Thumbnail from each of my Flickr photo sets in 2011. Lots of good stuff.

Thumbnail from each of my Flickr photo sets in 2011. Lots of good stuff. SUPER DOOPER bonus if you can tell me what each of these thumbnails represent -- without going to my Flickr page.

First of all, a Happy New Year to everyone. 2011 was another great year for the blog. Without your readership, airlines wouldn’t be willing to let me go on these adventures and share them with you, so I am highly appreciative for all your support.

In 2011, I was able to rack up over 81,000 miles flying for the blog (compared to 50,000 in 2010). Out of all the stories, photos and experiences which were the most popular to me and you? Well, this year it wasn’t so easy. All these “Tops” come directly from the blog at and do not take into account of the readership on the Seattle PI or Reuters (even though are very important as well — but I just don’t have good data from those). Here are Top 5’s in different categories:

Top 5 Viewed Blogs
Rarely does time spent on a story relate directly to the amount of traffic seen. Many times, having access to a few sweet photos or a video and taking three minutes to post it will inevitably see more traffic than a story I work on for weeks. Traffic is traffic of course and it is always interesting seeing the most popular stories. These are the top viewed stories for 2011:
* Airbus A380 wing hits building at Paris Airshow
* Interior photos of ANA’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner
* JAL livery revealed on 787 Dreamliner
* Photo of Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental outside, unpainted
* Taking a look at Delta’s Economy Comfort vs United’s Economy Plus

Top 5 Experiences
Lots of miles and many great experiences this last year, but these are my five favorite (in no particular order):
* Flying on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner for the first time
* Hitching a ride on a Beechcraft Starship
* Experiencing Singapore Airline’s A380 Business Class
* Delivering a RwandAir Boeing 737
* Watching the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental take her first flight

Top 5 Cities Reading the Blog
This is the first year that Seattle (where I am based) moves down to number two in readership behind New York. Also, all five are US cities, where last year London made the list. Here are the cities that read my blog the most in 2011 (in order of most to least):
* New York
* Seattle
* Los Angeles
* Chicago
* San Francisco

I was able to fly over 81,000 miles for the blog in 2011. Hoping to break the 100k mark for 2012.

I feel lucky that I was able to fly over 81,000 miles for the blog in 2011. Hoping to break the 100k mark for 2012.

Top 5 Photos On The Blog
I am not a professional photographer, nor do I want to be one. I have enjoyed learning a lot about photography in 2011, but being around people who are truly amazing photographers, I won’t ever get to that level — but I am okay with that (less stressful for sure). Sometimes I like what I take, sometimes I do not. These are the Top 5 photos I enjoyed that were taken for the blog. Not saying they will win any awards, but here they are:
* Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 at Narita
* Boeing 747-8I at Boeing Field (taken by Nick Smith for
* Singapore skyline at night
* Rear view of the Beechcraft Starship. The plane has so many amazing angles, but I really enjoyed this one.
* Inside the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with tinted windows

Top 5 Most Commented Blogs
This year has seen many more comments on my stories and I LOVE IT. Not surprisingly there tend to be more comments on some of my more controversal topics. Here are the top commented stories (in order from most to least) of 2011:
* Received My First Body Scan and I Am Okay With It
* Airline Livery Opinion of the Week: American Airlines Livery Stinks
PHOTOS: Airbus A380 Wing Hits Building at Paris Air Show
* CONTEST: How Many Boeing 737s Are Still Flying?
* Was United Airline’s Computer Outage That Big of a Deal? I Say Nay.

Previous New Years Posts:
Top 5 of 2010
My 6 favorite blogs of 2009

So what did your airline-related 2011 look like? Fly anywhere cool? Take some good photos? Where are you hoping to go in 2012?

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
Why Won’t They Let Me on the Plane?!

Flew 8,000 miles in 2011, almost all for business on 4 airlines. I’m liking the shorter flights more than the longer ones. A hour is a good length flight with a connection for me. Love the Embraers and could do without the CRJ’s and their lower windows and seats. Loved reading and contributing in a small way. Here’s to a new and exciting 2012! Thanks for all you do David! 🙂

That Singapore skyline picture should be the #1 on that list. I didn’t have to (although I did) look at the others ones to crown that one the best.


I gained 10,577 miles on Delta, though probably about a quarter of that never happened. Love the 500 mile minimum miles rule with Delta! 8 flights included in there was LAN DTW, which is only about 75 miles. So adjusting for that, its more like 7,177 miles.
Oh, plus a round trip on jetBlue for another 2,000 miles. Grand total, 9,177 miles in 2011.


can i ask what program/site did you use to create your flight history map? thanks

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