Features

Interview: Air Miles with Christiaan Burner

1 Nov 2019 by Michael Allen
Air Miles interviewee Christiaan Burner

Christiaan Burner is CEO of Quicket Solutions, a Chicago-based company that provides cloud-based solutions for sensitive government workloads.

How many flights do you typically take per year?

I’m on track to have approximately 150 flights this year. As CEO of an emerging enterprise software company, I travel extensively to meet with potential/current clients and attend many industry conferences.

Any unusual equipment you fly with?

Since I often meet with clients to showcase our software, I typically fly with several computers, a mini-projector, monitors and other devices, which makes my carry-on extremely heavy.

Any flights in your life that stand out?

Two flights really stand out. First was taking a bush plane to a remote part of the Serengeti in Tanzania for a safari. The plane had no air conditioning and the inside was well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which made everyone sick and miserable. Second, was taking a chartered flight on Antarctic Airways from Punta Arenas, Chile to King George Island, Antarctica. It was truly amazing to fly to one of the most remote parts of the world.

How do you survive a long flight?

I am typically very productive on long flights, often focusing on larger tasks that require more concentration. Aided by a cup of coffee or two, I usually work the entire flight. I also become very uncomfortable on warm planes and thus usually wear light clothing.

Ultimate dream destination and why?

North Pole. To me, a dream vacation is to have a truly unique experience and go somewhere that few have gone before. I’ve been very fortunate to have travelled to Antarctica and now I am looking forward to the Arctic. In order to reach the North Pole, I plan on travelling to Russia and from there taking an icebreaker ship.

Best souvenir you’ve ever come back with?

After travelling to Antarctica, I was able to take back the ice charts that the captain used to successfully navigate around the continent.

How could airlines improve in-flight service?

Wifi is still very inconsistent on international flights. Travelling more than 15 hours from Chicago to Hong Kong with no internet service is difficult.

How could airports improve the customer experience?

Personalised service goes a long way. A simple recognition of status, calling me by name, and being especially helpful in difficult travel situations really increases loyalty.

Indispensable travel gadgets?

I love my Apple Airpods, as the sound quality is decent and it is very easy to be hands-free during a phone call.

Top travel tips?

Never order room service. I always try to find a local authentic restaurant and try new things.

Most unusual place you have been?

Besides travelling to Antarctica and other remote parts of the world, perhaps the most unusual place I consistently travel to is Kansas City, Missouri. It is widely considered to be one of the most inefficient airports, as it has a decentralised terminal, unlike anywhere else in the world. With many security checkpoints, the airport requires significantly more security agents and also has limited dining options without having to leave security.

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