Feeling Grateful — Not a Hustle
“W hich part of the points hustle do you enjoy the most?” asked Alexander Bachuwa of The Points of Life in this article in which he documents how he spent $1,999.00 out of pocket for a trip to Tahiti which he estimates with spreadsheets that the trip was worth approximately $60,000.00. “Is it the undeserved feeling of self-importance as you enter the first-class lounge?”
That question had me thinking: I do not believe I have ever walked into a lounge — airport or hotel — where I felt any semblance of self-importance.
Feeling Grateful — Not a Hustle
Rather, whenever I am admitted into a lounge, I am typically feeling grateful — whether or not I “deserved” to have access into a lounge of any type; and even if the lounge is not really up to par.
I have mentioned in past articles that my involvement with frequent travel loyalty program miles and points is not a hobby of mine — nor is it a hustle or a hack — as travel is my passion which is part of what defines who I am as a person. Travel has always been a passion of mine. Travel will most likely always be a passion of mine.
By the way, what is with the alliterative use of words which begin with the letter H to describe the involvement of one with frequent travel loyalty program miles and points, anyway?!?
Any extras which I may receive along the way — whether it is access to a lounge or some other sort of upgraded experience — is simply icing on the cake for me; an experience which should be savored and not taken for granted.
If your upgraded experiences are expected by you instead of appreciated, a travel reality check may be in order for you.
If you read the articles written by Alexander Bachuwa, you will see that he leads a rather — shall we say — interesting life. I hope that he continues to travel the world and enjoy attempting to get as much value out of it as possible while entertaining his readers with his latest exploits.
As for me, value is more than just saving money. It is about the experience itself. Even prior to the sudden and severe devaluation of redeeming Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan frequent flier loyalty program miles for premium class award travel on flights operated by Emirates Airline, I had a difficult time convincing myself of the value of being able to shower aboard an airplane at 35,000 feet during a flight — even though I would like to experience that just once. Sure, exchanging 90,000 miles for that experience one way from the United States to the United Arab Emirates was technically a deal — but I simply was not fully convinced of the value to me for numerous reasons, which include positioning flights and the fact that I do not consume alcoholic beverages.
Whenever I have the opportunity to be able to enjoy a quiet space with some food and beverage items available at no extra charge, I am feeling grateful — and the attendants of that lounge know it. I thank them profusely and express my appreciation to them. I treat them with respect. I do what I can to not be a bother to them and have them work as little as possible to ensure that I am content.
Oddly enough, that often compels them to do even more for me — which can tend to make me feel a little uncomfortable because I consider myself an IGI.
It can be a vicious circle — but as I comfortably sit in a chair gazing at the view outside the window as I sip on that glass of freshly-squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice, I can think of far worse situations to experience…
Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.