7 ways for an AvGeek to keep occupied during lockdown
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And just like that, England is back in lockdown.
If you’ve had enough of banana bread and Zoom quizzes to last you until at least 2030, then we’ve put together some AvGeek-themed ideas to keep you distracted this time around.
1. Treat yourself to a remote control plane
Grown-ups are just big kids at heart, right?
Why not combine your inner child and AvGeek and invest in a remote control aircraft? Call it an early Christmas present from you, to you.
They don’t have to break the bank, either. At £80, this Top Race Remote Control Plane promises hours of fun distraction this lockdown. It’s advertised for kids and adults, too — fun for all the family.
2. Plan your elite status strategy
Our beloved travel and aviation industries continue to be two of the hardest-hit during the current pandemic. Flight cancellations galore continue to plague our inbox and departure boards and routes are being axed left, right and centre. Not only that, but as part of lockdown 2.0, all non-essential travel has been banned, meaning that we have to cancel or postpone any upcoming trips.
While airlines and hotel chains alike have gradually introduced extensions to elite status and other frequent flyer perks to mitigate many lost Tier Points and miles, it might be an idea to delve into your various frequent flyer programmes and rethink your strategy for at least maintaining your desired level of status in the time you have left before renewal.
With that in mind, plan as far in advance as you possibly can to reduce the risk of having to cancel plans once again.
3. Update your flight log
Many of you will probably know of FlightRadar24 as being an excellent tool for checking out live flight information. What you might not know, however, is that there’s a built-in social section where you can track and log your own flights. Simply click the Social tab at the top of the screen and then My.flightradar24, where you’ll be asked to create a profile — if you haven’t already.
Once that’s done, it’s time to put aside a few hours to log every single flight you’ve ever taken. If you log your flights close enough after the time of departure, it will even automatically pull the aircraft type and tail registration of the plane simply by inputting the date of your flight and the flight number — but if they’re old flights you’re logging, then you’ll have to find this stuff out yourself.
There are also other flight-logging sites like Openflights.org and myflightbook.com, but I really like the visual of FlightRadar24, how easy it is to use and the detailed statistics you can get about your travels.
For example, you can take a snapshot of any year for which you have data and see the stats broken down into several categories including class, type of aircraft flown, top routes flown and even whether you sat in the window, middle or aisle seat the most.
Related reading: Stuck at home? Here’s what to do with all your travel wanderlust
4. Plan ahead
As of right now, we don’t have any clear idea of when or if travel and flying will return to how we know and love it. So, why not make the most of this second period of non-flying time to plan for future trips, update your bucket list and do some research on the best business class, first class and airlines around the world. That way, you can start to make a plan of how you’re going to fly them.
There are fewer and fewer airlines operating first-class cabins these days, so it’s not always easy to know which airlines do, and if so, on which routes.
Here are a few recent TPG reviews if you’re in need of some inspiration:
- Cold ground, warm sky: A review of Cathay pacific’s first class on the 777-300ER from Hong Kong to London
- As good as it gets: A review of Air France La Première 777-300ER from Paris to Beijing
- My apartment in the sky: A review of Etihad’s first class apartment on the A380 from Abu Dhabi to New York
- Awesome Aussie: A review of Qantas first class on the A380 from Melbourne to LAX
- Treated like a king for a day: Flight first class for the first time on Lufthansa’s A340
- In love all over again: A review of British Airways First on the A380 with its new soft product
There are far more options to choose from when flying business class, meaning it might make it harder to decide which ones you want to fly. Here are a few recent TPG business class reviews to help you decide.
- Lofty heights: A review of Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class Suite on the A350 from London to New York
- Suite refresh: A review of British Airways’ Club Suite on the refurbished 777 from New York to London
- Just as good the second time: A review of Delta One Suites on the 777 from Los Angeles to Paris
- Fancy a drink at the bar? A review of Emirates business class on the A380 from Dubai to New York
- Approaching perfection: A review of Qatar Airways’ Qsuite business class on the 777-300ER from Doha to JFK
- Business as usual: A review of Cathay Pacific’s A350-900 in business class from Hong Kong to New York
5. Try running your own airline
I don’t mean literally trying to take the reins from Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss. But, you can pretend to be like him and practice your hand at what you would be like at running an airline thanks to some AvGeek video games like Airlines Manager Tycoon.
Be careful, though, it gets quite addictive — so I hear…
6. Update your ExpertFlyer alerts
Using ExpertFlyer is one of the best ways to keep your future travel plans in order. You can see what redemption availability there is on certain flights as well as set yourself alerts for when availability drops in and even when your favourite seat becomes available.
(ExpertFlyer is owned by TPG’s parent company Red Ventures.)
7. Organise your aviation stash
And finally, many AvGeeks have something that they collect on every flight they take. Whether your thing is sick bags or safety cards or everything you can possibly sneak into your hand luggage, now is a good time to get your stash in order.
Not just that, but if you’re like me and keep every single boarding pass stub, why not take yourself on a little trip down memory lane and find a creative way to store your memories.
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What a trip down memory lane this was… from the first boarding pass stub since I started collecting in 2006 and up until 2013 when the space ran out… . . . Defunct airlines, new destinations, solo trips, first business class flight, family holidays, first time skiing, school exchanges, first trip abroad with friends, flying home from living abroad, routes that no longer exist, visits to that special person, first time to Ibiza… the list goes on! . . . Do you remember your first ever flight? Where was it to? . . . #avgeek
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Just because we’re having to take some time out of the sky, it doesn’t mean that we can’t still enjoy the wonderful world of aviation. Hopefully, it won’t be long before we’re back in the air where we belong.
Featured photo by Daniel Ross/The Points Guy
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