Today, if all goes well, I will be experiencing a unique triple whammy:
The Lufhansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt
The Swiss First Class lounge in Zurich
Swiss First Class flight to Boston
(oh, and a Lufthansa Business Class flight from Frankfurt to Zurich, but that’s not very exciting!)
This means that a) I have been pushed for time to write new stuff for today and b) it is a perfect opportunity to re-use an old post and recommend a video to you!
If you’ve never seen “Frequent Flyer – The Video”, then you really must. It has been a couple of years since Gabriel Leigh made it, I think as a graduation project in the US, but it remains a fantastic piece of work.
It is a 20 minute piece about collecting airline miles, in particular the people (like us!) who do it. It primarily focusses on mileage running – taking very cheap or multi-segment flights on crazy routings in order to accumulate miles or status points very cheaply. This practice is very popular in the US because of the ability to turn a New York to San Francisco flight into an 8-segment marathon, on the same airline.
(In Europe it is a lot more difficult because of the number of different airlines – the best you might manage is, potentially, flying London to Zurich to Frankfurt instead of London to Frankfurt, in order to add an extra Star Alliance flight segment or some extra miles.)
Anyway, back to the video. The production quality is outstanding, as good as any documentary made for the cinema. Randy Petersen, founder of Flyertalk and Milepoint, is featured, as are some other regular Flyertalk posters, albeit under their real names.
It includes a segment with Steve ‘Beaubo’ Belkin, talking about how he infamously hired disabled Thai rice farmers to fly between Bangkok to Chiang Mai all day, every day, in order to take huge advantage of a Star Alliance promotion! (Belkin is the first person you see talking when the video starts, Petersen is second.)
The link to the video is here or click the image above if you can see it (you’ll get a bigger picture by watching it via the link). If you’re at work and don’t have 20 minutes to spare, email yourself a reminder to watch it at home. If you’ve already seen it, watch it again – it is worth it for the quality of the film making alone.
The good news is that Leigh is now working on a feature length version of ‘Frequent Flyer’, funded via the Kickstarter website. Enjoy. And think of me struggling to put away yet another glass of premium champagne in a First Class lounge somewhere today …..!