lounges to luxurious caviar-stuffed First Class cabins, en route to sparkling destinations. If I’m honest, thanks to hotel points and airline miles, it can sometimes feel a bit like that (which is amazing!) – but my travels certainly aren’t always that glamorous.

I just got back from a trip to the USA (apologies for the lack of posts while I was away!), but started by flying with Ryanair from Manchester to Madrid.

I usually don’t mind Ryanair (or any of the low cost carriers) at all when flying short-haul. In fact, I’d say that the value and convenience for those of us in the regions is almost unarguable these days, given the constant cutbacks at BA. That said, I’ve always been lucky and somehow managed to avoid a ‘Dreaded Middle Seat’ – until now.

If only it had been this quiet…

The flight was completely full, so there was no chance of switching seats or finding overhead space for my bag (I needed to keep my bag with me, so couldn’t gate check it either). This meant I had almost no legroom and a middle seat – not a particularly comfortable combination for 3+ hours!

To add ‘insult to injury’, my planned pre-flight relaxation (drinks…) in the Escape Lounge was swiftly kiboshed when the extremely apologetic lady at the desk told me it was already at capacity and there wasn’t likely to be space until after my flight left.

Escape Lounge – no escape for me.

I wouldn’t normally care much, but the whole terminal was so busy that finding an alternative venue to sit and sip also proved fruitless.

Now, obviously none of this was actually ‘bad’ at all – I got what I paid for (my flight was only about £25) and was happy with the value – but so much for being an expert ‘luxury travel hacker’… I don’t think I even got any cashback for my flight!

If I’d been a bit more organised / less mean I could have booked a window seat with extra legroom and pre-booked my visit to the Lounge, thus avoiding the ensuing ‘misery’. Lesson learned.

The rest of my trip was definitely more successful from a travel hacking perspective, so in a desperate bid to regain what little reputation I have among my friends here at InsideFlyer UK, I will be sharing some highlights and top travel tips from that soon!

Anyone else willing to share some of their less glamorous travel experiences or ‘travel hacking’ failures?


    • Joe Deeney says

      Haha Drav – 3 hours, it was hell I tell you!(in my defence, I did mean for this piece to be quite tongue in cheek – apologies if I didn’t manage it)

  1. Smid says

    Was that Manchester T1? Last few times in those lounges, they were all “at capacity” but we were allowed in, and it didn’t even seem half full when we got inside.

    • Joe Deeney says

      Indeed it was! – Yeah, I did push it a little bit (not much) but maybe you have a nicer smile than me. To be fair, it did look very busy and the whole terminal was chocka, so on this occasion at least I think it was truly busy.

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