Frequent flyer Q&A: Gino Bertuccio, from Miami, Florida
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When ANA scheduled its much-anticipated inaugural flight with the Airbus A380, Gino Bertuccio didn't hesitate to book a first-class seat. But, while many onboard were thrilled to experience what was likely their very first journey on the double-decker superjumbo, that six-hour first-class hop was but a drop in the bucket for Gino. The Miami-based businessman had already experienced the ultimate A380 extravagance, as the very first passenger to book a flight in Eithad's ultra-exclusive long-haul product, The Residence.
While I didn't have a chance to experience either alongside Gino, we quickly became "Instagram friends." and when he invited me along for a big group adventure from Frankfurt (FRA) to Bogota, Colombia (BOG), I didn't hesitate to join. Ultimately, four frequent flyers ended up traveling together on an outstanding first-class fare, at just around $2,100 for 12 hours in the forward cabin of a Lufthansa Airbus A340-600. That gave us plenty of time to chat.
As part of my coverage of our ultimate AvGeek adventure, I decided to publish a Q&A with Gino, along with the two other frequent flyers in our group, Cherag Dubash and Agustin Aguero. As the man responsible for organizing the trip, we'll get Gino's in first.
Question: What do you do for work?
Answer: I import skin care products from Italy, and sell them to customers in the United States and South America.
Q: How many miles did you fly in 2019?
Last year, I traveled about 200,000 miles across 100 flights.
Q: How many nights do you spend at home each year?
I spend half of the year at home. The beginning of the year is usually quiet for travel, through March.
Q: How much of your travel is business vs. leisure?
20% of my travel is for business.
Q: What’s your favorite first-class product?
My favorite product is Singapore Airlines first class — the new suite, but even the old one is good.
Q: And business class?
ANA is good, but I usually fly first class.
Q: Do you ever fly economy?
When there’s no first class or business class. 2003 was the last time in economy.
Q: When was your first international first-class flight?
In the late 1960s, I flew first class on a DC-8, from Venezuela to Italy.
Q: What are some of your favorite places to visit?
Singapore. It’s charming, it’s exotic, it’s organized, it’s clean. There’s nothing to do, but it’s nice to do a stopover there.
Q: What are your preferred airlines?
Singapore Airlines, no doubt at all.
Q: Do you have a preferred hotel chain?
I’ve been using Hyatt mostly, and I'm a Globalist. It's not a chain, but Marina Bay Sands is a great hotel, too.
Q: What’s your biggest travel pet peeve?
People with bare feet. And those who show up wearing pajamas, or fly in shorts and flip-flops in first class.
Q: Which credit cards do you use on a regular basis?
The British Airways Visa Signature® Card. Avios are a good bargain for short-haul awards, on Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways and any Oneworld airline.
Q: Aside from your passport, what are some items you’ll never leave home without?
My glasses, and spare contact lenses.
Want to see what it's like to fly with Gino? Don't miss our Lufthansa first-class adventure, from Europe to South America.