Seven things I have learnt from flying 2.5 million KM

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 11.02.12 PMTwo and a half million kilometres is a long way!

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Just over 1.5 million miles, it represents 62 laps around the earth. 600 times between NYC and Los Angeles! I have spent exactly Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 11.01.38 PM21 weeks sitting in aeroplane seats!!

I hit this milestone, I believe, 35,000 ft over New Zealand, en route between Auckland and Wellington. Probably somewhere near Mt Taranki.  There was no award and unlike in Up in the Air, no one came in with champagne and congratulations. (George Cloony’s character had hit 10 million miles, though).

I am in an extremely privileged position.  Worldwatch Institute states that five percent of the world’s population has ever flown. Based on 7 billion, this would be 350 million people who have flown. Of these, many would have flown once or twice in their life. I have flown more in an average year than the most of the world’s population fly in a lifetime.

In the last 15 years, I have arranged for the planting of several thousand trees to attempt to offset this carbon. Before that, we did not understand the damage that we were causing, I cannot wait for the day, when we use non-carbon-based fuels for flying.

What I have learnt on those plane rides:

  1. Travel can insulate or extend you, it depends on your attitude
  2. Treating people well pays off
  3. Talking to the people around you gives access to the best travel advice
  4. Getting a decent seat is worth it
  5. Avoiding checking luggage in is liberating and saves hours
  6. A decent on-board meal does make a journey more enjoyable
  7. A bad airline merely recruits and deploys staff people. A good airline treats its staff well. A great airline invests in and values its partners (staff). These staff make or break each flight

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