This story has a random subject, why not go with a random photo of #A380cat?

This story has a random subject, so why not go with a random photo of #A380cat?

Sometimes I put in silly working titles and plan to change them later. For this one, I am just going to keep it, why not? It has been too long since we did a little loving promotional update on AirlineReporter. What does that mean? Well, a number of things…

First off, I am VERY excited to announced that we have now traveled more than 2,000,000 miles to share our experiences and stories with you. That is equal to going around the world over 80 times, going to the moon AND back over four times, or my least favorite: a diagcon 737 flight from Seattle to Florida 734 times (ugh).

This is our 2,838th story published, so that is an average of about 700 miles per story. Of course this story is taking me zero miles, and the story that put us over the 2 million mark (My Rwanda Trip Provided Some Amazing AvGeek Experiences — which you should read, if you haven’t), took about 15,500 miles, so it all evens out.

We have now flown over 2,000,000 miles to bring you stories - Image: GCMap.com

We have now flown over 2,000,000 miles to bring you stories. Kinda almost to ever continent. Antarctica was a special flight down there, but didn’t land – Image: GCMap.com

With this whole COVID stuff, we have gained some new readers, so I thought it would be good to make a quick introduction:

We are the Home of the AvGeek, with over 35 writers, in 25 cities, on four continents sharing our passion for aviation and airlines since 2008. This site and the mission has changed quite a bit over the years. It started as a one man show (that is me), not knowing what he was doing; to a business with daily content and a stressful workload; to now being a rad hobby where people can come together and share their love of airlines. Everyone is welcome to share their passion in a number of ways. It can mean just reading our stories, following us on social media, starting a conversation in the comments (we really love those by the way), or even publishing a story on AirlineReporter.

I want you to be able to easily connect to our content in a way that makes sense to you:

  • New story notifications: It is called a “newsletter,” but really you will get an email any time we publish a new story. This is the best way to make sure you do not miss anything, and I promise no spam.
  • Twitter: We share news, photos, contests, and have fun with our fans. We have almost 114,000 followers, so we must be doing something right? Maybe? Hopefully.
  • Facebook: Keep up with our stories, share them (please and thanks) and interact with our other readers.
  • Instagram: When you just want the photos, this is the place to go! You will often see photos that we don’t share on any other channel here.
  • YouTube: We often upload our videos from our stories and other videos as well. Plus, you can  easily travel back in time and see some great “modern classic” videos.
  • Flickr: Our Flickr page is also another good place to view more photos that don’t always show up in our stories.
  • Our new c(AR)rier pigeon™ program: For an extra service charge, we will send you all our stories monthly via a carrier pigeon. You must live with-in 600 miles of Seattle and be willing to put down a $500 deposit incase the bird gets lost (this is a joke, but homing pigeons are quite fascinating).

Of course I love flying around and writing up stories, but no joke (and I am going to get sappy here), it’s the people that make it all worth it. So thank you for reading and being a part of the greater AvGeek community! Cheers and stay safe.

I made up a binder to plan our trip and this was on the cover... it is how I roll!

I made up a binder to plan our trip and this was on the cover… it is how I roll!

The movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is one of my favorite classics. It never gets old watching how a simple trip falls apart into complete chaos. It might have been a bit odd for me to be excited taking a trip using those exact forms for transportation (in the same order, none-the-less), but I was optimistic that our trip would turn out much better. Brittany (my lovely wife) and I were planning to take a plane from Seattle (SEA) to New York (via EWR); a train from New York (NYP) to Jacksonville, FL (JAX); and then a nice little drive down the Florida coast to Vero Beach, FL.

Brittany had never been to New York City and we wanted to visit my dad in Vero Beach. You probably can tell that I love flying, but I was at a place in my life where the idea of flying back and forth across the country twice in a few 737s was not appealing, so I started to get creative.

The outside of an Amtrak car with Viewliner Roomettes - Photo: Amtrak

The outside of an Amtrak car with Viewliner Roomettes – Photo: Amtrak

I realized that for about the same cost to fly from New York down to Florida, we could purchase a Viewliner Roomette on the Amtrak Silver Service. Of course the travel time would be a bit more… but the experience would be very different. Neither of us had traveled overnight on a train and I was stoked about the idea!

Although the train continued farther south, I wanted to round out the experience by de-training (that a thing?) in JAX and renting a car to drive the rest of the way. The drive is only about three hours to our final destination, but we decided to make it a two-day adventure. We wanted to smell the roses and also stay at a hotel right on the water. We had our quest locked in!

Buckle up… it is time to first start the PLANE portion of our journey!

The KLM 747-400 City of Nairobi sitting at the gate in Toronto. A sight that, not long after my flight, was no more - Photo: Matthew Chasmar

The KLM 747-400 City of Nairobi sitting at the gate in Toronto. A sight that, not long after my flight, was no more – Photo: Matthew Chasmar

How does one get to Rwanda, anyways? This is probably not a question many North Americans have asked themselves. But it is one I heard a lot recently, when I had an unprecedented opportunity to travel to the East African country of Rwanda. This was an incredibly unique experience in many ways, and the flights involved were no exception. For this trip, I flew from Toronto to Kigali (Rwanda’s capital city), via Amsterdam on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. This is one of only a handful of options for that particular trip, the others being Brussels and Turkish Airlines. So, this February, I found myself at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, ready to embark on one of the longest series of flights I’ve ever taken.

That's no plane! The first leg of my journey was a train ride into Toronto - Photo: Matthew Chasmar

That’s no plane! The first leg of my journey was a train ride into Toronto – Photo: Matthew Chasmar

I’ve always loved the plane spotting at New York’s JFK International Airport. A lot of America’s other biggest airports are dominated by hub operations from individual airlines, like Delta @ Atlanta, American @ DFW, United at nearby Newark. But JFK feels more like the United Nations of airports, with a variety of airlines from tons of countries. Here’s a quick video of a loop between some of the terminals at JFK.

If you want another way to virtually travel to New York JFK, check out our inside look at the airport’s new and VERY avgeek-friendly TWA Hotel, which we pass by in the video above. The plane spotting from the hotel’s roof is AMAZING.