Lonely Planet Writer

A travel writer is offering to trade his first-class seat if you spot him on your flight

If you’ve got a good memory for faces then there’s one that no avid traveller should forget. For the next year, one travel writer is offering to switch his first-class seat with anyone who spots him getting on their plane.

Remember this face as it may get you a first class flight.
Remember this face as it may get you a first class flight. Image by God Save The Points

Gilbert Ott is an avid traveller who runs a website called God Save The Points, which helps travellers use points or deals to save money on flights. He also flies a lot – mostly in business or first-class.

He recently relaunched his website and began thinking about ways to promote it. Gilbert told Lonely Planet that he was once flying on Virgin Atlantic in business class and was told by a crew member than Richard Branson would often give up his seat to someone in economy. “When we launched the newer version of our site, I was sitting and thinking (that) I share all this advice about how to fly business or first, using great deals or points, but it would be pretty fun to just give it to someone”. He notes that he also wanted to raise awareness about his site and hopefully make someone else’s day by letting them steal his seat.

If you see this man, you could get a free first class flights.
If you see this man, you could get a free first class flights. Image by God Save The Points

The premise is simple, if you notice him in an airport, at the counter or even while boarding – and you happen to be on the same flight – then you can ask him to switch seats. Luckily, this won’t all be left to random chance. He will be updating a map of his upcoming travels on Twitter and on his website, and posting hints on Twitter and Instagram. He also says that this will apply to all flights, even long international ones.

Gilbert is a New Yorker who met his now-wife, Laura Burns, as she was moving to London, so the pair did a lot of long-distance travel. While he had always been into collecting points and getting deals, Laura encouraged him to put his knowledge into the website. Now, his offer to swap seats will likely have a lot more people following his travels.

Spot Gilbert Ott while travelling and you could find yourself in a first class seat.
Spot Gilbert Ott while travelling and you could find yourself in a first class seat. Image by God Save The Points

“I didn’t quite realise the story might blow up like it has, so this could really backfire. Needless to say it will be amusing, and amusement is a pretty great thing in life. I’ll be thrilled if someone finds me – but if it gets to like ten-in-a-row, the disguises might have to come out!”