How the heck is it 2014 already? Time sure does fly, and so have we! This year our team flew over 330,000 miles (or almost 14 times around the world), which is crazy since we only flew about 90,000 miles in 2012. We have been able to grow with more writers, more readers, and more unique (and, I like to think, interesting) content.
We have experienced many ups and down this last year (more ups than downs) and we have been able to share stories in ways that we never have before. At this point we have over 33,000 followers on Twitter, almost 4.7 million views on our Flickr, over 2,200 Facebook fans (we are looking for more), and 2.2 million views of our videos on YouTube. Those are impressive and we love that you love what we do!
As many will do at the end of the year, I want to take a look back and see what worked and did not work for 2013.
Top 5 Viewed (non-accident) Stories of 2013
Unfortunately there was quite a bit of bad news in the airline world in 2013, and many of those stories ended up being some of the most popular. National Air Cargo 747, Asiana 777, Ethiopian 787 and the stories related to them all had quite a few views, but obviously not for good reason. For the ones below, I wanted to share those that were actually written in 2013 and ones that weren’t bad for the airline business.
It is always a crap-shoot for what stories will be popular and which will end up being duds. We can fly around the world, work days on a story, and it barely gets any traction, but then we can spend 10 minutes on another story and it is read by over 100,000 people.
Although not written in 2013 (so it is not making the official list below), the most viewed blog for the year was a video of Tex Johnson doing a barrel roll in a Boeing 707 (which I think it took me 7 min to write up). That story ended up being shared as a top story on Reddit, and the traffic subsequently took down our servers (called the “Reddit Effect”).
Here are the top 5 read stories last year:
- My Review: Flying Business Class on American Airlines 777-300ER
- British Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Full Livery – Something is Different
- British Airways First Airbus A380 Rolls Out of Paint Hangar
- Comparing the Qatar Airways Boeing 777-200LR & the 787 Dreamliner
Top 5 Most Commented Stories
One of our favorite parts of producing content is getting your thoughts in the comments. Many are positive, but some are not so much. Either way, we read them all and reply back to quite a few. In 2013, the two stories with the most comments were those where we gave away a Singapore Airlines 777 model (373 comments) and a few books (187 comments). I won’t count those in the list below, since the comments weren’t really a discussion. It seems that talking about American Airlines’ new livery was hot for last year.
- American Airlines Reveals New Livery, New Logo, New Look (57 comments)
- Disturbing Video: National Air Cargo Boeing 747 Crashes (48 comments)
- Some Additional Thoughts on American Airline’s New Livery (42 comments)
- All The Juicy Details for Aviation Geek Fest 2013 (40 comments)
- Ethiopian Boeing 787 Dreamliner Catches Fire at Heathrow (36 comments)
My Top 5 Experiences in 2013
I feel so lucky to have experienced so many great trips last year and it is always hard to choose my favorites. But here they are:
- LIVE BLOG: The World’s Longest Flight (SIN-EWR) in a Singapore A340-500. I wanted to do something different to record the world’s longest flight and I tried to do it via a live blog. Staying connected on the flight was a challenge, but I did the best that I could and kept on writing even when offline. Flying 21,000 miles was quite a haul for an extended weekend, but I loved every minute of it!
- Review: Flying (like a boss) in a Boeing Business Jet. Flying in a 737 that is a business jet is rad. Sitting in the jump seat of a 737 during take off and landing is amazing. Combine the two and talk about a crazy adventure. I was so excited to be invited on a short trip from Seattle to Anchorage on a 737 BBJ and I decided to have a some fun in the process (also got to introduce my top hat, which will be back, by the way).
- Photos: An Inside Look of an Antonov AN-124. I have always loved the AN-124 and only been able to see it in person just a few times. When I had an opportunity to take an interior tour, while one was at Paine Field, I couldn’t pass the opportunity up. I am still in shock with how large that flight deck was — as big as my first apartment in college (if not bigger).
- My Review: Flying Business Class on American Airlines’ 777-300ER. Before taking this flight, I wouldn’t think that reviewing a product for American Airlines would make my “Top 5” list. But this product blew me out of the water with how amazing it was. I can only hope that the in-flight service will improve a bit more for 2014.
- Emirates Shows Off Lounges in New Airbus A380 Concourse. I had already been to Dubai once in 2012 and when invited to go for a second time to check out the airport’s new concourse, I was all about it. I don’t know what it is about that town, but I dig it. I would go back again for a third time in a heartbeat. Probably has to do with being able to ski, ride camels, and check out the world’s tallest building in one day — not to mention that flying Emirates isn’t so shabby either.
Other 2013 Favorites of Airline Reporter Leadership
I am surely not the only one who is working hard to produce the content on the site. I am part of a great team of dedicated folks and freelance writers who help create some amazing stories. I reached out to our three main guys to see what they liked most in 2013:
- Mal Muir: My first was getting let loose on Hong Kong while staying at the Peninsula. One of the most luxurious hotels I have ever stayed in (and I have stayed in a few). Lots of fun times and to top it all off, I got to experience a scenic a helicopter flight! My second favorite experience was flying First Class on a Qantas Airbus A380. It is the most epic flight/experience I have had to date.
- Bernie Leighton: I really enjoyed my recent flight on Honeywell’s Convair because it was an entirely unbelievable flying experience that no one else would get to have. I enjoyed my experience on the Ilyushin IL-76 because it is the loudest aircraft I have ever flown on. Lastly, I felt excited to experience the very last passenger flight of a DC-8 and that will go down in history.
- Blaine Nickeson: It wasn’t my story, but Bernie’s Air Koryo series was epic. It was a look inside an air travel experience that most of the world never gets to see. My favorite story I did this year was the “Does the 747 have a future” story, not because I got to do anything fun for it, but because it generated a lot of user comments and interaction. I also really enjoyed doing this story (Interview with an Airline Reporter). It didn’t get as much attention as I would have liked, but I had fun doing it and think a lot of our readers enjoyed it.
Top 10 Cities and Countries Reading
Although we write about airlines around the world, we are primarily based in Seattle and it is a bit of a shock to see it is now the #3 city. That said, it’s nice to see that Everett, WA makes the list at #10 (probably thanks to all you Boeing people reading?!).
- New York, London, Seattle, Los Angeles, Sydney, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, Melbourne, Everett
The same home countries make the list, with only India and France swapping for the most readers compared to last year. Once again, the only country from which we did not have any readers was in North Korea… maybe someday?
- United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, India, Netherlands, Japan, Singapore
The miles traveled in 2014 is currently at zero, but I know that will be changing soon. We already have a few trips set up and have plenty of ideas for the rest of the year. Hopefully we will be able to fly to new places, try new products, and showcase new talent on the site.
Of course, none of these adventures would be worth having if we weren’t able to share them with others who have our passion for airlines and aviation. The fact that so many of you read what we write and engage with us via the comments, Twitter, and Facebook, allow us to do what we do. So from each of us at AirlineReporter.com, thank you!
A very Happy New Year to everyone; we hope you all are able to get out and fly!
Previous New Years Posts:
- Happy New Year — A Look Back at 2012
- Happy New Year! A Look Back at 2011 with Top 5′s
- Top 5 of 2010
- My 6 favorite blogs of 2009