Benét J. Wilson

Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.

Name:  Benét J. Wilson

Occupation:  Director of Media Relations, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; aviation journalist/blogger

Hometown:  San Francisco

Residence:   Towson, MD

Twitter: @AvQueenBenet


Pinterest: AviationQueen

Bio: Benét J. Wilson is the director of media relations for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. She was previously online managing editor and social media guru for the Aviation Week group.  She is also an aviation/travel freelance journalist, writing for publications including Aviation International News and the Airline Passenger Experience magazine.  She also blogs at on aviation and travel topics.  She is an Air Force brat and has worked for two airlines and an aircraft engine manufacturer,  Wilson is working on her private pilots license and resides in Towson, Md.

How often do you fly?   Since I began my pilot lessons, twice a week without fail.

How many countries have you been to?  30 ( I counted!)

How many continents have you been to?    4

Favorite American city?  Tie-New York City and San Francisco (I just can’t choose one!)

Favorite international city?  Paris

Least favorite country?  I really can’t think of one!

Favorite airline?   Domestic, Southwest. International, Singapore Airlines

Favorite aircraft type?  The Boeing 747-400, of course!

Aisle or window? Aisle

Favorite airport lounge?  British Airways First Class lounge at London Heathrow Airport’s T5

Favorite U.S. airport?   Another tie-San Francisco’s International Terminal and the JetBlue T5 terminal at JFK Airport.

Favorite international airport?   Changi Airport

Favorite hotel?    The Peaks, Telluride, Colo. (Marriott is my favorite chain)

Favorite cruise line?   Big shock-I’ve never been on a cruise!

Favorite island?   Martinique

Favorite fancy restaurant?   French Laundry, Napa Valley

Favorite hole in the wall?  The now-closed, but beloved Flint’s BBQ in Oakland, Calif.

Favorite travel movie(s):  The Accidental Tourist, Die Hard 2 (my Twitter followers understand why), Romancing the Stone.

Favorite travel show(s):   Easy! Hot Spots 2012 with Johnny Jet on the Travel Channel (bring it back, Travel Channel!) House Hunters International.

Favorite travel book(s):  Anne Tyler, who makes Baltimore such a magical place; A Year in Provence; Griffin and Sabine (the trilogy); Lonely Planet

Five things you bring on a plane?  Noise-canceling headphones; baby wipes; hand sanitizer; lip balm; and iPod/iPad

What do you always seem to forget?   Sunglasses, enough underwear

Favorite travel iPhone app(s):  GateGuru, Next Flight, My TSA, Zagat, Taxi Magic and Translate

Most embarrassing/worst travel moment:  I got sick as a dog on trip to Indonesia. I looked so bad at the airport they almost didn’t let me travel. My travel companion convinced them I was just badly hung over.  At a stopover in Hawaii, we were greeted by nurses from CDC handing out pamphlets informing us we had just left a Cholera-infected area and to check with our doctors at home if we had any of the listed symptoms. Guess who had ALL the symptoms? I made it back to Washington, DC and went immediately to the hospital. I had 30 doctors and interns in my room as they literally did a clinic on treating Cholera, using me as the case study. Turned out I only had a nasty intestinal infection. You could literally hear the disappointed groans when the doctor announce I didn’t have Cholera.  Good times…

What’s your dream destination?  Phuket and the Maldives

Favorite travel website(s) – besides, of course!:  I honestly didn’t even know there were other travel websites besides Johnny’s. What are they? I’m really interested to know!

Best travel tip: Always keep enough cash for tips. Carry an American Express card (I have the Zinc). Always be polite, smile and thank everyone who helps you.  Take the time to fill out those comment cards for service that goes above and beyond. They really do make a difference. Finally, put Johnny’s website at the top of your travel bookmarks — and when’s the app coming out?? ;)


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