Thanks to a sublime Thai airways Business Class experience this week, my travel clock ticked over my 1199th flight! Next year, I will have been flying for fifty years and on average I have flown 24 flights or 55,000 km (33, 000 miles) a year. The reality is that it took me 31 years until I flew my 100th flight! My 200th was in 2004. My 500th just five years later in 2009 and my 1000th was in 2014!So now I can say I have spent over five months of my life inside planes travelling a distance equivalent to seven trips to the moon or around the globe 67 times!
When I first flew in the 1960s, there were no security checks, airports were way smaller, and none of my flights were on jets. We were farewelled at the gate by anyone who turned up. Often we checked in at a city terminal belonging to the airline and took a bus to the aerodrome. We dressed up to fly (I still dress more conservatively than many other passengers). The tickets were handwritten paper documents with carbon between them. My early entertainment included books and jigsaws!
I have seen seat room shrink in Economy Class and grow in First Class. This week, for my 1199th flight, I sat in my Thai airways Business Class 777 seat with its 87″ of flat comfort and 180 degree recline while watching TV shows and flight progress on my own 15″ screen and powering a laptop and charging my cell phone.
The crew fed and watered myself and 340 other passengers twice during the trip as the two massive engines spat out a combined four times the horsepower of the Titanic (which was produced by 159 coal furnaces)!
Of the 96 airlines I have ever flown, 55 no longer exist. When the Virgin America brand disappears, that will become 56! Some like Malev of Hungary, Independence Air and Pan Am of the USA along with Compass of Australia collapsed. Others merged like AirTran, Northwest and USAir. Others found their brand dropped after a takeover such as Impulse of Australia and BMIBaby of the UK.
My first Boeing jet was a 707 to Rome in 1971! I have now flown every Boeing type from that type through to the 787. When I complete Flight 1201 (next Wednesday) I can check my first A350 off the list. This one will be a Finnair operated flight.
My ultimate goal? 99 countries (about half of all the countries in the world). Not sure how many more flights and airline it will take to achieve that. Hope we can keep journeying here.
In the meantime, how many miles have you flown? And what was your favourite destination?
- How I got hooked on Flightmemory.com
- My Easter Travel Plans: Countries #67 and #68 -How many countries have you visited?
- My 999th Flight