TravelStories Episode 35: Long Weekend in Madrid

While today is all about a long weekend in Madrid, Thomas and Trevor go on their usual tangents to bring you yet another information-drenched and fun-filled episode! We begin with our love for gin and tonic ice cubes and by explaining how today’s episode relates to many of our other Travel Stories. Then, Trevor walks us through his recent airport lounge experiences, how food and drinks compare, how to maximize your points redemptions, and taking short trips in first class versus longer trips in economy. Trevor then explains why he had to drop Mumbai from his Madrid trip itinerary, what you need to be cautious of when walking the streets of Madrid, and the entertainment options that are available in Spain’s capital for both kids and adults. To end, we discuss the evolution of Lufthansa’s first-class (cheers!) and what we like and dislike about recent amenity additions and removals, and we take a closer look at the now-unretired Airbus A340-600. 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • [00:30] Gin & tonic ice cubes, and how today’s Travel Story links to many previous episodes. 
  • [01:52] Why taking cheaper flights from the Maldives is not as common as it used to be. 
  • [03:30] Trevor’s interesting and most recent airport lounge experiences. 
  • [06:12] Comparing the food and drink quality of the various lounges that Trevor visited.  
  • [07:40] Virgin Atlantic’s common flight times and standard fleet make up, and some advice on how to maximize points redemption.  
  • [10:32] Short trips in first class and transatlantic flights in economy. 
  • [12:07] Understanding Trevor’s Dallas-London-Mumbai-Madrid itinerary. 
  • [20:44] Madrid: Spain’s lovely capital. 
  • [26:50] A cautionary pickpocketing tale from Madrid’s 5th Avenue equivalent. 
  • [32:20] Activities for kids, Museo Nacional del Prado, and exploring food and drinks in Madrid. 
  • [37:28] Today’s if “you say it, you sip it” phrase is “Lufthansa first-class”.
  • [37:45] Trevor’s time in Munich, and the ins and outs of the now unretired Airbus A340-600. 
  • [45:56] The evolution of Lufthansa’s first-class amenities, and where it stands today. 


“I have to say that I’m becoming more and more impressed with this [Chase Sapphire] lounge.” — @tmount [04:04]

“One potential area of friction [was] reduced; removed completely because the [Virgin Atlantic] crew was just absolutely amazing.” — @tmount [09:53]

“Choice Hotels are like the unsung heroes of Europe.” — @tmount [23:33]

“If you’re in that situation; if you’re in an area where you’re going to have no personal space and [be] shoulder-to-shoulder with a lot of people you don’t know, it’s probably a good idea to secure your stuff.” — @TktweetsKim [30:26]

“If we can find those local places, we’re always happier for it.” — @tmount [34:51]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

‘Travel Stories Episode 8: Epic Guys Trip’ 

‘Travel Stories Episode 19: Converting a Maldives Skeptic’

Virgin Atlantic 

Chase Sapphire Lounge 

Capital One Lounge 

United Airlines 

British Airways 

Star Alliance 

Priority Pass 


Robert Dwyer on X 

Sam Simon on X 


TRYP by Wyndham 

Choice Hotels 

Hyatt Hotels 

Radisson Hotels 


Escadaria Selarón 

Museo Nacional del Prado  

Airbus A340-600

Taberna el Rincon de Jose

The Milenomics Podcast Network

Thomas Kim on X

Trevor Mountcastle on X

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