The first bookmark in my aviation essential reading folder is CrankyFlier.com, and I’m certain to be one of the many enthusiasts who open the site every day to read new content (although on an average, a new article pops up on the site every second day).
Brett Snyder, the President and (as he likes to call himself) the Chief Airline Dork of Cranky Flier is the ‘been there, done that’ man of the aviation industry. Fascination with airplanes started at a very young age and by the age of 12, he had become a travel agent. His fascination with the industry only grew with job stints at USAir, America West, United and PriceGrabber.com.
He’s been a full time blogger for few years now, along with his own air travel assistance service, known as Cranky Concierge, for which he has been named as a “Top Travel Specialist” by Conde Nast Traveler for multiple times now.
Brett has also won multiple awards for “The Cranky Flier”, and also writes for CNTraveler.com and Intuit Small Business Blog.
Before we begin our chat, bit of trivia about the name: Brett was given the name “Cranky Pants” by his friend and that stuck as CrankyFlier, as the name seemed neutral to Brett himself.
- What makes you travel Brett?
Brett – Sadly most of my travel lately is about the process itself and not about being in a location. That’s too bad, because the real motivation for travel should be what’s on the other end of the flight. It’s almost always worth it, even though it is exhausting.
- Do you enjoy the aviation/flying part more of your travels or the sightseeing in cities? Of all the flights that you may have taken, any particularly memorable experience you would like to share?
Brett – I enjoy both, but I don’t have a lot of sightseeing opportunities on my trips lately. Regarding flights, I have had so many great experiences. But I think if there’s one that stands out, it’s the time I had the pleasure of flying Concorde from London to New York. That was just surreal. (Vishal’s note: Must read related trip report of Concorde here).
- I know that Boeing 747 is your favourite aircraft, what about your preferred airport and why?
Brett – I don’t have a single airport or airline that I like best. It’s different depending upon the situation. For example, I love my hometown airport, Long Beach, but that’s because you can get through it very easily and the facility is excellent. But it’s not where I’d want to spend a long connection.
- And your Favorite airline will be?
Brett – For airlines, I might choose one airline to go in business class to Europe whereas a short hop to San Francisco might be something else. I really don’t have a top choice.
- What about your preferred city for a break?
Brett – I’d have to say London. For whatever reason, I just love going there. One of my favourite experiences there involved a visit to some friends on a surprisingly warm and sunny spring day. We started up on Baker Street and wandered the streets until we ended up down in South Kensington for dinner. We just wandered aimlessly for hours and took advantage of the city’s lack of an open container law. I find that the best experiences are when I know someone locally. It just changes the way you see a city.
- Leaving aside Wi-Fi, which is being implemented by majority of airports, what other changes you want to see at the airports?
Brett – I would love to see more day rooms. Fortunately, we’re seeing that happen more and more.
- You run a successful website/business. What would you tell as advise to the average Joe, missing deep pockets but still harboring the will to travel the world?
Brett – There are great ways to travel the world without spending a ton of money. In particular, if you can qualify for a credit card, you can earn a lot of miles and turn that into free travel around the world. Or you can look for a job that requires a lot of travel. Travel within regions can be very inexpensive, and you can always say in hostels to save money. So the key is just funding the long haul travel.
- Do you have a go-to guide before you travel?
Brett – I don’t have a go-to guide. I use friends as much as possible, but for internet research I usually just start with Google and work my way around from there.
- What role do you think social media/twitter has played in propagating Travel?
Brett – I think social media has helped bring experiences to people in real time. It used to be you could watch a slideshow of someone’s trip after they returned. Now you can live through it with them including photos, videos and more. It can all be shared as it happens, so it makes it more real for people at home.
- Finally, as this is GlobeTrotters on “Twitter”, your 3 favorite twitter user accounts?
and since you didn’t say it had to be travel-related, @Dbacks. (Yep, I’m a big baseball fan.)
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- GlobeTrotters on Twitter | Shashank Nigam (vishal1mehra.com)
- GlobeTrotters on Twitter | Gary Leff (vishal1mehra.com)
- GlobeTrotters on Twitter – Chris Christensen (The Amateur Traveler) (vishal1mehra.com)
- GlobeTrotters on Twitter | Ben Schlappig (One Mile at a Time) (vishal1mehra.com)
- GlobeTrotters on Twitter – an Introduction (vishal1mehra.com)
- GlobeTrotters on Twitter | Johnny Jet (vishal1mehra.com)