Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A century and a bit of flights

How many times have you flown somewhere? How far have you travelled? How many different airports, airlines or aircraft have you used?

I flew back to the UK for the summer yesterday (Lisbon to Heathrow, TAP flight 356, an Airbus 319, seat 5A), saying goodbye to the sun and hello to snowy London (so I thought - actually the white stuff on the ground was hailstones). By my calculations, it was my 104th air journey.

How did I work this out? Well, if you really want to waste a few hours, I can recommend a website called flightmemory.com. You waste the hours by filling in the details of every flight you've ever taken: the airports (natch), the airlines, the type of plane, which seat etc. The only detail it doesn't ask is whether you were next to a pretty girl or not, but you can add a note if you want (I sat next a pretty girl coming back from Florence when I was 18. I can't remember the airline, but the plane was a Bae 146. As I suavely tried to drink coffee like a sophisticated Italian, I spilt the little milk container all over my jeans, thus failing to make a very good impression. D'oh!).

As you enter the data, the website calculates the miles you have flown and marks all your journeys a on a map (which, if you are really enthusiastic, you can order as a poster), as well as compiling all the statistics you could wish for - a top 10 list of airports, airlines, aircraft and so on.

Here's my rundown:

  • My first flight (I think) was about 25 years ago, a short hop from Southampton to Guernsey.
  • That's not my shortest flight, however: that honour falls to the 38 mi helicopter trip from Penzance to St Mary's in the Isles of Scilly in 1986.
  • My longest flight is 5,966 mi, from Heathrow to Tokyo, a trip I first made in 1997.
  • I've been to 61 different airports, from San Jose to Sofia, Beijing to Bamaga (a tiny Aboriginal community in North Queensland), although never to South America or Africa.
  • My top 3 airports are: 1 - Heathrow, 2 - Gatwick, 3 - Boston (amazingly, I've taken off or landed there 9 times over the years).
  • Overall I've flown 149,993 miles, just over 6 times round the world.

I don't know how these figures would compare to any other 29 year old, although I'm sure they don't stand up against a hardened business traveller (my dad says he's been to the States over 75 times, which is some going). But if you are interested in stats or planes, as all great minds are, you could do worse than try to work your own figures out here.

1 comment:

Liz said...

Wow, that's impressive! Makes my 8 flights look a bit pathetic!