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A Turbulence-Free Ascent

It’s exactly one year to the day since I started sharing insights into all manner of things aviation and aerospace with you here on Flight Chic.  I’m honoured to say that, with your support, it’s been a smooth take-off.

I’m far from reaching a comfortable cruising altitude.  There’s so for me still to learn about the industry, which is quite a lot to say after 20 years watching aviation inside and out.  There’s also a whole new career for me to adjust to, as a writer in a modern connected society.

I’ve had great help from wonderful people along my journey.

First and foremost I must thank Adam Gavine, my editor at Aircraft Interiors International Magazine who gave me my first big push-off the tarmac and has continued to support me by giving me the opportunity to work on some really fun articles in this year’s issues.  I look forward to another year of covering trends and matters of interest to the aircraft interiors community on Aircraft Interiors International Magazine.  I must say, if you’re not already a subscriber and avid reader: “What are you thinking?!?”  Go on.  Subscribe today.  You’ll only regret not doing it sooner.  Thank you Adam for your kindness, good guidance and generosity.  I look forward to many more good years working together.

My thanks also to Mary Kirby of the Runway Girl Network, who got me started in the digital realm.  I was able to work on some interesting technical articles looking at matters of safety and comfort in the cabin, and began by writing about one of my favourite safety matters: flammability testing. I spent years at the burn lab at our own facility, during my earlier career in manufacturing and, let me tell you, there’s a lot to know.  Thank you, Mary, for helping me dip my toes in this new medium and build up some street-cred with the discerning AvGeek community.

The gods of aviation smiled down upon me when they sent me Rafat Ali, Founder of Skift to follow this humble site in its infancy.  Thanks to the support of Rafat Ali and Jason Clampet, Co-Founder and Head of Content at the world’s leading travel intelligence site, I’ve been able to write oodles of fun articles and reach an international audience.  I don’t know what I did to deserve such a lucky break, but as the song goes: “Somewhere in my youth, or childhood, I must have done something good.”   I hope to continue contributing to Skift week-to-week for many years to come, and will continue to share the latest and greatest developments in airlines and terminals with readers.  Thank you, Rafat, for your faith that I could amount to something, if given a chance, and thank you, Jason, for your patience and understanding of my peculiar wit.  Working with the entire Skift team is a delight.  Meeting the team in New York helped me better appreciate the high levels of commitment and professionalism at Skift, and I look forward to giving everyone a hug again at next year’s Skift Forum.  If Skift isn’t part of your daily reading, I must say, there’s something wrong with you.  Sign up immediately.  It’s free, but the travel intelligence gathering is priceless.

I have also had the blessing to contribute regularly to Passenger Terminal World, Aircraft Interiors International’s sister magazine at UKIPMedia.  Editors Helen Norman and Hazel King have been wonderfully supportive and encouraging, helping me dig deep into key topics of interest for airports and passengers alike.  They are two marvellously kind and professional women of aviation, whom I am proud to work with.  I hope to bring Passenger Terminal World readers more in-depth insights into the latest developments on terminal design and technology in the years to come.  Thank you, Helen and Hazel.  You took a chance with me, and I appreciate the opportunity you gave me to grow.  Passenger Terminal World, like its sister magazine Aircraft Interiors, and any other of the beautiful and informative UKIPMedia transport publications, are required reading.  Subscribe and read PTW faithfully.  You’ll thank me for that advice.

What would the passenger experience be without insights from the APEX organisation?  Significantly inferior–that’s what!  I had the wonderful opportunity to meet the incomparable Raymond Girard and Terri Potratz from Spafax (which publishes APEXMagazine and maintains its on-line publications) at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg this year.  What was a chance meeting during the unveiling of the Airbus A350XWB in Hamburg, has become a cherished relationship and a precious opportunity to write even more articles on the latest air travel trends.  The APEX organisation is fully committed to building an understanding in the industry of passenger needs and to inspiring new innovations which address and even surpass those needs.  If you don’t follow the magazine, the website and the APEX SmartBrief daily, these are publications to put on your must-read list as we head into 2015.

I could not begin to count the veritable who’s-who of the industry’s top experts and visionaries who have contributed to my various articles in these wonderful publications this year. I feel I must give special mention to Chris Nurko of Futurebrand, Ben Orson of JPADesign, Peter Knapp of Landor, Nigel Goode of Priestmangoode and Devin Liddell of Teague, who have given me plenty of food for thought on a number of articles, and who have inspired even more articles with each fascinating interview.  To them, and to all other the exceptional sources of inspiration I’ve spoken to this year, my humble thanks.  Your generous insights have not only lent credibility and value to my articles, they have also helped enrich my knowledge of the industry to better judge which trends are passing fancies and which will endure.

Thanks also to my dear friend, Connie Schaeffer, President of the Air Carriers Purchasing Conference, a true gem of aviation, a woman who understands how to support, encourage, and motivate like very few, and who has inspired me to be better throughout my aviation career.  In this relaunch of my aviation life, she has lit the runway for me, set me on the right heading and given me the extra lift to soar.  If you doubt whether there is magic in this world, and whether angels live among us, you haven’t met Connie.

No thanks would be complete without mentioning my beloved life-partner, guide and co-conspirator, my dearest husband Juan Carlos, who gave me the first swift kick and the courage to combine my love of writing with my passion for aviation–inspiring Flight Chic and all the good things which followed since.  Te adoro, mi bien.

To my dear readers here on Flight Chic, and everywhere, thank you.  Thank you very, very much.  I hope that I’ve helped fuel your love for this wonderful industry, and I promise to continue doing more of that in 2015.  Without you, I wouldn’t have gotten very far.

There were plans on the books for expansion in 2014 which are rolling over into 2015.  When I first drafted those plans, I did not expect to be as busy with my freelance work as I have been, and that writing has helped build my reader base here on the site too–a key factor for that planed expansion.

I promise to get around to launching the Flight Chic Intelligence reports via the Flight Chic PRO subscription site soon.  Look for that announcement here.  There will be plenty of meaty information coming your way on both the free site and the subscription site, so you can’t lose.  Do me a kindness and ask a friend to follow Flight Chic and @designerjet on Twitter.

I said so in my very first post, and I’ll say it again: 

Flying is cool.  Flying is fashionable.  Flying is vogue.  It’s mod.  It’s chic.

It has been since the industry started 100 years ago, and it will be 100 years from now.  Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like an aircraft soaring in the clouds at 30,000 feet.

We’ll continue to chase after that flight “chic” right here, and anywhere else my words make it to print.  That’s a promise.

Here’s to another good year!

Featured Image: Vintage Aviation Poster, Designer Unknown, PAN AM, ENGLANDCirca 1970

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