There’s levels to this ish’…

Ok big shot, you’ve got your shiny elite status card, a passport and a sense of entitlement, but until you’ve experienced all five of these things – you’re just another traveler, another number in the matrix and a fan – not a fanatic. As you become a fully compulsive, obsessed, borderline crazy travel nut, you’ll undoubtedly experience all of these things. Here’s how to know you’ve made it…

a blue passport on a tableYou’ve Run Out Of Passport Pages

First world problems to the highest magnitude. You took that book meant to last ten years and turned it into a two year nuisance. Congratulations on doing so, especially in a digital age where the classic passport stamp is slowly disappearing. You’re onto the big time here.

Your Flight Crew Remembers You

Back again, ____? This may sound simple enough, but flight crews see so many people every day, every flight, it’s hard to be memorable. If you’ve become memorable and it’s not down to bad behavior, it means you’re logging some serious miles. Getting to know flight crews is one of the great pleasures of climbing the ranks.

You’ve Had To Turn Off Fraud Alerts

Yes, I know I just made a purchase in Singapore, and then a few hours in Frankfurt, but I’m in New York now. Please don’t be surprised when I make a purchase in Los Angeles in a few hours. If you haven’t tripped up the bank fraud computer algorithms, you’re just not doing it hard enough. Once you’ve had to ask your bank to never alert you to potential fraud ever again, you’ll know you’ve made it.

You Pack For Multiple Climates

Flying around the world, coming back to home base and then heading out again is just plain inefficient. You’ll know you’ve made it when you need to plot how you can stay warm during ski season in Japan, on the same trip you’ll be enjoying the sunny delights of summer in Australia. You’ll know you’ve officially cracked the code when you figure out how to do it with carry on only.

You’ve Been Questioned By Immigration

Now, please explain why you’ve flown 100,000 miles in the last month. Until you’ve seen utter bewilderment in the eyes of an immigration officer, your travels are far too easily explained. You only need to intense line of questioning once, but once you do – you’ll know you have progressed to the elite ranks.

5/5? Well done. Any others?


Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. 6. You have the flight crew’s pre-flight and in-flight announcements memorized.
    ….When United and Continental were merging I was on a flight to Cincinnati when the Continental flight attendant said “…we’d like to welcome our OnePass members and SkyTeam partners aboard…..” I looked at her and said “Star Alliance,” and she promptly made the correction. In fairness it was only about 48 hours earlier that OnePass had been folded into MileagePlus and Star Alliance.

  2. I can recite the British Airways “Flying Start / Comic Relief” safety video word perfect (including Rob Brydon’s tone of voice).

    1. “Especially if it it’s a bag full of duty free goods… darling?” Love that bit with Gordon haha.

  3. When you get to the paid lounge and are waved in — not asked to show ID or boarding pass. “Hi, so good to see you again.” VERY bad sign.

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