How many flights do you typically take per year?
I take approximately 120 flights per year. This can be to the UK one hour away from Ireland or to New Zealand 24 hours later.
Unusual equipment you fly with?
I tend to travel with knives and a saw. I am a Master Butcher so it always makes great conversation at customs when I am spot-checked. I normally tell them I am a surgeon. When pushed, I come clean and tell them I’m a beef surgeon.
Any flights in your life that particularly stand out?
I was on an Air China flight last year in business class coming from Shanghai. When I got to my seat, someone was in it and refused to leave. I took the seat he did not want. Approximately two hours into the flight, huge turbulence hit during the dinner service and the gentleman in the seat I had been allocated was left with a lot of food and wine in his lap. His just desserts, maybe?
How do you survive a long flight?
I tend to take legs from Ireland to Asia, so I travel during the daytime to Dubai and then connect after midnight. This means I am already tired, so sleeping is not too hard. I put my watch forward to the time zone I’m arriving. Lots of water, PJs, earplugs, noise-cancelling headphones and an eye mask do the trick.
How could international airports improve?
Security! Every airport has a different policy, laptop out/in, liquids out/in, shoes on/off, watch on/off… its painful to be part of. The other thing is too much self-service is bad: Changi Terminal 4 is a pain with lots of staff directing you to machines to check in, check bags and clear security – it defeats the purpose.
How could airlines improve in-flight service?
Food is dreadful in some cases. Every airline will brand alcohol and drinks in general, but not the food. For example, amazing food can be sourced from each sector the plane is flying from. Let people know the provenance of their food.
Ultimate dream destination?
Anywhere with no wifi please.