Airline Review: Thai Airways

From CNX to BKK to DXB, this was one of the least complicated international routes I’ve taken from one foreign outpost to another. There was no b.s. at the gates or on boarding/deplaning. Truly courteous staff. No long lines to suffer through at the counter or gate. Excellent in-seat entertainment options and comfortable, clean seats. Even the food was decent, far above most airline standards. No frills sitting in economy, but there was no major crowding/fighting for arm and leg space with nearby passengers.

Verdict: Excellent (9/10)

Fun with Numbers: Airlines Flown To Date (35 and counting)

Since Americans are all about numbers and size and girth and whatever, and since it’s impossible to sit through a long flight without developing stupid lists, here’s a rough accounting of airlines experienced to date.

Note that there are a few dubious entries - where it’s clear that a new airline was flown but the exact name may not be accurate. And of course, there are many entries that were forgotten with time. So for now, we’ll go with 35 airlines as “the number” when evaluating the worldliness of a traveler. When you figure there were ones forgotten from childhood, it’s likely to go up towards 40. But we’ll stick with this number out of confidence and security that the number is strong enough to show true experience as a globetrotter.



Alaska Airlines

American Airlines

Bangkok Airways

British Airways

Cathay Pacific

China Eastern


Delta Airlines


Etihad Airways


Frontier Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines

Iceland Express*


Juneyao Airlines (China)

Kuwait Airways


Meridiana* (Italy)

Qantas (Australia)


Southwest Airlines***

Spirit*** (The Devil’s Airline)

Sun Country

Thai Airways


Turkish Airlines

United Airlines

US Airways*


Virgin America*

Virgin Atlantic


* No longer exists

** Not 100% certain but pretty sure it was this one

*** Never fly unless there are absolutely no other options

Airport Lounges: Seattle's Delta Sky Club (SEA)

One of the best perks of credit cards like the American Express Platinum Card or the Ritz Carlton Visa by Chase is access to airport lounges via Priority Pass and other partnerships. Delta Sky Clubs are part of this deal but you have to be flying on Delta to get free access (whereas all other lounges are open to members regardless of the airline you fly that day).

Seeing as the AMEX Centurion lounges set the gold standard at nearly every airport, it’s rare to venture beyond them at places like DFW, MIA, SFO and SEA. But it was on my way and closer to my gate than the AMEX Centurion, so I figured why not check it out. At the least, I could skip out and head to the Centurion if it was terrible.

To my surprise, it was incredible. This two-story behemoth felt like a breathe of fresh air - huge ceilings and a wall of glass windows give you the space to feel at ease during the usually claustrophobia experience of being at the airport.

Food was excellent, as was the selection of free alcoholic beverages. It was clean, service was fast and friendly, the wifi was speedy…what more can you ask for? Although the AMEX Centurion’s still hold the crown for best lounges - for the most part - this particular Delta Sky Club was well worth the visit.

Verdict: Sweet! (8.5 / 10)

Digital Nomad Economics: The 24 Hour Flight Check-In

Trying to get a good seat without paying a premium for an aisle seat or an exit row or something else?

Always, always, always….check into your flight right at the 24 hour pre-departure time. Every airline is different and they’re all looking for new ways to screw you out of a penny. But when check-in opens, there are seats that have been on hold that get released.

Sometimes you get a free bump up to an exit row to get more legroom, but it’s more important for finding your way out of the dreaded middle seat. Maybe you like being cramped between two smelly strangers and a middle seat is awesome for you. But chances are, you will take any aisle or window instead of the middle.

At the 24 hour mark, elites start getting upgrades and airlines start losing hope that you’ll pay for the upgrade. It’s a game of chicken and works out 50/50. But I’ll take 50/50 any day of the week and twice on Sunday, especially after the last time I flew middle - on a Southwest flight next to a person working on a “Ted Cruz for President” excel grid on her laptop.


Digital Nomad Economics: Register for Every Airline & Hotel Loyalty Program

Even if you don’t travel very often, you must be a “member” or “guest” in all the major airline and hotel loyalty programs. They have dozens of factors to rank your merit as a customer and those who are unaffiliated rank dead last. Even an infrequent traveler gets a little more recognition, leading to better boarding zones when flying or better rooms when staying at a hotel.

And if you’re not making sure you get points for EVERY leg of your travel, you are missing out big time. Points and miles add up. It takes time. Be patient. But every lit bit counts. And there are always offers to get freebies or double or triple points for certain trips.

So go spend 30 minutes and register for the following:

Alaska Airlines

American Airlines

British Airways



United Airlines




Marriott/SPG/Ritz Carlton

There are plenty of others around the world, and some left off intentionally that we don’t suggest using (Frontier, Southwest, Spirit). You have to start somewhere, so get going and make sure you’re on the list with all these big companies. When you finally fly one in three years, trust me when I say you’re likely to do better if they see the “member since 2018” instead of nothing. Granted, airlines generally treat all humans like cattle (or worse). But that’s why you have to fight for every little bit of recognition.

Digital Nomad Flights: Always Be a Loyalty Club Member

Earning or buying elite status on airlines is hard af. Even for me. There are a million ways to ensure you don't get a middle seat next to a screaming baby and a rude weirdo in the aisle right next to the bathroom. But one thing people don't get is that they need to be a member of the loyalty club on each and every flight on each and every airline. Even if you won't be flying often or soon, you don't want to be the lowest person on the totem pole. The airlines will literally consider you last in all things when it comes to seat placement or bumping you. It's easy to sign up. Do it before every flight and make sure you book your tickets with it.