Gilbert Ott is a travel blogger from New York. His site, God Save the Points, specialises in showing travellers how to fly in style by using air miles and booking the best value fares. He also flies business class a lot.
Now he’s willing to share his lifestyle with mere economy-class civilians by swapping his business-class seat with anyone he happens to share a flight with.
And he’s flying from Heathrow this weekend.
“The best thing about business class is the bed,” Ott told The Independent. “I think that business class allows people to get the closest thing to real sleep on a plane, and when you’re on the go, and or need to be fresh right off the flight, it’s huge. I can’t lie though, I love the champagne far more than I should.”
The ‘Catch me if you can’ deal – which he freely admits is a method of attracting more people to his work – is simple. Spot Ott on a flight this year, tell him you know who he is, and he’ll swap seats with you, even if you’re in a middle seat at the back of the plane.
His upcoming flights include domestic US routes like New York to Washington DC and LA, as well as longhaul flights such as the 12-hour Tokyo to Doha. Airlines include Etihad, Thai Airways, Swiss and Cathay Pacific.
And now, British Airways have joined in the deal, offering 10 free upgrades (or, rather, double upgrades, since it has a premium economy cabin) to its Club World seats for anyone recognising Ott on one of their flights.
His first with BA takes place on Sunday afternoon from Heathrow T5. After that, he’ll be flying with them roughly every month.
Ott told The Independent that he’s not entirely a business-class snob. “It’s been quite a while since I’ve spent more than eight hours in economy but some trips are all about scheduling, so I’ll take what I can get,” he said. “I don’t mind flying economy on newer planes where the air pressure is more natural, windows are bigger and you don’t feel the jet lag as much. The Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 are magic for that stuff.”
Interested in an upgrade? Ott is leaving hints about his routes on Twitter and Instagram.