Justin Ross Lee is an American travel expert, published author & socialite. He is also the founder behind Pretentious Pocket and the funny guy who Patti Stanger tried to set up in Millionaire Matchmaker. I’ve been following him for years, and admire his ability of always traveling first or business on a shoestring!
Justin is an expert when it comes to finding loopholes in the systems that give him the ability to always travel comfortably around the world. He explains how he does it in his book “Don’t you know who I think I am? Confessions of a first-class asshole”.
Besides the numerous travel-hacks he shares, we also get to follow him on his journey of social climbing in New York. If there is one thing Justin has in common with the JetsetBabe community, is that he also once had to level up and fake it till he made it! But more on that in his book…
You have some great insights into the world of socialites and meeting the right people. What tips could you give a woman who is just starting her social climbing journey?
Wealthy men are cognizant of flies drawn to their honey pot. Labels don’t impress nearly as much as experiences will. Use travel destinations and experiences as your qualifier to get on the inside. As I discuss at length in my book a mistake people often make while “social climbing” is treating others like they’re beneath them.
Everyone in the food-chain matters: doormen, bellhops, drivers, maids. They see everything and they talk. Treat people with respect and turn them into your fans and advocates. Also don’t look like you’re “trying hard”. The smell of desperation lingers longer than a spritz of Chanel #5.
You’re an expert in some serious travel hacking! Could you share some tips with us for travel in first or business class for less?
Don’t use cash. I never make a transaction that doesn’t benefit a mileage account or credit card points program. Buying $300 worth of makeup brushes or glittery shit from Sephora.com?
Use a “mileage shopping portal” to earn additional miles per dollar spent. It’s free, (doesn’t matter whose credit card you’re paying with), and you can easily double dip on points accrual by clicking a link of a website you were going to buy from anyways.
But mileage accrual is only one side of the equation; Redemptions are where the sweet spots exist. I am launching an exciting product in early 2019 that will be of great help in this regard and will be giving School of Affluence members special access. Stay tuned.
Should women in my community upgrade that flight ticket if they want to meet someone affluent or can they do some great networking flying coach?
No one wants to network in coach, the same way no one wants to join a gang in prison: They must survive. For flights >4 hours it’s almost always worth the upgrade, especially when you consider you are physically in your seat for over 5 hours. You’ll often have lounge access, priority check-in, priority boarding, priority luggage, etc.
Never dress down to fly. You have hundreds of eyeballs on you… In premium cabins always make an “entrance”. On long-haul flights change onboard to be comfortable. You are contained in a metal tube traveling at 600 mph, and businessmen up-front are drinking alcohol. Talk about a captive audience just itching for an introduction…
What are your favorite airlines for business and first class?
Favorite airlines for first class:
All Nippon Airlines (Japan) Serves $500 Hibiki 21 year whiskey. Sake-massaged Wagyu beef and some of the most attentive, and “caring” service you’ve ever had. You’ll want to hug your flight attendant. (At the end of the flight I was drunk enough to do just that.)
Singapore Airlines (Singapore) Consistently consistent. The most proactive service in the sky. You’re being watched without feeling like you’re being watched. Vintage Dom, Krug, caviar. Pre-order the “Book The Cook” lobster thermidor. A must.
Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong) Most comfortable and wide bed in the sky. Krug and caviar. Exceptional lounges in Hong Kong.
Japan Airlines (Japan) Exquisite meals. Sincere and formal service. Caviar, $400 Salon vintage, or Cristal champagne make JAL First Class a serious contender.
Favorite airlines for business class:
EVA Air (Taiwan) Vintage Veuve Clicquot “La Grande Dame” Champagne, lobster in business class, pajamas, world-class service. Try to get onboard their new Boeing 787’s.
Qatar Airways (Qatar) First class-ish service in business class. Dine-on-demand, Rosé champagne, and pajamas. The new “Q-suites” are a fucking game changer.
Japan Airlines (Japan) Fantastic “airweave” mattress. Tumi Amenity kit. Fly on their aircraft featuring “Apex Suites”, the best business class seat out there.
The best airport lounge you’ve ever been to?
Lufthansa First Class Terminal (Frankfurt)
Cigar room, 130 selections of whiskey, sleeping rooms, fantastic catering by DO&Co, great bubble baths, private Porsche transfers, lounge to plane
Cathay Pacific “The Pier” First Class Lounge (Hong Kong)
Beautiful bar, private nap rooms, full restaurant, complimentary foot massage treatments
Thai Airways First Class Lounge (Bangkok)
Your own living room, full 1-hour Thai massage included, exceptional service, golf cart transfers, and an escort every step of the way
What airline is a waste of money flying business or first-class with?
Short haul European business class is a joke. Seats are the same, legroom is the same. Pass on that shit.
Lastly. How do you make your Instagram feed look so perfect? Who is taking all these fabulous photos?
I use an iPhone. I’ve outsourced a lot in my life but never editing. No one can make you look better than yourself. I use professional software that I taught myself to use, none of this automatic filter crap. Who takes the photos? You know better than that; A trade secret.
Thank you Justin for sharing these tips with us!
If you want to learn more about traveling for less and the art of social climbing – read Justin’s book!