Lucky at One Mile at a Time writes about Justin Ross Lee today, a character in frequent flyer circles who much amuses me.
Lucky likes ‘JRL’,
I know Justin Ross Lee pretty well, and while the “act” is no doubt pretty extreme, he’s actually a nice guy underneath it all. He genuinely gets enjoyment out of making people laugh & smile…
I’ll concede that I’ve met him only once, at the first Frequent Traveler University event New York at the Sheraton LaGuardia in April 2011. So I don’t know him well enough to understand the man, I can only judge his public persona.
I think he’s a smart guy who never grew up and who turned that into a persona for himself that isn’t who I would want to be. He’s a train wreck reality star without the television gig.
The occasion for the post is a really funny video showing JRL buying refundable tickets to use the American Airlines Flagship Lounge at New York JFK as his office, declaring a starter pistol from Target as a firearm in his checked luggage, and printing business cards for companies he doesn’t work for to get their hotel corporate rates.
I think he’s a character, sort of the class clown who never grew up but spent a lot of hours on frequent flyer forums learning the tricks and he just doesn’t have the ‘filter’ most of us have — he has the nerve to push each ‘scheme’ to the extreme and desperately wants attention.
So far, so good — I think it would be a terrible thing if everyone was like him, which I suppose is an indictment from a Kantian standpoint. But he gets away with it and it’s his schtick.
That said I don’t think he’s at all the guy he portrays himself to be and I don’t think he’s as successful at his ‘travel hacking’ either. He gets first class award tickets — that’s not a feat worthy of the gossip pages. His business is ‘haberdashery’ but his line of pocket squares doesn’t actually make many sales.
A shameless New York self-promoter and velvet-rope gadfly — who snootily brags about copping freebies while flying only first class and sporting custom-made clothes — is flat broke, according to court papers.
In bankruptcy documents filed in Manhattan last month, social hustler Justin Ross Lee, who regularly boasts about his luxe lifestyle to his 5,000 Facebook fans, claimed that his aptly named “Pretentious Pockets’’ silk-pocket-square business is a dismal failure, raking in just $12,250 to date.
And that’s left Lee with a measly $100 in the bank, nearly $160,000 in debt and unable to cover the rent on his $2,700-a-month apartment in Murray Hill’s white-glove Anthem building, court documents say.
..The preppy party boy — who crows that he never buys “off-the-rack clothing’’ and struts around town in custom monogrammed shirts, custom-made suits and Hermes belts — was cut off by Barneys New York for a nearly $5,000 credit-card bill he couldn’t pay, documents show.
He owes more than $700 to his swanky Manhattan gym, Club H Fitness, too.
Citibank, to whom Lee also owes $80,000 in credit-card bills, recently sued him for breach of contract, according to the filing.
Financial troubles notwithstanding, he managed a spot on Millionaire Matchmaker — and wound up set up with a porn star who apparently lied about her age.
In the video Justin says, “If 49% of the people love you and 51% of the people hate you, you’re doing something right.”
Do you love him or hate him?