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Hey, Fellow Frequent Flyers: We “Ruin” Things for Everyone Else

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

If a certain British writer had her way, frequent flyers would be banished to an island and never heard from again.


“New figures released in a Department of Transport survey show that the top 10% of the most frequent flyers in England took more than 50% of all international flights last year and that 1% of English residents took nearly 20% of all flights abroad,” Lucy Mangan wrote in The Guardian. “By contrast, 48% of us (hello! My name is Lucy Mangan and I do not even have a passport) took no flights abroad at all.

“It is a reminder of the eternal truth that in most areas of life it is a particularly poisonous – almost literally in this case – few that ruin things for the rest of us.”

So how is this the fault of frequent flyers? And what exactly do we “ruin”?

Honestly, I have no idea. Maybe it’s a parody and was lost on me. But here are some guesses.

We’re Rich?

Maybe we’re perceived as being wealthy. No doubt some frequent flyers have been blessed with good fortune.

But personally speaking, my accountant and my wife can attest how very rich I am not.

I hope Ms. Mangan realizes many frequent flyers travel for work. Some business travel is paid by employers or clients. Business owners and some contract workers pay out of pocket. (I fall into both categories and my work travel is divided up about 50/50.)

But a decent chunk of us depends on credit card points/miles and frequent flyer program points to help discount our personal travels.

problem with transportation, delay of flight, depressed commuter with his luggage

We’re Fancy?

Perhaps it’s an impression that we lead fabulous, glamorous lives.

The article’s cover photo depicts a sporty couple deplaning a private jet. How many private jet rides do you take each year? Again, I’m sure some Rene’s Points readers find themselves on a private plane every so often. But the majority? Probably not so much.

And yes, some of us enjoy first class upgrades, airport lounges, hotel room upgrades, and other fun perks. But a lot of that comes with some expense — financial (such as perks obtained through travel credit cards) or personally. We’re exhausted from days of working, missing friends and family, and running to catch another flight.

Many of us can attest that kissing our loved ones goodbye at 3:00 AM so we can make a 5:00 AM flight to work isn’t at all fancy, glamorous, or fabulous.

We Destroy the Environment?

“Is it really easier to try to change millions of individuals’ recycling habits than legislate against industrial pollution?” Ms. Mangan asks.

Environmental rage is all the, well, rage these days — especially given the reactions to Greta Thunberg.

Airplanes aren’t exactly blameless when it comes to pollution, though planes are becoming more fuel-efficient. And Delta is even looking at ways of creating biofuel from forest floors.


I think it’s a combination of the above factors. But maybe — just maybe — Ms. Mangan envies those of us who spent so much time in the air.

Did she not take any international flights because she lacks a passport? Doesn’t have enough money? Doesn’t want to be perceived as “elite” but secretly craves jumping on an overseas flight?

She should get herself a passport and a couple of decent travel rewards credit cards, and explore the world.

It’s far more enjoyable, productive, and healthier than hating.

What Do You Think?

Check out the article and come back here to share your thoughts.

What exactly do you think we’re ruining (if anything at all)?


Cover photo: ©


Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. Michael R Karpiel Reply

    Seems to be similar to the recent article by Chris Elliott that has caused a major stir in our travel and points community. I think Chris does a lot of good as a consumer advocate but I disagree with his article about eliminating frequent traveler programs.

    Seems this woman wants to eliminate people traveling altogether.

    Finally I have to say that Greta has brought the need for much better environmental policy to the forefront and kudos to her for that. But we also have to look to ways conserve without being radical.

  2. Crazy nutty news source(guardian) very radical and left sided! I read a few more of their ??,$&@ articles and about the CEO Roundtable! Scary the way they think of Capitalism

  3. Well, the author of the article does not actually say anything outside of she wants to send the top 10% to the island of broken planes to change pollution habits…… I think. She seems to want to just complain and doesn’t really have a point. If she had a cogent argument, there would be something to discuss but the subject of the headline on her article and the article itself really do not jive. If she wants to complain that there is too much flying happening, well, complain about it, but she doesn’t. If she wants to complain about the whole frequent flyer elitist thing, she could complain about it, but she doesn’t really go there either. If she wants to complain about the rights of the few oppressing the access to many, she mentions it but avoids a cogent argument as to why this is a problem. Apparently she is unhappy about many things but does not want to expound about it. So for a succinct response:
    Please stop complaining and embody the change you want to see from others. Make a cogent argument about you would like to see different instead of just complaining.

  4. We live in a global economy. Globally, those who earn $35K/year are in the top 1%. If you’re reading this it most likely includes you. Enjoy your wealth but remember to give back.

  5. This is virtue signalling at its finest. 90% of my flying is for business. Business travelers make up about 12% of air travel, but 75% of airline profits. IDK about you, but whether or not there are air loyalty programs I would still do the same amount of travel, those programs try to direct which airline someone uses. Her ideas would mostly hurt vacation and budget travelers, not the so-called 1%. What is her preference? Everyone travel across the Atlantic via clipper ship? Why do all the plans for “saving the planet” require people to reduce their standard of living and level of comfort to pre-electricity levels?

  6. TexasYankee Reply

    Everyone H8s us.
    Friends, neighbors, and relatives hate us until they need advice or a deal on flights using our points.
    The high volume flyers with corporate expense accounts (or self employed with the ability to deduct travel costs from taxes) hate us because we do not deserve to sit in FC with them. Interesting to see how much that changes when they no longer have tickets paid by someone else.
    If we are hated for being “fancy” what does that mean? We do not travel in Walmart sweats? Frequent travelers/Flyers have learned that it is better to be well dressed when flying as the airline employees give better customer service – but that goes for life in general.
    I am pushing 2MM as a DL DM for many years who has paid for all travel personally. (I have over 2.5 million windshield miles from my employer which are worth less than 1 Delta Skypeso) I have flown many miles to maintain status so that I may take my wife on the “fancy” exotic vacation that she so deserves.
    Carbon Footprint? I have to laugh when this term started floating around. Yes the entire planet needs to severely restrict polluting activity. Yes we Frequent Travelers are concerned and do take steps to be environmentally responsible. BUT …. has the author traveled to various parts of China, Asia in general, Malaysia, Thailand, South and Central America, and Mexico? These are the pillars of carbon footprint conservation … (NOT). I have witnessed more than one time the Mercedes zooming down the highway in Malaysia tossing bags of garbage out the window. Also the resort that was under construction (by Japanese workers) on a serene beach side area that had the sewage pipe running directly into the water where patrons from nearby resorts were swimming.
    Could it be that the author of said publication really wants the “fancy” life style?

    Heck, it is really all of the bloggers (except Chris and Rene) who are ruining everything!

  7. Ok I’m just going to say it. My goal is to leave the largest carbon footprint possible before I die 🙂

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