MADE BY MEMBERS • September 2021
He may be based in Kent, but cut Steve White open and he bleeds red, white and Vegas. The travel consultant and Vegas know-it-all has been a Gold Member since 2019 thanks to frequent trips in Club World and First to his spiritual home across the pond. This month, the frequent flier tells fellow Members how he made it to the top
When did you first become Gold?
I have been Gold with British Airways for around three years now, following a crazy 13-flight run between Bucharest and Phoenix, Arizona.
What’s your favourite thing about flying with British Airways?
There is something comforting about flying with British Airways. I always feel so welcome from the moment I check in. The service has always been attentive, and great service is always really important for me when deciding who to fly with.
Favourite thing about being a Gold Member?
I think it has to be all of the Gold perks that take the stress out of flying. I usually fly out of LHR so really appreciate The First Wing, with the super-efficient private security channel and, of course, the First Lounge. You don’t even have to walk through duty free!
What’s your number one top tip for other Executive Club Members looking to hit Gold?
I once took a crazy routing all the way across the USA and Europe (including Vegas) that took me through multiple cities and airports (New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Boston and Las Vegas in the USA) just to experience a number of different flying experiences with British Airways and American Airlines – I value those Tier Points!
What is your favourite route for keeping your Tier Points topped up?
It has to be Heathrow to Las Vegas – my most flown route. Plus, it’s really easy to fly via Los Angeles, Phoenix or San Francisco for the extra Tier Points.
Which is your favourite British Airways cabin and why?
Oh, it just has to be First. The Club Suite looks amazing, though – I’ve yet to actually fly it (I blame the pandemic!), so I’d like to give that a whirl soon.
What is your favourite aircraft?
The queen: Boeing’s 747 (pictured above). My last ever 747 flight was in First, in the nose, to Vegas. That feels almost poetic to me now.
Aisle or window seat?
Window – perfect for plane spotting.
How did you end up working as a travel consultant? What’s the best thing about it?
My good friend Michael Trager (another fellow Gold Member) offered me the opportunity. We also work together on ZorkCast, which is a podcast about travel. The best thing about it is being able to share my knowledge and expertise with others.
My packing essential? Boiled sweets.
Is Vegas your favourite destination for a holiday?
Of course! Though I do also absolutely love Nashville. I’m a big country music fan.
Biggest plane pet peeve?
I honestly am not sure I have one. I just love flying.
What is your best advice for sleeping on planes?
If you are able to splash out for First or Club World, the fully flat bed helps. If not, a decent pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
What are the three packing essentials you take on every flight?
Noise-cancelling headphones (as above), a good book (actually these days I take my Kindle) and boiled sweets (for take-off and landing).
Top packing tip?
Packing cubes. They will change your life.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from the Covid-19 crisis?
To never take the opportunity to travel for granted again. I’m usually always planning my next adventure, but haven’t been abroad now since February 2020.
How do you get the most out of your Avios? How do you typically spend/collect?
I love booking a good value World Traveller Plus fare and upgrading to Club World with Avios. You can get some fantastic deals that way. I’d say I collect most consistently through my British Airways American Express® Credit Cards, as well as using the Avios eStore.
Your top three hangouts in Vegas and why?
That is a toughie – there are too many! I would definitely say that The Chandelier lounge at the Cosmopolitan has to be on the list. I also love everything about the Wynn. It’s pure luxury. My third choice would probably be the Plaza downtown – it offers something different and it’s good to get off the Strip sometimes. Be sure to visit its steakhouse, Oscar’s – it is amazing.
What’s your favourite thing about American culture?
The level of service. Nine times of out of ten it is impeccable and difficult to beat.
What’s the one thing you would tell your younger self?
Travel the world and experience as much as you possibly can, while you can.
Favourite hotel in the world?
Surprisingly it isn’t in Vegas. I have a particular fondness for the Conrad London St James, back here in London. The staff are all fabulous, and it has made for some great staycation memories over the past few months. It also has a fantastic new restaurant that just opened called The Pem – the best food I’ve had in ages.