Another year has passed, which means it is time to do a re-cap. With any year-end review, it is great to remember what we have accomplished and see how we have grown and changed since we started in 2008.
We are once again humbled to have the opportunity to experience the things we do. It has taken lots of hard work, and we are always excited to be able to share them with you!
Our team has now grown to over 30 writers, located in 18 cities, on four continents. We have been keeping busy, flying over 600,000 miles this year, making our grand total over 1.4 million miles. We are just short of 75,000 Twitter followers, our Flickr views have passed 7.6 million, and YouTube is now over 2.3 million views. Readership is at a all-time high and we just love that you seem to (mostly) like what we do!
For me the biggest change (challenge) was leaving my full-time job and taking one that is only part-time this year. The hope is to spend more time growing AirlineReporter, while keeping all of you (and our writers) happy. It is a delicate balance, needing to make money to survive (I tried paying my bills with airline stories and pictures — turns out that doesn’t work), while not selling out (you aren’t going to see pop-up or very distracting ads).
Another major change was the website redesign. We love it more and more each day, and we got amazing feedback from all of you. Plus, if you are reading this on a mobile device, it is much easier!
And seriously — a HUGE thanks to YOU! Without your reading and engagement, we couldn’t keep growing and sharing cool content. I am looking forward to 2016 and hopefully engaging with more of you!
Who is reading AirlineReporter?
Our demographics have changed a bit, but we still have a tad over 50% of our readers based in the US. About 20% of you are women and the other 80% are men — we have been growing in female readership, which is great! Let’s look at top countries and cities this year:
Top 10 countries: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, India, France, Singapore, Netherlands, Italy
Top 10 cities: New York, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Sydney, Toronto, Houston, Dallas
Hello Texas! We have never had one city from Texas make the top ten, now we have two! And once again, the only country that did not view our site was North Korea — maybe some day!
Five most-read stories written in 2015:
There were quite a few stories that got your attention. Here are top five read stories (written in 2015) that are not accident-related:
- First 727 prepares for last flight
- Wings of Pride – A TWA plane that was nearly forgotten
- The Airbus A380neo is a good idea
- Requiem Trijet Masterpiece
- 235 Miles on a Qatar Airways A340-500
Five most-read stories written prior to 2015:
There are some stories, written long ago, that still are very popular. Here are the top five stories read this year, but written in a prior year:
- How to get a good seat on a Southwest flight (this is a top read EVERY month and still works)
- From first to last: Etihad Airways economy review
- A look at how different airlines board (which is now out of date)
- Inside look at different crew rest areas
- My review: flying Allegiant Air for the first time
Our favorite AirlineReporter stories/experience
Many of our team had pretty cool experiences over the year. Here are some of our favorites:
David: I have to say that my favorite experiences this year was going to Hamburg, Germany. Not only did I get to fly on a Junkers Ju-52, but also got to hang out with some great people. The media group (and the PR folks that joined us) were all AvGeeks, so we got to share our excitement and adventures together. My first tour of the Airbus Beluga didn’t hurt either.
Blaine: I got the privilege this year of hitting AirlineReporter’s one millionth mile of flight in pursuit of bringing you great stories. It was aboard a LAN 787-8, off the coast of Peru, while sitting in a business class seat. That trip had me on the ground in Santiago, Chile for only 15 hours. I also got to experience the awesome Qantas First Lounge at LAX prior to that flight. Not a bad way to spend two days, and certainly something I’d never get to do if it weren’t for AirlineReporter.
Bernie: AirlineReporter did get on a 787-9 this year, that was pretty great. Except, then I went and flew Etihad – not just once. In fact, the last long-haul flight I’ve done this year was with Etihad. So, passenger year in review can be summarized as “yeah, so how about Etihad?” Aviation experience wise: MAKS? Flying on an even older An-12? One thing’s for sure, next year needs more choppers!
Dave: Hands down, my favorite experience of the year was flying to Thailand in First Class on ANA and Thai Airways. It was amazing to experience the food and service in international first class on these airlines. Other favorites include heading to Aruba with Southwest Airlines and our quick guy’s weekend trip to Kuala Lumpur on ANA. It’s been a fun year!
JL: 2015 was a record-breaker for me on many fronts, booking record miles while flying my most diverse mix of airlines ever. As for my favorite 2015 experience, I’d have to say it’s a dead even split between flying on OneJet’s Hawker 400 and touring King Nut Co, where most airline snacks are born. I know it sounds silly, but it was great to, after years of trying, finally score behind-the-scenes access to this little-known company which has direct impact on millions of travelers each week.
John: It’s my latest story, covering the American inaugural from LAX to Sydney. It inspired me to book a last-minute trip to see even more kangaroos for myself. Got myself that, and more… like petting a koala.