Yeah, but How Does a Commoner like Me Fly Business Class?

emirates business class

Note: I receive no kickbacks or have any kind of affiliation with the credit card(s) touted in this article. This is purely to help you get radass flights for (almost) free.

I realized something this morning. I can’t remember what it was, but I know I realized something. I was walking along Calle Libertad, and I thought, “That’s it! That’s the secret to life!” I think it might’ve been something about eating more tamales. I’ve found some delectable ones by the neo-gothic church sometimes referred to as El Expiatorio. I get at least one everyday now. They have corn tamales, acelga (I think this might either be seaweed or cheese), rojos, verdes, pollo, and a few others. They cost 17 pesos.

Ah, I remember what I realized now. That this blog needs to be more useful. That I need to talk about myself less. So that’s why today’s post is about how you can fly business class for free within the next few months.

Some of you might remember this dynamite post from two weeks ago about the pleasures of business class. Bu some of you might have also wondered, “Yeah, but how do I fly business class? I don’t have the cash for that.”

But you don’t need cash. You need MILES. Lots of them. Fortunately, when you sign up for new credit cards, airline companies rain miles upon your person.

For example, the kind folks at Delta just emailed me this promotion the other day about 50,000 bonus miles when I sign up for their Amex card. Will I do this? Probably not right now. Because honestly with the way things are going I don’t know if I could spend the $1,000USD in the first three months that’s required to get the bonus miles. But you people, I know you people have good jobs, and live in economies where this kind of spending is not only regular, but required. If you live in the United States of America and don’t live in a hut in southeast Utah with 16 wives and a pet raccoon named Jake, it’s easy to spend $1,000 in three months. It would be hard not to.

So, you spend the $1,000 in the first three months, and then what happens? Well, once you pay off those miles — and this is critical, because they will not send you your miles until you’ve not only spent $1,000 on your C-card but also paid it off with money from your savings or checking account — they send you the miles. They SAY it takes up to six weeks or so for this to happen. But in my experience it’s usually within a week, two at the most.

Also, for this Delta card, and for a lot of cards offering promotions, there’s no annual fee for the first year. Which means you get your miles, you fly your free business class flight, and then you cancel the card. Please don’t think that this canceling of your card will destroy your credit score. It won’t. Doing it ten times a month might, but as long as you always pay your cards off, your credit score will be fine. I’ve churned many a credit card, and my score is still somewhere in the 700’s.

Once you’ve got your miles, you go to the Delta.com website and look for flights. You have 50,000 miles to burn, and you want to go somewhere exotic. How about Bogota, Colombia? You have a girlfriend who went there and she said it was, like, totally awesome. And oh my God, it’s not dangerous at all. She, like, never felt unsafe. And there’s such cute cafes and bakeries.

Well that’s wonderful. I think that’s wonderful. You SHOULD go to Bogota. And you should fly business class. Unfortunately, you’re only going to be able to fly business class one way. Because flying business class to Bogota costs 40,000 miles + around $40 cash. But come on, who wants to fly roundtrip when they go to Bogota, anyway? I mean, when you fly to Hawaii, do you fly roundtrip? No, you fly one way, stay for 20 years, forget your “mainland name,” and start eating pineapple all day and saying the word “Brah.” Same thing with Bogota. You don’t fly roundtrip. You fly one way, get a job teaching English, start taking bachata lessons, and stay forever. And using miles encourages this, because you won’t have enough to get back.

Once you’ve booked your flight, get prepared for the business class experience. DO NOT wait in the main line going through security. That’s for the plebs. Go through the priority line. DO NOT wait in line getting on the plane. Also for the plebs. Get in the priority line. And once you get on the plane kick back and relax, put your feet up and rest your weary head. Because, men: 50 of you going to Bogota today. And 25 of ya ain’t comin’ back!

 

A special thanks to Lauren Colton for supporting this “blagh.”

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50 Shades of Earl Grey

“Hardwood floors! Tasteful lighting! A garden! Cool trinkets! A beautiful ivy plant I thought was fake but is actually totally real!”

I’m imagining a torture situation in which I have to yell out true statements about Taller de Te, Bogota’s number one specialty tea shop. Every time I yell out something false Adriana, one of the owners, clad in hip-high leather boots, cracks me across the stomach with a sock full of quarters.

“Name our four most exquisite specialty teas,” she says in her lilting Colombian accent.

I think about it. “Coca leaf tea.”

“I can’t hear you.”

“Coca leaf tea!”

The quarters stay steady.

“Sencha rose?”

She whips me across the abdomen. “Sencha Rose is not specialty!”

I frantically search my memory banks.  There is one tea.  It’s from China and of the particular variety they stock only 300 bricks were ever produced.  But what is it called?  Pearl?  Po-Er?  It’s some kind of Chinese name.  

“Pearl?” I venture.

“What did you say?” 

“Pearl,” I say again.

She throws back her head and laughs.  “There is no ‘Pearl’ tea here, my dear.  There is only Pu-erh.  It is the most exquisite tea we have.”

I was so close. “Pu-erh! Pu-erh!  Pu-errrrrrrr!” I scream, but it’s too late. There’s a grunt and the sock whizzes through the air. I gasp for breath and look up at Adriana. She’s smiling and stroking the sock of quarters as if it were a Shar Pei. I groan with delicious pain and slip into unconsciousness…

Located in the leafy Chapinero Alto district, Taller de Te is the best tea shop in Bogota.  In a country known for its coffee, Taller de Te has distinguished itself in the world of tea.  The shop boasts exotic teas from around the world: coca leaf tea, high-grade matcha tea, and an exotic Pu-erh of which only 300 bricks were produced. Sometimes when I go into the shop I just sit and there and mutter the words Pu-erh to myself. I’m not quite sure how to pronounce it, but I love how it rolls off the tongue. Pu-erh. Pu-erh. Pu-errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrh.

Today Taller de Te is crowded. This is usually not the case. Usually I’m the only customer. But today is Saturday and the Bogotanos are out in force. They need their tea, they need it loose-leaf, and they need it now. The shop is buzzing. It smells like cheap glue because Carla, one of other owners, is making crafts. I feel 70% happy and 30% like I might pass out. I’ve just ordered a “Bollywood Chai Tea” for the horrendous price of 10,000 COP (3.40 USD). The music that’s playing is tasteful. For some reason the fact that it’s so tasteful is irritating. What standard of perfection! I shall never live up to it. I am flesh and bone. I experience primitive emotions like lust and envy. I do not deserve to drink this tea. I deserve to be flogged by Adriana. Pu-erh! Pu-erh!

My chai latte comes. It smells like a gingerbread house. It smells like Christmas. I feel like I’m Hansel of Hansel and Gretel, being led toward the house of a witch. Except instead of breadcrumbs dotting the path there are tiny cups of steaming-hot chai. And instead of being in the forest I’m in a South American metropolis. And instead of being led toward the house of a witch I’m being led towards Adriana, who in real life is polite and helpful, with cute bangs and skin like the soft glow of a sunrise. She might be the most beautiful tea shop worker in northeastern Bogota. She places the chai latte in front me. I say “Thank you.” She says, “OK.”

The chai is delicious. It’s perfectly sweetened with panela (sugarcane). Not too sweet, though — Adriana would never allow that. I sip it and gaze into the garden. Night falls around us in this garden of chai and evil. The spices are exquisite. I detect cardamom. I slip into a kind of reverie and soon the tea is gone. I’m not satisfied; I want more. But more what? More milk? More spices? More tasteful decoration?

I look over at Adriana.  In my mind she hikes up her skirt to show off her hip-length boots and reaches for a sock of quarters. She knows what I want more of. Pu-erh. Pu-erh! Pu-errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrh.