Tag Archives: Airlines

Falling “Blindly” In Love With Virgin Atlantic

By Lakshmi:

I’ve read plenty about the Branson brand of magic.  In fact, I have admired him from afar like legions of “wannabe” entrepreneurs!  Yet, it was not till this summer that I boarded a Virgin Atlantic plane for the very first time.  The occasion was to surprise my better half for our milestone wedding anniversary.  I was impressed by the service (there was vegetarian food – yay!), the friendliness of the staff (no fawning over, just appropriate), the amenities kit (wait…I am in economy class and matter?), the purple cutlery and glasses (my younger daughter’s favorite color) and the tons of free magazines and newspapers on the return flight (did I mention I am a voracious reader?).

So, the Branson brand was working its charm.  It was a world apart from my normal cross atlantic flights.  So, when we had to return to Europe the following month, we consciously chose Virgin Atlantic. And on this trip I fell “blindly” in love.  If you have the patience to read the rest of this, the word “blindly” will become a lot more real.

On this trip, the joy was doubled since my daughter was indulging in the Branson touch for the first time.  But it was after the plane ride had ended that the Virgin magic really kicked in.

Per my routine, I had removed my contact lenses on the plane and somehow dropped the case in the vicinity of my seat.  I discovered the loss of my perfect vision enablers upon walking into the baggage claim area, struggling with my old glasses and the reality of astigmatism.

Thinking that my lenses were lost forever, I made a last-ditch effort at recovering my vision by walking into the Virgin Lounge.   I told them the story, and offered to wait in the hallway outside the lounge while they investigated.  That was not to be.  Instead, my daughter and I were welcomed into the lounge, asked to relax and eat while the staff ably went about tracking my contacts on a plane that was comfortably in its hangar.

Ninety minutes later, a beaming staff member handed me my lenses, a pair that had traversed through multiple dedicated Virgin employees to enable a passenger in economy class regain her perfect vision.  And fall “blindly” in love in the process.

Thank you Virgin.  In an age where the customer is usually taken for granted, you guys rock with your dedication.  Love the spirit…we will be back for more 🙂


A Sincere Thank You From the Wanderlust Souls at Paupers

Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii

By Lakshmi:

Today marks a very special milestone for us at Paupers.  It is our 2ooth post and in just over five months we have had over 13,000 visitors from around the world visit our little alcove in cyberspace.

I want to take a moment to extend a sincere thank you to each and every one of our readers.  Through our posts and your feedback, we have been enriched with the ability to network with other wanderlust souls across the universe who continue to encourage us each day.   To us, writing about travel is sheer joy….the fact that you all chose to read us is a real privilege.

As mentioned in our posts, we start and end our days thinking about travel.  We talk incessantly about trips we have taken and places we would like to go to.  When anyone talks about their travels, we jump right in to listen.  We take equal joy in the actual act of travel as we do living vicariously through the adventures of others.

We dream about locales, people, hotels, hikes…there’s just too much out there to experience.  We devour frequent travel blogs to see how we can squeeze in yet another trip without breaking the bank.  We read twitter feeds from a multitude of hospitality companies, design firms, restaurants and more to keep us dreaming.  Our home and electronic devices are brimming with books, articles, tips and pictures that keep tempting us each day.

There is so much to do and experience and having the ability to share a little slice of our joy/adventure and tips with you all just makes our life complete. And please continue to share your incredible experiences with us! We want to continue the dialogues, the exchange of stories is what makes this so tremendous.

Thank you once again from the bottom of our hearts and please keep visiting and sharing your thoughts.  You complete our circle of life!

Points and Miles – The way to enable our travels

By Lakshmi:

If you’ve read a few of our posts, you know that we are indeed paupers without travel.  But how does one travel without becoming a pauper?

When people hear about our trips, the frequent comment is….oh that’s too expensive.  We can never do it.  And my answer is life is a series of trade offs!

In our household, when it comes to making a choice between a new experience or buying something, we always pick a new experience.   No ifs or buts.

But what really helps us do as much as we do is the points and miles we gain by frequenting the same airline or hotel.   My husband and I also travel for work and typically, our choices are one or two airlines.  And each of us, including our kids have a frequent flyer account.  For those not engaging in this activity to date, there is no cost to join these programs, and the opportunities to earn points and miles without ever leaving your home are endless.  We carry credit cards with the same airlines, racking up miles for every dollar we spend on all things mundane….gas, groceries, you name it, it goes on the card.

Isn’t it really complicated to keep track of who has what points?  Not really.  Websites like awardwallet.com enable you to keep track of all your rewards in one place.

Of course, I am a newbie in this point collection space as compared to the pros who have entire blogs dedicated to the art of earning points and miles.  One of my favorites is flyertalk.com.  On any given day, there are several posts on the most creative ways to fuel the point earning frenzy.  My most amazing discovery was a class of individuals who do mileage runs, for example, taking a flight to Tokyo and returning back without even seeing the city to take advantage of  mileage boosting promotions.

In addition to providing you with twitter feeds on the latest deals we spot, we will dedicate a section called Points and Miles to feature the earning opportunities we learn about.

We hope you find our own tips for navigating this landscape helpful and we look forward to hearing your tips for making travel a priority in your lives!