I don't know about you but
I've missed having Matt post on the blog.
I would walk (fly) 500 (a million) miles…
As we returned from Texas, where we were celebrating the marriage of Selena’s daughter to the lovely John, I reached a landmark that I’d been building to for literally my entire life – flying a million miles. The 4,900 miles from Austin to Heathrow took me to a grand total of 1,002,864 miles flown. So I reached the landmark 42% of the way through the flight, which (by my calculation) means I was overhead Halifax, Nova Scotia when the magic moment happened.
The only picture I took when I was in Halifax. Was going through a video phase at the time…
A million miles? That’s a million proper miles, rather than a million air miles, which you can accumulate with credit cards and hotels and rental cars. A million miles is London to the moon, and back. And then to the moon again, then back again with enough left over to get from London to Sydney. And back. And then from London to Sydney again. And back again. With enough left over to get you to Cairo. You get the idea!
Your correspondent in Sydney. No, wait…
At this point, I need to apologise if this sounds like I’m showing off. Travel has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember, and while some people spend their money on kids, clothes or crazy stuff like pensions, I’ve spent mine on travel. And after all, you are reading a travel blog!
How do I know I’ve flown a million miles? I have a spreadsheet. I’ve wanted to blog about my spreadsheets for some time now but according to Selena, the subject is “too niche”, “too introverted“ and (what’s was the phrase she used?) – “too mind-numbingly tedious” to blog about. But here’s my chance!
I’ve tracked every flight and using webflyer.com, checked the distance between each airport flown. It took a bit of work to get started, and required me to trawl through my parents’ photo albums to remember where we went on our Summer Holidays in 1976 (Gatwick to Gerona, 653 miles each way). But I have what I believe to be a complete record of every flight flown, including the flights to the Grand Canyon we took in 1987 (Las Vegas to an unnamed landing strip in the Grand Canyon, 169 miles each way).
Las Vegas, whose airport I’ve transited 39 times…
Once you’ve compiled your records, you can see some fascinating things. Well, fascinating to me, at least. I’ve taken 564 flights, so each was 1,778 miles, which is almost exactly the distance from Calgary to Ottawa (which I flew on Air Canada in 2009). The longest flight was Sydney to Los Angeles (7,490 miles, which I’ve done 8 times) – San Francisco to Sydney is actually 70 miles shorter (which I’ve only done once). The shortest flight was only 56 miles (between La Ceiba and Roatan airports in Honduras), closely followed by Carlsbad to Los Angeles (only 82 miles, but it could take 3 hours by road). Third shortest was from Tegucigalpa to La Ceiba (120 miles, which I only mention because Tegucigalpa is one of my favourite places to pronounce!).
Tegucigalpa was too ugly to photograph, so here is your correspondent in Roatan.
My most active year was 2003, when I flew 93,880 miles on 34 flights. I have had many years of zero miles flown, although none since 1991. I’ve flown British Airways 54 times, for a total of 91,200 miles, but Singapore Air wins the distance title with 112,200 miles spread across 36 flights. In 2002 I only flew 9 times, but each one averaged 4,483 miles, which is roughly the distance from London to Miami. Heathrow is my most transited airport (with 96), followed by Gatwick (88) and Sydney (80).
Only went through Bandar Seri Begawan airport twice, but it gives me an excuse to post this photo! Bandar Seri Begawan is right up there with Tegucigalpa in my list of favourite place names!
Ok, perhaps I am showing off a little… So what’s next? Another million miles, obviously (London to Budapest soon - 923 miles each way). A friend has also turned me on to openflights.org, which will track your flights online (and will turn your history into maps and other fun things), but even if I sign-up for this, I think I’ll maintain my little spreadsheet for as long as I’m still flying!
He's such a numbers geek.
One of the many things I love about him.
Do you collect miles?