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.

2 thoughts on “Feeling Grateful — Not a Hustle”

  1. victor says:

    That TPOL guy sounds like a tool anyway. His titles are written in the third person as if he were julius caesar

  2. Andy says:

    Mmm I don’t think he’s a “tool” at all (haven’t met him however)

    The third person thing is humor that perhaps gets missed? He’s joking most of the time, and can be funny in my opinion.

    I did have a semi heated disagreement with him via comments a while back where he was spouting at AA for them to increase the benefits and redemptions in an extremely entitled manner. My point was please if we all act this way… AA will say “oh really dont like our industry leading generous program you petty demanding never happy people? we’ll slap you with a devaluation and see how you like that!”

    Guess what they did a week after that? Obviously not caused by TPOL but whiny self entitled bloggers don’t help.

    Rene is the undisputed leader of that pack I cannot stand his diatribes against Delta etc, and Brian seems to be genuinely grateful for the “free” travel aspect.

    As travel enthusiasts, most of us here exploit loyalty programs that are designed to help keep real customers not credit card churners (myself of course) It’s NOT our right to sit up front guzzling lobster and champagne, it’s a privilege that we exploit because we can and are lucky the airlines and hotel groups tolerate us.

    That Shawn dude from memories blog or whatever it’s called also seems entitled once in a while, with a recent post slamming Hyatt for putting expiry dates on a whole friggin month of suite upgrades (4X7 nights) and claiming it was a horrible and terrible afront on his amazing loyalty. I couldn’t help telling him he was not helping us by his entitlement. He was outraged by my comment of course.

    Let’s stop demanding like spoilt toddlers and start being grateful like Brian suggests!!

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