I have just flown ONE MILLION MILES

Dawn in the air

In the film: Up in the Air, George Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a guy with the goal of earning one million miles with the one airline.

Today, I reached the milestone of one million miles in the air (1.6 million kilometres).  My life does not completely rsemble Clooney’s movie character, however. Unlike him, I actually love being home and I like people.


 I now have elite statuses with the following carriers: 

  • United Airlines Gold
  • Virgin Blue Gold
  • Qantas Platinum

I measure my air life at a great flight tracking tool called FlightMemory.  My friend Tony, who passed away two years ago entered almost 500 flights into the Flight Memory system for me  as a Birthday present. RIP Tony. So here is the summary:

You will note, that one million miles represents 40 times around the earth. It is the same distance to the moon and back – twice.

On Board Singapore Airlines A380- my first ever A380

To get to one million miles, I have flown 719 times between 1968 and 2011 on 73 airlines.  One third of my flights have been with Qantas and one tenth with United/Continental.
Some of the airlines I have flown are now:

  •  now broke and gone eg Ansett, Independence
  •  morphed eg BOAC into British Airways
  •  taken over eg Northwest, Impulse
  • much better eg Virgin Blue
  • much worse eg United
Most loved airlines are:  EmiratesVirgin America, Air New Zealand and Jetblue

Most hated airlines include:  Ryanair, Delta and United (the irony of having Gold Status with them)


I took this while on a 3 mile run from my LAX airport hotel

I have been transported to 177 airports in 34 countries on five continents. Interestingly, I have been to 46 countries in total in my life with some places visited by train or bus only. Not surprisingly,  two Australian airports Sydney and Melbourne account for about 40% of all my airports visited. I have been to 54 airports only once.




Airport highlights:

  • Most northern airport: GRY, Grimsey, Iceland
  • Most southern airport: IVC, Invercargill, New Zealand
  • Most eastern airport: NAN, Nadi, Fiji
  • Most western airport:  APW, Apia, Samoa
  • Most visited airport: MEL, Melbourne, Australia
  • Favourite airport: SIN, Singapore, Singapore
  • Most despised airport: LAX, Los Angeles, USA

I have used 48 different types of planes including all of the Airbus and Boeing models, Canadairs, Embraers, DC8, 9, 10, Fokkers and Saabs. I even been on a Zepplin. The only planes not flown are Russian planes eg Tupolovs etc
I love the 777 and A380. I have loved my flights with six exceptions eg having flown through a thunderstorm in a Beechcraft- never again.

I am so fortunate to have seen the sights that I have seen:
Europe : Bruges, Mont St Michel, Taize, Venice, Tour Eiffel, Paris, WW1 Belgian war-fields, Krakow Market Square, Koln Dom, Bilbao, Reykjavik, Auschwitz
USA: Mt Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, Cape Canaveral, climbing statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon,Yosemite, New York, Chicago, Boston, Portland ME, Portland, OR
Middle East: Bethlehem, Nazereth and Jerusalem,
Australia: Great Barrier Reef, Ningaloo, Uluru, kangaroo Island, Coober Pedy, Brokjen Hill, Lake Pedder, The Pinnacles, Uluru, kakadu, Wave Rock,
Canada: CN Tower, Toronto Islands,
New Zealand: Milford Track, Queen Charlotte Sound
Tropical Islands: , Fiji, Hawaii, New Caledonia and Samoa.
Waterfalls: Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls, Russell Falls, Gullfoss
Musuems; Anne Frank House, British Museum, Frick Collection, Guggenheim, Holocaust Museum DC, In Flanders Fields Museum, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musee d Orsay, NGA Canberra, Powerhouse Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, SFMOMA, Smithsonian, Vatican, Yad Vashem

The best part of the travel. Making and staying friends with people who live from the USA to Argentina, from New Zealand to New York, to South Africa Thanks for sharing the journey with me!

Finally, for the last ten years, I have been offsetting my travel buying trees to absorb carbon pollution. Not the best solution but a start. I now offset 110% of my carbon output.

So whats my goal? Another million miles? Not sure yet!

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