Now that my flying is complete for 2015 it is interesting to look back to see just how much I’ve flown over the past year.

I use a website called Flight Memory to keep track of my airline flights. Based on the info I inputted into Flight Memory, in 2015 I logged 309,957 air miles counting all paid and unpaid award flights.  That distance equates to 12.45 times the earth’s circumference, 1.3 times the average distance to the moon, and .00033 times the distance to the sun.

In terms of time spent on airplanes, my flight time adds up to 630.12 hours, 26.3 days, 3.8 weeks, .88 months, and .072 years.  Thanks to the website for making all of those calculations because it would have taken me about a week to do it.

Since 2011 when I started keeping stats, Fight Memory shows I’ve flown 1,263,067 miles or more than five times the distance from the earth to the moon and over one percent of the distance between the earth and the sun.

The map of my 2015 international travels looks like this:


The 2015 domestic flights were:

Many of these international and domestic routes were flown multiple times.

I flew into and out of 48 airports in 21 countries on 15 airlines.  American and Delta were the airlines I flew the most used by far.

Delta 747-400 upper deck
American 777-200 business class

I had 18 flights on Korean Air.

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Korean Air A380 Business-class lounge

There were several airlines and one airplane type (B787) that I flew for the first time in 2015.  I enjoyed many great flights, but without question, the best flight experience I had was my first international first-class flight.  This New York to Hong Kong flight was also my first flight on Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Pacific caviar in first class and Krug champagne (below)

I was very pleasantly surprised by the four flights I took on Aeroflot.  The service and meals were fantastic in first class on relatively short intra-Europe flights.  You won’t find these amenities and meals on Air France/KLM or other EU carriers on flights within Europe.20150125_131313.jpg

Lamb chop entree on a 2 and 1/2 hour flight from Moscow to Sofia

European carriers have regular coach 3×3 seating in their first-class cabins and just block the middle seat.  Aeroflot, on the other hand, has first-class seats on flights within Europe that are nicer than first-class seats on domestic flights in America.

Aeroflot 737-800 first class

If possible, one thing I learned to try to avoid with Aeroflot is getting a bus gate in Moscow in January.

I hiked from the bus to the plane and up the airstairs in this blizzard at Sheremetyevo airport

The other airlines I flew for the first time in 2015 were Kenya Airways, Philippine Airlines, Cambodia Angkor Air, Japan Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.  I flew Kenya Airways in business class from Mumbai to Nairobi and from Nairobi to Dubai.

Kenya Airways 777 business class Mumbai to Nairobi


Except for Cathay Pacific and Kenya Airlines, all of the other flights on the new airlines were in economy class.

I had a number of flights within Asia in 2015.  There are many small Asian carriers that offer relatively cheap flights but outstanding service. Bangkok Airways is a regional carrier that calls itself a boutique airline.   It serves meals in economy on flights as short as one hour.  The flight attendants easily complete the service even when the planes are full.  To save time, they start the service by handing out towelettes before takeoff.

Typical Bangkok Airways economy meals


Exit row on Bangkok Airways A320
An unusually empty Bangkok Airways flight

Bangkok Airways is unique in that all economy passengers can use its airport lounge where they provide  free wifi, light snacks and soft drinks in a quiet and comfortable setting.

Bangkok Airways economy lounge in Bangkok

Cambodia Ankgor Air is a very small regional airline based in Siem Reap.  The nice thing about some of the small Asian carriers is that they are relatively new companies with newer fleets than most established Western airlines.

Cambodia Angkor Air A320 at Siem Reap
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Cambodia Air Angkor during boarding  Siem Reap to Phnom Penh

I almost always get an exit row seat on economy flights within Asia.  These seats are blocked until check in and for some reason other people just don’t request them.  There is more legroom than first class.  Usually, I’m the only one in the row.

Who needs first class when you have this much room in coach?

I flew first class on Vietnam Airways because the price was about the same as an average coach ticket in the US plus I got extra Delta miles because Vietnam Airlines is a Skyteam partner.

First class from Hanoi to Nha Trang on Vietnam Airlines 737

In 2015 I flew on a 787 for the first time.  I really like the windows where you can adjust the opacity to darken the cabin for watching movies while still being able to see outside.

American Airlines 787-8 with partially dimmed window
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Virgin Atlantic 787-9 London to New York

As a result of my flying in 2015, in 2016  I will have status as an Executive Platinum on American Airlines, and I will maintain Diamond status on Delta thanks to rollover miles.  In 2016, I plan to use miles and credit card points to fly first class on Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Korean Air and I hope to have a flight on Ethiad in its first-class apartments.  What are your travel plans for the new year?  Cheers!