In this installment of the Fly&Dine Interview + Giveaway series, we’re talking to Lucky (aka Ben) of BoardingArea goliath One Mile at a Time. If you’re a regular reader of his blog (and with his readership numbers, I assume that everybody is), then you know that Ben’s about to leave his permanent address in the dust and commit to the nomadic life by living out of hotels for the next year and possibly more. To celebrate the occasion, I talked to Ben about his feelings on food while he’s on the road. Check out the interview below and enter my giveaway for a $50 Visa gift card by answering this week’s questions in the comments below. Onto the interview!
You used to be on the road almost a third of the year and now you’re moving into hotels full time. How do you decide where you’re going to eat? What goes into that decision?
I have incredibly simple food tastes, so honestly don’t put too much thought into where I’m eating. I have a few friends who are “foodies,” and when we’re traveling together they tend to do most of the work in terms of researching restaurants and making reservations. Otherwise I’m incredibly fortunate to have amazing blog readers, and nearly every time I fly somewhere I get comments and tweets with restaurant suggestions. So I’m pretty lucky.
“Pretty lucky?” Nice one. Give me your top three airport meals (and where they occurred and why they were so great).
I spend the vast majority of my time at airports in lounges, as I typically need to get work done before my flight.
– I think the best ever was last December at the Air France First Class Lounge in Paris The experience was spectacular, and probably one of the best meals I’ve had in my life, much less in an airport!
– This may not qualify as a “meal” for some people, but I have a bit of a love affair with the pretzels at the Lufthansa First Class Terminal. Surely three or four of those with some Fanta or an Eiskaffee can be considered lunch, right?
– I also have a soft spot for the Dungeness Crab & Flagship Cheese sandwiches at Beecher’s in my home airport of Seattle. They’re incredible, so I’ve convinced myself they don’t have any calories!
If you could change the in-flight meal process, what would you change? What additions/subtractions would you make?
I always appreciate having options. Let me see the appetizer selections, choose the ones I want from the cart, etc. I really dislike the procedure on some Asian airlines where you have to choose between the Traditional or Western menu. I almost always want the Asian desserts (I’m a sucker for mochi, sticky rice, and egg tarts), but I also prefer the Western appetizer, and that seems to confuse many of the flight attendants.
With all these nights in hotels, you must be dealing with some room service. What are some of your room service do’s and don’ts?
Shockingly, I nearly never order room service! I probably should, as I often find myself wandering the streets at odd hours looking for food, but it never occurs to me until after the fact. I do love that at many Andaz hotels Diamond members can receive their breakfast benefit in the room, (and if you ever get the opportunity to have the Lemon Poppyseed pancakes at the Andaz 5th Avenue you certainly should) but again, I generally prefer to go to the restaurant.
You’re also an expert in points (actually, a professional). How can somebody use their points to get some seriously good eats?
The amazing thing about miles and points is how much of the world becomes accessible, which could lead to some pretty amazing dining experiences. I love using American Express Membership Rewards points to fly Singapore Suites to Singapore, which is one of my favorite food cities. I’ve used Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles to fly Emirates First Class and have Afternoon Tea at the Burj Khalifa, which was an incredible experience. I’ve helped people use their Ultimate Rewards points to tour the Champagne caves in Reims, and thousands of other “once in a lifetime” experiences that become downright approachable with miles!
Thanks, Ben. Good luck with the move. Now it’s giveaway time!
If you want to enter this week’s giveaway for a $50 Visa gift card, just answer this question in the comments:
“If you had to permanently live in any hotel in the world, where would you live and why?”
If you have Twitter, please do me a favor and tweet this to your followers: “Hey!
@FlyDine is giving away $50 for free! Read the interview with @OneMileataTime and enter here to win: http://bit.ly/1eiU5ev”
Find past Fly&Dine interviews here:
One entry per person. No purchase necessary. In fact, there’s nothing to purchase. By entering, you agree that you’re cool with the fact that Fly&Dine makes all the decisions and those decisions are final, even if you don’t like them. Contest closes at 11:59pm Pacific on Sunday 4/13/2014. Winner will be contacted via email. Please provide a valid email address when leaving your comment. If we don’t receive a response from you after one week of being notified, a new winner will be chosen at random.