My First 100 Flights

Today marked my hundredth flight: a not particularly exciting EDI-LCY hop, although I did secure the exit row seats back when I was BAEC silver, and always appreciate the simplicity of London City over Heathrow or Gatwick, especially with hold luggage. The domestic breakfast offering isn’t too bad either!

Since I only started flying as an adult and am something of a digitial packrat, I know at least the airline and origin/destination for every one of those hundred; these days I keep even more detail. They’re all logged over on FlightDiary, but as that will constantly evolve I decided to grab a snapshot at this stage.

First up, here are the headline figures:

These flights span nearly ten years, with humble origins in a Stansted – Oslo (Torp) return on Ryanair late in 2004. It took over a year and a half for me to fly again; now it’s more like a month and half between trips, and I’m not sure when I can find the time to surrender my passport for renewal!

It’s no surprise that Edinburgh arport is my most used – serving as start or end of 59 flights – since it’s the city I’ve spent the most of my adult life in, and it was as a postgraduate here that I caught the travel bug. Heathrow (LHR) just squeezes ahead of Bristol (BRS), at 26 and 25 respectively; I travelled extensively whilst living in Bristol, but the only place I’ve flown to or from its airport is Edinburgh! London’s other major airport, Gatwick (LGW), takes the fourth spot with 13, then joint fifth are Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) and San Diego (SAN) with half a dozen each. Given all that, my five most-used routes aren’t that suprising either: BRS-EDI (13), EDI-BRS (12), EDI-LHR (6), LHR-EDI (4), EDI-AMS (3). There’s also a long tail of airports visited a handful of times, or as an out-and-back, for a total of 33. There’s even four that I only managed a single flight to or from due to onward plans by other forms of transport: Malaga (AGP), Cologne-Bonn (CGN), Gibraltar (GIB) and Toronto City airport (YTZ). I’ve also managed 5 visits to AMS without ever making it to Amsterdam itself.

The list of airlines is rather sparser – although this is actually a bit tricky, when you consider codeshares, partners, subsidiaries etc. For example, I once purchased a ticket from American Airlines, branded as American Eagle, operated by Westjet, and credited to the British Airways mileage scheme; I’ve settled on logging as the purchase airline. BA and Easyjet routinely trade places at the top for number of flights, but by distance flown it’s clear that I favour BA – if only they had more of a domestic network!

Finally, there are the planes themselves. These, I have to admit, I have much less data on – although I diligently log the individual airframes now, and have already spotted a few duplicates, it’s hard to dredge up info on older flights, especially on the low-cost carriers or charters. Still, I suspect the ranking at the top is accurate: A320, A319 and B737’s on account of all my domestic and European short-haul. All jets except for a couple of Dash8-400’s: EDI-BHX and YUL-YTZ. Although technically I did once fly by hot-air balloon too!