Hmm - so Emirates flight 380 is actually operated by a B777 :(
I remember my first flight vividly – a British Midland Vicker's Viscount from Birmingham to Jersey in 1989. Next it was an Air UK Fokker Friendship from Southampton - aircraft had proper names back in the day! Since then I have been hooked on flying, determined to hop on a plane wherever and whenever possible.
One of my ambitions is to visit every country in the world, although having a young family has put a temporary halt in proceedings. I have yet to persuade the good wife that a quick jaunt to Somalia or North Korea is a good idea!
What is your favourite UK airport?
Despite all its many faults, I love the buzz at Heathrow - it really does feel like the epicentre of world travel. At the other end of the scale, London City is always a pleasure to use because it is so compact, plus the views when flying in over central London are fantastic.
What is your favourite overseas airport?
Copenhagen's Kastrup is hard to beat for clean, efficient design.
Do you have a favourite airline?
I wish I'd had the chance to try one of the business-class airlines (EOS, Silverjet, Maxjet) that operated the London-New York route before they all went bust.
From the perspective of having young children, my experiences with Monarch and Thomson Airways have been very positive. I also think, contrary to popular belief, that Ryanair have very friendly cabin crews – its just a pity the airline's baggage policy is so anti-family.
What is the worst experience you have had with an airline?
My worst experience was not a flight itself, rather the nightmare scenario of when things go wrong and poor customer service badly lets you down.
Early in 2011 I booked a flight from Lagos in Nigeria to London via Tripoli through the online travel agent Bravofly. The booking was made well before the 'Arab Spring' started, but when the UN no-fly zone was imposed over Libyan skies, the wise chaps at Bravofly refused to accept that my May flight would be cancelled because they had not had confirmation from the airline.
Only the day after the flight had been due to depart did they finally acknowledge the cancellation, although they would not offer any form of refund until they had received payment themselves from the airline, which of course is highly unlikely to happen. Thankfully my credit card company came to the rescue in this instance. The small print in the contract meant that Bravofly absolved themselves of all obligations.
My problem was with the staggeringly appalling customer service. I'm not the only traveller with Bravofly issues – most of the invective I have since read on messageboards was the kind of stuff usually reserved for politicians and bankers!
What is your best tip for a stress-free flight?
Try not to let external factors (delays, screaming kids etc) affect you. Have plenty of entertainment to hand!
Can you recommend any travel essentials?
I don't go anywhere without my Rimowa aluminium suitcase. They are pricey, but these German-made beauties can take punishment from the most overzealous baggage handlers.
Smart-phones players are an absolute Godsend, but make sure you take an international plug adapter too.
Favourite three UK places you have visited
Edinburgh – For the dramatic setting and stunning buildings.
London - Despite having lived in London before heading back up to the Midlands when the kids came along, I still feel like a wide-eyed tourist when I visit the capital.
Glen Coe – Literally takes your breath away when you see that epic vista stretch out in front of you.
Favourite three European places you have visited
Dolomites, Italy – Mighty spectacular mountains, incredible colours.
Rome, Italy – A living museum in the very best sense.
Valencia, Spain – Ticks every box, amazing city centre food market, beautiful buildings (ancient and modern), a really good city beach, family friendly, great football team with truly atmospheric stadium...I could go on!
Favourite three worldwide places you have visited
Colombia – Highlights how wildly inaccurate media stereotyping can be! Stunning scenery, vibrant cities, welcoming people.
Nigeria – Like Colombia, completely confounds your expectations.
Los Angeles – A city that rubs a lot of visitors up the wrong way, but being a car junkie, I love it!
Top three destinations on your travel wishlist
Sana'a, Yemen – The buildings of the city's old city look utterly mesmerising. Continuing civil unrest means Yemen is currently off limits to tourists.
Eritrea – The Italian Art-Deco influence in Asmara, unspoilt Red Sea beaches and the Rift Valley. Spoilt somewhat by its lack of democracy.
Japan – For the clash of dazzling modernity and ancient customs.