Is there one airline that you have flown more than any other?
I have flown on 90 different airlines. Almost one third of all my lifetime plane flights (I’ve flown 1089 times) have been with the Australian carrier, Qantas. I have just flown my 350th flight with them from Canberra, to Melbourne, Australia! Pictured here on the early morning 737-800 service.
The plane on my 35oth Qantas flight itself (VH-XZG) was named Bungendore, after a small town outside Canberra. This is their 101st 737 and Boeing jetliner number 251. It was my third time on this particular aircraft and my 313th 737 flight. A travel geek’s delight!
My first Qantas flight was in 1996, twenty years ago. The time I have spent with Qantas since then is staggering. Inside their planes, I have spent almost seven weeks of my life travelling close to 21 times around the earth with them. Add to that time spent on booking sites, check in, lounges and luggage collections halls and I have probably spent more time with them than some of my relatives!
Qantas has flown me just over half a million miles to or from 31 airports in nine countries (I have been to 60 countries in total). Sadly I have not yet flown to every continent with them. While I was tempted to hop on a plane to Santiago last week just to get to all the continents, I resisted!
My route map contains routes Qantas no longer serves including:
- Harare to Perth, gone with the declining economy and relationship with Zimbabwe
- Bangkok to London ditched by Qantas in 2012
- Singapore to London halted in 2012 in favour of a route through Dubai
- Auckland to Los Angeles, also lost in 2012
There have been eight types of aircraft Qantas has transported me on:
|1||Boeing 737||47 % of my flights||200,000 km (120,000 mi)|
|2||Boeing 767||20 % of my flights||80,000 km (49,000 mi)|
|3||Boeing 747||12 % of my flights||395,000 km (278,000 mi)|
|4||Q400||8 % of my flights||9,000 km (5,000 mi)|
|5||Airbus 330||5 % of my flights||67,000 km (41,000 mi)|
|6||Boeing 717||3 % of my flights||3,000 km (2,000 mi)|
|7||Airbus 380||2 % of my flights||75,000 km (45,000 mi)|
|8||Q300||1 % of my flights|
One tenth of my flights have been “up the front“. With the exception of one Premium Economy flight, the rest have been in Economy Class. 59% of my flights have been in the window seat, 39% have been an aisle seat and just 2% have been middle seats! Spot which seats I prefer!
Overall, I rate Qantas as an airline at 92% these days. This puts them behind Qatar and Emirates, Cathay Pacific and Air New Zealand which I rate at around 98% and Lufthansa (96%). I also rate Singapore Airlines at 92%. There have been years when I have been disappointed with Qantas. For example, in 2013 and 2014, I could only rate the airline at 76%. I enjoy their customer service, great domestic lounges, good entertainment, fair included luggage allowances plus good domestic and international meals. (I also like the fact they give their planes names!).
So in 2036, I may get to my 700th flight?
All of this flying has given me Qantas Silver status for life and I am approaching Gold for life, which on my current trajectory will be realised by the end of 2017. I wonder how many of their fliers fall into these categories?
Which airline have you flown the most with?
And finally, a Qantas 747 ad from the 1970s: