Many users of the Great Circle Mapper keep a detailed log of their flying, myself included. Mine 2016 flying was relatively mundane with just 21 flights totalling 42,695 miles and no particularly exotic locations, but there were some personal firsts along with other highlights. Highlights beyond just the joy flying, that is!
2016 saw visits to four new (to me) airports: Newcastle upon Tyne, Frankfurt, Berlin (Tegel), and Columbia, South Carolina. I also visited Berlin (Tempelhof) and walked the runways but was a few years too late to fly in or out of the historic airport.
Newcastle was at the end of my first trans-Atlantic flight in a single-aisle aircraft, a Boeing 757 from Newark, a route which was dropped just a few months later. I returned from London Heathrow so Newcastle is one of a few airports at which I've landed but not departed. (In contrast, my log includes a surprising number of departure-only airports, the subject of a Featured Map a few years ago.)
My first trip to Germany, in August, added several more airports to my log along with my first flight on Lufthansa and, on the return, my first flight on a Boeing 767-400ER, coincidentally the same 767-400ER which flew the Denver Broncos to and from the Super Bowl earlier this year, the subject of another Featured Map.) This trip also start with what may be my last flight on a Boeing 747. To say farewell in style I used some miles to upgrade to First Class and row 1.
My other notable flight this year was the one on which I crossed one million lifetime miles on United. Having grown up in the shadow of Chicago O'Hare and now living near San Francisco, it's always been my hometown airline and thus tends to get the lion's share of my flying including all of my travel this year. (That one Lufthansa flight was via a United code share.)
Having flown on United's last Boeing 737 flight in 2009, it seems strange that nearly half of this year's flying (nine flights) was on United 737s! The next most frequent aircraft for me was the Boeing 757 and Boeing 777 with three flights each. The Embraer ERJ-145 and Airbus A320 family accounted for two flights each, the latter including an A320 and an A319. One flight each on a Boeing 747 and Boeing 767 round out the list.
Although I didn't fly on them I saw several new aircraft models. Connecting in Frankfurt, I saw several A320neo aircraft, which prompted a Featured Map. posted from Berlin. Just yesterday, as my last flight of the year parked at the gate at San Francisco, I watched Singapore Airlines' Airbus A350 flight to Singapore lift off. Early A350 flying was the subject of a Featured Map about 13 months ago; perhaps it is time to revisit that topic.
Today's Featured Map shows my 2016 flying. If you think your 2016 flying would make an interesting Featured Map please email the details!
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Karl L. Swartz.
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