Noel Philips, a British travel YouTuber living in Texas, decided to fly exclusively economy class on budget airlines to make his trip in 80 hours.
“I’ve never really flown long haul on low-cost airlines either,” he told Insider.
In April, he covered 25,276 miles in three days, using six different airlines to travel through five countries. According to him, the nine flights cost him a total of $2,908, or $0.11 per mile, as he explained in a YouTube video (see below) about his adventure.
On April 2, he took a Southwest plane from William P. Hobby Airport in Houston to La Guardia Airport in New York City to begin his journey.
He was in good spirits, so the three-hour flight from Houston to NYC was probably one of the most enjoyable flights he had during the three-day trip, Phillips told Insider. The Manhattan skyline was visible as he landed at La Guardia. After a short three-hour layover, he was ready for his first long-haul trip to Barcelona, Spain.
He boarded his third flight, which would take him from Barcelona to Athens, Greece, with 62 hours left to go. I had been up for well over 24 hours at that point, so “I was tired,” he admitted to Insider.
He told Insider that after arriving in Athens at 11 p.m., he took a taxi to a hotel, where he slept for four hours before starting his 11-hour trip to Singapore at 9 a.m.
He paid $242.66 to fly with Scoot, a low-cost carrier that is a part of the Singapore Airlines Group.
Philips took a six-hour Jetstar flight to Melbourne, Australia, with a three-hour layover. He had never used the airline before, and many of his Australian Instagram followers were not thrilled about it, he told Insider.
He stated that his subsequent trip was on Jetstar to Sydney. The total cost for two Jetstar flights from Singapore to Sydney was $496.39.
Then, he claimed to get a troubling text: “Jetstar have canceled your next flight.”
The first thing that came to Philips’ mind was: “That’s the end of it. It’s doom and gloom. It’s all finished.”
He desperately looked for other flights on low-cost carriers that he could take to Sydney, his next stop, during his three-hour layover in Melbourne but was unable to find any.
Within 30 seconds, he went to the Jetstar counter and reserved a seat on the following Qantas flight. He praised the crew as excellent but expressed disappointment that he had to travel with Qantas because it is not a budget airline.
He then got on a one-hour Qantas flight that would take him from Melbourne to Sydney. He was eventually forced into the middle seat.
During his five-hour layover in the city, he visited the Sydney Opera House. He stated that one of his travel goals was to see some of the places he was traveling to.
After his brief visit to the city, he took a cab back to Sydney airport to catch his $530.88,eight-and-a-half-hour Jetstar flight to Honolulu, Hawaii.
He said it was wonderful that he had arrived in Honolulu on time. He was through customs in 20 minutes because he had Global Entry, and he was ready for his six-hour Southwest flight to Phoenix, Arizona.
He returned to Houston after 79 hours, nine flights, and eight consecutive layovers. “You feel like there should be some sort of an achievement, but it’s a bit of an anti-climax,” he said.
At 10 p.m., he touched down in Houston at a deserted airport. “The only person in this entire airport that cares that I’ve just done this is me,” he said.
He took a one-hour Uber ride home and then immediately showered. He added that he felt dirty and repulsive at the end of the trip, even though he had showered at his hotel in Athens and in a lounge in Singapore.
He visited a chiropractor the day after landing and slept a lot in the following days, he told Insider.
Planning the trip was one of the most difficult aspects, Philips said.