reader question

Reader Question: Advanced Champagne Techniques?

Yesterday was apparently Sunday, which means nothing to us, but some bloggers tend to field reader questions on said day of the week. One of our confused followers, who for some reason thought we cared about our dear readers, posed to us this important query:

Sometimes I get so drunk and/or lazy, that I don’t even feel like lifting and tilting back my champagne glass, even though I want to keep drinking. Do you have any suggestions?

Anonymous Points Envy fan, you came to the right place. This question comes up constantly, and it breaks our heart to hear that people aren’t better informed in this area. Thankfully, we have a tried-and-true solution to your woes, the key to which is literally right at your fingertips.

In our experience, all airlines outside of North America have modern, motorized seats in their first class cabins. For our method, simply bring the champagne to your lips and use the seat controls to lean back and cause the champagne to pour into your mouth. Unfortunately, this only eliminates the tilting portion of drinking champagne, but we are currently at work on a method that will also allow you to avoid having to lift the glass to your lips.

One of our longtime readers, DeShawndre Chen, submitted this video to us a few weeks ago to see if he was doing it correctly. Have a look:

While he is doing fairly well, he clearly should have consumed more champagne in a single sip. We therefore rate his performance 4/10, as he seems to be missing much of the point.

So there you have it! With a little practice you can perfect this method as we have; all you need is a first class seat. If you find that you do not have a motorized seat, make sure there has not been a terrible mistake (as has happened to us) or immediately switch to hard liquor in the hope that you will not have to remember the sad excuse for a flight you are on.

We hope all of our readers will make good use of this technique, as it makes us feel better about ourselves to know that we are improving others’ lives. Please send more reader questions our way at or hit us up on Twitter.


Reader Question: How Do I Survive Coach?

Reader BigMike64 writes in this week with a question that almost brought us to tears:

I’ve got a trip coming up next week and, despite my best efforts, I was forced to buy my transatlantic ticket on American Airlines in coach due to severe scheduling restrictions. I’ve never actually flown coach, and at 6’4”, I’m a little worried. Do you have any tips on how to make the eight or so hours go by as pleasantly as possible?

We would like to offer our condolences to BigMike64, as his flight will no doubt be a harrowing experience. Although neither of the editors at Points Envy have ever actually flown coach, we have heard about it several times and feel we can offer a few valuable tips.

For starters, one strategy that has worked beautifully for us in similar uncomfortable situations (like funerals or job interviews) has been to get drunk in a classy fashion. Fortunately for BigMike64, earlier this year American introduced complimentary wine and beer for coach passengers on transatlantic flights. There is also the option of bringing your own champagne flask, an item we’ve found useful on numerous occasions.

Now boarding Economy passengers at Gate C19.

Next, we’d advise that you make sure everyone around you is aware that you are “supposed to be” up front in the premium cabin. Establishing this as early as possible will ensure you get the proper level of respect from other passengers, and should also guarantee a higher level of service from the crew. If you have elite status with AA, be sure to mention that as well. You can build additional camaraderie with other passengers by openly comparing your flight experience with every premium cabin flight you can recall. Science has shown time and time again that people tend to admire their superiors.

Finally, we have heard that just like in the poorer parts of an otherwise nice town, it can get pretty noisy back in coach. In addition to bringing your noise-canceling wireless headphones and entertainment devices, we’d advise bringing a few of your backup iPad 3s along to pacify those around you. You may also want to bring a bodyguard to carry the extra iPads and play drinking games.

We wish you the best BigMike64, though we ourselves would do whatever it took to avoid your predicament. In fact, one of us spent three extra weeks in Nepal due to limited outbound business class availability, and the other missed the birth of his first child for the same reason. Neither of us regrets it for a minute, and we would advise you to seriously consider your premium cabin options, no matter the consequences.

Reader Question: Unethical to Transfer Spouse’s Points Prior to Divorce?

Reader Ultimate Confusion writes in this week with an ethical query:

My spouse and I are planning to get divorced soon, and I’ve long been the person who manages our miles and points accounts. Basically, I’ve done absolutely everything for years while my husband reaped the benefits. As we approach the separation, I’m wondering if it would be wrong for me to secretly transfer as many miles and points as I reasonably can from his accounts to mine? Thanks for your help through these tough times.

First, we’d like to applaud Ultimate Confusion for maximizing the points earning power of love. If you are in a committed relationship with someone (or multiple someones), combining your card churning and spending powers is a great way to increase your total points and miles balances. Even if your significant other couldn’t care less about the game, he’ll appreciate your conservative use of his credit and spending when you fly him first class to Paris for a weekend jaunt.

But on to the ethical question at issue for our troubled reader. For an answer, we look to philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, who examined a similar situation more than five decades ago and concluded as follows: “Evil is the product of the ability of humans to make abstract that which is concrete.” We realize this bit of genius may not apply to your specific situation, but it can be incredibly useful in confusing your former spouse if he ever happens to raise the transfer issue. And if that doesn’t work, just start a discussion about how to properly pronounce Sartre’s last name. Be sure to include this picture:

Jean-Paul Sartre

Our final verdict: transfer away! In the worst case, you can use those points to escape to a clandestine location if you end up needing to hide from your vengeful former husband. That said, it is of course still certain that you will burn in hell for eternity; if not for the points transfer, then for the divorce. Best of luck!

Do you have a question of your own that’s itching for an answer? Send us an email at!