How to fly like a millionaire (even if you’re not one)

The summer holidays have started. And for many, this brings with it the annual hell that is flying. But what if you could swap your usual experience for something much more enjoyable, and fly like a millionaire (even if you’re not one)?

Flying is often not the most comfortable of experiences. Running through busy airports, having to take off your jewellery, belt and shoes, only to have to put it on again once you’re through the stressful security checks, and queueing up at your gate, waiting to board.

And that’s all so you can squeeze into a cramped airplane seat, and endure hours of a crying baby two rows behind you. It’s enough to put anyone off stepping foot inside a plane.

Imagine how different the experience must be if you’re a millionaire? Well actually you don’t need to imagine. Here are two ways you can experience millionaire-style travel without the millionaire-sized bank account.

Take advantage of first class lounges

There’s nothing worse than a layover. Expensive drinks, uncomfortable chairs and hours of boredom while you wait around for the announcement that your gate is opening. If only there was a solution…

There is: first class lounges. Of course, there’s one big sticking point – you need to have a first class ticket to gain entry. But there are ways around this, if you know the tricks and have the confidence to pull it off.

The first one is simply to ask someone to let you in as their guest. Most airports allow first-class flyers to bring one person in with them, so if you can get chatting to a first class flyer it’s worth the gamble of asking them.

If the idea of approaching a stranger and asking them to get you in gives you palpitations, there is another option: get a travel rewards credit card. Some credit cards, especially Chase and American Express, reward passengers who spend a certain amount of money within the first few months of acquiring their card.

So if you know you have a hefty purchase coming up, consider applying for one of these cards and using them to make the purchase. That way you’ll enjoy all the benefits – such as free flights and lounge access – that come with it.

And if all else fails, you can skip the first class lounge and instead buy an affordable pass for one of the private lounges many airports have today, and still wait for your flight in comfort.

Take a private jet

Okay, so this probably sounds just a little out of your price range. But bear with us – it isn’t as unobtainable as may seem.

While private jets used to be reserved exclusively for the fabulously wealthy, they’re now becoming more mainstream through companies like JetApp. So, for example, if Cannes was your destination of choice, you could fly there in luxury for far less than you used to be able to.

If you’re planning a trip as a treat, it’s worth investigating. Just think: no more queueing with hundreds of other grumpy passengers, squeezing your hand luggage into a tiny overhead locker (if there’s any space left) and sitting next to someone with a cold… which you just know you’ll end up catching.

You’ll also avoid busy hub airports like Gatwick or Heathrow and have a much more pleasant experience. And rather than travel being a necessary evil to get you to your holiday or short break, it becomes one of the most enjoyable parts of it.

Want more travel tips?

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Photo by Mariam Soliman