Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Residence: Los Angeles
Bio: Brian Sumers is the airports and airlines reporter for the Los Angeles News Group, a chain of nine Southern California newspapers, the largest of which is the L.A. Daily News. He tweets at @briansumers and blogs about the airline industry at insidesocal.com/aviation. Brian is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and an avid Chicago Cubs fan. He’s also a former sports writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Tampa Bay Times. (He much prefers writing about airplanes.)
How often do you fly? Twice per month.
How many countries have you been to? 30
How many continents have you been to? 4
Favorite American city: Los Angeles.
Favorite international city: (tie) Melbourne, London, Stockholm.
Least favorite country: Montenegro.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.
Favorite airline: Lufthansa.
Favorite aircraft type: 747.
Aisle or window: Aisle.
Favorite airport lounge: Lufthansa First Class Terminal, Frankfurt.
Favorite U.S. airport: United terminal, Chicago O’Hare.
Favorite international airport: Hong Kong International Airport.
Favorite hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Budapest Gresham Palace.
Do you unpack into the dresser/closet? Or live out of your suitcase? Live out of the suitcase.
Favorite cruise line: Silversea.
Favorite island: Mykonos.
Favorite beach: Manly Beach, Sydney.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Son of a Gun, Los Angeles (fancy-ish).
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Sapp Coffee shop, Los Angeles.
Favorite fruit: Peach.
Favorite food: Chinese food (Americanized version).
Least favorite food: Tomatoes.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Air: Warsteiner, Ground: Fat Tire.
Favorite travel movie(s): Up in the Air, Lost in Translation.
Favorite travel show(s): Bizarre Foods.
Favorite travel book(s): Exodus…made me want to go to Israel.
Right now I am reading: Barbarians at the Gate.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Conde Nast Traveler, Cranky Flier, Today in the Sky.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! TripAdvisor, Hotwire, Hotel Tonight.
5 things you bring on a plane: Kindle, newspaper (hard copy), magazines, Bose noise canceling headphones, Granola.
What do you always seem to forget? Phone chargers.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Nothing, I have an aversion to duty free shopping.
Favorite travel app(s): Kayak.
Most embarrassing travel moment: I was waiting for a flight back to Los Angeles from Incheon Airport in Seoul. The lounge being used for the U.S. flights was crowded, so we walked to a different area of the airport to find a less crowded lounge. We found the quieter lounge but apparently it was not to be used for flights to the U.S.
We had to be escorted back to the U.S. departures area by a not particularly amused airport employee. Our walk took us through the bowels of the airport and eventually required us to re-clear security. The process took at least 20 minutes.
Worst travel moment: On a recent trip to Montenegro, my travel companion and I found the food to be less than satisfactory. We pretty much ate Pringles for three days.
What’s your dream destination? Any major world-class city on a sunny, warm day. London, Sydney, Melbourne, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Tokyo.
Favorite travel charity: USO.
Best travel tip: Always maximize the value of your frequent flier miles. On United, never, ever redeem for a standard award.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases.
- 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.