Pro Flight Hacker Reveals How You Can Travel First Class For Less Than Economy

by : Julia Banim on : 24 Jul 2017 17:40

A professional ‘flight hacker’ has revealed the secret to hopping around the globe like a millionaire, at bargain bin prices.


Many people dream of jetting off to exotic destinations in the lap of luxury, but for most of us, flying first class is just a head-in-the-clouds fantasy.

However, jammy New York-based Gilbert Ott has apparently unlocked the secret to lavish first class air travel for all,…and you won’t even have to own a credit card!

Gilbert’s cunning tricks include clocking up air miles without so much as taking off and even missing flights deliberately, but how does it all work?


According to Gilbert, who runs the website God Save The Points, it’s possible to buy those all important loyalty points directly from the carrier.

Speaking with the Daily Mail, Gilbert offered the following tips:

Paying for tickets in loyalty points is often cheaper than with actual money, and there are two ways to amass points: by spending money on credit cards, or flying with a certain airline.

There is a third way,…just buy them directly from the carrier. Every few months, airlines sell off their points in promotional sales which means you can purchase air miles without actually flying anywhere – you can then use them to book trips in upper class for significantly less.

Racking up the air miles from the comfort of your sofa? Genius…

For most of us, the idea of missing a flight sounds like a nightmare, however, for a savvy chap like Gilbert, this is actually a perfect way to cut costs.

The hacks known as ‘hidden city tracking’, involves booking a flight to a place where your intended destination is just a layover, as opposed to a final stop.

By not taking the final part of the flight, the canny traveller could fly from London to Los Angeles, in premium economy, for a fairly affordable £515 return, whereas a standard economy ticket booked the ‘normal’ way would a little more at £539.


According to good-living Gilbert:

Hidden city ticketing is an opportunity to save money on flight prices by booking travel via a city you don’t want to visit – which for whatever reason is pricing out cheaper than the place you do really want to visit,

The self confessed aviation geek is a well of wisdom for all things luxury-travel and Gilbert can offer advice on everything from overcoming ‘status challenges’ to revving up your chances of being bumped up to business class.

Becoming an ‘elite frequent flyer’ would usually require extensive year-round travel and is often pretty impossible for those of us without a six figure salary – for the lucky ones, this status brings exciting free perks such as lounge access and free drinks.

This slice of the high life could be yours according to Gilbert: 

Many airlines will offer people limited time ‘status challenges’, where they can complete only a fraction of the usually required flying time, to earn the same status.

For example, American Airlines normally requires you to accrue 100,000 miles before granting you top-tier elite status, but if you take their status challenge, flying 25,000 miles in three months, it’s yours – for someone with a big trip coming up, this is totally doable.

Gilbert has offered the following advice to UNILAD readers:

It may seem like you can’t be assed, or that this stuff is too complicated, but unless you get rich, it’s the only realistic shot of flying up front regularly. So do yourself a favor and research these ideas, and use deal sites (like mine) to get the best prices. Also, if you ever take a future flight without earning miles, you’re an idiot. Miles are money, and everyone could use  a free flight or upgrade. Miles are your best shot. You’ve been warned!

Just when you thought you couldn’t be any more excited for your summer hols, Gilbert has made the following promise:


If you find me in an airport: check in counter, security lane, terminal, lounge or even boarding gate, I’ll switch seats with you, provided we’re on the same flight.

He will be honouring this promise right up until 31 December 2017 so keep your eyes peeled in this real life game of Catch Me If You Can… 

Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Life


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