It’s been a fun year of travel for me. This was one of my best years for international travel mainly due to the fact I spent much of the year in Cape Town, South Africa tagging along while my girlfriend was getting a graduate degree at the University of Cape Town. Many of the flights were very long so I was able to experience new long hauls airline offerings. I also had many long layovers, mainly in the Middle East. As I like to do every year, I compile all my flight legs, new airlines, miles flown, new destinations and new aircraft. Then I like to crown a winner in the destination, airline and aircraft division. It’s fun to look back at the end of the year and revisit all your experiences. It also gives you a chance to get excited for the future. Where will you go in 2015?
Below is my mileage and flight legs. Ignore the booking class columns.
Stats At A Glance:
Flight Legs: 17
New Airlines: Turkish, Emirates, Mango
New Airports: Istanbul, Cape Town, Lanseria, Johannesburg, Dubai
Most Common Airport: Cape Town
Most Common Airline: Emirates and Southwest (6 Legs)
Most Common Aircraft: 737
New Aircraft: 777ER, A380
Most Common Route – Cape Town to Dubai
Best New Airline:
Hands down this goes to Emirates. Although Turkish puts out a great long haul product (I really liked the Turkish delights when you board) the A340 and A330 just don’t have as much room as the 777 or A380 in economy. Also the Emirates ICE in flight entertainment systems and size of screens is the best I have experienced so far. There is no shortage of service and plenty of hot towels to go around. The crew is constantly asking if you need food or beverages and are very courteous. The Middle Eastern carriers are only growing but Emirates is at the top of my list right now.
Best New Airport:
This one is tough because I spent so much time in Dubai that it would be my most likely choice. Dubai International Airport is great if you have no budget, it’s a consumers dream. Every type of shop and product you could ever want is there and in abundance. I will say their duty-free liquor store is amazing; it is huge and has every type of liquor you could ever want. My choice though has to go with Cape Town. It’s an airport that more suits my likes. With its high ceilings, multi level halls and manageable lines it’s a great airport to visit. I particularly love grabbing a drink on the top-level and watching the aircraft land and depart from the viewing deck. It’s easily navigated and the staff is courteous and friendly in only the way South Africans can be.
Favorite New Destination:
This is an easy choice for me this year. As I spent half the year there the only logical choice would be Cape Town, South Africa. First and foremost Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. Very few places in the world do you get the ocean, mountains, lush forest and vineyards all within one city. South Africa is a complex country with a checkered past but I found many of locals to be extremely friendly and there is no shortage of ex pats from all over the world. With the exchange rate of the USD at a favorable rate against the Rand, it has become fairly affordable. You can connect through many Middle East and European hubs. I flew into CPT through DXB and IST. As I reviewed previously CPT is great airport, especially on a continent that has very few large, upscale airports.
So that is my travel year in review. Where did you travel to this year? Wherever you go let tripchi be your guide! Happy 2015!