Flying

Longest Trips (over 10,000 miles)

November 2019

I didn’t think growing up in Ukraine post Soviet Union that I would ever get a chance to travel the world. So whenever I have an opportunity to book the longest trips my wallet would allow I jump on it! Volunteering for Motorsport events decides the destination. And November 2019 was my first visit to South Africa to work an endurance race at Kyalami near Johannesburg with a side trip to Cape Town to see the ocean. According to Great Circle Mapper total miles flown 19,723 with the following segments:

JFK – LHR 3,451 mi
LHR – JNB 5,620 mi
JNB – CPT 790 mi
CPT – JNB 790 mi
JNB – LHR 5,620 mi
LHR – JFK 3,451 mi

September 2019

While I don’t necessarily consider flights to Europe to be some of my longest ones. My recent 11 hour trip from Munich to Dallas definitely qualifies, especially since I went multiple hours out of my way just to try a new aircraft: American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The trip to Europe for my cousin’s wedding September 2019 was supposed to be even longer, luckily because of bad weather I skipped the New York (LGA) backwards flight to Chicago to fly the AA Dreamliner on the way to Paris and instead rebooked to Iberia on their new Airbus A350 from JFK to Paris Orly via Madrid. I used SCNF TGV train to get between France and Germany. According to Great Circle Mapper total miles flown 10,945 with these segments:

JFK – MAD 3,589 mi
MAD – ORY 639 mi
MUC – DFW 5,329 mi
DFW – LGA 1,389 mi

February 2018

After several trips transiting via Honolulu, Hawaii to or from other International destinations, I decided to share some American Airlines AAdvantage miles with my sister’s family to take the kids to Waikiki. Though this trip was entirely domestic it is fascinating to me how huge USA is and just a few segments from the East Coast of the US to the middle of the Pacific Ocean yielded a trip of over 10k miles. Florida and California used to be my go-to states for their perfect beaches and beautiful sunny weather. Now Hawaii has moved to the top of that list and I’m happy I was able to share the experience with the little nephews. According to Great Circle Mapper total miles flown 10,346 with these segments:

LGA – DFW 1,389 mi
DFW – HNL 3,784 mi
HNL – DFW 3,784 mi
DFW – LGA 1,389 mi

February 2016

The 2016 trip to the South Pacific to volunteer at Bathurst 12 hours was one of my most exotic. Especially since I tacked on two short stop overs in Polynesian paradise along the way. First I burned some AA miles to fly Hawaiian Airlines from New York (JFK) to Sydney, Australia (SYD) via Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL). After the race I flew from Sydney (SYD) to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) and worked a club race there. And to fly home I discovered it was less miles to fly from Rarotonga, Cook Islands (RAR) to Newark, NJ (EWR) via Auckland (AKL) and Los Angeles (LAX) than flying directly from the New Zealand to the US. So since I had some Air NZ miles left over I burned them on a short trip from Auckland (AKL) to Rarotonga (RAR) a mere 4 hour flight. According to Great Circle Mapper total miles flown 24,098 flying the following segments:

JFK – HNL 4,983 mi
HNL – SYD 5,066 mi
SYD – AKL 1,345 mi
AKL – RAR 1,873 mi
RAR – AKL 1,873 mi
AKL – LAX 6,504 mi
LAX – EWR 2,454 mi

December 2015

The 2015 trip to Southeast Asia for my friend’s wedding in Bangkok followed by a quick volunteering visit to Sepang in Malaysia was a blast. It started off rocky with ANA after a long New York (JFK) to Tokyo (NRT) flight I discovered I’ve been using a bloody pillow as we went for final descent. That was gross and disturbing. I connected to another ANA flight from Tokyo (NRT) to Bangkok (BKK) where I spent a few days enjoying my time with the Thai Miata community and of course at the wedding. I got to try out a new airport flying Scoot’s new Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Bangkok (DMK) to Singapore (SIN) Then I returned to my favorite place Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (SZB) on FireFly flying into Subang to volunteer Sepang 12 hour endurance race, before returning home. The trip back was on Shanghai Airlines flying into Shanghai (PVG) to check out the city for a few hours. And final leg was on United Airlines from Shanghai (PVG) to Newark, NJ (EWR). According to Great Circle Mapper total miles flown 20,471 flying the following segments:

JFK – NRT 6,745 mi
NRT – BKK 22,889 mi
DMK – SIN 893 mi
SIN – SZB 208 mi
KUL – PVG 2,352 mi
PVG – EWR 7,384 mi

July 2015

Another Euro Trip of over 10k miles flown makes the list in 2015. On this visit to Belgium and Germany to volunteer a couple of endurance races, I took some of the longest routes to get there. First I redeemed by Delta Sky Miles on Alitalia to fly New York (JFK) to Brussels, Belgium (BRU) via Rome, Italy (FCO). I only had a few hours to see the city but I boarded my onwards flight soaking wet because I literally ran to see all I could. On the way back I repeated the process in Helsinki, Finland flying on Finnair using American Airlines AAdvantage miles. I departed Brussels (BRU) early in the morning and arrived Chicago (ORD) later in the evening giving myself enough time to find some deep dish pizza. While also stopping in Helsinki (HEL) for a short connection. I flew from Chicago (ORD) to New York (JFK) later in the day the next day giving myself plenty of time to explore this city, far longer than any of my previous visits to that city. According to Great Circle Mapper total miles flown 11,209 flying the following segments:

JFK – FCO 4,277 mi
FCO – BRU 729 mi
BRU – HEL 1,026 mi
HEL – ORD 4,436 mi
ORD – JFK 740 mi

November – December 2013

My first trip to the Middle East in 2013 kind of went off the rails a little bit. After a few round-the-world trips back to back in 2012 I was out of miles. I had some but not enough. So I got creative when I wanted to go volunteer for an endurance race in Bahrain. I had enough for an economy saver award with AA on Air Berlin. I booked it flying New York (JFK) to Budapest, Hungary (BUD) via Berlin, Germany (TXL) From Budapest (BUD) I booked a cheap ticket with Wizz Air to fly to Dubai’s second airport (DWC). From Dubai I booked a relatively cheap local flight on Qatar Airways to Bahrain (BAH) flying via Doha, Qatar (DOH) though not actually entering the country. After the WEC 6 hour in Bahrain I signed up to volunteer Gulf 12 hour in Abu Dhabi, but to kill a week of time in the middle I was looking for alternate plans. And I found them in Kuala Lumpur where Asian Le Mans Series had their own endurance race. So I scraped up whatever AA miles I had left to book a round trip from Dubai (DXB) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL) flying on Qatar Airways via Doha (DOH). On the way back I booked Etihad Airways to fly directly to Abu Dhabi (AUH). And a few days later I snuck in on the Etihad shuttle bus to catch a free ride to Dubai, where I boarded my Wizz Air flight back to Budapest (BUD). The final leg of the journey was on Air Berlin again using AA saver award miles. Flying from Budapest (BUD) to New York (JFK) via Berlin (TXL) and Dusseldorf, Germany (DUS) where again I overnighted and even went to the night markets. Had I known my plans in advance I would have probably booked direct awards between Bahrain and Kuala Lumpur skipping a bunch of the Doha segments which I paid out of pocket. Crazy experience! According to Great Circle Mapper total miles flown 21,934 flying the following segments:

JFK – TXL 3,968 mi
TXL – BUD 442 mi
BUD – DWC 2,503 mi
DXB – DOH 235 mi
DOH – BAH 92 mi
BAH – DOH 92 mi
DOH – DXB 235 mi
DXB – DOH 235 mi
DOH – KUL 3,673 mi
KUL – AUH 3,473 mi
DWC – BUD 2,503 mi
BUD – TXL 442 mi
TXL – DUS 292 mi
DUS – JFK 3,749 mi

September 2013

2013 was my busiest flying year to date, I logged over 110k miles that year alone. Besides the 2 months round-the-world trip that started the year, I came back to marshal Singapore F1 Grand Prix in September and indulged myself with a visit to Phuket, Thailand as well after the race. It started out with a Singapore Airlines flight east from New York (JFK) to Singapore (SIN) via Frankfurt, Germany (FRA). After the race I flew up to Phuket (HKT) on Tiger Air. Then used the remainder of my United Airlines Mileage Plus miles to book Thai Airways from Phuket (HKT) to New York (JFK) via Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) and Frankfurt, Germany (FRA). First segment was on a Thai Boeing 747, then Thai A380 and finally Singapore A380 to NYC. According to Great Circle Mapper I flew 20,723 miles, flying the following segments:

JFK – FRA 3,856 mi
FRA – SIN 6,389 mi
SIN – HKT 607 mi
HKT – BKK 417 mi
BKK – FRA 5,598 mi
FRA – JFK 3,856 mi

November 2011

At the end of 2011 I was moving to live in New Zealand for what I thought would be a year. When I got there I traveled a bunch but the trip I took to get there was somewhat creative to balance out how my flight map would look based on my previous trip to live abroad in Singapore earlier that same year. I used my British Airways Avios points to book LAN Chile from New York (JFK) to fly to Santiago, Chile (SCL) via Lima, Peru (LIM) where I didn’t even have to deplane during the connection. At Santiago (SCL) I connected to my Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) flight also without leaving the airport and entering Chile. Thinking back, I think it was an incredible waste of miles that I should have used more wisely. According to Great Circle Mapper I flew 11,164 miles, flying the following segments:

JFK – LIM 3,629 mi
LIM – SCL 1,524 mi
SCL – AKL 6,011 mi

April 2012

On my way home to New Jersey from New Zealand I booked an American Airlines award using Qantas to fly from Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) to New York (JFK) via Sydney, Australia (SYD) and Los Angeles, California (LAX). According to Great Circle Mapper I flew 11,308 miles, flying the following segments:

AKL – SYD 1,345 mi
SYD – LAX 7,488 mi
LAX – JFK 2,475 mi

March 2011

At the beginning of 2011 I was moving to live in Singapore. I booked the longest flight I had ever flown using my British Airways Avios miles and operated by Cathay Pacific from New York (JFK) to Hong Kong (HKG). I actually booked it to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL) where I left my luggage and flew down to Singapore (SIN) on a low cost Air Asia flight. I have no idea why I left my bag in KL but I flew Tiger Air back the next day from Singapore (SIN) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to pick it up and bring it back on another Air Asia flight. They were both cheap, but still kind of a waste. Just a day after that I booked a JetStar Asia flight to go up to Phuket (HKT) for a few days. As I lived in Singapore I traveled very often, at least once or twice a month. But even getting there took a bunch of zig zag flights. According to Great Circle Mapper I flew 11,413 miles, flying the following segments:

JFK – HKG 8,072 mi
HKG – KUL 1,575 mi
KUL – SIN 184 mi
SIN – KUL 184 mi
KUL – SIN 184 mi
SIN – HKT 607 mi
HKT – SIN 607 mi

October 2011

On my way back home to New Jersey from Singapore I took what seemed like the more sensible route booking an award on United Airlines when they still had cheap ones between Singapore (SIN) and Tokyo (NRT) and then connecting to an American Airlines redemption flying from Tokyo (NRT) to Newark, NJ (EWR) via Dallas, Texas (DFW). I had spent a few days in Tokyo before heading home and after Southeast Asia it was like a kick in the pants because of how expensive it is in comparisson. According to Great Circle Mapper I flew 11,123 miles, flying the following segments:

SIN – NRT 3,324 mi
NRT – DFW 6,427 mi
DFW – EWR 1,372 mi

December 2010 – January 2011

At the end of 2010 I spent a whole month living and traveling around Europe. I flew out early December 2010 on American Airlines from Newark, NJ (EWR) to Madrid, Spain (MAD) via Miami, Florida (MIA) where I actually spent the night. Upon arrival I continued from Madrid (MAD) to Alicante (ALC) on Spanair, then took an ALSA bus to Murcia where I dropped off my bag with my cousin and returned back to Alicante (ALC) to fly to Marrakesh, Morocco (RAK) on Ryanair for my first visit to Africa. I returned to Alicante to spend Christmas and New Years with family… had a fight with them, and left again early January on another adventure. I took a bus to Valencia (VLC) where I flew to Paris (CDG) a few days later to hang out with my other cousin there. Returned to Valencia, took a bus to Alicante (ALC) so I can fly to Madrid (MAD) where I had more cheap flights booked to explore Europe. My first Madrid (MAD) to Milan (MXP) flight went haywire which could have ruined the whole trip, luckily Lufthansa Italia rebooked me on their partner Swiss Air to go Madrid (MAD) to Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH) to Milan (MXP) where I spent the night, and next day flew Milan (MXP) to Stockholm, Sweden (ARN) where I stayed at the Jumbo Hostel at the airport, it’s an old Singapore Airlines 747 converted into a hotel and was the highlight of my visit. I returned from Stockholm (ARN) to Milan (MXP) and back to Madrid (MAD) on Lufthasa. Then took a repositioning flight on Iberia from Madrid (MAD) to Alicante (ALC) so I could pick up my luggage from family. And then another repositioning flight on Spanair from Alicante (ALC) to Barcelona (BCN), where I boarded my flight home. Except it was a weird booking where I flew Barcelona (BCN) to New York (JFK) on American. Went home for the night and left my luggage there. The next morning I flew from New York (LGA) to Chicago (ORD) to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PHL) where the booking ended, and took a $1 Megabus back to New York. In all according to Great Circle Mapper I flew 17, 963 miles on the following segments:

EWR – MIA 1,085 mi
MIA – MAD 4,424 mi
MAD – ALC 222 mi
ALC – RAK 626 mi
RAK – ALC 626 mi
VLC – CDG 674 mi
CDG – VLC 674 mi
ALC – MAD 222 mi
MAD – ZRH 771 mi
ZRH – MXP 127 mi
MXP – ARN 1,041 mi
ARN – MXP 1,041 mi
MXP – MAD 715 mi
MAD – ALC 222 mi
ALC – BCN 251 mi
BCN – JFK 3,831 mi
LGA – ORD 733 mi
ORD – PHL 678 mi

March 2010

At the beginning of 2010 I took a month long trip to Europe to hang out with family. The original plan was to stay in France like I did on my two visits in 2009 but those plans fell apart so I decided to go back to Ukraine and spend the time with family there. I left New York (JFK) in early March 2010 on a KLM flight to Paris (CDG) via Amsterdam (AMS) where I connected to an Air France flight to Madrid (MAD). From there I took a Spanair connecting flight to Barcelona (BCN) where I boarded Air France again to fly Barcelona (BNC) to Lyon (LYS) to Clermont-Ferrand (CFE) apparently on a separate reservation. I only stayed for a few days before leaving on Air France from Clermont-Ferrand (CFE) to Paris (ORY) to board Transavia flight to Krakow, Poland (KRK) where in turn I took an overnight train to Lviv, Ukraine. At the end of my stay there I did the same in reverse, train to Krakow and flight to Paris on Transavia. Then TGV from Paris to Lyon, where I boarded my Air France flight from Lyon (LYS) to Madrid (MAD) onwards to Paris (CDG) and KLM to Amsterdam (AMS) and back to New York (JFK). Once again incredibly wasteful taking a train from Paris to fly a few stops just to arrive at the other Paris airport, but that’s the way things get booked on separate itineraries. In all according to Great Circle Mapper I flew 12,187 miles on the following segments:

JFK – AMS 3,643 mi
AMS – CDG 248 mi
CDG – MAD 660 mi
MAD – BCN 301 mi
BCN – LYS 341 mi
LYS – CFE 93 mi
CFE – ORY 206 mi
ORY – KRK 789 mi
KRK – ORY 789 mi
LYS – MAD 567 mi
MAD – CDG 660 mi
CDG – AMS 248 mi
AMS – JFK 3,643 mi

February 2009

In early 2009 I decided to pick up and move to Australia. Once there I traveled extensively around the country, but the trip there was my first truly long haul flight paired with another repositioning leg to ultimately get me from Los Angeles (LAX) to Melbourne, Victoria (MEL) via Sydney, NSW (SYD). I booked the round trip flight on Qantas outright with $$$ because it was before I started hoarding various miles on legacy carriers, and though JetBlue miles got me from New York (JFK) to and from Los Angeles (LAX) to position for the Qantas flight, that’s about as far as it went. In all according to Great Circle Mapper I flew 10,401 miles on the following segments:

JFK – LAX 2,475 mi
LAX – SYD 7,488 mi
SYD – MEL 439 mi

December 2009

On the way home from Australia the routing was almost exactly the same except I had built in a connection via Canberra (CBR) in the Australian Capital Territory. No particular reason, just shits and giggles I guess. I didn’t get out of the airport. Luckily I got to visit Canberra on another trip taking the Aussie Greyhound bus when I lived in Sydney. Apparently the mileage variation is only off by 1 mile, because Canberra is located perfectly on the Melbourne-Sydney flight path. According to Great Circle Mapper I flew 10,402 miles on the following segments:

MEL – CBR 292 mi
CBR – SYD 147 mi
SYD – LAX 7,488 mi
LAX – JFK 2,475 mi