2012 in review

As the year comes to an end, people start to reflect on the highs and lows of the year.  Perhaps it was most appropriate that today, as I thought about writing this post, I received my Skywards Gold welcome pack (send by FedEx nonetheless).

2012 has been a very interesting year for MrTravelFreak; travel highlights include:

  •   71 flight segments flown across ten Airlines
  •   A little over 80,000 miles travelled
  •   A little over 195 hours (or eight full days) spent in the air
  •   Elite status achieved with Flying Blue (only one flight short of Platinum!)
  •   Top Tier status achieved with Emirates

I started the year with full knowledge of most of these travel plans and was actually feeling positive about it.  I had been flying around the UK for years for my Clients and it was a novelty to start flying internationally.  But as everyone who travels a lot will tell you; it isn’t all that fun and it certainly isn’t glamorous.  It’s really hard to travel across a heap of time zones and be expected to get off the plane and perform at your very best.  Airports are not exciting places to be and even the best lounges won’t change that, particularly when there are delays.

The first time I took a long-haul flight in Business in November 2011, I was excited about it and I really enjoyed the experience.  It amuses me how easy it is for that excitement to fade and how much harder staff have to work to impress me on a flight.  Like everything else, the more you do something, the less exciting it becomes; for example I am now aware that I notice any gaps in the normally excellent service I receive (specifically from Emirates).  I recently travelled back from Singapore with Emirates via Dubai.  The first leg was awful; the staff were not working together at all and they kept forgetting requests made by passengers.  I noticed that even actions that are so unimportant like handing out the wash bag before everyone had boarded had an impact, causing confusion amongst passengers and crew alike.  I wouldn’t have noticed any of these things had it been my first flight – indeed I guess it’s all about expectation and perhaps as I travel more, I do expect more.

I am determined not to become another grumpy (or fat) business traveller who is so bored of travelling that he moans just for the sake of doing so.  I am confident that this will not be the case, although I have had to remind myself a couple of times during 2012 that it really doesn’t matter who boards the plane first, or which lounge you have access to, or indeed how loyal you are (or how loyal you perceive yourself to be) to a specific airline because there are always other passengers who fly more, or on a higher fare, or have major budget responsibility.  Despite my best efforts, I am just not really that important.  Looking back, I was naïve to think I would be.

So in reflection how was it?  Exciting, scary, hot, cold, tasty, vile, fun and boring but not necessarily in that order.  And really really tiring.

I wonder what 2013 will be like?

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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