a collage of a man holding a sign
Moustache sold separately.

This article is brought to you by Capital One®. We get approached for sponsored posts all the time, but only take them up when they offer value or useful information to our readers. We think this is definitely one of those times.

I’m nervous, I’m excited and I’m already a bit tired.

Two years ago, I did something I thought would be fun – I challenged people to find me in an airport, and if we happened to be on the same flight, I’d gladly switch my cozy business or first class seat for whatever seat they had. Sure, it was a promotional plug for my blog, but I quickly came to learn that it made a whole lot of people really happy too. Even if they knew it wouldn’t be them, the idea of a fun, feel good travel game seemed to captivate people.

I thought about doing it again last year, but I didn’t have any fresh ideas, and no one likes a movie remake, so I let it be. But this year, I decided that if I could do it again, but bigger and better with a new twist, it just might be better than ever.

I’m here to say… it’s on, again.

a man sitting in a chair

I have No Idea What You’re Talking About

Two years ago I ran a simple fun travel competition. I’d post clues on social media about which cities I would be in and when, as well as tips to help people find me in airports. If they did, I’d gladly switch my first or business class seat for their seat. 

The whole thing went a bit viral, and I ended up getting more than 30 people upgraded all around the world, culminating with a bunch of people trying to find me in London Heathrow when British Airways joined in on the fun and gave me 10 upgrades to give away on one flight! Not that we want to create any airport scenes, but hey. This year, I’m back, with “Where’s Gilbert”, picking up on this fun interactive game but adding to it in so many ways…

The Daily Mail is already in on it!

a collage of a man holding a sign
Moustache sold separately.

Not Just Flight Upgrades

Last time was fun, and it was amazing to get people upgraded on flights all over the world, even including being chased through the airport by people. That really happened.

a map of the world with red lines
my prelimary 2019 giveaway map

Perhaps not as fun for my knees back in economy, but that’s not the point, is it? My 2017 challenge was fun for people who were flying, but I couldn’t help but feel that the game left out too many people who wouldn’t be travelling at the time, or had no flight plans coming up. For this time, I thought –  why not expand into non-flight activities and make this fun for anyone who likes a game, not just people who are travelling who like a game?

I wanted more giveaways!

Capital One Venture And PassportEnter: Capital One® Venture®

I’ve enjoyed watching Capital One grow further into the travel space this year, with Capital One Venture adding airline transfer partners to 15 top loyalty programs. On top of that, Venture cardholders always get great earning rates of 2X miles on every purchase.

Since Venture has quickly climbed the top travel card ranks and is now in my own wallet, I asked them if they’d like to help make people smile around the holidays. How? By teaming up with me and helping to create more giveaways for things on the ground, to pair with my antics in the air.

They said yes!

One of the things I love about Venture is that the card allows you to not only use your miles to redeem towards a travel purchase, but you can also transfer your Venture miles into airline miles with leading loyalty programs. By doing so, you can unlock first class, business class and amazing values in other cabins on flights all over the world, with airlines like Emirates, Cathay Pacific, JetBlue and more.

That’s kinda handy when you’re flying all over the world with people who want your seats, and so is the up to $100 statement credit for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application, which can help you skip some long lines at the airport.

Thanks to their generous partnership, I’m also going to give away five star hotel suites in at least five cities, and without a doubt, quite a few neat twists along the way. Plus, since they’re helping to bring more fun opportunities and giveaways on the ground, I’m able to trade more seats and give away other fun prizes in the air! 

a man holding a sign

Watch This Space

Of all the frustrating buzz phrases of the 21st century, “watch this space” has to be amongst the worst offenders, but it’s fitting here. Over the course of November, we’ll be announcing the flight route map, so that you can start guessing where to find me (Gilbert), and I’ll start using social media to drop clues on how you can snag one of my hotel suites, or take my spot at a drool worthy dinner.

Unlike last time, where it was just flight clues, I’m going to be leaving goodies in cities around the world and turning this into a real #WheresGilbert – kinda like the other guy with the stripy hat – find-me-if-you-can game. If you do find me, fun things will ensue! 

Update: I’ve now included more info on when and where, as well as first clues here.

As you may have guessed, it’s time to plug my social channels.

Twitter: Godsavethepoint (we can’t afford the “s” yet)

Instagram: Godsavethepoints (we got a great deal on the “s”)

One thing I’m absolutely thrilled about this time around, is that it’s not just “look at me” stuff in the air, but will also involve “learn from my weird skills” workshops on the ground. I never thought I’d be able to do what I do for a living, and I want to share all my best travel tricks for finding great flight deals, to as many people as possible. I’ll be doing a free travel talk at the Capital One Cafe in Washington, DC, with more talk announcements to come, to as many people as we can get, so bring your whole family!



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. Love this Gilbert! Great way to captivate your audience with a positive energy. What do I get for bumping into you on the first flight to TLV? Ah scratch that, we both got to be at the bar 🙂 Let us know if your travels bring you to NYC and make sure to visit us at the best photography store in town.

  2. I’ve traded away upgrades myself, only a few times, but it was fun. As a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, if I see an enlisted member in uniform on the same flight I’m on, and I’m on the upgrade list, I’ve offered them my upgrade. I try to do it before I get upgraded, cause at 6’1″ I really don’t want to end up with their old seat. I’ve only been able to do this traveling on United, as American requires those 500 mile upgrade coupons.

  3. Are you incredibly tall, or did you do something with your seat? In the photo above (is that the Club Suite?), why is the seat back so… short?

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