I’ve had the time of my life since becoming a member of TPG in January.
All year long, I’ve traveled to superb locations, met unimaginable individuals and produced some superior content material. I not too long ago wrote about the status I earned this year — undoubtedly sufficient to make TPG himself proud — so I’ll concentrate on my journey itself. And if you wish to come together with me for the journey, comply with me on Instagram (@_zachgriff).
Trying again, I’ll be highlighting under some fascinating stats, in addition to calling out a few of my finest journey experiences of 2019.
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2019 Journey Stats
Whole miles flown: 205,985
Longest flight: 9,524 miles on the world’s longest flight from Newark to Singapore (evaluation coming quickly)
Shortest flight: 62 miles on one in every of British Airways’ shortest flights from Antigua to St. Kitts (evaluation coming quickly)
Distinctive airways: 24 (Azul, Alaska, ANA, American Airways, Bangkok Airways, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Cape Air, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Delta, GOL, JAL, JetBlue, LATAM, Lufthansa, SilkAir, Silver Airways, Singapore Airways, South African, Southwest, Swiss, Thai and United)
Distinctive airports: 52
Inns: Too many to listing, however you’ll be able to see a school of my lodge keys under
Most significant journey
I like to journey. There’s simply one thing exhilarating about exploring the unknown. However my most significant journey this yr wasn’t essentially a far-flung exploration. It was TPG’s journey to PeaceJam Ghana.
I went with a gaggle of colleagues, and we witnessed Noble Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi encourage Ghanaian youth to face up in opposition to childhood slavery and abuse. The kids I interacted with had been so excited to study from us and left me extra hopeful in society.
Favourite airport lounge
Though I don’t visit most domestic airport lounges, the story is kind of totally different once I’m touring internationally. The spread in lounge quality is so huge throughout airways and continents, so I’m all the time looking out for brand spanking new enjoyable areas.
That stated, I hung out in some unimaginable lounges this yr. The Swiss First Class lounge in Zurich was undoubtedly one in every of my favorites. Between the non-public bedrooms and expansive out of doors terrace, this AvGeek was giddy the complete time he was there. Once I wasn’t burning energy pacing outdoor, recognizing a Swiss A220 or United 767, I used to be having fun with some top-notch meals and drinks.
However my favourite lounge of the yr was the Qantas First Lounge in Singapore. Qantas simply opened the brand-new lounge a couple of weeks in the past, and I used to be lucky to go to when it opened. The restaurant-quality eating was delectable, and the comfort areas had been inviting. As a newly-minted Oneworld Emerald (thanks to Hyatt and AA), I’m actually wanting ahead to visiting this lounge once more subsequent yr.
Coolest AvGeek expertise
I didn’t simply journey around the globe reviewing airways and inns this yr. I participated in some actually cool AvGeek experiences that helped make this yr so memorable.
The spotlight was creating two unimaginable behind-the-scenes time lapses of airport operations. In March, I went to LAX after which in the summertime I went to Las Vegas McCarran Airport. Each of those videos are mesmerizing, so make sure you test them out in case you haven’t already.
This yr additionally noticed the retirement of American’s MD-80s. The so-called “Mad Canine” had been the workhorse of the airline’s home fleet, so it was undoubtedly a bittersweet day to witness live from Roswell, NM. It wasn’t all unhappy although, as I undoubtedly had enjoyable squeezing into an MD80 overhead bin.
Thrilling new product
AA wasn’t the one airline to make room for newer and extra fuel-efficient planes this yr.
JetBlue took supply of its first Airbus A321neo, which represents the following evolution within the provider’s dedication to providing a passenger-friendly flying expertise. I cherished the to-go snack bar, in addition to the power to make use of your Bluetooth-enabled gadget to regulate the seatback TV. Plus, there’s nothing higher than the brand new aircraft scent.
However most fun was United’s CRJ550. Although the aircraft isn’t technically new — the carrier took a CRJ700 and just redid the interior — it’s probably the most snug regional jet within the sky. First-class presents spacious 1-2 seating and a walk-up refreshment heart. Financial system was fairly roomy in a 2-2 configuration, and every seat will quickly supply energy shops. The most effective half? There’s loads of closet house for all of your carry-on baggage.
What I’m wanting ahead to
2020 is shaping as much as be one other nice yr. I’ve already received some massive journeys deliberate for January, together with a fast jaunt to Vietnam flying a brand new enterprise class product, in addition to Air Canada’s A220 inaugural flight. In April, I’m hoping to fly on an El Al “test” flight from Tel Aviv to Melbourne and later within the yr I plan to fly United’s legendary island hopper. Although I haven’t finalized another massive journeys, there’s undoubtedly tons extra to come back.
Featured photograph of a United CRJ550 by Zach Griff/The Factors Man
writes journey and product evaluations and oversees particular initiatives for TPG. As Journey Analyst, he is additionally answerable for managing all of TPG’s miles and factors.