Gary posted a great video tonight, that I will repost here later. I thought the best part of his piece was his look at the breakdown of those of us in “the hobby.” Gary listed frequent flyers, luxury travelers, deal seekers, and aviation enthusiasts. I’ve never really thought of it that way, but he is spot on. In truth, I’m a mix of all four of those. I fly 75 to 100K a year on business and pleasure, I’ve been known to spend a nickel or 10 on desirable experiences even when I could’ve done something else with points, I’ve been known to be tight with a dollar when I needed to be, and I’m no doubt an aviation enthusiast.

If you’ve been with me for a while, you know I got started in “the business” as a pilot, moved into other operational functions in the airline after losing my medical to diabetes, and ultimately left the airline business for a job that includes travel. In fact, back when I started the blog in August 2006, my tagline was “An ex-airline guy blogs about airlines and travel.” I evolved from that a bit. “Tips on Traveling Well” seemed to fit. I do travel pretty well thanks to my miles, and that’s not going to change.

I started flying airplanes when I was 15, and I picked up my commercial pilot’s license at age 19, just a few days before I redeemed my first mileage award and flew first class for the first time. 🙂 Yes, I’m quite the combination of things. But the truth is that I’m first and foremost an aviator and an airline guy, even if I no longer work for one. It’s a fascinating business that flies fascinating machines and it will always be home. But I still prefer the traditional yoke to the sidestick. Enjoy the video!

-MJ, November 11, 2014

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